Four Car Show Photography Tips

by | Aug 3, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

It’s that time of year again. Trees and flowers are full bloom and, depending on where you live, pandemic restrictions are loosening allowing classic cars to start rolling on manicured lawns for Concours d’Elegance or Cars & Coffee events to pop up an the nearest asphalt surface.

Tip #1: To make interesting photographs at a car show, either indoors or outdoors, you gotta love cars. A passion for the subject you’re photographing is always a plus and enables you to look beyond the surface of a car to see its essence, its soul.

How I Made this Photo: Shot with Olympus Pen E-P3 and highly underrated Olympus 15mm f/8 Body Cap lens with an exposure pf 1/400 sec at f/8 and ISO 640.

Tip #2: Before making any pictures try to talk to the car’s owner. You don’t need to be an expert; just be curious and polite. 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. One of the best ways to get to know the owner involves asking questions covered in the next tips. (To see me talking with some car owners check our the Joe and Cliff Go To Cars & Coffee on my YouTube channel.)


Tip #3: Try not make photographs of cars with their hoods—or bonnets if they are British—raised. Many owners like to display the cleanliness or sparkling chrome underneath but that’s not always the best way to photography a vehicle because it breaks up the car’s lines There are times, where the car needs to have the hood up. Who makes that determination? You do. If the owner nearby, ask them owner if they would close the hood so you can make a photograph of the car. In exchange, offer to give them a print or e-mail them a JPEG of the finished image, both of which positions you as a photographer who cares.

How I Made this Photo: Shot with Olympus E-M10 Mark I and OLYMPUS M.14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R kit lens (at 17mm) with an exposure pf 1/250 sec at f/8 and ISO 200.

Tip #4: It’s also a good idea to remove show placards such as the identification cards placed on the dash or under the windshield wiper. Ask the owner before touching any part of his or her car! It’s always best to have them do it, so ask politely.

to be continued…



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