5 Tips For Taking Pictures of Cars - MGA Photos

 Alright, it's not quite my normal wedding and portrait photography, but I still had fun taking these photos. My dad is trying to sell this MGA and so I offered to take the pictures, because if it involves a camera I knew I'd probably enjoy it. So here's a few photos.This was my first time taking pictures of a car, so I know they're not award winning, but I can offer a few tips for taking pictures of cars (whether I was able to implement them myself or not. lol).

1) Get different angles and perspectives

 - Enough said. If you always take pictures from the same angles you're going to eventually get bored of your own shots. People are used to seeing cars from a standing viewpoint. But the may not have seen it from the ground or from directly above. Get high, get low, get creative.

2) Use a longer lens -

The majority of the time you'll want to use a longer lens. I just said above to get creative, so yes, you can use a fish eye or another wide-angle to get creative. But as a rule, the longer lenses will give you a more accurate account of  the size and lines. A wide angle is going to distort the perspective, but a longer lens will keep it looking in proper perspective.

3) Shoot in Shade if possible -

 I know that my shots have a lot of reflections, but I couldn't really avoid that too much. But even so, the majority of the car was in shade. As a photography rule, we should already understand that shooting in shade is nice because it's more diffused light.

4) Make Sure To Get The Important Angles -

If you're trying to sell a car there are 5 angles you want; from the front, from the back, from both sides, and then one where you capture both front and side (like my first image). Now obviously you want more than just those shots, but they are considered the "must have" shots according to Cars.com.

5) Have Fun! - 

Always have fun. At least, that's my rule. If you're not having fun taking pictures, then... I don't know. But have fun.If you saw these photos on Craigslist, would you look twice? Or, anyone want to buy it? :)

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How To Achieve Sharper Images

Howdy Y'all,
oday, I just wanted to share with you a few ways to get sharper images. We all know that motion is a quick way to ruin a clear, crisp picture. But there are a few other things that can play into sharpness as well. So I'm going to start listing.

 

Getting Sharper Images

Tripod:

       I love tripods! If I'm out doing any kind of nature or landscape, I almost always (actually, always) have my tripod with me. Using a tripod could be the quickest way to improve the sharpness of your images. If your doing individual portraits, you probably wouldn't use a tripod. But group shots and other types of photography you may want to use a tripod.

Remote/Cable Release:

       If you're shooting on a tripod, then a remote or cable release can help to reduce shake as well. You'd be amazed at how much shake is produced just from pushing the shutter button, even on a tripod. So a remote or cable release can also help reduce shake.

Exposure Delay:

 

Stance/Posture:

        There are many different ways to stand or brace yourself while taking a picture to give you the best balance and most stable base. The way I've found is most steady for me is to stand like shooting a gun. There are also many other ways, but that's what I've found works best for me. Also, brace yourself against something. Lean against a tree or pole, rest your arms or camera on a table, railing, etc. This gives more stability too.

Press the Shutter Softly:

Press the shutter button as softly as possible. Often this means slowly and also it can also help to "roll" your finger onto the shutter instead of pressing straight down.

Shutter Speed:

Hopefully you know what shutter speed is. If not, it's how quickly the shutter opens and closes (i.e. 1/200th of a second, 2 seconds, etc.). Either way, the longer the shutter is open the more chance you have of it picking up motion and causing blur. So increase your shutter speed to something faster. Here is a good rule of thumb for shutter speeds. If your lens is at 200mm, then shoot at a minimum of 1/200th of a second. If your lens is at 80mm, then shoot at minimum 1/80th of a second. Get the idea? However, if your camera has a crop sensor (isn't full frame. I'll do a blog later on this) then this rule will be slightly adjusted. My camera is a 1.5x crop. This means that when my lens is at 200mm, my image is going to be shot as if I had a 300mm lens on there. I'll explain this detail later, but basically 200mm x 1.5crop = 300. So in this case if my lens is at 200mm, then shoot minimum of 1/300th. And these minimums can fluctuate  depending on a how well you do other elements such as stance.

Vibration Reduction:

On some Nikon lenses there is a switch called "VR" or "Vibration Reduction". On Canon it's "Image Stabilization" or "SI". What this turns on is a little motor in the lens that counteracts the natural movement of holding the camera. Depending on the VR or IS technology, you can generally shoot at lower shutter speeds by about 1-2 stops and even greater for some lenses. However, don't leave this feature on if you're shooting on a tripod. It's counter productive for some reason.

Other ways to get sharper images:

Lenses:

        I hate to break it to you, but kit lenses aren't going to give the absolute sharpest images. There good, but not great. There is a reason that nice lenses can get up to $5,000 or more. One reason is because they use a lot better glass in the lens which can deliver sharper images. So better lenses will help give you sharper images,if your still shooting not blurry images to begin with.

Aperture:

       I did a paragraph on this in my previous post on Understanding Aperture. But basically, there is a sharpest aperture on your lens. For example, f/11 may produce a sharper image than f/5.6. Read my linked post for more info.

Post-editing:

       And last but not least, there are many different ways to sharpen your images in post-production. There are too many ways for me to tell you without doing another post, so I'll save it for another day.

So that was a long post, but hopefully that give you a few new ideas of methods to try for sharper images.  Till next time, ta-ta!

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Controlling Flash and Ambient Light Separately

No, it's not a magic trick. Just a nifty photography tip I thought I'd share with everyone. If you're ever out doing a model shoot at the local park at evening with an on-camera flash (such as a speedlight) or any form of flash, this could be helpful to you. Let me say as simply as possible. Aperture controls flash, shutter speed controls ambient light. Notice my image below; I kept the same aperture and my subject, lit by flash, remained the same exposure. Changing the shutter speed only affected the ambient light in the background. It's pretty logical if you think about it. Whether your shutter speed is 1/100th or 1/15th, the flash will fully fire in that amount of time. So, adjusting the shutter speed does not affect the flashes output. However, the aperture could be adjusted to let in more or less light. So, aperture can affect flash. It's a pretty simple idea, but sometimes the technical aspects can be more confusing. So here is a video by AdoramaTV, that shows a more in-depth example. So just remember: Aperture = flash, shutter = ambient.

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