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DomCotton Nov 21, 2005 7:22 AM


A friend of mine wants me to take some photos of cars. Anybody got any good tips? Anybody seen any inspirational angles, etc..?

Thanks in advance,


wrb Nov 23, 2005 5:13 AM

Personally I always think cars look best on wide angle and from low down.

Slayer Nov 26, 2005 5:44 PM

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hi! i'm avi, i'm 16 years old and i'm new in this forum:-)

besides of the fact that i love photography, i love cars:cool:and photography+cars= i love taking photos of cars.

one of my favorite angle is the one shown in this picturei took.

also make sure that all of the car is in the picture:)

have fun! by the way, could you pleasesend me the pics? i would like to see which cars you have in the UK;)

1958fury Nov 26, 2005 10:08 PM

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It depends onwhy you're taking pictures of the cars. For me, it's a hobby just like photography. I have been attending antique car shows for years, and only the past few have been photographing like crazy. I take 300-400 pictures every show, and attend about 25 shows a year. I agree with "wrb", I like the low, wide angle approach. But it varies car to car. Each shot for me is different, but I have learned it is better to crop in tight, and only show what you want the audience to see. Find the most interesting line or part of the car, and then shoot that with an interesting angle. If you need to shoot the entire car, eye-level or from above work well.

1958fury Nov 26, 2005 10:11 PM

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This one I shot because I loved the lighting falling on the hood ornamant.

1958fury Nov 26, 2005 10:20 PM

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In this shot, I had to crop in very tight to elimanate distracting items. I also like this angle. If you were to draw a straight line from where I stand and am facing, it would lead straight to the middle of the front wheel. Standing and facing at this angle seems to show both the front and side of the car equally.

lugnutz Nov 29, 2005 1:43 PM

I like to use anywhere from normal to telephoto focal length. When I'm focusing on a detail, I like to narrow the depth of field, that way all the attention goes to that detail. I also prefer to be low, grill level to top of the hood. But, nothing is set in stone, it all depends on your background, lighting, amount of space, etc...

Also, I like to use a flash, it makes the colors pop and makes the details show better.

lugnutz Nov 29, 2005 1:45 PM

lugnutz Nov 29, 2005 1:49 PM

lugnutz Nov 29, 2005 1:52 PM

lugnutz Nov 29, 2005 1:53 PM

lugnutz Nov 29, 2005 1:57 PM

All slightly different, but they draw you in to the subject.

One last one.


DomCotton Nov 30, 2005 4:09 AM

OK so I love the one of the Subaru (on of my fave cars...) and it looks great! Sort of exaggerated at the front which is cool.

Thanks to you all for some excellent samples and ideas!


Slayer Dec 1, 2005 12:21 PM

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speaking of picturing cars... do you have any tip of picturing cars at night?

look at this pic..

maybe my flash is not powerful enough..?

gucascante Dec 2, 2005 4:17 PM

One tip to take best shots of cars: you have to wake up early in the morning, the best time to take pictures of cars is between the 5 and 7 am, when the sun is rising and the light is too "cold" (blue+grey tone), try it, you never regret...bye to everyone

mrklaw Jan 19, 2006 5:13 AM

I'll post a couple of shots of my old subaru (before she left me....:cry:) First pic posted so be gentle....

DomCotton Jan 19, 2006 10:04 AM

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Hey man,

Love those subaru pics! The first one is nice but the only thing i would say would be move that other car out of the way! Think it would look a lot better in a clean background - but take nothing away from the actual shot of the car - very nice!

OK for Slayer? A friend of mine has a Hummer in a warehouse - really dark and crappy surroundings but I got a shot of it anyway - this was without the flash, a 4 second shutter on f/10 at ISO 200. I was happy with it...


wrb Jan 20, 2006 5:19 AM

Nice Scooby there Mrklaw!

If I could be so bold I would suggest (as has been said already) to lose the other car in the background. I would also crop the car a lot tighter so there is not so much background and foreground and lastly I would try a shot at dawn or dusk (same angle and position), headlights on, no flash so it's all abient lightto capture that really agressive stance and lookthat all Scoobys have in them.

Stephen Hopkins Jan 24, 2006 4:31 PM

The Corvette Forum I often read on has a pretty good tutorial for getting good pics of cars. Not completely in-depth but a very good read.;forum_id=103

peachysnow Feb 3, 2006 3:20 PM

I visited the site and the content is engrossing :cool:

Love the pics here. Simply amazing.

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop.

asr dude Feb 5, 2006 11:07 AM

here's another link

kenmck15 Feb 25, 2006 4:19 PM

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yea low down looks cool

RaymondK Mar 16, 2006 6:11 PM

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Just to add to the collection here, the following picture was taken hand held using a Panasonic FZ30, at 3mb, ISO 80, 2.8 and 1/30 of a second, no flash.

