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Tips for Taking Pictures at an Outdoor Car Show

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With summer on the horizon, outdoor car shows are popping up in nearly every town. You’ll find classic cars, sports cars, trucks, and everything in between. And with the world of social media — or if you’re part of an automotive site like ours — you’ll probably want to get some great pictures.

Here are some tips for getting the best photos possible at an outdoor car show.


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Be conscious of the sun

The summer sun is brutal, and it can interfere with capturing the perfect photograph. Photographers will often tell you the best light for outdoor photos is a bright overcast, but unfortunately, none of us have control over the weather. However, you do have control over what time you attend. If it’s a morning show, try and arrive as early as possible; do the opposite for evening shows. You want the sun to be low in the sky to avoid harsh shadows.

Go with the flow

If the sun is beating down on the car, don’t panic. While it’s not the most ideal situation in the world, you can use the sun to your advantage. Be conscious of its reflections, shadows, and glares in your photo. Try and angle the picture so the sun’s reflection is an accent in your photo rather than a distraction. If you can’t seem to get to the right spot for your ideal picture, consider a different angle. Don’t be afraid to take close-up photos or try something new; that’s what photography is all about.


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Wear dark clothing

Before owners bring their cars to the show, they’ll likely give it a solid wash and wax. As a result, you’ll probably see your own reflection in the paint. Try to wear dark or neutral clothing to the event to reduce your reflection as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to use a post-production program to edit your photos if you do end up a ghost in the car’s photo.

Ask permission

Unless you’re at a nationwide event like the Chicago Auto Show, most of the vehicles at a car show are privately owned. Be respectful of the owners — who are probably standing right next to the car. Ask permission before you touch, enter, or photograph the vehicle.


Sources: Picture Correct, Photo Focus