Creative Automotive Pictures, Things To Consider - Part 1

 by Anthony Palmieri

Mercury Pickup Truck Grill

Mercury Pickup Truck Grill

Low cost digital camera, and high quality printing now coupled with some imagination can open the door for you to create unique pictures ranging from the family pets, to autos right to custom cards and wall posters that you have created. Custom printing was expensive, and mostly restricted to advertising companies. However now, you can go to your local office store and have them print out a high quality laser print for a few dollars.

So now that you have all this capability available, what can you do with it? Well, how about start to create custom pictures for yourself. Software packages like Adobe Photoshop have many capabilities that allow you to customize your pictures, but the question often asked is well what should I do. The intent of this article is to give you many ideas to think about and experiment with to see what fits your personality and likes. We will focus on automobiles, although these ideas can be applied to family portraits, pictures of your loving pets, and even landscapes.

When you are taking a picture of a car, do not just think about what you see in the viewfinder, but think about the final composition. A few questions to consider are:

1. Will the car be a stand alone in the picture?
2. Will there be multiple images of the car merged together?
3. Will there be different elements of the car used?
4. Can the car be used as both a background element as well as a foreground element?
5. What unique features stand out?
... and the list goes on.

Taking a digital picture does not cost you anything until you print it out, so I recommend that you take many pictures at different angles, and of all elements. Looking through the viewfinder gives you only one perspective of the final picture, but, using your mind will open the door to an unlimited world.

Things to consider when looking and photographing a car:

1. Is there a large surface such as a sloping trunk with a minimal amount of details? If so, this may make a great background where you could overlay a side view of the car on the trunk. To add to the personalized component, keep the license place in the picture so it ties the picture to the owner.

2. Are there any distinctive features such as a massive open grill as on many pre 1965 cars? This may also make a great background to overlay a side view of the car in the grill. Keeping any logos or license plate adds to the personalized impact.

3. Many of the older cars have trim pieces that are art in themselves. Take for example a 1958 Bel Air. The front fenders and sides have bullet like trim that would make a great border.

4. Do not just focus on the exterior of the car, think about the interior. How about those detailed and distinctive dash boards and large buss like steering wheels. These also make a great backgrounds. Imagine the car centered in the steering wheel where you get a glimpse of the gages. Or for that fantasy effect for a performance car, edit the speedometer to show a high speed, and slightly blur the car to represent the speed.

This is a brief list of things to consider, and after a while when you look at something your mind will run with the endless possibilities. Your biggest challenge will be to weed through those ideas and pick the best ones.

In part 2 of this series we will talk about taking these ideas and enhancing them even more through things such as making elements stand out by fading, blurring and defocusing portions of the composition.

For some examples of what is described here can be see on the author's web site. When you look at these examples, think how you can apply these to your own work.

About the Author: Anthony Palmieri founded Palmieri Concepts, after 20 years of creating custom art work for his own pleasure and enjoyment. This business grew out of a love for motor vehicles and was started to share with others. He has also written numerous articles on automotive art and collector car photography.

Article Source: January 13, 2006
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