10 tips for the perfect car photo

Everyone who has anything to do with cars wants to snap the “perfect” car photo. Me too, but the road to the perfect photo is a long one!

This article will only cover a few basics. I myself know some of the basics, but I'm far from being a photo professional!

Photo Canon EOS 600D EFS10-22 - Peugeot RCZ
Photo Canon EOS 600D EFS10-22 - Peugeot RCZ
  • Photo object: Peugeot RZC
  • Camera: Canon EOS 600D
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22
  • Photo data: F / 4.5, 1 / 250 Sec, 10mm, ISO100

When it comes to taking pictures, some points play an important role. The car is funnily rather uninteresting. If you want to check behind the camera, you can do so with your mother's 10-year-old Ford.

My 10 tips are little more than a basic toolbox that can be helpful to you. To use the tool correctly, unfortunately you have to learn this first. So do not blame me if your photos are shitty despite top camera. Because that too exists. Even an extremely good camera does not guarantee good photos, when behind the lens is a Vollhonk on werkeln.

Good luck 😉

10.) Search

mbshoutout - Photo by fuenfkommasechs.de
mbshooutout - Photo by fuenfkommasechs.de

Keep your eyes open and ask
The talent for good photos is given to many people. If you search the net, you will always find new talents. The photo above, for example, comes from the Mercedes-Benz Instagram channel and was shot during the mb Shootout! by the user five point six recorded.

If you want to find out the story behind the photo, contact the photographer. Usually people are always ready to tell the stories behind a photo. So - click out into the world and look for your role models. I have already summarized a few suggestions at the end of the article.

9.) Reasonable equipment

Lowepro Pro Roller X 200 SLR Camera Case

One of the first acquisitions was this photo trolley from Lowepro. An ingenious part. Enough space for up to two DSLR and additional lenses. I still pack a lot of other gadgets in this trolley. Especially clever: The photo backpack is in a suitcase trolley frame. If you take this out, you basically have two pockets. A backpack and a trolley. In addition, the processing of the whole suitcase is just perfect. Here the Amazon link. [These are affiliate links, if you get to Amazon and order the case there, I'll collect a commission. So much for transparency. And no, you can not finance a blog in this way!]

And why does a suitcase belong to the topic of sensible equipment?

Because a good suitcase is like a good assistant. He'll keep things safe for you, he'll help you transport all the scraps, and he'll protect your equipment from dirt and defects. So. Do not save on the suitcase.

To the cameras

Samsung NX1100
Samsung NX1100

For Instagram, there may be many situations where an iPhone or other smartphone is quite sufficient. And there are really some real iPhone photo talents. For example, Heike von koeln format, On their instagram channel it's just so full of really good iPhone images.

But then you need a little more technology for the “great shit”. And I have listed here what I am currently grappling with.

  • EOS 1Dx
  • EOS 600D
  • Samsung NX1100

Samsung NX 100 digital camera

The little one Samsung NX1100 has become my “on the road again” camera. I was just tired of always taking a large suitcase with me just to have all the equipment with me. So when I travel to a new car today, the NX1100 will be there with me. And the photos aren't as bad as this one shows:

Ford Tourneo 18 Connect Van 2014

Photo: Ford Tourneo Driving Presentation | Ford Tourneo 05 Connect Van 2014

But this one from the new Peugeot RCZ-R comes from the world of Samsung's small system camera:

Peugeot sport 02 RCZ R 2014

Photo: Driving Presentation Peugeot RCZ-R | The Peugeot RCZ-R in the Lake Alps

At Amazon, this system camera currently costs around € 265 - and anyone who does not yet have a Christmas gift will be happy with it. For the beginning.

For the system camera, the size, the weight, the easy handling and, in the case of the Samsung NX, the possibility to send the photos via WiFi directly to the mobile phone.

The EOS 600D

The 18 megapixel camera was my second DSLR. Now before Christmas, the price has fallen from 649 € to 455 € (Amazon). Just two years ago, I paid a little more for it. I decided for the 600D, because of the combination of handy size (for a DSLR), the 19 megapixel resolution and above all, because of the swiveling display.

Canon Eos 600D

If you want to try your hand at being a videographer, you can also use the 600D for filming. In contrast to the following Canon EOS 1Dx, the 600D is suitable for “beginners”. Thanks to a “Scene Intelligent Auto Mode”, the 600D produces an attractive result in the majority of shooting situations.


Today I mainly use the 600D together with the 10-22 mm super wide-angle lens from Canon. This allows the interior of cars to scan in full width, as in this example photo:

EOS 600D super wide angle

The Canon EF-S 10-22mm

Canon EF s10-22

ProTipp: Just look at the waiting time of the self-timer is set, then you get a photo without the own Visage!

The big deal - EOS 1Dx

I've only recently been in business with the EOS 1Dx. The large Canon is aimed at professional photographers who want to work below the Hasselblad and Co. price range. When I took these pictures in the Mercedes-Benz photo studio during the days, there was already a 1Dx from the Daimler home and yard photographer on a tripod. That should be enough of a statement. My photo of the new C-class was also created with the 1Dx.

