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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Transportation
Thread started 14 Jul 2008 (Monday) 10:57
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MOVE YOUR FEET! A <rant> of sorts.

 
PhotosGuy
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Jul 14, 2008 10:57 |  #1

Many times we're guilty of "Target Fixation" & all we "see" is what is right in front of us as we fly our image into the ground-air interface.
Fighter pilots are taught to scan from near to far, to see that the kill zone is clear, & then to look at threats outside the kill zone. You need to learn to do that too, & not get caught in the target fixation trap.

How does that apply to cars? How many times have you seen a shot with a light pole sticking out of the roof? Or someones white t-shirt & knobby knees reflected in the side? How about a big white parking permit hanging from the mirror? And while a group of trees might make a nice background, one or two growing out of the body are a distraction that's easily avoided.

I try to take a shot of possible locations when I see them. This doesn't look like the most inviting location for a car shot, does it? But if your objective is to make a car, or anything else, look good instead of a "Car in Landscape" or "Car in Cool Environment" shot, just how much background do you really need?
I used it for these shots: UBNXOUS Beast! part #2.

IMAGE: http://photography-on-the.net/stuff/photosguy/15-Ryan-SWcorner_0797.jpg

The other night the sun had set & I decided to put my (filthy) Malibu into this location I'd saved, to make the point to look before you shoot.
Move the car. Look at what the light is doing in the hood & the side. Take a shot of each view if you have to to help you remember the light on it & the reflections, both good & bad that you see there.

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NOTICE the reflection from the sunset in the rear quarter of the body below. Compare that with the shots above.
You'll get the best reflections in the body if you angle it to pick up the brightest area of the sky. This is especially important in light colored cars that don't have the contrast of a dark body to show the reflections.

There was a tree (to the left of the first shot) reflecting into the hood when I first parked, so I MOVED THE CAR to the right. Seems simple, doesn't it?

IMAGE: http://photography-on-the.net/stuff/photosguy/15-Ryan-SWcorner_0567.jpg

This was after the move. Notice that the reflections in the side look better, too.

What do you see wrong with it now?

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FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
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PhotosGuy
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Jul 14, 2008 10:57 |  #2

I thought I'd try to hide the cars in the background so I MOVED MY FEET to the right a few feet & both the reflections in the side & the background looked a lot better. See the difference?

If I really wanted the angle in #2 I'd have MOVED THE CAR again. Pretty simple, right?

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FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1280 pixels on any side.

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PhotosGuy
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Jul 14, 2008 10:57 |  #3

Image #4
Just some minor PS work: I darkened the headlights & the highlights in the side a little. Warmed up the highlights in the side, hood, & windows.
How did I do that? See post #9: Airport runway shoot

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Image #5
Cloning of some of the distractions in the background. A little more work near the parking light & in the bumper wouldn't hurt.
EDIT: A cleaned up & re-cropped image to put more attention on the car is in post #30.

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BIG NOTES!
At no time did I use a CP (Circular Polarizer) for these shots.
At no time did I use a flash for these shots.

Same location: If you can come up with a more dramatic car, & wait for the "late light", you should be able to come up with a more dramatic car image, right?

IMAGE: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v218/PhotosGuy/UBNXOUS%20Beast/83-Camaro-Z28-ProStreet-Jim_TreeBKG.jpg

FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1280 pixels on any side.

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PhotosGuy
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Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by PhotosGuy. 2 edits done in total.
Jul 14, 2008 10:57 |  #4

Now a word about the "Creative framing" we see here in the forum. Why? Does it really make the car look better?
I have no objection to tilting the image if that's what you like, and if it really does improve the image, but with a straight image, which of these images below look better? Isn't making the subject look better the point of learning about photography? ;)

OTOH, if your intent is to disturb the viewer, then it's an accepted technique & I would only use it if that was the emotion I needed to portray, or what the client was paying for.

FlyingPhotog: Something many beginners forget is "Lead Space" for moving vehicles...

If you're panning with a car or shooting someone running or riding a bike, it helps the brain make the connection that the subject is in motion if you leave a little more room in front of your subject than behind it.

So, everyone has their own "vision" of what the results should be. The person who's paying me gets to make the rules. I'll always include some shots that illustrate the way that I "see" the job being done. They can use them, or not, but I try to deliver more than I contracted for.
If I'm not being paid, then I shoot to satisfy myself. Consider "Rules" as guides that usually hold true. OTOH, you do have a brain. Sometimes you learn more by breaking them.

