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RE: [T3] How to take a (car selling) picture

Keep the background minimal, like a large blank wall or hills.  You don't
want the car to compete with anything else; you want the car to be the focus
of the viewer's attention -- a telephoto lens works great, as do large
apertures (f-stop numbers are small, like 3.5).  Wide angle lenses and small
apertures allow too much of the background to come into focus and you
normally don't want this.

Make sure the subject fills the frame.  Pay close attention at how the
vehicle looks in the viewfinder (frame).  You want your subject to come very
close to the edges of the frame.  Look through a couple of specialty car
mags and see how they do it.  Don't go for artistic shots and models --
you're trying to sell the car, not win an award.

Cloudy days are the best as there is even lighting (low contrast
conditions).  On sunny days (high contrast conditions) you should use a
flash to illuminate shadows (known as fill flash).  If you can't control the
flash xou can fool the camera by overexposing the picture (by one
stop in photography terms) by changing the film speed down (for example, if
you're shooting ASA400 set the camera to ASA200).

Pay special attention for glare and reflections from shiny objects like
chrome (wheels, bumpers, engine tin, etc.), glass (windows and gauges) and
dazzling paint jobs :)  A polarizing filter, particularly a circular one,
really helps here.

Do take lots of pictures but edit them, publishing only the best ones.  A
bunch of pictures of the outside (or the engine) taken at every angle
doesn't help the buyer much as they are all basically the same.

When publishing pictures on the web make sure they are big.  If the image
can fill close to 1/2 or more of the screen the better.  This allows the
view to actually see the car without straining their eyes.  Images hardly
bigger than a thumbnail are worthless.  If you can use thumbnails so the
viewer can have an idea of what they will be viewing otherwise use a
description to label the link (for example, "Engine" or "Front View").

                        -- What to take? --
Outside shots:
-Straight-on front, rear, and BOTH sides (total of four pictures).  For your
particular car a top view would be keen
-3/4 view, one of the front, one of the rear.  This type of picture will
show the front, side and roof (well, you get the idea ;)  Try to have the
front 3/4 view and the rear 3/4 view use different sides (for example, the
front 3/4 view uses the left side, the rear 3/4 view uses the right side)

Inside shots:
-Trunks, viewed straight on
-For the interior open the door you will be shooting from but keep the
opposite door closed.  For closed-roof cars such a shot probably will
require a flash.  You want to take the shot above dash level, almost as if
you're standing outside the edge of the door (where the handle is) and
looking in.  This will show the windshield, seats and floorboards.  You
don't want to see very much of the outside of the car.
-Engine/drive train.  This is tougher be4Eis area of the car is
visually busy.  Make sure the engine is NOT running when you take this
picture.  Generally a straight-on shot works, aiming from the pulley end, of

Other shots:
-If you have very custom/specialized areas of the car you would like to
highlight or bring to the customer's attention then definitely try to get
one or two quality shots.  In your case you, for example, you may want to
take an elevated straight-on shot of the rear with the engine cover on, then
one with it off.  It's best in this case to put the camera on a tripod or
other stationary stand so the only difference between the images is the
object under observation (before and after style shots).

   Toby "sometimes a college minor does become useful" Erkson
   air_cooled_nut@pobox.com  <-- Please use this address for email
   '72 VW Squareback 1.6L bored and stroked to 2.0L, Berg five-speed
   '75 Porsche 914 1.8L, ORPCA member
   '95 VW Jetta GL 2.0L, boringly bone-stock
   Portland, Oregon, http://www.pobox.com/~toby_erkson/

> -----Original Message-----
> The sun is shining and I have loaded camera...What other pics 
> should or
> do I need of my car for the web page?  I have 96 pics I can take if
> necessary.  Please give me some imput.

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