Car Photography - In Need For Inspiration

TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
edited April 2014 in Fun & Weird
My father picked up the new Corvette Stingray and I have been trying to work out some photograph plans and am looking for some inspiration and any helpful advice or links to some great articles/videos/lighting set-ups. My goal is to get him something he can hang in the garage.

Not sure if it makes much difference but it has a "chameleon" paint job (factory) that goes from deep purple, blues & even green and magenta. All of it is very subtle, very difficult to find the angle to capture it and unlike what I have seen before (and I have owned 2 cars with the "chameleon" type paint and my neighbor does auto tinting for two dealers out of his garage.) Any one who has experienced that and knows some tricks would be great.

Just a note - I will be unable to shoot it indoors.


image
D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
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Comments

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2014
    For inspiration, You might like to look at Tim Wallace's work
    he sometimes shoots just before sunrise or just after sunset
    the sky needs to clear or with very little cloud
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • blandbland Posts: 811Member
    Check out NotStock Photography on Facebook. He's the best I've seen.
  • FritzFritz Posts: 140Member
    Try shooting from near ground level off either front quadrant with enough DOF to focus both the grill and the flank. I use a 70-200 2.8 at at least f8 and back off enough to minimize exaggeration of the front quadrant features. Try using a rotary polarizer to cut reflective glare and deepen the color saturation. Try climbing a ladder and shooting down, again from either of the front quarters. Try selecting a singular feature and shooting only that with a shallow DOF and let the rest the auto fade into the backdrop. Wet the car with a hose and shoot a feature close up enough to see the water bead (across the hood works). Alter the traditional perspectives so you might shoot the front grill from ground level instead of waist level or shoot the dash and interior from the back seat. Pick a dash feature and shoot it close up. And remember that the color is going to shift so you might try to shoot on a brightly overcast day with diffuse light. Also try shooting fill- in flash with a good diffuser to minimize hot spots and to differentiate features. Although it may sound strange. that car will be a different subject every time you look at it. Have fun!
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited April 2014
    I too really like a lot of Tim Wallace's automotive photos. Especially the ones with stormy clouds and open fields in the background. As photographers, we know how boring clear blue skys can be. In other words, possibly try to shoot when the weather's about to suck. Have your location already scouted, get there, get set up, and shoot. Then detail it in post.

    Another thought ... if your Father has a favorite area/pub/nook of your city - somewhere that he's spent a lot of memorable time - perhaps you can shoot with that in the background to increase the significance of the photo.

    Back in the late 80's I had a gold Porsche 944 and shot a photo of my then 89 year old grandfather standing in front of that car which was parked in front of their old country house. Talk about contrarian imagery. Now I cannot find that photo to save my life but it was the absolute best.
    Post edited by Rx4Photo on
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited April 2014
    My kind of car photography

    Rolex Grand Am Sports Cars

    This can be done on the road as well, although to get the rotors glowing may not be possible. It is all about the reflections for static images….

    Finding a venue is critical for cars as the background is very important. And, I agree, crappy weather can be a blessing….
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,265Member
    edited April 2014
    Is the focus of your goal a photo of the car? Of your father and the car? Of your father IN the car? Looking out and seeing the world from inside the car? Perhaps some POV to consider.
    Post edited by dissent on
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,029Moderator
    edited April 2014
    My humble offering - take an ultra-wide and concentrate on the particular features of that model. In this case, the old Buick had long low and flat lines so I shot it from two feet away with an 11mm.

    Buick Electra 225
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • FritzFritz Posts: 140Member
    Nice Spraynpray! I suppose the question also needs to be framed if your intent is more archival or more illustrative; kind of the difference between a museum catalog and an advertising brochure. On one hand you're documenting the vehicle and on the other hand you're illustrating a story about the vehicle. So you might choose to shoot the car on a neutral backdrop like a grassy field or perhaps with your father driving on a race track. Or perhaps you might combine the two with your Dad siting in the drivers seat while you get a 3/4's shot of the car static on a neutral backdrop. There's all sorts of perspectives when when you photograph automobiles.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Thanks for the shots and links - keep it up!
    Is the focus of your goal a photo of the car? Of your father and the car? Of your father IN the car? Looking out and seeing the world from inside the car? Perhaps some POV to consider.
    No father, just the car. As a great POV that is truly with the ears - whole new sound (and from what he said controllable somehow) and it is sweet. Can't get that in a photo unfortunately.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,042Member
    edited April 2014
    Yes, from my experience unless you use fisheyes wide angles don't really help cars. Shoot from multiple angles. Like others have suggested, low angles are generally flattering for cars. If you're shooting at eye level it will not look good. You should crouch down if you can't shoot from high up.

    I've noticed that I like shooting with my 35mm 1.8 on DX the most.

