Michael Alan Ross is an icon in automotive photography with, ahem, decades of experience behind the lens. In a recent live-stream Q&A with the folks at PCA he sat down to provide some creative insight into what it takes to create a quality photograph of your car. Your Porsche deserves the best, right? You wouldn’t want to show it to your friends if it wasn’t meticulously washed and waxed, so why would you want to show it off in a photograph that is improperly lit or uses the incorrect settings?
As they say in the video, clicking the shutter button is barely ten percent of the photo taking process. Ninety percent of a photograph is setting the shot up for incredible result. Look for reflections, look for perspective, and look for composition issues before making it final. For example, make sure the wheels are pointed away from the camera so you don’t see the face of the tire in your photo. Make sure there aren’t signs or light poles or trees “growing” out of the top of the car.
You’ve really got to learn to engage your viewer, make sure your image is truly the focus of the photo. It’s not an easy thing to learn, and much of that is learned through experience. Personally, I don’t think of myself as a great photographer, but I’ve had a lot of experience working with great photographers and I’ve learned a few ways to gain some excitement in my pictures. By taking instruction from folks like MAR, you can learn to take great shots of your car. Watch this and it’ll get you on your way.
So now you know *what* to do, but it’s just as important to learn what *not* to do. That’s where my friend Kevin McCauley comes in. A Porsche owner in Texas, Kevin has a lot of experience working with lighting and structure. Here are some great tips from him on things to avoid when shooting your car.