Spring is here! That means it's time for car show photography. I really enjoy photographing cars and always look forward to getting out with my cameras to see what images I can make. I thought I'd share some tips that have helped me get the most from my car show photography.
Have A Plan
Before you head out to the car show see if you can spend a little time planning out your attack. Get a feel for how the show will be laid out so you can find the cars you want to photograph first. Plan a "route" through the show to make sure you see as much as possible. Knowing details about the show will also help you decide on the cameras and lenses you will want to bring
For me, the hardest part of car show photography is the people. I like people, just not in my car photography. So, in order to reduce the stress of having to jockey for position with a bunch of people I try and arrive at the show as early as possible. Fewer people means you will have more options in photographing the cars.
Pick Your Favorites
Make sure you get to photograph the cars you want to photograph. If there are certain cars I want to photograph I try to get to those first, just to make sure. This also ties in with arriving early because if you get there before the crowds arrive you will have a better chance of getting the image you want without having to make compromises because of outside factors.
Every car has something that makes it unique. It could be the emblem, the hubcaps, the engine or the tail-fins. Instead of just (or in addition to)photographing the entire car, spend some time discovering the unique points of the car and try to capture that in your photography.
Crawl Around On The Ground
One thing I've discovered is that getting low to the ground really improves the quality of my car photography. Whenever I'm at a car show I spend a lot of time crouched down or kneeling. Getting low to the ground allows you to get interesting angles on the highlights of the cars like the fenders, emblems, bumpers, grills and wheels.
Many cars, especially old/vintage cars make great subjects for black & white photography. That's why I almost always take one of my film cameras with me because in my opinion B&W in film beats B&W digital any day. There's just something about the way black and white film handles the transitions between light and dark that gives it an almost "liquid" appearance. I haven't been quite able to duplicate that using software to convert digital images to B&W.
Lots of cars cars invite you to take chances with them. Ultra-close shots, extreme angles and macro photography all work well with car photography. I sometimes take my Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens with me because I can get some creative images by using the lens. Think a little out of the box whenver you are doing car show photography and you will most likely be pleasantly surprised.