Five Tips to Improve Your Car Photographs

by | Dec 18, 2019

Today’s Post by Jason Anderson, photos by Joe Farace

No matter where you are on your photographic path, you can always pick up nuggets of information, tips, and tricks from listening to and reading about other photographers. That’s part of why I think that it’s important to stay networked with others in your field.

One of the best things I’ve gained from other photographers is insider tips and tricks for saving a photo, taking pictures in tricky lighting scenarios and insights for working in other challenging circumstances. Here are five tips that I’ve found extremely helpful in my own photographic endeavors.  Enjoy!

  1. Blown highlights are not necessarily a bad thing. Convert the image to black and white, add a vignette and the photo can become quite powerful!
  2. Use flash! We all are likely aware of the downsides of an on-camera flash. In a pinch though, you can still use it for fill. Got a piece of paper—even a cocktail napkin—tuck it around the flash to diffuse and soften the light a bit. And you can get that photo you may otherwise have missed.
  3. Fast Metering! Need to get a quick white balance measurement? Put your camera in manual focus mode and stick your hand in front of the lens. Use that for a quick custom white balance in a pinch when a gray or white card isn’t available. I use skin as a white balance point in Lightroom! (When photographing automobiles, Joe uses white cars for a similar approach .)
  4. Don’t be afraid of ISO! Traditional wisdom has shifted. In digital photography’s early days, ISO was a recipe for disaster as the noise in photos quickly rendered many images useless. These days camera manufacturers have made high ISO more manageable and noise reduction software like Dfine can be a big help in post production. So don’t be afraid to crank up the ISO to capture your images!
  5. Look for emotion! This especially holds true in photojournalism but all images can benefit from capturing the essence of human emotion because emotion trumps everything else in photography.

How I made the above shot: I photographed this model at Sonoma Raceway using a Panasonic DMC-FZ200 with the 25-600mm equivalent F2.8 lens at 81mm (equivalent) and an exposure of 1/1000 sec at f/4 and ISO 100.

Visit Jason over at his website for more useful tips, tricks, articles, insights and more on how to make and take better photographs!