Mercedes C-Class Eos 1DX
Mercedes C-Class Eos 1DX

Aperture: F16 | Exposure: 1 / 30 Sec | Iso: 100 | Focal length: 24mm | Evaluative

Welcome, Baby:

Canon EOS 1Dx Canon EOS 1Dx mounted on tripod

Canon 1Dx

On site, I was glad about the professional photographer, because he knew blind how to set the camera correctly. I'm still struggling with the 1Dx at the moment and I'm starting to get used to the possibilities. So far, I have only understood correctly: This beast is still far above my own photo talents settled. Raw facts? Iso to 51.200. 14 images the second in high-speed mode. 61 measuring fields for autofocus. 2 CF Card Slots. Magnesium housing. 1,34 kilogram weight.

Those who do not want to be brutally frustrated as a beginner, should go into the category of camera a few classes deeper.

My advice:

The Canon EOS 6D

Photo: Amazon website
Photo: Amazon website

The 6D is a DSLR with 20.2 megapixel and a full-frame sensor. (Advantage of a full-format sensor please read here.) And in contrast to the Canon EOS 1Dx, the 6D still has “automatic programs” - that is, aids for the less experienced photographer. The ability to automatically use the right settings for “best photos” for different situations. With the 1Dx, the photographer on the shutter release is the tool. And I can tell you - if you don't take photos for work, you are initially completely overwhelmed with the really big thing.

Photo pleasure quickly turns into photo frustration. So - start “small”.

I will come back to the lenses separately in another section. In addition, there will soon be a “The Autoblogger has this in the suitcase” special. Let's see if I can not only look into my equipment case, but also other bloggers.

8.) The "Rule of Thirds"

One of the greatest aids for a beautiful photo effect is the “rule of thirds”. Here you divide the photo into 9 areas. Vertically and horizontally, this should always correspond to a third of the total length.

Third Rule Photo Sample Perfect Image

The “rule of thirds” says: The photographed object and thus the subject of the photo should be in the middle of one of the four intersection points. As you can see, my photo is the des CLA 45 AMG is more badly right after this rule. The sporty Swabian is too close to the edge. Both on the right and at the bottom of the picture. As I said, practice, practice, practice.

7.) Imagery - “Which language?”

Which focal length? Which section? What should be spicy? What is out of focus? What should the picture end up saying? Does the background fit? Does the car blur against the background? Or are you doing the 100.000 photo of a car in the vineyards? What exactly do you want to show?

Fiat Panda 10 tips for the perfect car photo

In this picture a Fiat Panda is parked in the forest. If it were a normal Fiat Panda, it would be completely inappropriate. The Fiat Panda is a city car after all. But, this is a 4 × 4 panda. The all-wheel drive version belongs in the woods. I completely forgot the “rule of thirds” again. Instead, I wanted to take pictures as deep as possible over the leafy and muddy forest floor in this picture. So the panda appears “bigger” and the picture should say: “Look, here in the forest - on mud and mud - I am one of the big ones".

You will not always find an image idea that you can implement so that everyone understands it - I am still working on it.

6.) Do not take pictures of cars in parking bays

There are good snapshots. For sure. But behind the really good photos is often a lot of work. A good car photo is seldom made in passing after parking the car in a parking bay. Search deliberately for photo locations. Think about how the light has to be there. When is the best time.

G-class photo tips

And choose the “frame” for your photo! As in this case. The blurred stone wall forms the frame and the contrast for the G-Class from Mercedes.

5.) Use a tripod

Use tripod when taking pictures

A tripod is part of the basic equipment when photographing. Do not take the cheapest, you'll only be annoyed if you really need it. Whether it is a long exposure, or the correct placement when using the self-timer. A sensible tripod is important.  Amazon tip [click]

4.) Try the long exposure

Once you have a tripod, you should play around with long exposures. Without additional light sources and flash systems, you will have to turn up the exposure times in poor lighting conditions. Whether out of compulsion or out of “artistic” freedom.

3.) Play with external light sources

G63 external light source

The lettering of the Mercedes G-Class was the focus of this photo. The photo location was an underground car park and the side line of the G model is already illuminated with external spots. So that the lettering doesn't get completely lost in the shadow, I illuminated it with an LED spot. In addition, the chrome cover on the spare wheel reflects the light source and creates an additional reflex. This was my first attempt with “external” light sources. One LED battery spot you get at AMAZON for little money. An external flash system with enough power, however, is significantly more expensive. For the beginner and for "playing" such an LED spot does it.

2.) Bring movement into your photos

VLN 6 Std Manthey Porsche nose up

The photo of the “hopping” Manthey Porsche during a VLN race comes from the EOS600D. The aperture was at F / 8, the ISO at 100 and the exposure time is 1/125 of a second.

Often you read, the shutter speed should be twice the speed of the moving object and the aperture somewhere between F / 11 and F / 16. My previous experience says only: Use a damn good lens, stand safe, but free and rotate smoothly with the object.

1.) Be particularly inventive and not lazy!

Photo Top 10 tips

You have to practice a lot to get the perfect photo. You have to find new perspectives, develop new ideas and think about what your picture should actually say? At the beginning, these are all very theoretical questions - but with every day and with every photo your experience increases.
In summary, this means:

Practice, practice, practice and always look over the shoulders of people who take really good photos - my tips are:

[The links to Amazon are affiliate links, if you get to Amazon and order there the article, I collect a commission. So much for transparency. And no, you can not finance a blog in this way!]
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