Scroll down and compare these side-by-side photosyour introductory first step (Part I) in
learning how to capture your Cobra or GT40 like a seasoned expert moto photographer.
  

Each serpent snapshot ON THE LEFT below was shot by the owner... that is, before he encountered this site's Cobra Photography Tips.

Many of these owners had spent a small fortune trying to sell their serpent in all the wrong places... and using untutored snapshots such as these (on the LHS) to try to attract buyers.
  

Each serpent photo ON THE RIGHT below is how that same ownerusing the same consumer-grade digital camera—recaptured the shot by carefully following our [no-brainer, no motojournalist pedigree, point-by-the-numbers] Cobra Photography Tips.

ANY QUESTIONS?   

   Each serpent represented by its paired photos is a car that sold on CobraCountry...
 using the owner's
'Done Right' shot you see on the RHS of each pair.
 
 
Scroll down through these pairs of photos to quickly acquaint yourself with
 what sets apart a good photograph from a birdcage-liner snapshot.

NOW LISTEN: DO NOT confuse this article with our "Cobra Photography Tips for Dipsticks."
You'll find a hotlink button to those expert tips at the bottom of this page; you will print that 'Tips'
booklet out and carefully heed each dedicated Checklist as you shoot each 'zone' of your car.


  Now grab the scroll button and cruise down these 62  Done Wrong, Done Right pairs of photos!

ENGINE SHOTS
 [Cobra Photography Tips for Dipsticks: engine shotsChecklist Page 7] 

LHSDONE WRONG
 Typical untutored owner snapshot.

You can see why page 7 warns you: You cannot
 capture
good engine shots under direct sunlight.


RHSDONE RIGHT
    Same owner, same camera, same engine bay
...
  but carefully following our results-proven tips.

As you see in the engine shots below, that shower
 curtain liner (tip, p.
7) pays you huge dividends.








Final moto-duo below [again, same engine, same owner, same camera]: Perhaps you can see why I urge you to 1) use your flash, and 2) place a bright/white shower curtain liner beneath your engine. Any questions?




COCKPIT SHOTS
 [Cobra Photography Tips for Dipsticks: cockpit shotsChecklist Page 8] 

LHSDONE WRONG
 Typical untutored owner snapshot.

You can see why page 8 warns you: You cannot
 capture
good cockpit shots under direct sunlight.


RHSDONE RIGHT
  Same owner, same camera, same cockpit
...
  but carefully following our tips.

[each shot in smooth outdoor shade, with flash]





NOTE [from the 'Cockpit Shots' Checklist on page 7 of Dipsticks tips]: regarding those photos in the
 RHS column above: your ladder must be set up with the closest legs 3 ft. (1 meter) from the door.

If you question that (distance) caveat, and wonder what happens when your camera is too close to
 the cockpit, just take a look at that cockpit shot on the LHS directly above. We rest our case.

You'll ignore the various distance guidelines in our Checklist Tips
only at your own costly disadvantage.




DASHBOARD SHOTS
 [Cobra Photography Tips for Dipsticks: instrument panel shotsChecklist Page 9] 
 

LHSDONE WRONG
Typical untutored owner snapshot.

You can see why page 9 warns you: You cannot
 capture good dash shots under direct sunlight.
 Also note: tree shade = total chaos.


RHSDONE RIGHT
  Same owner, same camera, same dash
...
  but carefully following our tips.

[each shot in smooth outdoor shade, with flash]

 




 




HEAD-ON FRONTAL SHOTS
 [Cobra Photography Tips for Dipsticks: head-on frontal shotsChecklist Page 10] 

LHSDONE WRONG
 Typical untutored owner snapshot.

 Undercar surface: dark asphalt, grass not good. 
 Light concrete, brick, decorative pavement good.

 OH trees turn your paint job into a train wreck.


RHSDONE RIGHT
 Same owner, same camera, same car
...
  but carefully following our tips.

