So youíve washed and waxed your car. Maybe you installed a new part that you want to show us or just got a new digital camera. Whatever the case, you want to capture your car in all its glory.
This topic is for all you Mazda6Club members looking to take Photos of your car.
Here is a collection of some of tips that Iíve learned in the past couple of years while taking photos and browsing the internet. I thought that some things here helped me become a better photographer and now Iím passing it on to those getting interested in photography. Iím not a pro or anything like that. Iím still learning new things myself. Nothing here should be considered as a rule either, even I donít always follow them. If you have tips of your own please feel free to share it with the rest of us.
Rule of Thirds
Anyone with the slightest bit of interest in photography needs to know the rule of thirds if they donít know already. I try to follow it as much as I can. The gist of the rule is to not always have your subject or object of interest smack dab in the center of the photo. I try to place horizon lines on the bottom third or on the top third.
Camera Tilt /Rotation
Sometimes itís cool sometimes its not. Itís easy to seem like it has been overdone, so try this at your own risk. To me a lil camera tilt adds motion to the car eventhough its parked. Iíve read that its best to always have the carís front end pointing up, but Iíve taken shots where it was the other way and they seemed nice.
With my point and shoot I like to stand far back (around 10ft. at least) and zoom in somewhere between 2x and 3x. I think this increases the focal length closer to what things would look like to the naked eye. 50mm is a focal length that is considered normal. Practice taking shots at the same angle and only changing the distance, for example get as close as you can to your car while filling the frame with it and take a shot, then take 3 or 4 steps back, zoom in to fill in the frame with your car and take another shot. Repeat until youíve gone as far back as possible while still filling the frame and youíll see what I mean.
I usually take shots of my car at a variety of levels. I have things like foot level, knee level, hip level, chest level, eye level and raising the camera in the air level. I have a screen on my point and shoot that folds out and tilts and spins so itís easy for me to achieve different levels. I find that the most aggressive looking shots come from the foot, knee, hip and chest level. If you donít have a nifty swiveling screen like I do, bend your knees.
I try to take shots all around my car, an entire 360į. If the front were 0į, then I try to get shots at or around the major angles like the 45į, 90į, 135į, 180į, 225į, 270į, and 315į.
Different points of view reveal different lines on your car. A side shot of the car (90į) can be taken just a tad bit off of the direct side to reveal more lines from the front of the car, or at a higher level to reveal more of the roof or hood lines. The lines from the background are important as well. Use the lines in the background to draw attention to the subject of the photo. Lines can also add "motion".
Background & Location
I try to keep the background simple so as not to distract attention away from the car. Some consider the background to be just as important as the subject. The main things I consider at a location are the lighting and how well it goes with the car. Generally I try to have the sun at or around my back. Nice shadow effects can be had by having the light source at the side or in front of the camera though. I also try to avoid having objects near the car that might distract from the car. Light poles and trees can disrupt the roofline of the car. Bright signs might draw attention away.
I try to look for backgrounds with patterns. Areas like parking garages, truck docks and beside buildings are pretty common. Try to find a place out of the way and different. I find it kind of fun hunting for a good location. I try not to take pictures of my car on the driveway unless I feel itís absolutely necessary to show off something new or Iím just really lazy. I also hate pictures of cars on lawns. Sorry guys. Stick with asphalt. Parking lots are okay, as long as youíre away from those concrete bumpers or curbs.
Try to be aware of the reflections off the car, keeping it simple like the background. Sometimes I might be in the reflection and not even realize it until later.
Horizontal (Landscape) and Vertical (portrait)
I try to take every shot in both orientations. This is one of the best tips I can remember. Itís not until Iíve uploaded the shots into my computer and realize how much one shot looks better then the other simply because itís in the vertical orientation.