Taking a quality photograph of a vehicle is a simple process made more effective following these few basic steps. From an iPhone to a top of the line DSLR, irrespective of what camera you have, the following tips will help you take a better photo of your 4×4.
Good lighting is essential. The best lighting conditions are within 1-2 hours of sunset or early in the morning, position the vehicle so you are shooting with the sun behind your back or slightly to one side.
If the sun is in this location, you will not need a flash and shadows will be minimal. Be careful that your own shadow is not visible in the photo.
Avoid the harsh midday sun. A cloudy day is ideal for a soft, even and diffused light, reducing glare.
Check the reflections. Nearby objects can project ugly and distracting reflections on windows, bodywork and chrome work. A clear open location with minimal distractions is preferred.
Check the shadows. Nearby buildings or trees can cast unsightly darkness on the car.
Choose a location that is not cluttered. You don`t want to see the busy street, signpost or dumpster in the background of your photo.
A clean blank factory wall or vacant land is a good place to start. Ideally a natural scene is best.
In most cases a ¾ front or rear image is the most desirable. A direct front, rear or side shot square to the vehicle is also good to have in the collection.
Determine the best location and positioning, before parking the vehicle.
Avoid temptation to stand too close to the vehicle, this gives a distorted and unappealing visual if not done correctly. Walk away from the vehicle at least 10 metres or more and use your camera zoom to ¾ fill the frame.
Do not take the photo at normal eye level. Crouch down and take the photo at about waist height.
For front ¾ photos, turn the front wheels away from the camera, Never point the wheels towards the camera unless taking close up photos of the suspension.
For the ¾ rear photos, turn the front wheels so you can see the wheel face, not the tyre tread. Straight wheels are also acceptable according to the mood but some turn angle will give the vehicle a more aggressive stance.
Avoid cropping parts of the car, its unlikely that photo will be good for anything if its missing part of the car.
Finally – Rule of thirds. Imagine the image split into thirds, position your subject on one of the third lines, as opposed to the centre of the frame.
Quality equipment is preferred but not essential, if you value taking photos and wish to advance your results, a preferable choice of camera to invest in would be a DSLR or a smaller fixed lens DSLR.