I've only had the camera a few weeks and am still experimenting with it but, so far, I'm really happy with it!! :-)

Regards to all,


richierich1212 Mar 31, 2006 12:12 PM

That corvette link really helped me understand the purpose of halfway holding down the capture button. :|

tazj Apr 11, 2006 11:22 PM

very nice pic the shadows and front lights show up well :|

RaymondK Apr 14, 2006 5:55 AM

Hi there Tazj,

Not sure if you were referring to the picture I posted or not (:-)).

Anyway, love the picture in your profile - it almost makes me want to be married again :cool:!!!!

Best regards,


adnanbh Apr 18, 2006 2:46 AM

The vette writeup was really very informative, and another thing i havent' seen anyone mentioning, there is another thing that has to be kept in mind before taking a photograph of an auto. There is a lot of chrome and polished bodywork, and your masterpiece can be spoiled if you have a reflection of yourself, holding the camera showing up in the polished faces! ever had that one? it's was a real mess for me!

now i take a lot of care, so as to stay away from chrome finishes, and to cast shadows of myself on the ground. Even had to take a picture of a car in a market place, and had the billboard of KFC reflecting in the windscreen. Looked more like a KFC Ad ;)


adnanbh Apr 18, 2006 2:53 AM

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for all the pros, any idea how to take this picture? where the car is in focus, but the background is all motion blurred? any ideas?

RaymondK Apr 18, 2006 9:16 AM

I'm certainly no pro but, as far as my (very) limited photographic experience has taught me, to get a photo like that, you have to use a slow shutter speed and pan when the car passes you (attempting to keep the car in the same position in the viewfinder as much as possible).

If you have the possibility of several "takes", I would experiment with several different shutter speeds - none of them "too" fast though!! :-)

I'm sure that others will add more technical suggestions to my humble thoughts here and I, like you, will be learning from them too!!!!

Best regards,


Sky042 Sep 3, 2006 4:56 AM

I know I'm late to this coversation(very late it would appear)
But I wanted to share another interesting option regarding shooting cars.
Late at night+overpass+long shutter times = lots of fun.

Here's a single car at 15 seconds with my old F717 Sony

Here's 20 seconds with a semi Tractor Trailer having driven through the frame you can make out the 4 lights across the top of his trailer as they move through the scene due to their height above the road they created a kinda cool effect.

Edit: decided to make them links as they were kinda large and something was distorting them

Debs_Melb Sep 8, 2006 1:53 AM

I've been enjoying taking pics of old abandoned cars lately. Mainly for playing around with the black and white gradient map in photoshop..............LOL

My tip is to start off by positioning yourselfon an angle infront of the left headlight and then step back a few paces until you have the whole car in the viewfinder. Crouch down a little andshoot..............

Review what you have taken and you'll soon get an idea of what works and what doesn't. Play around with the aperture and decide what you want to do with the depth of field. The larger aperture you set, the less depth of field you will have to work with, the smaller aperture, the greater the available depth of field.



Redsquare Dec 13, 2006 6:06 PM

I thinklow downtype of angle is pretty cool:cool:

I'm also a big car lover and enjoy taking pics of cars;)Heres a few of mine.

O.S. Dec 26, 2006 11:15 AM

composition is important in relation to everything arround the car. I like this shot of my BMW

airbrushjohn Mar 21, 2007 4:45 PM

i like the low down angle, also!

my friend chad's truck @ panama city fla.

car show

mofo13 Mar 30, 2007 12:58 PM

Love the Bimmer pix here!

Personally, I've always liked lowshots from the front or rear 3-qtr aspect of a car like this ZHP coupe (kind of a big pic):

Shot of the R8 from this year's Auto Show (another big pic):

Offset shots also look nice if there's something good in the background (other cars or scenery).

Lens Jester May 11, 2007 8:50 AM

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Here is one of my first attempts with my new camera. I am new to this DSLR stuff so excuse the mistakes. :G

All comments are welcome.

airbrushjohn Jun 28, 2007 6:04 PM

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is this ok?

Ronnie948 Jun 29, 2007 9:42 AM

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My Corvette,

D200, 18/200 "VR" lens, nice sunny day,almost directafternoon sun, and a little post processing in photoshop.


airbrushjohn Jul 1, 2007 9:48 AM

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my friend chris and his car post katrina

PTB Stalker Jul 3, 2007 12:00 AM

"Tips for shooting cars" good ol' .50 caliber has always served me well. I usually aim first for the engine compartment, to bust the block, which brings the car to a quick halt. Then I quickly put a few dozen rounds all over to finish it off. I`ve seen some guys shoot out the tires first and watch the car try to run for awhile before finishing it off, but that`s just being mean. I gotta buddy that uses rocket propelled grenades, but to me that`s just not as much fun. Though I do admit Ferrari`s blow up good. Whichever method ya use, I wish ya good hunting. By the way Porsche & Corvetteseasonopens in a few weeks, and that`s always a lot offun.

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