Automotive photography is attractive to us petrol-heads, but it's not the easiest genre to get into. Here are ten tips for taking better pictures of cars and motorbikes.
My love of cars has rarely — oddly rarely, in fact — interacted with my profession as a photographer, until recently. While I shot some motorsport in my first few years with a camera, I haven't done almost any automotive photography. It's a tremendously difficult area to learn as it's essentially product photography on a massive scale. However, many of us want to try it, but wouldn't know where to start.
In this video, Karl Taylor goes through ten tips for taking pictures of cars and bikes, primarily in a completely controlled environment. This doesn't have to be done in a drive-in studio as Taylor is, but can even be done in a garage if you have enough space, or outside if you don't. A lot of considerations apply to this type of photography that also apply to photographing smaller products, so I'll color in some tips.
Firstly, beware of reflections. Using a CPL filter can be helpful, but not always the right move, depending on the look you want. Secondly, if you're creating a symmetrical-looking image, you'll likely need to create symmetrical lighting, which is trickier than it sounds at times! Finally, take into consideration the vehicle's form. These objects are designed with painstaking care and you ought to show that off the best you can using lighting and angles.