Photographing Cars at Indoor Shows

With the 2012 SEMA show in my rear view mirros I thought I would share some of my favorite images from previous shows.

Automobiles come in many different sizes, colors, and shapes making them ideal photographic subjects and on almost any weekend day, you’ll find a car show in your area. Museums, indoor shows, and private collections are available whatever the weather but produce their own set of unique challenges for making photographs.

Jay Leno's Cadillac

Jay Leno’s jet powered Cadillac (at left) was photographed at the SEMA auto show in Las Vegas. Shot with a Canon EOS 5D with an available light exposure of 1/160 sec at f/8.0 and ISO 800.

Kirkham roadsterThe Kirkham Motorsports 427 KMS/SC ( right) is different than most Cobra replicas because its body is made from hand-formed aluminum instead of fiberglass. It was displayed here at one of the anniversaries of the Shelby Cobra with no paint, just its polished aluminum skin and if you look close enough you’ll see that a racing stripe has been etched into the metal—all of which only made getting the exposure a little trickier than normal.

I shot the image of the Kirkham Motorsports roadster using a Canon EOS 50D bracketing in one-third stop increments. The best shot (at least the one you see here) was made at 1/50 sec at f/6.3 and ISO 800, which was one-third stop less than a “normal” exposure.