Taking amazing pictures of your car isn’t that difficult, but it does take practice. To take great pictures, you don’t need a fancy camera, though a camera with some color options and an optical or digital zoom is a good idea. Also, the higher pixels your camera will allow you to show, the clearer your pictures will be, especially if you plan to blow them up to 8×10 or poster size to display in your home so you can show off your car.
If you’ve been wondering what it takes to get your pictures to go from so-so to really great, here’s what you need to know:
Adjusting color on digital cameras is really pretty simple, and it can really help with the quality of your photos. The main thing to worry about here is white balance. This is basically how the color white will look in your photo. Will it be true white, or will it have a blue or yellow tint?
Your camera probably has some auto white balance settings, and you should take advantage of them. For instance, there’s probably a setting for cloudy days, sunny days, and indoor shots. You can probably also set your white balance or adjust it manually on your digital screen, though how your camera does this will vary. It’s a good time to pull out your camera’s owner’s manual!
To know if you’ve got the white balance right, take a sheet of white paper with you to the shooting site. Hold it up against something colored so you can see it well, and adjust the white balance on your camera until the sheet of paper, viewed through the lens or LCD screen, looks white rather than blue-ish or orange-ish.
Adjusting the color in this way is more effective than adjusting the color after the fact, when you’re editing the photo on your computer. It results in a clearer, more true-to-life photo, which is important if you really want to capture the color of your car as well as its other great details.
One thing to note about white balance, though, is that you can always play with it to get the effect you want. Typically, photos are more attractive if they’re a little on the warm side, which means the whites will appear creamy or a little yellow-tinted. You don’t have to get whites perfectly white; it just depends on whether you want an artistic photo or one that’s very true to life.
You can most likely adjust the exposure levels on your camera, as well, if it’s digital. This is essentially how much light is getting into the picture. If you’re taking a photo of your car with the exposure set too bright, the colors will look washed out, and the highlights on the curves of the car will be too bright. If the exposure is set too low, you’ll find that the whole photo looks too dark, and you can’t see the details.
Set your white balance first, and then play around with your exposure levels. Take photos with different levels of exposure so that you’ll have a few to choose from when you get them back for editing. Getting the exposure right is crucial to making sure that all the gorgeous details on your car come out in the photo.
One of the best ways to take better photos of your car is to take pictures from unique angles. Different angles can give you a different feel. Here are some examples of different angles you can use to get a great photo of your car:
- Kneel down in front of the car and take the photo so that the camera is about level with the hood of the car or the headlights, depending on your car. This from-the-front angle looks very aggressive, since it will seem like the car is coming toward you in the photo.
- Take a photo from above the car. This can allow you to get lots of details of the car’s body in one photo, rather than needing separate photos to show off the front, sides, and rear.
- Tilt the camera to get a funky angle for the car. These photos look best when there’s not much in the background, and when you don’t tilt the angle too far. You need to experiment with tilted angles – too little tilt, and you’ll look like you accidentally moved the camera at the last second, but too much tilt, and you’ll want to tilt your head looking at the photo to correct it.
- Get on the ground. Setting the camera right on level ground beside of or behind the car can be an interesting way to get a whole-car shot that gives you a unique way of looking at the vehicle.
- Take close-ups of specific details of the car. Close-up photos are great if you want to create a montage to display all the most unique aspects of your car. Find your favorite features of your car, and take photos from a slight angle, so you’re looking down the hood of the car or at the rear from the side.
Once you understand how to adjust your color on your camera and how to take photos from interesting angles, it’s all about practice. Experiment with things like panning, which can make the car look like it’s in motion by leaving the shutter open for longer and taking a panoramic photo. Play around with different editing tools, which can allow you to get rid of background objects that are distracting or to make color photos black and white. Don’t be afraid to play around with your camera. If it’s digital, you’ve got nothing to lose by taking photo after photo of your car to get a few amazing shots.
Daniela Baker is a blogger at CreditDonkey, where car enthusiasts can compare gas rewards credit card to earn rewards on fueling up.