Tag Archives: Old Car Photography

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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Remember the Good Old Days with Your First Automobile?

Have any of your parents and grandparents ever watched the movie, “American Graffitti,” with your kids and grandchildren to show off the cars you used to drive or ride in when you were young?  Have them tell you how they remember the good old days.

You might want to tell them that Richard Dreyfuss and Harrison Ford was in that movie to entice them to watch it.

remember the good old days
Courtesy of Richard Calmes Photography

Remember the good old days in your automobile that featured a full bench seat.

There’s just something romantic about the bench seat where your honey could cozy up to you while you drove around town, or cruised around as we used to call it. remember the good old daysThe guys were more concerned what was under the hood while the girls were hoping that your car doesn’t conk out when you’re popping the clutch at a traffic light.

Yes, those were the good old days when cars were made of steel and real chrome fenders and unique hood ornaments and AM radios, only!

remember the good old days
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Remember the good old days when your automobile had a real big trunk and a full-size spare tire?

Every car had to have a spare tire and a jack to change your own tire and replace it with a full size spare. Many a relationship probably started when some hunk came to a stranded damsel in distress and changed her tire.

Today, kids just call their daddies or AAA and they come out and change the tire. Where’s the romance in that?!

Remember the good old days when one remember the good old daysdollar got a hamburger, fries and milkshake for two(!) with change left over?

Well, this author vaguely remembers when the Burger King Whopper sandwich was first introduced in the Atlanta, Georgia area and, I think, the price per whopper was 45 or 55 cents. With a Coca-Cola for ten cents and fries for maybe 15 cents, one could get quite filled up!

Here’s a piece of trivia for you younger cats out there. I could take a Kennedy remember the good old dayshalf-dollar coin down to the local “grocerette” convenience store in the mid-1960’s and get two bottles of Cokes, 12 ounce, and 6 full-size candy bars. I wasn’t ten years old and I would do that as often as I would get away with it.

Yes, boys and girls, I remember the good old days when I was a kid and I could walk several miles around my neighborhood during the day without fear or concern for my safety. Of course, if I stayed out past dinner time and didn’t call home, there’d be hell to pay!

Remember the good old days every time you come to Old Car City USA!

There’s something here for everyone! The toys shown above are just a small sampling of the kinds of toys the older generation of kids enjoyed playing with when their fathers and brothers were working on the family car.

These toys are made of durable metal that have withstood the many hands and imaginations of kids working on construction projects in the back yards or rescuing victims in house fires kindled by the children’s dreams of doing it in real life.

Remember the good old days when there was a bench seat for two “in the trunk?”

You read it right. There were cars that had what is called a “rumble” seat; not to be confused with “Rumble in the Streets,” or something related.

This could be a very popular option unless the car was driven slow in good weather.

This car inside the “showroom” of Old Car City USA has the two seats up front and the rumble seat in back. When no one was in it, the seat could be tucked away as one would close the trunk. I wonder if it was designed with Daddies in mind to chaperone kids on Saturday night dates.

In summary, the time to visit Old Car City USA is when you want to relive the times and memories that involved the American automobile in everyone’s lives, whether in full size for adults or as a toy for the creative boy and girl in the sandbox.

This author loves to play with toys like these with his grandchildren. It’s a way to pass on fun times as we remember the good old days, everyday.

 

 

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CBS Sunday Morning, August 9th

This Sunday, August 9th, at 9:43am, CBS Sunday Morning will be airing a piece on Old Car City USA featuring Dean Lewis and his family as they discuss the history and meanings behind Old Car City.  Earlier this summer, Tracy Smith from CBS Sunday Morning, came to visit Dean and his family at Old Car City.  They spent several days touring and filming in Old Car City and interviewed Dean and the family as well as photographers who were making images at Old Car City.  So if you are up and moving this Sunday, please tune into CBS Sunday Morning on you local CBS affiliate.

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Great article about Old Car City by Pete Collins

Here is a link to an article written by one of the “Photoshop Guys” Pete Collins.  I mentioned his visit in a previous post.  He wrote this article for Scott Kelby’s blog.  Check out the article here:  Old Car City….Potential Bucket List

Thank you for the kind words Pete.  Hope to see you out at Old Car City again soon.

Clint

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Some Interesting Visitors

Over the last several weeks, Old Car City has seen some interesting visitors drop by to interview Dean about Old Car City and to just take some fine pictures.  I was fortunate enough to be able to meet both visitors and spend a little time with them.

 

Our first visitor is a celebrity in the Photoshop circles.  Pete Collins is one of the “Photoshop Guys” at Kelbyone training, which is an online training resource for Photoshop.  Pete also is the co-host of Photoshop User TV and has a regular column in Photoshop User Magazine.  Pete was about midway through a week long photography trip with some friends when they stopped by to shoot at Old Car City.  I look forward to seeing some of his images from Old Car City being used in some of his new tutorials.  Pete is a great guy and I highly recommend his workshops and classes.  We had a great conversation about layers and using some of the great rust and patina on the cars as a texture layer.

 

Our next visitor was Marissa Gawel, recipient of the National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant.  Marissa, along with Penn Greene, are traveling throughout the country seeking out and documenting America’s Road Side Attractions.  From Marissa,

“We’re looking to understand the role of the attractions we’re visiting-withing their cities and withing the greater context of American culture.  The creators of the sites built their museums, homes, and art for reasons that vary from the spiritual to the entrepreneurial, but, regardless, have brought their towns new narratives and new business.  I’ve found the creations we’ve seen so far are incredible, and speak to the creative spirit of this country”

Marissa has a great blog documenting their journey, here is the article with images they published about Old Car City:  American Attractions, Old Car City
While you are there, read through the other post about all the wonderful places they have visited.  What an incredible trip, I am so jealous, I would love to take that kind of road trip.
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