    I've never used one, but I think a circular polarizer like others have suggested could be helpful too.

    Shooting cars is relatively fun though, you can be very consisten because you can control most of the variables easily.

    Have fun!
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,029Moderator
    Thanks for the shots and links - keep it up!
    Is the focus of your goal a photo of the car? Of your father and the car? Of your father IN the car? Looking out and seeing the world from inside the car? Perhaps some POV to consider.
    No father, just the car. As a great POV that is truly with the ears - whole new sound (and from what he said controllable somehow) and it is sweet. Can't get that in a photo unfortunately.
    Good point from Ian: Don't forget to take some of your father in/with the car - they will be precious one day.
    Always learning.
  • FritzFritz Posts: 140Member
    Try a rear quarter shot of the fender and the exhaust pipe on a very cold morning. Not a rumble but illustrative… By the way, engine shots at a shallow angle diagonally across the top of the block sometimes work.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Under the worst conditions…spotlights set up by someone who has apparently minimal photo knowledge, here are some sets of photos on Flickr.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/sets/72157638863736776/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/sets/72157640073989593/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/sets/72157632584664847/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/sets/72157632049378149/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/sets/72157631479143228/

    Please understand, many of these shots are simply "snapshots" as that is primarily what I do, but they do demonstrate some different perspectives…..
    Msmoto, mod
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    @ TTJ, there is a photographer on Nikon Cafe that occasionally puts up these amazingly incredible photos of his Lotus Exige. He parks the car in these various areas around his city (I would guess), usually around sunrise or sunset and just gets these incredible publication worthy images. I believe many are shot with a 200mm f/2 from a distance to include some environment. When I get a chance I'll log back in and see if I can find his Flickr page and link it here. It's worth seeing.
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • FritzFritz Posts: 140Member
    Question- is the car manual or automatic transmission? A close up of just a hand on a shifter is an interesting perspective.
  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 455Member
    TaoTeJared I would take it to lots of locations. The more locations the more you get to drive it. Like all day.
    :D
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,175Member
    This is done by a friend of mine, using not a lot of equipment
    https://www.facebook.com/rmstudiosuk/photos_stream
    Problem is he is a Canon guy, but nobody is perfect.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited April 2014
    .... Go to Flickr and put Visual Echos into the search line. There are a lot of non-car related photos but scroll thru and take a peek at the ones of his Lotus Exige. Lots of neat images IMO. I'm not on a computer that allows Flickr right now so I can't link it from here.
    Post edited by Rx4Photo on
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • TomBTomB Posts: 44Member
    Plus one on Tim Wallace. If you can KelbyOne has a few classes from Tim on auto photography that just rock. I have never seen a technique just catapult my shots like his high aperture tricks for detail shots.
    Www.timbersnakestudios.com
  • Dredden85Dredden85 Posts: 358Member
    I love to shoot with afternoon or morning light.
    http://forum.nikonrumors.com/discussion/2218/your-best-shot-of-2013/p3
    D7000, 18-200VRII | 50 1.8G | SB-900
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,042Member
    edited April 2014
    I shot this Porsche very close to the evening but not quite at sunset.

    DSC_6089

    Also, I got this Ferrari a couple years back.

    Curves
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited April 2014
    I had my share of car photos since 1995 with a film camera to DX and FX and FUJI xe-1 camera. I shot them in many ways with different lens.

    This is one of my favorites so far for 2014 taken with the 24-70

    Mercedes AMG

    here is my flickr set. I have a bunch more but i have not uploaded them all.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/91504024@N05/sets/72157632596098378/
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,537Member
    Don't forget to go for the hood ornament or the gill. The MB log is a good one, see last message. I also check out the wheels and frame tight.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited April 2014
    Lots of good advice and inspirational inputs here for you TTJ.

    +1 on Fritz suggestions.

    Personally, I like the following settings/venues for cars: 1) Wide-open venues in order to isolate the car within its surroundings. Hence, open roads, desert settings, cliffs where the background is either the mountain range or the ocean/lake. 2) the car in motion and shooting at slower shutter speeds 1/60-1/40 @ f/4-5.6. You will have to be in another car and would most likely take such image early in the AM or late in the afternoon in order to take advantage of all the color hitting the unique pain job. 3) For those shots within a city, a) find a spot with a good isolating street light and place the car around it and/or b) find a reasonably isolated street intersection and place the car in the middle and shoot from all angles. Such a venue will most likely will be really early in the AM 3:30-4:30AM. This is a two man job. 4) Find or use a model. Nothing like having a sexy female body to go with the curves on the Vet. 5) Buy me a ticket and I will be the second shooter. 6) Drive the car to me and I will shoot the car...you can just drive and hold the cold drinks. :P

    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
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