Now listen carefully: the motorcar photography tips
("jumpstart/condensed version") hotlinked below is
not merely general hints for you to "glance at and
ignore"; they're very specific "paint-by-the-numbers"
guidelines by a Cobra photography expert that will virtually
assure you that you'll be taking knock-'em-deadindeed, professional-qualityphotos of your car... and
quickly! For example:
Your flash: when I advise you to make sure
your flash works every time you snap your shutter, don't conclude
I must be talking to everyone else: I'm talking directly to
absolutely certain that your camera is set for "forced
flash" or "fill flash" or "outdoor flash"
so that your flash discharges with every single shot you take...
no exception. Most modern cameras come shipped with you
with the camera set on "Automatic" and the flash set
on "Automatic." Not good. Set your camera on either
"P" (for programmed operation) or "A" (for
Aperture-preferred operation), and then set your flash for "Forced"
or "Fill." All of your outdoor photography will benefit
immensely as a result. If there is anything you find confusing
about that piece of advice, then give me a call and I'll 'splain
it all to you. No kidding.
"Low sun" advisory: for your "paint job"
shots of your car (broadside shots, 3/4-view shots, frontal shots,
etc.), when I counsel you that the sun MUST be down lownear dawn or dusk--that means
if you point your finger at the sun, your arm will be horizontal
(or near-horizontal), NOT pointed up toward the sky. This
(low-angle, horizontal) sun is perfect light for capturing the
color and the beauty of your paint job. [Harsh, high-in-the-sky sun is
the very worst illumination you can choose to photograph your
guarantees that all the top surfaces of your car will
be bleached out, your windshield and chromed parts will reflect
blinding glare, and the lower regions of your coachwork (where
the body of your Cobra, Daytona Coupe or GT40 curves under) will
be a shadowy, colorless, murky mess.]
Your engine and cockpit shots: when I advise you to shoot your
engine and cockpit outdoors and in bright daytime SHADE
(the shade of a buildingnot tree shade), that means OUTDOORS AND IN
BRIGHT MID-MORNING OR MID-AFTERNOON SHADE... WITH NOTHING BUT
OPEN SKY OVERHEAD,
it doesn't mean "under direct sunlight," it doesn't
mean dusk/evening (dark) shade, and it doesn't mean "in
your garage." The likelihood that you'll capture good
photographs of your engine or cockpit under direct sunlight is
Now, just one
more time: YOUR ENGINE: position your engine compartment directly
over something bright whitea white shower curtain liner,
a smooth white bedsheet... something white. WHITE. For some reason,
many folks fail to heed that very effective engine photography
tip. Just test my gentle suggestion to position your engine
over a white shower curtain liner (about $6 at Wal-Mart)
or a white flat bedsheetand still outdoors, in bright mid-morning
or mid-afternoon shadeyou'll discover that your engine-compartment
shots will be SIGNIFICANTLY brighter and better illuminated.
Your head on/direct frontal
shots: when I
say "Your camera MUST be very close to the front of your
car [hint: measure off precisely 6 feet]that doesn't mean
it's okay to be farther away and just "zoom-in" with
your lens: it means specifically thatif you want to achieve
the desired "menacing perspective of an approaching hammerhead
shark"your camera lens MUST be about 6 ft. to
6.5 ft. (±1.8 to 2 meters) in front of your
car. No exceptions. Shoot with your camera at various heights,
from just above your grille opening to about the vertical center
of your windshield (windscreen).
Follow my expert tips
to the letter and you'll be assured of capturing excellent (i.e.,
superb, dazzling, awesome, magnificent) photos of your serpent.
Next: click on #1/JumpStart Cobra photography tips
below (and print it out):
1. Curt's jumpStart/condensed
Cobra Photography tips: It
prints out on one page. It's a mere 6-minute readso PRINT IT
read it carefully and take it along with you as a reminder checklist.
Tip: this high-resolution condensed version prints out
beautifully on glossy or semi-gloss inkjet paper.
photographing your Cobra or GT40
or Daytona Coupe to put it up for sale:
PHONE CURT FIRST-after you've looked over the
gallery of excellent amateur Cobra photography hotlinked above,
and after you've printed out and read Curt's MPT/Motorcar
Photography Tips (The JumpStart version, above)...but
before you photograph your car... at
251-0806 Pacific Time
tips specific to your own car (tips specific, for example,
to its paint color and livery, the interior color(s), the engine,
how to best photograph your hard top or soft top, your shooting
location, et al.) and specific to the digital camera you'll
be using will save you time and help to ensure your photos will
show off your car in all its breathtaking beauty!
one good photograph is worth
1,000 uninspiring snapshots.
Above: Turk Ercen
(Vacaville, California) captured this image of his E.R.A. 427SC.
he hadn't used his flash, this fine shot would've been a throwaway.