Photo Tips

Discussion in '2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk-' started by bigcat, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. with as many great photographers as we have here, i thought it would be a good idea to start this thread.

    suggestions on equipment, location, lighting, etc. would be helpful to many of us less experienced photographers. lets bring out the best in our stangs!

  2. Never shoot during the midday, when the sun is over head.

    Unless you know what you're doing, keep the sun to your back.

    Be mindful of shadows. Tree branches don't make paint look good.

    Watch all of your surroundings. You don't want telephone poles or wires to appear to come out from your car.

    Take the extra time to scout your location. Spending 15 or 20 minutes more on finding a good location will be worth it. We all know what a Mustang looks like in a driveway. We don't need to see yours. Find a beach or river or warehouse or canyon or bluff etc... Open spaces are your friend. Crowded spaces are distracting.

    That's all for now. I'll edit if I think of anything else...
    ABC and SteedaBrandon like this.
  3. When in doubt, use a flash.
    Learn the camera, even the simple ones have ways to change depth of field.
    Get it and take lessons in Photoshop, it is the ONLY way to make a good photo look great.
    I'm a pro photog who has many magazine articles to his name, and trust me, for every picture of mine that made it into the magazine, there were 30 that didn't, so shoot away!!!
    ABC likes this.
  4. Having the best equipment dosnt mean you can take great pictures, start off simple and work your way to great photos ! STAY away from night shoots unless your a pro with damn good lighting !
  5. My first rule, don't be affraid to practice, practice teaches you more than anyone speaking to you and saying do this or that. It imbeds to your brain better if you attempt a shot, fail, make corrections and then become successful. More so than someone telling you to do something for a shot.

    Do not shy away from night photography. Some of the most breath taking shots can be had with back grounds of cities, bridges and neon lighting in dark settings. Dusk and sunrise can be so incredible and no two are ever alike. Always use a tripod for night/low light photography with no flash. Stay away from high iso settings for the night shots, this will net you digital noise, sometimes overwhelming in the picture.

    The two key manufacturers for DSLR's are Canon and Nikon. Neither of them make a bad camera. The low end models in their lineups have more features than may will ever use. I personally am using the heck out of my Rebel XTI and I have had a few other bodies, but I like this one the best. More so than my shortly owned 40D and my used 5D. I have become a Canon fanatic now and it's my prefered manufacturer.

    If your able to afford a good DSLR, do not skimp on lenses. Many people short change the lens. A sub par camera with high end glass, will crush a high end body with a low end lens.

    Be aware of dust particles landing on your equipment, below I have a sample sunrise shot overlooking Lake Michigan from Chicago. The wind was up a bit and dust unknowling landed on my equipment. Falls back on what Dark said, be aware of your surroundings.

    A couple recent shots messing around with my XTI:



    Attached Files:

    ABC likes this.
  6. Thank you MM&FF. :lol:

    It is much more the person behind the camera then the camera itself.
  7. Definitely. You have to operate a camera properly to take advantage of it's potential. Just because you buy a $700 camera body and a $500 lens, doesn't mean you'll get great pictures.

    I agree with pretty much all that has been said above me. Take many, many pictures. These are digital cameras. You can delete what you don't like. But I've made the mistake myself, of going out and shooting just a few pictures, then coming home and realizing that I didn't have 1 picture that I liked. Definitely us a tripod in low light situations. I shoot on a tripod 90% of the time (but that's because most of my shots are HDR and I need 3 exposures of the same shot). It doesn't hurt your shot to use a tripod, even when you don't need one. Always shoot on the lowest ISO you can. If you nice and sunny out, use ISO100 or 200. For car shots, don't go higher than ISO400.

    For basic shots, bring your camera down to headlight level. Once you get that down, then you can start getting creative with angles and such.

    For the wheels, keep them straight, or turn them in for shots from the front, or out for shots from the rear. Nothing looks worse than a tire turned incorrectly. Here's a few examples of shots I did wrong and right as far as the wheels go. You'll notice I had the car in my driveway, though. And while the wheels are turned correctly in the one picture, it's still not a captivating shot because of the backround.



    Attached Files:

  8. Yeah, look at Lightning McQueen on his truck, that's the perfect stance!

    But, like I was saying, I'll say it again, you can never get the pro looking shots without a really good photo editing software (most of the time). Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are the best. Just learning how to use 50% of the features in these will make you pictures look 100% better...
  9. Keep it simple. Watch where the light is coming from. Look for unwanted reflections. Make sure your car (if that's what you are photographing) is clean. I like taking car photos with a short to moderate telephoto lens. It gives me the "look" I prefer and puts the background slightly out of focus due to shallow depth of field. A wide angle lens can give you some dramatic effects but likely will bend or distort the view. In other words, a wide angle lens will likely "stretch" the photo and distort your car. Take plenty of photos. Watch how colors blend or don't blend. Experiment. Have fun.
  10. If in doubt .............use bikini models!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!( i got nothing, i hate pics)
  11. Not everyone can find such a place, but open shade in high-noon lighting is a useful light tool. That super photo-processing software GusinCA sold you will deal with color balance issues your camera neglects.

