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Car Photography | How to Take Stunning Pictures of Cars

A flay lay photo of car photography equipment

Identical to individuals, automobiles have nice personalities. As a photographer, you’ll be able to seize these in your photographs for some superb automotive images.

On this article you’ll uncover all of the methods you’ll want to use to rework your automotive pictures into dynamic eye catching imagery.

Whether or not you’re photographing for Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini and the like or simply taking higher photographs of your previous Chevrolet or Audi. These prime ideas and kit ideas will enhance your automotive images.

So learn on to get prime ideas, and kit strategies in your automotive images!

What Gear Do You Want for Car Photography

A variety of digital camera gear is beneficial for good automotive images. This gear is very depending on the kinds of pictures you’ll take of a automotive.

Digital camera Physique

It’s attainable to take pictures automobiles with a smartphone, both an iPhone or an Android. One of the best outcomes can be attained utilizing a digital camera that permits you to change lenses although.

With this in thoughts the beneficial digital camera physique can be a dSLR, a full body mirrorless digital camera, or a micro 4 thirds digital camera.

The model of digital camera you select will inform the sort of digital camera physique you have got. These selecting Nikon or Canon will doubtless be utilizing a dSLR, and people utilizing a Sony or Fuji can be utilizing a mirrorless digital camera.

Regardless of which one you select, you’ll be able to take superb automotive images, from Ford to BMW.

A flay lay photo of car photography equipment

The fitting digital camera gear can actually assist enhance your automotive images.

Large Angle Lens

A great extensive angle lens is important for a lot of types of images, not simply automotive photographs. You’ll be utilizing a large angle lens to seize your scene setting photograph. Whether or not this can be a photograph shoot in your native parking zone or a mountain motion shot.

That is the photograph that exhibits your automotive in its pure setting.

It also needs to embrace different parts within the body that contextualises the situation of the automotive.

All the main producers will make this sort of lens, however you’ll need one which provides you with a focal size of at the very least 17mm on a digital camera with a full body sensor.

As well as to these scene setting pictures, you should use a large angle lens to seize the inside of the automotive. This can be a very important and typically missed side of automotive images.

Macro Lens

A automotive has many particulars that the distinctive perspective of a macro lens can seize. These lenses can have focal distances of 60 or 100mm, and permit you to get shut into your topic.

What is going to this permit you to seize? Assume of detailed pictures of wheels, engine elements or inside parts just like the steering wheel.


Drones have gotten an more and more necessary software for a lot of automotive photographers to get that cool picture.

The power to photograph your automotive from the air, maybe because it’s driving alongside a rustic street offers you an extra angle to work with.

Keep in mind the decision of nonetheless pictures produced by drones won’t be the identical as a full body digital camera. However enhancements are coming on a regular basis.

Impressive streaming car light trails on a motorway at night

Utilizing a tripod will permit you to take lengthy publicity pictures at night time.


Would you like to work on photographs of your automotive at night time? How about experimenting with mild portray to produce a very compelling picture? If the reply to both of these questions is sure, you then’ll want a tripod.

Even through the day together with your automotive as the primary topic in a panorama photograph, you may nonetheless want a tripod. Let’s contemplate a photograph of your automotive with the setting solar within the background.

On this state of affairs you’ll want to bracket your pictures in preparation for mixing them afterward in submit processing.

Lighting Gear

Your automotive is actually appearing like a big individual in your photograph. This implies you could have to encompass your automotive with mild, and use the related mild softeners to produce good high quality tender mild.

Ideally you’ll need three mild sources. Strobes are a great choice right here. Additionally contemplate including some mild stands and shoot through umbrellas or tender bins to modify the sunshine.

An excellent lighting arrange will aid you take these Prime Gear worthy lovely photographs of something from a Mercedes van to a Bentley.

A black car driving by a row of cherry blossom trees

A great broad angle lens permits you to seize the automotive, and the broader scene.

Car Photography Ideas

Now that you simply’ve seen the gear automotive photographers use, let’s take a look at the methods that this gear is used for.

Relying on which methods you just like the sound of, you may want to regulate your gear decisions.

7. Seize the Entire Scene for Context

A key photograph in any set exploring a topic is the scene setter. This sort of photograph typically wants a large angle lens to seize the primary topic, on this case the automotive, and the world surrounding the primary topic.

You should use totally different lenses although, and you might select to stand additional again with an extended focal size lens. Utilizing an extended focal size will permit you to compress the background and most important topic into the identical photograph.

