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Beginner Photography: Cars

Hey guys! I don’t know anything about cars, but I know that my Honda Accord wouldn’t cut it for a compelling photo. So I did what every socially anxious lady in a city wants to do, walked around my neighborhood looking for aesthetically pleasing cars and hoping no one thought I was a stalker.

Oh! And I have a real camera to use. T&C sent me an Olympus E-M10 with a little Lumix 14-42mm lens. It is such a cute, manageable little camera, I look forward to shooting with it more.

Thankfully T&C have a video on shooting at a car show, which was helpful for shooting in the busy environment of a city street. You can watch that tutorial here. I used a low aperture to focus close and blur my background, focused on interesting shapes and forms, and went black and white when I needed to declutter the background. Here’s what I came up with!


I did some basic edits to adjust the exposure and converted it to B&W to keep focus on the car and not on the background


Something about this shot doesn’t quite do it for me. The shapes are nice, I like the shadows on the hood, but it’s not quite compelling enough.


This one strikes me a little better, but maybe I just don’t like cars?


I missed focus on the Mustang logo, but I liked this license plate repping my neighborhood


I wish I had a bit more subject matter to work with, I would have loved to find a car with interesting colors, or to be able to shoot an interior. I think I did okay with what I had though. Next time I’ll have to try out some HDR or bone up on my post processing skills to really make these pop.

I could try to shoot in harder light to get more shine off the cars, I went out at the golden hour, which is good for most things, but not cars! You want that gleam. I could have also taken a bit more risk, getting lower and closer to shoot at better angles, and from the street to get different backgrounds. I was a little tentative about looking like a weirdo in my neighborhood. But do what you can to get the best shot!

I’m going to watch the tutorial for my camera again to master my settings. I used touch to focus on the live view screen, but I wish I’d been able to focus more accurately.

How’d I do? What could I have done differently? Let me know in the comments below. See you for the live show on cars this week!