    I spent part of today looking at car photos just to see what focal length I liked best. Oddly enough, my favorite views were made with what I consider a better human-portrait length: 75-90mm equivalents. Seems to me that range de-emphasizes the perspective wheel-size differences in 3/4 shots, and allows the de-focusing of back- and fore-ground clutter. Next favorite was around the "standard" focal length, 50mm equivalent.

    I really do like the very-wide-angle lenses (as short as 17mm equiv) and they are handy in crowded show conditions, but I couldn't survive on a steady diet of them.

    Speaking of background clutter, that's my failing: I get zoned-in on the lovely subject and lose track of what's growing out of its head, so to speak. It's a tedious job to remove that stuff in post-processing, so try real hard to eliminate it on the original exposure.

    I'll support others' suggestions, and emphasize one of them: get away from eye-height views if you can. They look "normal", and while that isn't always bad, it is a mark of failure to avail yourself of one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve a car photo.

    Very fun and satisfying, photography; even making mediocre pictures is rewarding—but not as rewarding as working at it and getting really good stuff.

    Attached Files:

  12. The problem I have with your photos, FrankS, is your sky is completely blown out in all of your photos. While you've dealt with the lighting about as well as you can with a single exposure, those photos would look much better as an HDR. If you can take the time to learn HDR, do so. You'll be able to make photos like my example below. (Normally you simply can't take a photo with your subject in front of the sun without blowing out the details). Otherwise, you really should wait for the sun.


    Attached Files:

  13. Ya got that right, Pilgrim ...

    It's especially difficult to get reasonable tones and detail in a black car photo. I'm afraid HDR would be like golf: I'd become addicted and abandon all else in pursuit of perfection.

    I do have some blue-like sky in some other shots (Coronado Speed Festival 2007):

    and one last:
  14. You have to consider what is most important in your photo. I am from a photojournalism background, so altering photos is not my thing. You can also adjust the sky using Photoshop if you simply must have a blue sky.
  15. Different angle shots definitely make for more interesting results.


    Here is one of mine with a large sky background.

    Sunset shot.

    I know it has a sign coming out of the roof, but showing how a clouy day is good for taking pics during mid day.

    Attached Files:

  16. now that we have some photo taking tips, how about software? which photoshop packages are the best?
  17. I use Photoshop, the full version, but I've heard the best is Photoshop Elements, which has the vast majority of what a prosumer will ever use.
  18. I use Photoshop always. Latest version is CS3. However I keep a copy of the FREE Paint.NET on my other laptop and with the various FREE plugins for it have found it to be a very robust application.

    It can do 90% of what you'd need for proper photo editing. Even in RAW and HD formats. And more importantly for those you that wish to stay legal (YOU SHOULD), yet can't afford Adobe, it's a great choice.

    Lightroom is a terrific overall manager and I suggest it highly. Then again the Window Picture Gallery in Vista is decent and it's FREE. If under XP, Picasa is a decent general manager too and again FREE.
  19. Definitely, Kool. If you're going to shoot during midday, overcast or cloudy is pretty much a must.

    I use Photoshop for the most part. I use Artizen and Photomatix for HDR. I use 2 plug-ins for photo retouching in Photoshop. I use LucisArt, on the exposure setting. I put it on the 3rd notch and mix it at about 40%. It just makes the photo pop. I don't use this frequently, but I use it on photos that seem a bit washed out. I use Nik Color Efex on almost all of my photos. I use the Pro Contrast to correct color cast and contrast. Then I usually add a graduated ND filter and a bit of vignetting. If you're going to buy one plugin, Nik Color Efex gets my vote.
  20. Pros use Photoshop for many reasons. Photojournalists use it because it will convert RGB to CMYK, which is needed for printing. Those who do no commercial printing most likely will be happy with Photoshop Elements which costs much less but will not make the conversion. RGB is red, green, blue which is needed for making photo prints and the web. CMYK is cyan, magenta, yellow and black (Y) which newspapers, etc. use for printing. Many of the other features are very similiar. If you are a student (anywhere) you can buy an academic version of the full version of Photoshop for less than $200 that compares to a retail of about $700. Picasa is an OK software and is free.