Tuesday’s Car Show Photography Tip

Outdoor car show season is coming to an end, but there’s still time to make some nice photographs of classic and special interest cars. Here’s a few tips that might help:

Tip: Ask owners to kindly remove any placards or signs placed under their windshield wipers. You don’t have to be an expert on a particular marque or even cars in general, but you should be curious and polite when inspecting a car that might make an ideal photographic subject. If you see the owner, ask them a question. People who own interesting cars often have interesting stories to tell about their cars before it reaches the state where you would want to photograph it.

Here’s another tip: Whether it’s an indoors or outdoors show, arrive at the show early. That way you can see how the show is organized and make a plan on how you are going to approach shooting it. Another advantage of arriving early is that placards may not have already been placed under the windshield (windscreen if you’re British) wipers and another added benefit to being an early bird is that it’s also less crowded so people won’t walk into your shot.


Most owners can talk for hours about their cars because there never was a restoration project that didn’t have some interesting twists and turns. If you’re too late, while chatting ask them if they would kindly and just temporarily remove any show placards placed on the dash or under the windshield wiper. Whatever you do, don’t do it yourself!  Always ask the owner before touching any part of his or her car! It’s best to have them to remove any show placards, so ask politely.


If the owner is not around and the light is perfect, just shoot it as it is and try to select and angle that minimizes the placard or makes it easy to remove later in the digital darkroom. The Buick Invicta convertible above was captured using a Canon digital SLR that had been converted to infrared-only capture by LifePixel and hand colored in Photoshop using techniques that are explained here.


My book, The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography which shows how I made the above photograoh, is currently out-of-print but copies are available from Amazon starting at $19.95, as I write this. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects has a chapter on IR photography and is available from Amazon with new copies under $10 and used copies selling for $2.55 (plus shipping) one of the best book bargains out their for what is my personal favorite book.