Car Photography

Car Photography

Cars are great subjects for photography. It is an interesting area for every photographer from the beginning of their journey. But taking photos of cars is not that easy. Better car photography depends how you apply the science behind it. If you follow the science properly, it will be easier too.

Many photographers choose it as a passion so they can have fun, excitement, and rewards in the same time. Before starting this challenging job, let’s explore our guideline about car photography. In this guideline, we will discuss 8 essential tips for capturing better photographs of car. But everyone should know the basics of photography before starting. Here you can read our other photography tips such as the rule of thirds, depth of the field, portrait lighting, etc. Then you can use them in car photography.

Always keep in mind these 8 best and effective tips when you are taking photos of car.

1. Find the Right Time for Shooting

Most of the photographers don’t know what is the right time for shooting cars in a day. Many of them don’t get the perfect results as they shoot in the whole daylight. For getting better results, you have to take photographs a few minutes after sunset or before sunrise. As the cars are made of shiny metallic elements, direct sunlight will create distracting reflections. So, shoot at a lesser bright moment in a day, but not in the direct sunlight. In this case, using a tripod will give you better results with soft light.

car photography at sunrise

2. Avoid the Reflections

Cars are like mirrors. They are made of very shiny metal and colors. In the daylight, a photograph of a car will look like a bulb. If you do not follow the proper rules, the reflections will be in the photo. But with some proper technique and measurement you can also take amazing car photos.

Here are some tips to avoid the reflections when taking photos of a car in the daylight:

  • Keep an open space behind you when shooting, such as field.
  • Avoid large building or trees behind you.
  • Avoid your own reflection in the photo.
  • Use a tripod and timer if there is no way to avoid your own reflection

The design lines of a car are the most important in the photographs. The car lovers also call these lines as ‘Curves.’ The reflections of light and other distracting objects can spoil these Curves. That’s why, you need to take more cautious about the reflections. But sometimes, you may want to use reflections in the car’s surface to pull viewer’s attention.

Reflections in the car

3. How to Take Driving Shots?

Shooting a car out of another moving car is a great technique to have amazing car photographs. Though it is little risky but with proper precautions you can do this too. Normally, the cars move at an average speed of 60 km/h or 40 miles/h. In that case, use a shutter speed of 1/100th of a second. Decreasing the shutter speed even more will result blurry photos.

The most stunning driving shots are when the car is in focus and the background creates a motion blur. Use the camera as the subject is moving parallel to you. Shoot the photos out of the window of your car. But ensure that, someone else is driving your car.

driving shot of a car

4. Balance the Color

Every color in the photo react differently with different lighting. Some color doesn’t suit in direct sunlight again some does greatly. Getting the exact color of the car depends on the proper lights. The golden hours in a day for car photography is before or during sunrise and sunset. Photographing the car on those moments, you can avoid overtly harsh brightness.

In case of indoor photography, you can use artificial lighting for better results. But remember, over use of lights can change the color of your car in the photo.

5. Background Settings

Distracting objects in the background can spoil a good photograph. You can shoot the photos with parking the car either on the road, in a car park, or on the driveway. These places work as a natural background.

If you want to take a classic shot, shoot with a great looking landscape scene. Prefer facing the west to have the sun setting in the background. Finding a great location matters most in this case. Ensure that the car is the centre of attention. It will enhance the attractiveness of the car. You can also use other photographic rules to adjust the car with its background.

Proper background for car

6. Panning for Motion Blur

This is a great technique to get some motion in the photo. It is the way to capture moving objects while it remains sharp. And the areas around it become blurry. The best way to create this is to stand next to the road and letting the car drive past you. In this case set the shutter speed of your camera to 125th of a second.

Here are some instructions you can follow to create motion blur.

  • Make your upper body as stable as possible when moving the camera to follow the subject. Rotate over your hips, & knees at the same time.
  • Tuck your elbows in close to your body
  • Press your camera against your head to make it stable.
  • When rotating the camera, twist your body for panning. This way your shoulders you’ll be stable.

Panning technique also uses in all kinds of motorsports photography. Using it properly, you will be amazed with the results.

using motion blur in car photography

7. Shoot Naturally

One of the best ways to capture car photos by allowing the car to interact with the nature. Frame the car with its natural surroundings. Suppose, the car making dust with its tire, spreading water from the road side, etc. When the car riding a rough road, it also can be natural shot.


8. Car Photography at Night

ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture are three main things you need to set properly in this case. Also use a tripod for the best results when doing car photography at night. Follow the instructions below to take amazing car photographs at night.

  • First, you have to find a complete dark spot where any streetlight, or a full moon is fail to remove the darkness.
  • After finding the spot, set your ISO to 100.
  • With a 30 second shutter speed set the aperture to f/9
  • Now paint the car with a constant light and walk around the car. Do it when the shutter is opening.
  • You can use a torch or flashlight in this case.

Following these simple but effective instructions, you can do amazing car photography at night. Photographing cars are also great subject for night photography.

Car Photography at night

Many things in car photography depends on the type of camera and the lens. Use the lenses with maximum f/stop of 2.8. The lower the size the better. By reading our review about the best camera for photography, you can choose a good camera.


Car photography is a trending matter in product photography. It takes a lot of practice and time to learn the aspects to take better photos of car. But with these 8 tips in mind, go out and take lovely photos of cars. The more shots you take in, the more you’ll learn about different angles in car photography.

What is a good lens for car photography?

A good lens for car photography is between 35mm and 85mm. The lens with 24mm sometimes can be wider if you get too close. My recommendation is to use 85mm which is a great lens for close stuffs.

How much do photographers usually make?

Though an average photographer does not make much money. Most a photographer make about $30,000 a year. Of course, they are professional photographer.

Is photography a good choice for career?

In the advertising agency, media and the fashion industry, photography has emerged as a lucrative passion. It is a thrilling career option to many of the youths nowadays.