7 Basic tips for getting great Motor show photos
With the Geneva motor show fast approaching (a little over a week from now), I thought it would be a good time to share a few tips on how to get the most out of your shots at the show.
Motor shows are a fantastic opportunity to get some beautiful cars in front of your camera.
Needless to say however, these events attract an enormous amount of people so getting great photos isn't always so easy. Please note that this post is geared towards beginners and intermediate so you will not be overwhelmed with overly technical jargon here, just some simple tips to make the most out of your visit to the motor show.
1. Get there early/stay late
With hopefully fewer spectators, this will give you more time and space to to get better compositions.
2. Avoid using flash as best you can
Now some photographers might disagree with me in regards to using flash but keep in mind these are some basic tips intended for beginner level photographers. Indoor car shows are usually extremely well lit, so use the natural light that is available to you and balance your camera settings as needed.
3. Play with angles
Instead of staying at normal eye level, try kneeling or taking it from ground level. This can give the car a more agressive look as well as offer a unique perspective. Same goes for photographing from above. Keep an eye out for distracting elements in your composition too, such as barriers, cords, etc.
4. All in the details
Get in close. Focus on a unique feature of the car, this could be the wheels, tail lights, curves on the bodywork. All these little details give a car personality.
*Try and wear dark clothing as much as you can. Cars have naturally reflective finishes, darker clothing can help minimize your reflection showing up in the photo.
5. Take it all in
It's natural to focus predominantly on the cars. To add in some variety though, focus on some other elements of the show, from the elaborate stands to the beautiful models, and other stuff happening around you. These will enrich your photos and make for a more interesting set of images.
6. Be nice
It goes a long way! The hostesses and security people have long days ahead of them spent fending off a never-ending mob of attendees (who are not always polite). The more exotic makes will not allow people onto their stand most of the time, so having the right attitude will help get you in to make a few photos of the cars on the stand.
7. Have fun!
The most important tip of all. At the end of the day you are there to take in the atmosphere and admire the cars and enjoy yourself!
Some final thoughts
Most pictures you'll see in magazines have been through a fair amount of post-processing by a dedicated team of people, so don't be disappointed with your in camera shots. If you have some software at home (iphoto, photoshop, aperture, etc.), a little tweaking can go a long way.