Photo Tip Series – Photographing Car Shows


Written by Nathan Wertheimer

The next Photo Tip Series I will be writing about is car shows photography. Car shows photography is an easy experience. Most of the cars are parked objects in a car show. What makes a car show exciting is the variety of photograph techniques one can use.

First, check your local listing for a car show. Most car shows are on the weekends and on some holidays too. In the area I live in there is usually a weekly a car show on the weekends. Check out . You’ll want to photograph on a clear day or night. Check your local weather forecast. Some car shows may be cancelled due to inclement weather. Most car shows are free for attendees. While people who display their vehicle pays a fee.

What types of equipment should one bring? I suggest bring a variety of lenses. One will need a wide angle to get the three- quarter turn of the vehicle. A telephoto lens is great for abstract with out of focus backgrounds and vehicle ornaments. Some of my favorite lenses to bring to a car show is a 12-24mm wide-angle lens, a 24-70mm telephoto lens, and 70-300mm lens. If you just have just one lens you’ll be fine. Just make the most out of your lens or lenses. No, one should not need to bring the big fancy lenses to a car show. One does not need them to take great images. For nighttime car photography I recommend bring a sturdy tripod and cable release and or remote. This helps stabilize the camera long exposures. If you don’t have a cable release, don’t won’t worry one can use the 30-second timer in the camera menu. Another item to bring is some kneepads so one get down and dirty on the hot pavement.

Once you are at the car show, walk around and see if a vehicle catches your eye. One will notice that some vehicles are well kept and others are just a piece of junk. It does not matter what you photograph. There are no rules in photography. Just go for it. One never knows what images one capture and review at the end of the day.

I find photographing car and trucks arriving to a car show is quite fun. One never knows what will show up for a show. Many car owners love having their car photograph with them inside the vehicle while driving. The average person does not take these types of photos. To accomplish this task, one will be photographing at a high shutter speed. One will have to find a spot to position one’s self where the vehicles look their best while driving onto the car show property. Don’t forget to account for background in your photo too. Other things to take into account your photo are daytime lighting and background distractions.

If I spot a car and or truck I like, I take multi-angles of a vehicle. I recommend taking a variety of shots that include a bird’s eye shots, ground up shots, and normal standing shots. Also, bracket your shots on the one vehicle. You might be wondering what bracket is. It means taking various f-stops and shutter speeds of the same angle of the subject matter. When one gets home one will be able select the best one’s out to print or share on the web.

When coming across a vehicle with it’s hood open, never touch anyone’s vehicle without permission. Ask the owner of the vehicle if they would be so kind to place the hood in the down position so you can take a photo of it. I tend not to photograph a vehicle with the hood left open in the up position. It does not look normal in a photo unless it is in an auto garage being worked on.

Interior car photography is a challenge because it is sometimes dark. To get around some of the lighting issues either use a flash and or bump your ISO at a high film speed. Just reminder the higher the ISO the more grain you’ll get in your photos. To reduce the grain, put your camera on a tripod and photograph with a very low shutter speed and low ISO.

A car show promoter frowns upon anyone wanted sell their car show photos. Unless you have permission to sell your car show photos from that event I would recommend not doing it. The car show event promoter could ban one from his or her event. It is ok to post your great car show photos on your social media accounts. This is what helps the car show promoter help attract new vehicle owners and attendees to future car shows

I wish everyone happy photography to you. Thank you for reading this Photo Tip Series and check back again for some more Photography Tips Series in the future. If you like this article, then like it on our Otownfun WordPress account. For more great events and places please check us out at .

Note: All written content and images are copy righted by either by the person and or company who wrote and photograph published for this article. Any questions please contact .

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