For almost all of conditions, identical to a panorama photograph that captures the entire scene, you’ll need to use a large angle lens for this photograph.

Which type of photographs will work right here? Maybe an off-road automotive ascending the aspect of a hill, or a car inside a big roomy warehouse.

A white car driving through a rocky landscape

Jon Flobrant, Unsplash

6. Photograph the Car Inside

In some ways the inside is simply as essential as the outside of the automotive. This sort of photograph will definitely require a really vast angle lens, maybe wider than 17mm. You’re in essence wanting to photograph a really small room, however get as a lot info as you possibly can from it.

These pictures may additionally contain tripod to regular the digital camera for the decrease mild within the automotive. And to bracket the photograph to take account of differing mild ranges all through the car.

A person driving at night, shot from the interior of the car

The inside of a car can also be essential. On this photograph lengthy publicity was used to add additional curiosity.

5. Take Element Photographs

There are tons of element photographs you’ll be able to take of a automotive. Whether or not it’s the wheels of the automotive, the dashboard, or the engine of the automotive – these are all good topics to photograph.

You’ll want to use a macro lens to get one of the best out of your element photograph, you also needs to think about using off digital camera flash. A easy set off, radio receiver and a flash with a delicate field to modify the sunshine will work.

Your element photograph can look that rather more dramatic with some nicely positioned aspect mild.

Detail photo of car parts

Element pictures can for an essential aspect of your automotive images picture set.

four. Add Dynamic Movement to Your Photographs

A automotive just isn’t a static object. How are you able to present this in your images? There are a selection of methods you may go about including dynamism to your automotive images.

  • Panning – This describes the method of following the movement of an object, whereas photographing it at a shutter velocity of about 1/20th. This can maintain the automotive sharp, however blur out the background, giving the sensation of movement.
  • Zoom – A special strategy to creating movement in a photograph is the zoom burst. On this case you’ll change the focal size of your lens in the course of the course of an publicity of once more round 1/20th. Usually it’s greatest to zoom in, moderately than zooming out.
  • Lengthy publicity – At night time time, and with automotive mild trails, you possibly can seize the motion of different automobiles towards the automotive you’re photographing which ought to stay static. Alternatively how about an inside photograph with a twist? Arrange you digital camera on a tripod within the backseat of the automotive, and take an extended publicity because the automotive is being pushed.
A fast moving race car on a track

Panning a fast paced automotive is usually a problem, and with sports activities automobiles you’ll want a quicker shutter velocity than 1/20th.

three. Use Totally different Digital camera Angles to Present All Sides of the Car

A unique perspective may give you a photograph with extra curiosity, and that is true in all images genres. You could determine to take a element photograph from a low angle, or a better one to give the photograph extra curiosity.

One of the perfect methods to get a extra excessive angle is with a drone. Flying over the automotive to get an overhead photograph, with the street used as a number one line that runs by means of the body, would make for a fantastic picture.

A red car surrounded by light painting effect

Experimental methods like mild portray can work rather well with automotive images.

2. Use Color Distinction to Spotlight the Car

Rather a lot of automobiles have a robust color on their paintwork. You need to use this to give your photograph extra influence. The appliance of color distinction will make your photograph stand out extra.

This implies a purple automotive might be photographed towards a blue background, giving the photograph much more influence.

If the automotive is black, white gray or maybe silver metallic, use reverse monotone backdrops to make once more it stand out within the body.

A female model posing beside a car at a car show

Car exhibits is usually a good location to apply taking photographs of automobiles.

1. Use Mild Portray for Extra Artistic Car Photography

A highly regarded type of images that dovetails rather well with automotive images is mild portray. The use of an LED mild stick permits you to do some actually artistic issues.

LED mild sticks could be programmed to produce ribbons of mild, which you could put within the background of the automotive. Or how a few wall of flame programmed into the stick?

You’ll want a tripod for this, and in addition to be certain that the automotive is properly lit as you’ll be taking these photographs at night time. You could find a way to use the LED mild stick to mild up the car. Or you need to use a collection of strobes to mild up the automotive along side your mild portray.


Tons of individuals take pleasure in speaking about automobiles, and of course photographing them as nicely. It’s a profitable enterprise when completed professionally, and nonetheless lots of enjoyable for many who do it for the enjoyment of images.

Have you ever carried out a lot automotive images prior to now? We’d love to study your experiences on this style.

Likewise any automotive photograph examples you’d like to share with the group are greater than welcome, merely use the feedback part to share with us.

A observe from Josh, ExpertPhotography’s Photographer-In-Chief:

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Simon Bond

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