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Have you ever looked at car wallpapers on the internet and admired just how great many of them look? If you are just starting to take pictures of cars, you may be wondering why your shots don’t look as good. Well to help you out, we will look at ten tips that should definitely improve your photography skills.
There are tons of professional car shooters out there. Simply visit Flickr to see for yourself. If you really love a particular photo, don’t be afraid of sending them a message and asking a few questions. Or you can visit the forums to see what advice the community may give you.
We really hope you’re not trying to use your iPhone to take pictures. Yes, the new ones have some amazing cameras, but still, they are phones nevertheless. What you need is a proper camera. A nice DSLR or a mirrorless is ideal but at the bare minimum, a very good compact camera. You need something that was made for one thing - shoot under the widest range of conditions.
There are some professionals that claim the rule of thirds is only useful for amateurs. Well, we disagree. It’s a rule for the overall composition that can make or break a picture. We think it’s something that should be used by all. Just ask any wedding photographer and they will tell you how important this rule is.
Rule of thirds is one thing, but it won’t save you every time. Thinking about the composition is also crucial. Decide on the focal length you will use and see what’s in that frame. Do you want the car to fill the picture? How does the background look? Is there anything in the frame that distracts the car? Play around with different compositions, it’s not like you need to worry about memory card space these days.
The final location where you will take pictures is crucial, so plan ahead. If you have the opportunity to choose your own location, do some research and planning. Also, try to figure out the best time of day with the most ideal light conditions for your spot. Trust us, it’s worth the effort.
Tripods and monopods can be bought for cheap. They are especially useful in low light conditions and shooting long exposures. Plus you can be more accurate with your angles.
If you got a tripod but no artificial lighting in poor light conditions, long exposure is the way to go. Since explaining how to use long exposure would require its own article, we recommend you read this guide to learn more.
Use should almost never use the built-in flash since the available light is almost always better. You can do miracles with artificial lighting once you learn how to use it. It can reveal shapes and details that can really add the wow factor to your shots.
If you want to capture a car speeding down the road or racetrack, you will need to practice panning. For these shots, you need to set your ISO to the lowest setting, put the f/ value at around 11-16, and the shutter speed that’s around twice the speed of the car. Those are the basics for your settings, then simply pan your camera with the car and take pictures to achieve some dynamic shots.
Don’t be afraid to get dirty or creative. The best photographers jump, run, crawl, and climb to get the perfect shot they want.