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How to photograph CARS! 5 basic tips for better automotive photography!

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

1. The Importance of Cleaning the Car

When it comes to automotive photography, one of the most important things you can do is make sure the car is clean and free of any blemishes or imperfections. This is especially important if you're shooting a high-end or classic car.

Make sure the car is thoroughly washed and dried before you begin shooting. Use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe down the exterior, and don't forget to clean the wheels and tires as well. You can also use detailing spray to help bring out the shine and remove any fingerprints or smudges.

2. Use a Great Location

Choosing the right location can make all the difference in your automotive photos. Look for locations that complement the style and personality of the car you're shooting. For example, if you're shooting a vintage car, you might want to choose a location with a vintage or retro vibe.

When choosing a location, consider the background and lighting. Make sure there aren't any distracting elements in the background that could take away from the car. Pay attention to the direction of the sunlight and consider how it will affect the overall look of the photo.

3. The Importance of Car Angles

The angle of the car can have a big impact on the final photo. Experiment with different angles to find the one that works best for the car you're shooting. For example, shooting from a low angle can make the car appear more powerful and dramatic, while shooting from a higher angle can help showcase the car's overall shape and design.

Don't be afraid to get creative with your angles. You can shoot from the front, back, side, or even underneath the car. Just make sure you're not sacrificing the overall composition of the photo for the sake of a unique angle.

4. How to Use CPL Filters

CPL (circular polarizing) filters can be a great tool for automotive photography. These filters can help reduce glare and reflections on the car's surface, making the colors and details appear more vibrant and clear.

To use a CPL filter, simply screw it onto the front of your lens and adjust the rotation until you achieve the desired effect. Be careful not to overuse the filter, as this can result in an unnatural look to the photo.

5. The Importance of Shooting at Golden Hour

The golden hour, which refers to the time just after sunrise or just before sunset, is a magical time for photography. The light is soft and warm, creating a beautiful glow that can make your automotive photos look stunning.

Plan your shoots around the golden hour if possible, and be prepared to work quickly as the light can change rapidly during this time. Experiment with different angles and compositions to take advantage of the beautiful light.

In conclusion, by following these tips, you can take your automotive photography to the next level. Remember to keep the car clean, choose a great location, experiment with angles, use CPL filters, and shoot at golden hour for the best results. Happy shooting!

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