A Few Car Show Photography Tips

by | Jan 14, 2022

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Close-up of Hood OrnamentBe sure to make images of parts of cars. Don’t be frustrated by the lack of space and crowded conditions that can be found found at shows or car museums too. Instead use this liability to your advantage by finding small details, such as the delicate nature of a Bugatti’s grille or the sensuous lines of a street rod’s fender and capture them in sharp focus. It doesn’t make any difference if you’re using a one-time use camera or the newest digital SLR it’s a simple tip that can create some interesting images.

Tamron 10-24mm lensGet close to the car. Begin by working in close and gradually back off until extraneous non-car details or if you see that people start appearing in the frame. Wide-angle lenses and wide angle zooms let you fill up the frame with part or even the entire car while making sure distractions are eliminated. Make sure your zoom lens allows close focusing. I once purchased a wide-angle zoom lens only to discover it didn’t focus close enough to do me any good when photographing cars—or much elese. On the other hand, my old Tamron 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Di lens focuses as close as 9.8- inches. Since I purchased my lens (admittedly a while ago) Tamron has replaced this lens with the SP AF10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II that focuses even closer at 9.4-inches!


Subaru Concept Car at Tokyo Motor ShowExplore unconventional views of the car. Why not tilt your camera to provide a more dynamic image than shooting it “straight ahead.” The crowds at most car shows—although they are some of the most polite people you will find anywhere—make it almost impossible to use a tripod (and some venues prohibit them) so I seldom bring one.

Monopods can provide a steady platform for low light conditions, such as end of the day shots or you can use a tabletop tripod or on-the-ground low angle shots.

Dress for success. Dress comfortably and wear the kind of clothing you won’t be afraid to get dirty when trying to get an interesting camera angle. For outdoor shows, be sure to wear a hat to keep the sun off your head and like the song says, “be sure to wear sunscreen.

to be continued…




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Along with photographer Barry Staver, Joe is co-author of Better Available Light Digital Photography is available from Amazon for $21.50 and used copies starting at around nine bucks!