For these shots, the camera-to-car distance range
 I recommend (page 10) is absolutely critical.

Note also that glare is reduced and color becomes richer the higher up you position your camera.












3/4-FRONTAL SHOTS
 [Cobra Photography Tips for Dipsticks: 3/4-frontal shotsChecklist Page 11] 

LHSDONE WRONG
 Typical untutored owner snapshot.

High OH midday sun not good.
 Sun glare on top surfaces gets worse & worse 
 as your camera gets lower & lower.


RHSDONE RIGHT
    Same owner, same camera, same car
...
  but carefully following our tips.

 For these shots, the camera-to-car distance range
 I recommend (page
11) is absolutely critical.













BROADSIDE SHOTS
 [Cobra Photography Tips for Dipsticks: broadside shotsChecklist Page 12] 

LHSDONE WRONG
  Typical untutored owner snapshot.

Color photography is about light [and getting it right]. Good motorcar photography is equally about perspective [which you preside over by following our camera-to-Cobra distance tips].
THE GOOD NEWS? No rocket science is required
 as you move from 'Done wrong' to 'Done right'.


RHSDONE RIGHT
   Same owner, same camera, same car
...
  but carefully following our tips.

For these shots, the camera-to-car distance range
 I recommend (page
12) is absolutely critical.









3/4-REAR SHOTS
 [Cobra Photography Tips for Dipsticks: 3/4-rear shotsChecklist Page 13] 
LHSDONE WRONG
 Typical untutored owner snapshot.
 3/4REAR SHOTS:
 TOO CLOSE = FAT BUTT 
 Applies even more to Daytona Coupes & GT40s.


RHSDONE RIGHT
   Same owner, same camera, same car
...
  but carefully following our tips.

For these shots, the 25 ft. (8 meter) camera-to-car distance [see p.13] is absolutely critical.











cellphone vs. digital camera
 [subtitle: Why we don't accept iPhone or iPad snapshots] 
 
 ON THE LEFT 
Snapshot captured by the owner
 with his iPhone.

 ON THE RIGHT 
 Same Cobra captured by the owner
 using his consumer-grade digicam.
 




There are several key reasons why you cannot use your iPhone to shoot your car:

  • It has a cheap, uncoated plastic lens [and a tiny one, at that]. The poor resolving quality of that plastic lens alone disqualifies your cellphone as a serious picture taker. As a fone, it's fine. As a camera, it's a toy.
      
  • The flashif your mobile phone has a flash—is so tiny that it's basically useless for your motorcar photography.
      
  • It has no zoom lens. Because those specified camera-to-car distances are [TRUST ME] absolutely vital for all your coachwork shots, your camera must have a [wide-angle to short-telephoto] zoom lens. With optical glass.
      
  • Excess JPEG compressionI call it "pixel puddle-ing"on these devices [cellphones, iPhones, iPads] and factory-set high ISO [light sensitivity] collude for even further degrading of each image.
 




'Cool Photographer'  vs. 'Cool Tips'   
 [subtitle: Why we wince when an owner tells us 'A good photographer friend shot my car for me!' ]        
 

    ON THE LEFT... 
(result: reeking roadkill rattlesnake)

all shot by a (self-styled) pro or advanced amateur photographer using his single-lens-reflex (DSLR) camera gear.

Neither of these pixel-harvesting prima donnas had ever before aimed a camera at a Shelby serpent. Yet each of them scornfully brushed aside the owner's repeated urgings to please take a look atand take advantage ofour Cobra Photography Tips.

IMHO, their resulting handiwork—a sampling of which you see belowwould scare a flock of starving buzzards from a rotting roadkill carcass. The moral: cool camera gear and an attitude do not a motorcar photographer make.

Trust me on this advice: Your "good photographer" will most likely ignore your urging that he/she talk to me before he aims his camera at your car. Not to worry: do the job yourself by following our tipswith whatever digital camera you possess. You'll wind up with far better pix of your serpent.
   


