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Top 8 Tips on How to Photograph Cars Outdoors

Photography has had a rebirth for the masses of cellphone users worldwide. There are many videos and/or photography websites that have come up as a result.

Still, when it comes to getting that perfect shot with the right light and effect, nothing takes the place of using a higher quality camera with manual focus and adjustments to get the close ups as well as those one-of-a-kind photos that end up on somebody’s wall or in a gallery somewhere.

In this article, we’ll wade through the many articles already written featuring how to photograph cars outside to find the top 8 tips. We will look at them in reverse order, starting with top tip #8.

Tip #8 – How to photograph cars outside – Use Water.

Top tip number eight is to use water. Photographers agree that getting that perfect shot with the resemblance of early morning dew yet your shooting is later in the morning or afternoon, a spray bottle of water does wonders.

The same tip is true with nature photos to get leaves to look like the new day has come or a rain just fell. So, keep a small spray bottle with you for just such an occasion.

Tip #7 – How to photograph cars outside – focus on one at a time!

how to photograph cars outside

Tip number seven on how to photograph cars outside is to focus on one at a time. When it comes to photographing old classic cars, there’s so much more to be looking for on the car:

  • Body style
  • Chrome bumpers
  • Hood ornament
  • Interior seating
  • Dashboard
  • Engine
  • Unique concepts, like rumble seats or soft tops
  • Make and model and year

Tip #6 – How to photograph cars outside – take your time!

When you hurry, you’re sure to miss that great shot. Not only so, you’re likely to miss a step that causes you to regret later for not slowing down.

Part of that might mean taking time out for you. You know when you are at your best, creatively speaking. There’s other times when you or someone else is rushing you and you’re forcing yourself to get done.

Tip #5 – How to photograph cars outdoors – Work closer to sunrise or sunset.

Professional photographers agree that working closer to sunrise or sunset offers great color enhancements and softer shades.

Your work will be more appealing if you keep the sun in perspective when you’re learning how to photograph cars outside.

Tip #4 – To learn how to photograph cars outdoors, study the car!

One great tip I learned when learning how to photograph cars outside is to study, or take note of the car itself. Every car has a story that goes with it.

Is it a family car or a sports car? Was it popular or a dud? Does it have a history, like a Mustang or Corvette?

how to photograph cars outsideSome of the old classic cars have unique hood ornaments that just aren’t on most cars today. I think Jaguar is the last of the modern auto manufacturer that still features a hood ornament.

Every car started out on a showroom floor as somebody’s dream. Cars sitting in a car junk yard represent dreams that got shattered or broken in life. It’s the role of the creative photographer to bring it back to life again.

Tip #3 – If you want to know how to photograph cars outside, use the right equipment.

That seems elementary but to photograph cars outside, one needs a wide angle lens, macro lens and GPS labeling technology.

In areas where the mosquitoes are plentiful, it’s also wise to bring bug spray. Some lots featuring old classic cars like mentioned in tip number one are so large that having water to drink is actually a wise idea.

Tip #2 – Give yourself plenty of time when learning how to photograph cars outside.

This tip is different, yet related to tip #6, on how to photograph cars outside because if you have a lot like Old Car City USA that has 4400 old classic cars from 1918 to 1972 and it’s only open four days a week between 9a.m. and 4 p.m., don’t wait until an hour before closing.  Though you can get some great shots, your time will slip away from you quickly and you will be frustrated.

As mentioned in aforementioned tips, early morning hours get great photo opportunities and in the South, hot weather can still sneak up on the photographer without warning.

how to photograph cars outside
Courtesy Richard Calmes Photography

The #1 tip on how to photograph cars outside is to choose the best place to take great photos.

Old Car City USA likes to toot its own horn with being the largest known classic car junkyard in the world with over 4400 cars on 34 acres of land. It’s been featured in Hot Rod Magazine, Fox, NBC, ABC and Sunday Morning on CBS as well as international visitors who come specifically for these American and some foreign built cars and trucks.

