A Few Winter Car Photography Tips

by | Feb 20, 2020

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

To make interesting photographs at any car show, indoors or outdoors, you gotta love cars. A passion for the subject that you’re photographing is always a plus and enables you to look beyond the surface of a car to see and maybe capture its essence, its soul.

Before making any pictures. it’s always a good idea to say hello to the car’s owner if they’re nearby.

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. Most can talk for hours about their cars because there never was a project that didn’t have some interesting twists and turns. People who own interesting cars often have interesting stories to tell about their cars well before it reaches the state where you would want to photograph it.

How I made this shot: Camera was a Nikon D780 with a AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR kit lens at 24mm with an exposure of 1/25 sec at f/13 and ISO 8000. (You can read my review of the camera on Shutterbug’s website.)

If the owner is not around and the light is good—it might not be perfect— just shoot it as it is and try to select an angle that minimizes any placards installed or makes it easy to remove later using Photoshop. Sometimes, as in the case of the 1906 Success at right, it’s impossible so just go with the flow and make the shot. I had never seen a Success before and this may be the only chance I get to make a photograph of one.

How I made this shot: Camera was a Nikon D780 with a AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR kit lens at 24mm with an exposure of 1/40 sec at f/13 and ISO 8000.

Museums, indoor shows, and private collections are available whatever the weather may be but produce their own set of unique challenges, including color balance but more often than not exposure. I’ve beaten that topic to death on this blog, so I’ll give you some links to check out here and here.

About the photos: The illustrations on this blog were shot at the Gallery at the Vehicle Vault and are part of an upcoming Shutterbug review of the new Nikon D780. When the review appears on Shutterbug’s website, I’ll update this post with a link to it so it will amplify some of my comments in “How I made this shot.”


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