5 angles to photograph your car – Melbourne Car Photographer

Hi, it’s Michael from Nishimachi Photography, and I’ve got recommendations of five key angles to photograph your car. To illustrate, I’m using a 1987 Nissan Skyline GTS-X. It has classic 1980’s design with its squared-off angles and boxy shape, but these angles will apply to any car you want to photograph.

  1. The side profile of the car is very important. It’ll show you any trim lines or creases in the panel work but also show you the proportion of the wheels to the body work, the cabin, the front and rear quarters. I’ve shot this deliberately so these two trees are lined up nicely in front and at the rear of the car. I’ve also made sure that I’ve crouched down so that I’m shooting directly at the side of the car so i’m not looking down at it or looking up at it.
Side profile of 1987 Nissan Skyline GTS-X
Side profile of a 1987 Nissan Skyline GTS-X. Taken in Marysville, Victoria.

2. The rear quarter is very important because it gives you the proportions of the rear of the car to the side of the car. It shows the taillights of the vehicle which is an important feature. I’ve taken this in a few different situations as examples:

  • lining up with trees and the sunlight
  • taking a big step back to fit in some of the scene but also make sure that I get the tail lights in the shot
  • the taillights are iconic to the Skyline so I wanted to make sure they shine through.

The rear quarter shots as you can see in these examples below, are very important to illustrate the proportion of the rear of the car to the side profile of the car.

3. The front quarter of the car does the same in terms of showing the front of the car in relation to the side of the car, and it can also give it an aggressive look.

Car photos are usually taken in landscape orientation, but you should also experiment with portrait orientation to take in the scenery. The examples below illustrate the height of the trees with the car. In these other example shots, I’ve taken a step back to frame the car proportionate to the rest of the frame, then stepping even further back to really incorporate a lot of the scene.

4. The front-on shot is important to shoot at the right proportions. You don’t want to crouch down too low because you make the car look too far off the ground. If you’re too high up, you won’t actually see the front of the car very well and you won’t be able to illustrate the front bumper bar or any details you’ve got in the shot.

5. The rear of the car is also important to show things like the tail light arrangement the badging and also anything like the boot lid. Think about the details you might want to highlight and include the scenery to give it a perspective. Highlight any of the key features of the car by getting up close to show the badging and the tail lights. Use different focal ranges to produce a different perspective. Such as being close with a wide angle of 24mm, or stepping back with a length of 70mm.

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