Home Photo Tech Top 20 Automotive Photography Tips: Make Remarkable Photographs

Top 20 Automotive Photography Tips: Make Remarkable Photographs

Did you try to do some Automotive photography before? It is an exciting category of photography. It will allow you to know more about the beauty of automobiles and make you more interested in this. Everything related to cars is part of photography. Starting from the manufacturing to the road action, even the washing of it inside a garage is a matter of photography. If you are new, then you should gather some idea about automotive photography before you go for it.

Top 20 Tips on Automotive Photography


In this article, I shall give some tips about automotive photography for the newbies. These ideas are prevalent but usually skipped by amateur photographers. I aim to help amateur photographers with these simple tips so that they can produce new and bright ideas during their photography sessions.

1. Shoot at the Golden Hour


Golden hour is always considered as one of the best time for photography. It is perfect for almost all kind of photography. Automotive photography is no exception to this. The golden effects of golden hour, flares of the sun and soft diffused light will make your photo an exceptional one. To get the best color out of your vehicle or to get a silhouette of the car you should utilize the golden hour. Before that, you must know everything about the golden hour.

automotive photography golden hour

2. Utilize the Reflection


Most cars are a good reflecting surface. The glossy surface of the body reflects its surrounding. While capturing a photo, you can utilize this reflection. Sometimes, reflections make the car looking better and sometimes it makes horrible too look. Reflections on the car body may not give a bad look, but reflections on the glasses will make it look bad. So, while capturing keep it in your mind so that any identical thing on the glasses cannot spoil your photo.

automotive photography reflection

3. In-Action Shot


Besides taking pictures of a quiet car, capture while it is on its real role. Take a photo when it is on the road. If it is not on a metal road, then consider the dust caused by the car in your frame. If there is water on the way then it is another option for capturing a photo. Capturing a vehicle while it is on the move will make perfect automotive photography. During taking photography of this category, try to capture the details like the dust caused by the car.

automotive photography in action

4. The Color of the Car


Colour of the car is very important for automotive photography. The same model car may look good or bad just for a different color. However, as a photographer, you have to make a good photo whatever is the color of the car. If you are telling someone to pose with the car, then you should consider his or her dress so that it either matches or becomes a good combination with the vehicle and gives a better look on your image frame.

automotive photography color

5. Select a Perfect Background


Selecting a background should be one of the prime concern for any photography. While selecting a background, you must keep the color of the car in your consideration. There should not be something distracting or not familiar with this photography. The light of the background must not be brighter than the main subject until you are capturing the silhouette of the car. Your car should be the main focus, but selecting a bad background will spoil the beauty of the photo.

automotive photography background

6. Do Panning for Blurring Motion


Adding motion on pictures makes it a lively one. Panning is very useful for automotive photography. A car is the symbol of speed, so adding speed will make the photo a meaningful one. So, never miss doing panning photography. You need good knowledge of panning. There are many tutorials available on the internet. Please check those out for making good panning photography.

7.The Reaction of Nature


Earlier I have discussed a bit about this matter. I mentioned taking the details while the car is on the move. When the vehicle is moving, it will interact with nature. Like, while it will make a hard turn on the sandy ground sands will be splitting outward. It is a good subject for photography. If it is water, then capture the splash of water. If the road is dusty, capture the dust. Always capture the reaction of the nature caused by the vehicle.

8. Shooting at Night


Besides shooting during the day, golden hour, blue hour, you must shoot during the night. The presence of many colorful lights around the car will take the photo to a new dimension. You can also take night sky photography keeping your car in the frame. Before that, know how to do night sky photography and then go for it. You can also take star trail keeping the sky as a background and highlighting your car. It can be done with double exposure or extended depth of field.

9. Maintain The Rule of Thirds


The rule of thirds is one of the primary and most important rules of composition. It is straightforward, and all photographers know it very well. But, many forget to use it unintentionally. Many breaks the rule. But, before cutting the law, you should know the rule of thirds. This rule of thirds is applicable for almost all ideas you imagine to do automotive photography. However, you should not be too rigid for maintaining this rule always.

automotive photography rule of thirds

10. Combine Replica and Real


Many replica models are available in the market which appears like a real-tiny car. If you can manage one replica of the car you are shooting, that will become great. Just place the smaller one at first then the primary vehicle behind. But, try to add a story to the photo otherwise your photo will appear like a dead photo. Never forget to make a good composition for these ideas. Use the perfect aperture size otherwise; both cars won’t be focused. If not possible then make the extended depth of field.  

