Everyone loves to Zimride in style, which is why it’s important to show off your car on your profile. We asked an amazingly talented Zimride driver, Matt L, to share his pro advice so you can get that perfect shot.
I Zimride in a 1996 Subaru Legacy Outback that I’ve customized heavily, so I like to show off my hard work when I get a chance. Here are some tips on how to take fantastic photos of your car with minimal gear.
Tools of the Trade
- Any camera (one that can do manual settings is best)
- A tripod or something like a bag of rice to keep a camera steady
- A nice, interesting background
- Good light
Location, Location, Location
First park your car in a nice location and make sure the environment fits the car. For example, park an outdoorsy car in the wilderness or a sports car in a city environment.
The Golden Hour
The “Golden Hour” is the hour right after sunrise or the hour just before sunset. Try to take your photos at this time—it makes everything look magical.
Get Down Low
You can emphasize the awesomeness of your car by eliminating any distractions in the background. The easiest way to accomplish this is dropping down on a knee or lying on the ground.
Position yourself and your camera at about a 45 degree angle to the car or 90 degrees depending on the look that you want to achieve.
Check if your camera has a manual mode “M”. When your camera is on manual mode, set the aperture (f/”something”) to around f/8. This will give you an in focus image from foreground to background. If you’re using a DSLR, then you’ll want to switch to f/11.
Adjust the shutter speed so that the part of the car facing you is properly exposed. You’ll also want to keep your ISO as low as possible to get the best image quality.
If you are using a simpler camera without manual features such as a phone, put the box (or tap the screen) on the part of the car closest to you until it is the proper brightness. You may want to use exposure compensation (+2 to -2) to adjust this if your camera offers this feature.
After you have your settings dialed in, hold steady and blast away!
Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
Try different angles and position the car differently in the light. I like to place the car diagonal with the wheels pointing out towards the camera to make the car more engaging.
If you are feeling adventurous and want to experiment with some different techniques, take your car somewhere totally dark, leave your camera on a tripod, set your aperture to f/8 and your shutter speed to 30 seconds or as long as it will allow. After you snap your photo, but before the shutter closes, take a flashlight and “paint with light” on the car and around it. You’ll be surprised at the results.
Ask for Feedback
Share your awesome car photos with your friends and family and get their feedback. It’s important to practice!
Thanks for all the fantastic tips Matt! If you’re interested in checking out more of his work, please visit his Web site.
Got any shots of your car? You can share them with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or Share with us on our Facebook page!
The Zimride Crew