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Morning Fog Pictures at Old Car City USA – A Photographer’s Paradise!

The season is short for early morning fog in the northwestern Georgia town of White where Old Car City USA is located. Photographers would do well to schedule their visits around those times when early morning fog settles in among the old classic cars and trucks here.

Photographers are welcome to shoot early morning fog pictures at Old Car City USA!

Old Car City has the distinct privilege among all the many car junk yards in America as a mecca for the creative photographers of the world. We have these artisans flocking to Atlanta’s nearby International airport specifically to visit the “world’s largest known classic car junkyard.”

Some of the greats who have come are:

early morning fog photograph
Perfect time for photographers to shoot in the early morning fog at Old Car City USA!

How does early morning fog develop, you ask?

…in general terms, fog formation is exactly the same process involved in the formation of clouds . . . fog is simply a cloud that forms over the ground…

…Fog is possible, but not entirely guaranteed, if the relative humidity is 100% (when RH% = 100%, that means that the air is saturated)…So, fog is the result of a “moist” air mass near the surface, which has reached saturation. (Source)

According to the information gleaned from the link in the quote above, fog in the north Georgia mountains might be more common because of how the air is saturated in low lying areas. It would behoove the photographer seeking to have early morning fog for pictures of our old classic cars to check with the meteorologists in the area and see when the fog is likely to occur.

early morning fog pictures
It’s a photographer’s paradise in the early morning fog at Old Car City USA!

Early morning fog photographs have a certain mystique. At Old Car City USA, we love how photographers can take a car junk yard full of old classic cars and find treasure after treasure in almost every shot!

As in the case of one artist listed above,

Courtesy Gulfport Studios – Cheryl Grogan

Cheryl Grogan, her photos combined with her talent with painting portraits become one-of-a-kind masterpieces. One such photo, shown here, hangs proudly in Mayor Deano’s office in Old Car City USA.

Remember everyone! Old Car City USA opens at 9 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. If you desire to take early morning fog photos, please make arrangements to be there when our doors open. We welcome you with open arms!

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Current Pricing Explained

We often get questions about our pricing, so I will explain the two different price points.

 

$15.00:  This price point is for visitors that are not here for photography purposes.  This is usually for the visitors that want stroll around and take a walk down memory lane and find the old family car, dad’s old truck, or your first car.  Basically, you’re just here to look.

Children six and younger are free.

Children ages 7 to 12 are $10.00

 

$25.00:  This is the price point for photographers and models.  Models include anyone that is having their picture taken regardless of their age or if they are professional models or not.  So if your here for taking pictures or being in pictures, this is your price point.

 

Commercial Photography:  This is a negotiable price and is take on a case by case basis.  The determining factors of the cost are related to the size of the production, timing of the production, the end use of the images and the distribution of images.  An example of this kind of shoot is the recent Hot Rod Magazine shoot.  There were 5 or 6 people, including the photographer, producer, and assistants.  They drove a 2015 Corvette into an area around the old cars and set up lighting equipment.  They negotiated a special rate due to the shoot being for commercial purposes.

 

Also, just a reminder of our hours:

Wednesday – Saturday from 9:00am -4:00pm

Sunday – Tuesday  Closed

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An Introduction

Hello, my name is Clint Brownlee and I am a local photographer in Woodstock, Georgia.  I have been going to make photographs at Old Car City USA for a while now and I am now helping Mr. Lewis by writing and managing content for the Old Car City USA website.  I will be posting several times a month to keep everyone up to date on all the exciting things that have been happening and will be happening at Old Car City.  Of recent note is the article that Hot Rod Magazine wrote for their website about Old Car City.  I happened to be there when the photographers from Hot Rod were there shooting a spread for the December issue.  They were so interested in Old Car City, that they wrote a great article about it.  Go here to read the article:  Hot Rod Magazine, Old Car City USA

There are some very interesting and exciting things that will soon be happening at Old Car City in the coming months, so we will keep all of you up to date on the latest news.

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