At Auto Europe, we rent all kinds of cars. From fuel efficient economy cars, family wagons, and minivans, to luxury sedans, high end sports cars and even motorhomes; there’s not a whole lot that we can’t provide. No matter what kind of car you drive in Europe, people are almost always interested in seeing it! Most people don’t ever think to photograph their rental car, and those that do, don’t always take the greatest of photos. Whether you have a Fiat 500 or a Lamborghini, here are some tips and tricks that will have you taking better photos of your car. (Click photos for larger images)
Try to incorporate some of where you are in the travel photos you take. If you’re somewhere known for warm temperatures, see if you can find a palm tree to park next to near sunset. If you’re in the Alps, see if you can find a road like the Stelvio Pass that has scenic lookouts for amazing shots. Images with contrasting contextual features are often more interesting as well. You tend to see a lot of photos of cars in the wilderness, on beaches, and in other natural settings. Another often used contrast is old versus new, like a nice car next to an old barn, abandoned train depot, or junkyard. With so many car enthusiasts around the world, it’s not hard to find a plethora of great photos to draw inspiration from.
This is probably the most important yet most often ignored element to taking a good car photo. Just look on Craigslist and you’ll see thousands of examples of unflattering car photos. Most people just park the car somewhere, walk a few feet away, and take the photo from wherever they are standing. Maybe they get all 4 sides. These are perhaps the worst kind of photos. As a general rule of thumb, a car will look better if you take the photo at an angle. If the middle of the front bumper is 12:00 and the middle of the rear bumper is 6:00, you want to be at around 1-2. Don’t take it at eye level. Get a few feet away and take a knee. Get down on the ground if you want to make your car look really intense.
This is another important element that applies to all photos. A shaky hand takes blurry photos. Use a tripod, even a small one to get better results. Since most cameras have some kind of timer, this even allows you to get in the photo if you should feel inclined.
You want to think about the position of your light source. Too much reflection will ruin the photo, but if you’re in the dark, it won’t come out. You can’t really get away with using a flash unless you have a full lighting rig, and if you do, you aren’t reading this looking for advice. Look for soft lighting either around sunrise or sunset. When the sun is directly overhead you run the risk of the photo being washed out.