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How to Take Awesome Car Photos: Tips and Tricks from Professional Photographers

How to Take Amazing Car Photos: A Complete Guide

Car photography is a fascinating and rewarding genre that combines art, passion, and engineering. Whether you are a car enthusiast, a car owner, or a car photographer, you might want to capture the beauty, power, and elegance of these machines.

But taking great car photos is not as easy as it sounds. Cars are complex and reflective objects that pose many challenges for photographers. You need to consider the lighting, the background, the angle, the motion, and the personality of the car.

car photos

In this article, we will share with you some of the best tips and tricks for taking stunning car photos that will make you proud. We will cover everything from choosing the right time of day and location, to experimenting with different angles and perspectives, to capturing the motion and personality of the car. By following these tips, you will be able to take your car photography to the next level.

Choose the right time of day and location for your car photos

One of the most important factors in car photography is the lighting. You want to avoid harsh sunlight and reflections that can ruin your photos. The best time of day to shoot cars is during the golden hour, which is the hour after sunrise or before sunset. The light is soft, warm, and directional, creating beautiful shadows and highlights on the car.

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Another important factor is the location. You want to find a suitable background that complements the car and does not distract from it. The background should match the style and color of the car, as well as its purpose and personality. For example, a sports car might look better in an urban setting, while a vintage car might look better in a rural setting.

Some examples of good locations for car photography are:

  • An empty parking lot or garage

  • A scenic road or bridge

  • A historic building or monument

  • A field or forest

  • A beach or lake

Consider the color and style of the car

The color and style of the car can also affect your choice of time of day and location. Different colors react differently to different lighting conditions. For example, dark colors tend to absorb light, while bright colors tend to reflect light. You might want to adjust your exposure accordingly to avoid underexposing or overexposing your photos.

The style of the car can also influence your decision. For example, a classic or retro car might look better in a warm or sepia tone, while a modern or futuristic car might look better in a cool or blue tone. You might want to use filters or editing tools to enhance the mood and atmosphere of your photos.

Experiment with different angles and perspectives for your car photos

Another way to improve your car photos is to experiment with different angles and perspectives. By changing your position and point of view, you can create more interesting and dynamic compositions that showcase different aspects of the car.

Some examples of different angles and perspectives are:

  • Get down low or use a drone for unique views. By shooting from a low angle, you can make the car look more powerful and imposing. By shooting from a high angle, you can capture the car in its environment and show its scale and shape.

  • Try different focal lengths and apertures for creative effects. By using a wide-angle lens, you can exaggerate the perspective and create a sense of depth and movement. By using a telephoto lens, you can compress the perspective and isolate the car from the background. By using a large aperture, you can create a shallow depth of field and blur the background. By using a small aperture, you can create a deep depth of field and show the details of the background.

  • Highlight the best features and details of the car. By getting close to the car, you can focus on the parts that make it unique and attractive. For example, you can capture the headlights, the grille, the wheels, the logo, or the interior of the car.

Capture the motion and personality of the car

The last tip for taking amazing car photos is to capture the motion and personality of the car. Cars are not just static objects, they are dynamic and expressive machines that have a life of their own. You want to convey the speed, the power, and the emotion of the car in your photos.

Some examples of how to capture the motion and personality of the car are:

  • Use panning or slow shutter speed for motion blur. By moving your camera along with the car, you can create a panning effect that blurs the background and shows the movement of the car. By using a slow shutter speed, you can create a motion blur effect that shows the speed and direction of the car.

  • Use light painting or flash for night shots. By using a long exposure and a light source, you can create a light painting effect that traces the path of the car in the dark. By using a flash, you can freeze the action and illuminate the car in contrast to the dark background.

  • Incorporate human elements or natural elements for contrast. By adding people or animals to your car photos, you can create a contrast between the mechanical and the organic, as well as show the relationship between the car and its owner or driver. By adding natural elements such as trees, flowers, or water to your car photos, you can create a contrast between the artificial and the natural, as well as show the harmony or conflict between the car and its environment.


Car photography is a fun and exciting genre that allows you to express your creativity and passion for cars. By following these tips, you will be able to take amazing car photos that will impress your friends, clients, or audience.

The key points to remember are:

  • Choose the right time of day and location for your car photos

  • Experiment with different angles and perspectives for your car photos

  • Capture the motion and personality of the car

But most importantly, have fun and enjoy your car photography journey. There is no limit to what you can do with your camera and your car. You can always learn new skills, try new techniques, and discover new possibilities.

If you need some inspiration or guidance for your car photography, here are some resources or examples that you can check out:

  • [Car Photography Tutorials]

  • [Car Photography Tips]

  • [Car Photography Examples]


What is the best camera for car photography?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as different cameras have different strengths and weaknesses. However, some general features that you might want to look for in a camera for car photography are:

  • A high-resolution sensor that can capture sharp and detailed images

  • A fast autofocus system that can track moving subjects

  • A wide range of ISO settings that can handle different lighting conditions

  • A burst mode that can capture multiple frames per second

  • A weather-sealed body that can withstand dust and moisture

  • A tilting or rotating screen that can help you compose shots from different angles

  • A wireless connectivity that can allow you to transfer images to your phone or computer

Some examples of cameras that meet these criteria are:

CameraSensorAutofocusISO rangeBurst modeWeather-sealedScreenWireless

Nikon D85045.7 MP full-frame153-point AF system64-25600 (expandable to 32-102400)7 fps (9 fps with battery grip)YesTiltingYes

Sony A7R IV61 MP full-frame567-point AF system100-32000 (expandable to 50-102400)10 fpsYesTiltingYes

Canon EOS R620.1 MP full-frameDual Pixel CMOS AF II system100-102400 (expandable to 50-204800)12 fps (20 fps with electronic shutter)YesFu


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