Shooting Cars

I’m not really into cars – well not in the sense of talking about engines and cylinder heads down the pub. If mine starts in the morning that’s all I need to know about it.

Morgan + Lensbaby plastic lens + barely perceptible chromatic aberration

However, cars do offer a real opportunity for some creative shooting. Some talented designer has spent months getting the perfect body shapes and colours.  A looked after car has nice glossy paint, shiny glass and chrome so  should look gorgeous. Even a  rusty wreck should look good too.

Rusty Wreck

So here are my best attempts so far – though it must be said I don’t find shooting cars that easy. Modern cars didn’t work that well, so these are all old ‘classics’. Don’t ask me what make/model they are – apart from the Jaguar, Morgan and the Jeep I haven’t a clue.

First a few shot on Agfaphoto APX100 developed in Rodinal 1+50 which gives it’s usual nice mid tones.

Jeep Steering Wheel

Another steering wheel on a military vehicle

APX100 toned in DXO filmpack

Just a wing mirror but a nice abstract

Don’t know what this is but it makes another nice abstract.

Second set is from some 1950s/60s cars, shot on the Lensbaby and run through the Canon 60D’s ‘Toy Camera’ creative filter. Other than these shots the creative filters haven’t been used that much, but it seems to work here.

Next a simple shot of a Jaguar headlight – can’t mess around with a classic.

And finally one from inside my car using the image in the side view mirror – just to be contrary.

As always these are taken for the book cover market, and all comments, critiques and questions are welcome.

Hope you like them and they give you some creative ideas for your photography.

I really must think of a better way to finish each article!


7 thoughts on “Shooting Cars

      • I only have a few photos with them. Compared to Alamy their acceptance criteria are more stringent (I have had several images rejected). On the ability to sell they are just ahead of Alamy, which isn’t saying much as I have not sold anything with Alamy and only a couple of dollars worth with Shutterstock.

        Maybe my approach is lacking something – keywords, volume?

        What’s your experience?

      • A couple of friends who are Alamy suppliers had the same experience. Keywords and volumes certainly seem to be vital to making any sort of income from stock. I just wish I was better at keywording!

        ‘Rights Managed’ stock seems more reasonable in terms of returns, as well as being at a smaller agency – Arcangel have been excellent by the way. It always seemed like my pictures would get ‘lost’ in the huge volumes of images at the big agencies (33 million at Alamy!).
        I also tried Photographers Direct years ago but dealing direct with the buyers took a lot of time for the amounts they were prepared to pay.

        If you haven’t already maybe have a look at – it’s all the registered UK stock agencies.

        Just started working on selling prints at a local art gallery but it’s slow going…

        Good luck whatever route you try!

      • Thanks for this, I have also now read your page on Rights Managed Stock. I might have a look at Arcangel as well. Interestingly I have recently been researching the cost of mount-board etc with a view to selling a few at local craft fairs etc.

        Good luck with the art gallery sales.


    • Thanks – I’d never really thought of cars having a personality, though now you mention it the headlights and grile are like a face.
      As always your images are some of the best!

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