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Old May 14, 2003, 1:55 PM   #11
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A couple of things I have learned about photographing cars, are bright overcast days are bad for dark colors and you never know how the pearls are going to turn out until you have the print in hand (or in this case the jpeg displayed on a monitor).

The solid cloud cover reflects white off the finish and detracrts from the overall color of the car. This can be a fun effect when you want to photograph the car next to it. Position the camera close to the door or fender, and focus on the car next to it. I've had better success on overcast days than sunny ones. For lighter colored cars, it doesn't matter as much, as long as there are no dark shadows.

The car above is mine, and we just finished painting it. The color is a dark purple with red and blue pearl and silver metalic in it. As you can see by these pics there is a definate bright blue tint. I have others that have brought out the red. I haven't tried taking pictures of it in the late afternoon/early evening, which is what I'd like to try next.

For now I'm content to wait for a bright sunny (cloudless) day here in the pacific northwest, and try it again. I hear July 20th is supposed to be good :P . If not I'm haven't ruled out putting up a tent over someone elses car.
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Old May 14, 2003, 4:25 PM   #12
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I was also thinking of a giant umbrella you poke through the sunroof! Your problem is like trying to photograph a mirror and not shoot what's reflected.

Flat off the paint finish with wet and dry, take the pics and have the lacquer finish and polish put back - (I'm only joking!)
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Old May 14, 2003, 9:42 PM   #13
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Have you tried different angles of the car? A polarizing filter gives varying results, depending on the angle of the reflected light you want to eliminate. Try first with the sun directly behind you, and then try taking pics at 10-15 degree increments until the sun is 90 degrees from your camera, adjusting the polarizer each time for the best glare reduction. You'll see that there is one angle at which the polarizing filter works best. This may not remedy your difficult situation, but I wanted to make sure you had maximized the effectiveness of the polarizer. When you figure out what it is, please report back to us here and share your findings!
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Old May 14, 2003, 10:56 PM   #14
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Wel i am a car freak and I have a huge problem.

Basically, the biggest show i go to is indoors and quite poorly lit. I have neve rhad a problem with my tiny P+S 35mm jobbie but this year, i took my Fuji 3800 and all the pics are too dark. i m reluctant to up exposure too much 'cos i may loose detail.

What the hell is wrong or is this a digicam problem?
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Old May 15, 2003, 10:33 AM   #15
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I can't speak for your camera, but I know I have problems with the neon lighting. My uncle works for a guy that has a collection of Ford Lightwieghts, and other late 60's early 70's Ford muscle cars. Most of the lighting in his show room comes from gas station neon signs. This is just my observation, but it appears that the colored light isn't metered correctly. For now I've given up on getting good indoor car pictures, and I just take my video camera to those shows.

lg, thanks for the tips. I plan to gie it a shot on the next sunny day here. So far the weather man isn't inspiring much optimism. My big fear is that once I acheive an angle in which the reflection is minimized the ghost flames won't be visible. I'll report back once I have more information.
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Old May 18, 2003, 9:52 PM   #16
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Dont know if this will help but...

get someone to place their hand or a flat matt coloured object in front of the car and focus on that, remove it from the scene and take your photograph.

Other ideas would be to play with the apeture settings so your depth of field is lower and any reflections will not be as clear. Use this with above method or manual focusing.
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Old May 19, 2003, 12:31 PM   #17
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I never thought about focusing on a sheet of paper then moving the paper. Today is supposed to be clear so I'll try in one I get home form work.

Vovmagna, as the painter my brother would like to thank you about your "mirror" comment. As a painter that is one of the greatest compliments he can receive.
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Old May 20, 2003, 12:09 PM   #18
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The weatherman was wrong again. The clouds began rolling in last night and I couldn't get any decent pictures. I'll try again when the weather cooperates.
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Old Jul 14, 2003, 8:51 PM   #19
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I have a good start on figuring this out. First of all, because this is a dark car, I need to wait for a couldless evening when the sky is a dark blue. Clouds, overcast, smoke, all detract from the flames. Secondly the flames stand out the best when the reflection of the sun is directly in the middle of them. So it was a balancing act to not get the sun's reflection, but keep the flames. This also is easier to accomplish late in the day when the sun is getting lower onthe horizon. I also learned that a polarized filter is a must. Finally I played around with the Hue/Saturation levels in Photoshop, to really make them stand out. (I was also able to remove some of the blue pearl in this paint taking the color closer to the purple base color.) Here is what I have ended up with.



Thanks for you help/suggestions.
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Old Jul 15, 2003, 5:42 PM   #20
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Hey that looks nice! I realise it's a magnified clip, but if that really is a bit of noise in the blues, try NeatImage to see if it will clean it up a bit. What ASA/ exposure setting did you use?
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