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
-- Ansel Adams

Photography Composition Articles (external link) TONS of info here.
There's a link in there to a Composition Adjuster: This is a really neat Java app that will show your image with various "Rules" applied to it.
http://photoinf.com ...Composition-Adjuster.html (external link)

Image #6, below.
This shot was cropped this way for a reason, to show both cars, and...
Do you notice that the car looks longer in that crop? Most people are satisfied with the proportion of the frame that the camera gives them. But what's "right"? 5X7? 8X10? 8X12? 4X10?
My short answer is to crop to the important elements of the image, not to some arbitrary paper size, & then use a mat to cover the "excess" space in the frame. A mat & frame also help isolate the image from the usual white walls that they're hung on, & can make a big difference in how it looks. Take a look at POST #30 near the bottom: The gray bar at the center is the same density all the way across.
A few Car Lighting Tips

Composition Articles library (external link)

Understanding Aspect Ratios and The Art of Cropping (external link)

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Image #7-9
But what about these? Only going by where the car is placed in the frame, does one of the crops look better than the others?

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Did you notice that in Crop # 1: It's running into the frame of the image. What is it about that crop that some of you guys like so much? We almost never used it unless a art director needed room for text.
Crop # 2: Static. No apparent feeling of motion. OK for your grandmother's car maybe?
Crop # 3: Dynamic. Room for it to "move into" the frame.

Any questions?

FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1280 pixels on any side.

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PhotosGuy
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Jul 14, 2008 10:57 |  #5

A few links, for that one person who hasn't see them yet. ;)

A few Car Lighting Tips - Updated

This shows how the subject can affect the exposure & why manual keeps me worry free:
Post #47

Thread on manual exposure. First set the f-stop & shutter speed you need. Then adjust the ISO.
Need an exposure crutch?

COMMON MISTAKES WHEN SHOOTING A CARexternal link

Keep reading. There's more info below.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1280 pixels on any side.

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cdifoto
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Jul 14, 2008 11:05 |  #6

is that a replacement fender or just the angle? looks to have a different finish compared to the doors. (on your malibu)


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cdifoto
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Jul 14, 2008 11:07 |  #7

of the hot rod pics, the first one looks best. you took out the honey in green from the others. :D


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PhotosGuy
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Jul 14, 2008 11:17 |  #8

is that a replacement fender or just the angle?

Besides needing a wash, it's as it came from GM, so it's the angle of the light in the first shots. I may have darkened that fender in images #3-4 when I warmed up the side, though.

you took out the honey in green from the others.

I just KNEW someone would say that! :D


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1280 pixels on any side.

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aridan
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Jul 14, 2008 11:20 |  #9

I prefer 9 the best, but while you at it, I'd also clone out the pole that *almost* grows out of the hood.

I have this urgent need to get rid of poles and powerlines ;)


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PhotosGuy
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Jul 14, 2008 11:22 |  #10

I'd also clone out the pole that grows out of the hood.
I have this urgent need to get rid of poles and powerlines

I expected that, too. I wonder where you get that compulsion from?


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1280 pixels on any side.

LOG IN TO REPLY
pjfrad
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Jul 14, 2008 11:23 |  #11

I think 7 is best because it doesn't have the back of the red car on the left side.

Peter


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cdifoto
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Jul 14, 2008 11:24 |  #12

Better kill the cross too.


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aridan
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Jul 14, 2008 11:24 |  #13

PhotosGuy wrote in post #5908710external link
I expected that, too. I wonder where you get that compulsion from?

I have good mentors... :D


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mlav
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Jul 14, 2008 12:43 |  #14

You forgot to clone out the parking lines! :)

I am driving myself insane now with the background and parking lot defects. With spare time being reduced on a daily basis, I keep adding more time to the PP work for each photo. Cracks in the blacktop, light posts in the background, parking stripes...where does it all end?!? :)


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Jamie ­ Holladay
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Jul 14, 2008 14:07 |  #15

Hot rod shots:
the second one looks better to me. The first and third look a bit over sharpened. The light pole does not bother me as much as the cross looking like it is growing out of the hood.

Great Thread Frank!


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