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08-22-2009, 07:25 PM   #1
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How do I do it well: Lime Rock classic car photography

I am planning on going to Lime Rock classic car races on Labor Day weekend. I have tried some classical car photography but don't really like my own results and want to try to get some suggestions for photographic composition. I will have my tripod and camera bag with some different lens. I want to try some panning of the races as well. There have been some good car photographs from races here in the past so hope I can get some good advice.

Any good sites or suggestions that I can review before I go?

here are some pictures from car shows this summer to show what I have tried but not overly impressed with:








Last edited by weatherwise2; 08-23-2009 at 06:17 AM. Reason: minor editing
08-23-2009, 09:44 AM   #2
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I have had many of the same issues with photographing cars at shows. I take a lot of pictures, but am generally disappointed with the results. Here are the issues from my perspective:
  • Poor access to the vehicles, particularly the interiors
  • The cars are often tightly packed in a line-up
  • Limited options for composition (see above)
  • Lighting is often difficult
  • Interference from other spectators
  • Limited control of backgrounds
  • Limited control of what shows in reflections
The last point is particularly bothersome. I swear that the same large woman in white pants and loud red/orange striped shirt is walking by behind me every time I attempt to photograph a chrome bumper or grill!

I wish I had some constructive suggestions, but it appears I am as stuck as you are. I will be interested to see what other forum members post.

Steve
08-23-2009, 10:11 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I have had many of the same issues with photographing cars at shows. I take a lot of pictures, but am generally disappointed with the results. Here are the issues from my perspective:
  • Poor access to the vehicles, particularly the interiors
  • The cars are often tightly packed in a line-up
  • Limited options for composition (see above)
  • Lighting is often difficult
  • Interference from other spectators
  • Limited control of backgrounds
  • Limited control of what shows in reflections
The last point is particularly bothersome. I swear that the same large woman in white pants and loud red/orange striped shirt is walking by behind me every time I attempt to photograph a chrome bumper or grill!

I wish I had some constructive suggestions, but it appears I am as stuck as you are. I will be interested to see what other forum members post.

Steve
You should do a series on reflections of people through chrome bumpers. Suddenly, by the laws of irony, there will be no people and you'll be free to shoot the cars' details.
08-23-2009, 10:38 AM   #4
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A lot really depends on what your looking for in the end result.

It may pay to just concentrate on one vehicle, that is different or contains the right qualities.

08-23-2009, 04:42 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by weatherwise2 Quote
Any good sites or suggestions that I can review before I go?
Get a copy of Light: Science and Magic

It has a chapter that deals with reflective items such as metal.

If you have the space, and the ability to, put up large white scrims that will fill up the reflections of the shiny metal and paint to give you a solid reflection instead of whatever scenery is behind or to the side of you.

If you are just wandering around, and not the official photographer, this may not be possible as the scrims would take up a lot of space and are intrusive.
08-23-2009, 06:59 PM   #6
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Weatherwise2 - I see we are practically neighbors. I presume you mean Lime RocK in my home state. I thought they only raced sports cars, didn't know they did classic cars. But the carburetors in your first shot don't look, "classic." They look hot-rod!

I don't know a thing about photographing cars. Good luck! Maybe I'll go to Lime Rock someday if they have classic cars.
08-24-2009, 05:48 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I agree half the time it is the crowds, etc.

I have found the book but haven't ordered yet.

Leo Yes it is the Lime Rock up int he NW corner of CT. They have clubs race many weekends and some of them are also with classics but on Labor Day weekend they have only classics racing on sat and Monday; never on Sunday there. Great track and always a lot of fun.
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