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Car photos generally require a lot of post processing...as in "air brush" years ago...
But, as the cars are genially lighted by spots and mixed light sources, a lot of post processing may be required.
Here is a link to the North American International Auto Show shot in January. Exif data is available with each photo. Oh, a lot of the cars are shot with the camera on a monopod held above eye level so as to give a nicer perspective IMO. I used a 24mm for many of the shots, 10.5 for a few and I think 85mm for others.
I would opt for a tripod if that's possible.
In terms of lenses the standard 24-70 zoom should be quite useful for most regular compositions.
For more extreme closeups and impressive perspective shots you can use the 12-24.
One final thing that you might want to bring is a polarizer. Most car show have a lot of spot lighting and sometimes you need to cut a lot of those reflections in order to have good, saturated colors and detail.
i think most of the cars will be outdoors maybe
they are having a formula one car too, so hopefully i will get some nice pictures of that
Sent from my phone so excuse the typos.
Good luck and enjoy the show.
One point can't be stressed enough, since even pros often times don't explicitly mention this: To make a glossy surface look glossy, it is ALL about what it reflects, in other words, you have to have very hard-contrast reflections with sharp edges, which you will get if you have dark objects with sharp edges in a bright environment. If the reflection is soft, the surface will look dull, so it's of no use. If the brain doesn't get fed a sharp reflection, it will not be able to judge whether the surface is glossy or not. A flash and all that won't make any of the surfaces appear glossy – at least none of the flashes that we're talking about here.
At studio shootings of cars, huge softboxes are used that will result in those white gloss lines on the car's surface, so what you essentially see as a reflection on the car is the dark studio in contrast with the bright white "softbox", if you still wanna call it that. A somewhat ok impression of this can be found on the Chimera website, check out the division of the orange surface of the car into a bright and a darker part that the lightbank produces with its reflection:
Now, in real-life, or rather: open-air shots, you can get this gloss thing going on if you consciously look for those reflections. If it's only the bright sky: not very useful. If the sky has some contrast going on, clouds etc.: good. If there's a bridge that the car's parked near to or under: good! It will (from the right angle of course) produce a dark, sharp-edged line on the surface that emulates what they try to get in the studio.
Also, people walking by, the road surface, other cars next to the car you're taking the picture of, all those things can be of help for getting contrasty, sharp reflections.
Hope that helps a little, at least for this one aspect.
If you like and want warmer colors you can try seting your white balance to cloudy.
I end up going to 24mm. A circular polarizer may be useful, but I've never used one.
Get there early before the crowd, backdrop is important and having a few people in the background adds to the shot, try to always stay at 24mm FX and get creative at the angle you shoot from, always auto iso and 1/125 works great, shutter mode is good because DOF isn't a factor shooting that close to the car.
There's nothing more boring to see then just a picture of a car. Get creative to add spice to the shot and also do single shots of the wheels, mirrors, logos, dash, seats and etc. Looking forward to seeing your shots.
......and don't forget the F1 girls!
This year I haven't don't a car show outside with the FX. I did do an indoor show and street photos.
Get creative. Don't use flash. Try HDR but don't do goofy editing.
I have a couple street photos on my blog if you want to check them out its my username plus .com at the end. I also have a car gallery that you can view.
Use the sun to your advantage for shadows or even the sunset for better photos.
Edited to add, Make sure that anything hanging from your body is removed or well controlled when walking around the cars. Car owners take notice of photographers and watch like a hawk to protect their investments. Never touch the car before asking the owner. Most owners are happy to open doors or hoods/bonnets to provide access. If the owner is present ask them about the car and they will probably point out details you may miss. Also be prepared for the many requests for copies of the photos. Often I'm asked if I can provide the owner with print/s.
Personally, I don't like photos of cars taken with intermediately wide lenses. If you have space issues and don't have the room that's one thing, but unless you really go all out with a fisheye I always think the cars end up looking weird. Yes, if possible I prefer a "normal" lens with cars. And with self reflections, I have no idea how to avoid it. I guess you could avoid it with longer focal lengths, but unless you can control the surroundings, it's hard to implement.
I start with a basic edit like this:
Then I mildly put the juice to it. Remove the noise some and then saturate where I want it:
Sometimes I get radical with it but normally I just make it pop enough to get a clean effect. I think the best part with effect editing is one can create a car just like one enjoys seeing it and there's 100's of ways to it, and they're all fun and easy to do.
......and a radical. ( all of this and I like the first basic edit the best LOL )
And, desaturation of the background:
I prefer to have my cars really pop. At the auto show venues, almost everyone is down low. I like to see the vehicle from a high perspective as it is not so often done. Also, in most cases the closest headlight will be close inline to the midline of the vehicle near the windscreen.
what do you use to smooth the colors? drop the clarity?
In this shot, the wheels were lightened and contrast increased. The car wheels are much like the eyes on a face. If they pop, the car looks better. The overall reflection is the dark sky with the silhouette created by the sky reflection.
Here are two if my sunset ones. Take note I usually don't edit much on photos and only a handful I process or do hdr
these two were my first try at HDR