Why Not Photograph Your Own Car?

by | Mar 11, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

“The best way to learn how to photograph cars is “Practice, practice, practice.”—Joe Farace

Since there isn’t always a car show scheduled so why not shoot your own car?

Jaguar XJ-SOn any given weekend pre-pandemic there was a car show or Concours d’Elegance happening somewhere. And that seems to be changing for the better, You can also find information about local shows in newspapers, enthusiast publications, and the Internet.

Lately, Mary has been finding local shoes on the Colorado Cars & Coffee group on Facebook. We found out about the group when we happened upon a small show at a local McDonald’s—nope, didn’t have a camera with me. But we met some nice people including the owner of a flawless 1957 white Susan Sommers Thunderbird and saw some great cars including a beautiful Bayside Blue Nissan Skyline and a charming 1930’s Ford pickup truck.

These kinds of impromptu shows are a growing phenomenon within America’s car culture and are not associated with a special event or organization but occur on a regular basis at a local donut shop or burger joint. These kinds of gatherings can be harder to find but make the effort because they are smaller in size and attract a different kind of enthusiast and cars. In addition to social media, visit shops that cater to cool cars, such as tire and wheel stores, upholstery, or paint shops, in short anyplace where you see interesting cars parked outside. Ask about upcoming shows, including those informal gatherings.

2006.slkHow I made these shots: The photograph of my now-departed Jaguar XJ-S at top was shot near Denver’s Mamie D. Eisenhower Park. It was made with a Pentax K-100 and smc Pentax-DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED lens at 200m with an exposure of 1/350 sec at f/8 and ISO 200. One of the oldest tricks in the car photography book is to wet down the street to create reflections. I didn’t have permission or a hose to do that here so the water you see was added in post production using the wonderful plug-in called Flood from Flaming Pear Software. Download the trial version and give it a try,

The photo of my wife’s (former) low mileage 2006 Mercedes 350 SLK was made at a nearby lake using an Olympus E-M5 Mark I with Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R lens at 29mm. Exposure was 1/125 sec at f/6.3 and ISO 400.

You can see more of our old cars by using the blog’s Search feature and searching for “our cars.”