    ON THE RIGHT... 
(result: sleek roadway reptile)

all shot by the owner or a pal using a consumer-grade digital camera—but who carefully heeded our Cobra Photography Tips.

Bob Quanz [in New Mexico], had never used a camera in his entire life. But dismayed with those scary pictures (below, left) his photographer friend had taken of his blue & white Cobra, he unpacked the modest little Samsung TL-320 digicam he had received as a retirement gift. Then he followed our photo tips to the letter... and captured the drop-dead gorgeous photos you on the right. His serpent sold promptly... sight-unseen except for his photos... to a buyer over 2,000 miles away in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Precisely the same narrative with Avery's brown Arntz Cobra further down. His reptile sold sight-unseen as well... to a lucky buyer in Switzerland.

 ANY QUESTIONS? 

 










NO FLASH vs. FLASH
or if you prefer, "AUTO Flash" vs. "FORCED Flash"** 
 
 
 **aka "Fill Flash" and "Flash ON." [It's a pity the camera makers can't agree to standardize & simplify their terminology.]  
   
LHSDONE WRONG
 Typical owner snapshot, with his/her camera
  still set on the factory default "AUTO Flash."

RHSDONE RIGHT
  Same owner, same Cobra... but with his camera set
  on "FORCED Flash"
[aka "Fill Flash" aka "Flash ON"].





So in case you were wonderin' why our 'Cobra Photography Tips' booklet browbeats you (count 'em) 71 times
to use your flash [i.e., with your camera set on 'FORCED Flash']... there it is in living color, folks.

high ISO vs. low ISO
or if you prefer, "AUTO ISO" vs. "low ISO"** 
 
 
 **aka "light sensivity" and even "film speed." [Again... a pity the camera makers
can't agree to standardize & simplify their terminology.]  
   

'AUTO ISO' at 600
Camera set on the factory default "auto ISO";
the "auto" setting ratcheted the ISO for this
 photo up to an image-wrecking 600:

RESULT: TERMINAL CASE OF LEPROSY


ISO FIXED at 80
  This time the owner followed our advice and
selected the camera's lowest-available
 fixed ISO setting [in this case, 80]
:

RESULT: SMOOTH, SILKY COACHWORK


Our 'Cobra Photography Tips' booklet advises you to dial your camera off the factory-default "auto ISO"
and select a fixed low number. Now you can see how heeding that advice will pay you huge dividends.

FOOTNOTE: PIXEL MUTILATION

And last of all, below: On the LHS you see a closeup/blowup of a photo just as it came from a good digital camera; on the RHS is how that image appears after only one resave/recompression process. Note the wretched 'pixel puddling' in and around the Roush logo and along each high-contrast border.

This is why we counsel you to send us your JPEG photos precisely as your digital camera captured them... preferably at 2.5 to 4 megapixel size [i.e., a size range of roughly 1,800 to 2,600 pixels wide], with no cropping, no editing... and most of all, no "email resolution" downsizing by your email program. It's not the downsizing [reduction in megapixel count] that perpetrates the damage that occurs when you let your email program "down-pixel" your precious JPEGs; it's the pixel-wrecking JPEG recompression that occurs every single time you [or your email program or DropBox or GoogleDrive or Picasa or iPhoto] resave a photo that's in JPEG format.

 

You've no doubt heard (and repeated) the old cliché "A picture is worth a thousand words."
Sage advice for mugshots and aerial surveillance.
But for selling your Cobra
or Daytona Coupe or GT40 or GT350, that proverb should be revised to
 "One good photograph is worth a thousand birdcage-liner snapshots." 


  

 Here's a link to CobraCountry's Cobra Photography Tips manual:

Cobra Photography Tips


   

 If you're a professional photographer or an advanced amateur (prosumer)
photographer, this Policy Statement is for you. Fasten your seatbelts.


  
 
 
 
 

 If you arrived here from outside the CobraCountry megaplex,
here's a link to the home page:

www.CobraCountry.com

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