11. Avoid Dark Parking Lot


Automotive photography is not done to compare the car you are shooting with some other cars around. So, do not plan to do photography in the parking lot. There will be many cars around you. It is always better to photograph the vehicles singly or with some same category colorful vehicles around. A significant disadvantage of photographing inside a parking lot is, there will be less space and less light to highlight your subject. I recommend you not to shoot inside the parking lot.

automotive photography parking

12. Catch the Birds Eye View


It is always a bright idea if you can capture from the top. The birds-eye view projects a different perspective and thus automatically makes an excellent picture. Try to capture from a high tower or anything which is higher from the ground, and you get the proper angle to capture it. If you can manage a drone, then it is another good idea. A drone is best for this photography.

automotive photography aerial

13. Shoot Long Exposure


Never miss this idea for automotive photography. It can be done anywhere you plan to capture at night. It can be done in some isolated place, on a busy road, around your home or anywhere. The lights of the traffic running on the streets can be utilized for this photo. Here you can keep your main subject static and allow the rest vehicles on the road to make a trail behind the car. You can utilize the lights of your car to create trails.

automotive photography light trail

14. Capture During Manufacturing


The manufacturing process of automobiles is also interesting. If you can manage to capture during manufacturing cars, then it will be great. Because you will find many tolls along with the vehicle, at the same time, you will get different colors of cars together. At the place where all the cars are kept can be a perfect spot for your photography. One single car can be taken as the main subject, and rest cars can be the background. The birdseye view of the whole manufactured car will be fascinating.

automotive photography manufacturing

15. Washing a Car and Capturing It


Water splash, lighting, the glaze of the car body altogether makes a great view. It happens when you capture the car during washing. You can do this photography indoor car washing, or you can do it outside with usual types of equipment for washing a car. Capturing it during the golden hour will make an outstanding photo due to the color combination around it. However, for this photograph, you should try to focus on the essential parts of the vehicle. A logo is well appreciated to include in the frame.

automotive photography car wash

16. Racing and Photographing 


While we talk about cars; another word automatically comes in our mind. That word is ‘Race’. So while thinking about photography, we cannot bypass this terminology. Take a perfect telephoto lens and go to a racing spot. Your camera memory will be full of pictures. You need to select an ideal vantage point so that you get some excellent angle to capture a photo. Otherwise, you will not be able to deny the people around you.

17. Photograph the Stun


Stun is another excellent idea to capture automotive photography. There is a lot of things to capture here. The hard turning with panning from a good angle will be a good photo. You can capture the mark made by the tires. It will be better if you can manage a drone to capture this while a car is making a rotating stun in a place. During this time you can capture the smokes produced by the friction of tire and road. You don’t always need to capture the whole vehicle; you can capture details of the car.

automotive photography stun

18. Create and Capture Smoke


Adding smoke is another good idea for this photograph. There are some smoke bombs which produce colorful smokes for a considerable amount of time. These can be used while doing photography. You can do this with regular white smoke as well. Capturing a photo with smoke and making it black and white later on will not disappoint you. Instead, you will love the picture.

19. Capture Details of Wheels and Tires


Sometimes I have suggested capturing details. You can do this by capturing wheels and tires. The rim of the car, writing on the tire, brack shoe with the disk will be great for this photography. However, you should make a good composition for applying this idea. The rule of thirds is always recommended for this type of photography. Again, your photo should have a story or a meaning. Otherwise, your picture will be a dead one even after having many colors.

20. Do Research Before you Shoot


This is very important before any photography shooting. Whenever you are going for a photography session, you must do some study about photography. Check some photos on the internet so that you get some bright idea about it. If you go with many ideas, then you will be able to make your own easily. There will be many more ideas inside your mind, but previous knowledge will help you to make better ideas. Blending your thoughts with others will make an excellent photograph.

automotive photography research

Last Words


I hope, these tips will help you in capturing beautiful automotive photography. Do not consider these as the rigid rules for it. These are just guidelines and suggestions. I hope you will be using your imagination and make different brighter ideas with the help of these tips. For this kind of photography, you should use an appropriate camera and lens depending on the ideas and spots you are considering. I hope you will be doing excellent photography.

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