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06-05-2008, 10:45 PM   #1
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Some ideas to photograph small venues car shows with your Pentax DSLR

I am not sure about all Countries in the world, but here in America, it seems like every town has regular car shows. I'm not talking about a three day event, inside a coliseum, with a steep admission fee. I'm talking about local shows, involving local car enthusiasts and usually held in a parking lot of a restaurant or along the Main street, and free for all. It's a place where everyone can go and admire all the work some guys have done to their car, antique car, roadster, Pick-up truck, etc.

We have several of these shows each week where I live and since we are along the path of the old "Route 66", it's even more prominent around this region. Every Thursday night, in the parking of "Farmer Boys" restaurant, people gather to look at the restored old cars and customized cars and trucks. Usually, there is music supplied by local talents. It's a place for owners to show their beloved machine and a place for everyone to admire them.

There is something about the love of automobiles in the heart of all Americans. It seems that most like to photograph cars. One problem I found in these car shows is that it is difficult to photograph the cars without having someone in your way, or having a cluttered background, or the cars being too close together. About two or three weeks ago, I went to the show with my K20D and brought two lenses; the DA 10-17mm and the DA 16-45mm. Most of the pictures I took were with the DA 10-17mm lens. It allowed me to get very close to each car, and by getting very low to the ground, I was able to isolate the cars successfully. Some of the pictures were just a portion of a car, but easily recognizable.

I think that one of the biggest mistakes that photographers do, including me, is that we don't get close enough to our subjects. Sometimes, we are so far from our subjects that it becomes hard for someone else to look at our pictures and recognize what is the actual main subject. When I take my time and really think what the picture I'm about to take should be entitled, or what message or story it should convey to the viewers, I find that I am more successful. So, for this kind of events, get close, think about what the picture should be entitled, ask yourself if the image in your viewfinder will convey the intended message or story to the viewers, and if the answer is yes… click! If the answer is uncertain, move to a different location or angle. If you just shoot at random, you may still get good pictures. However, you might even surprise yourself at what message the pictures convey, and it might not be even close to what you intended it to be. Simplicity is also a key to good photographs.

This is just my way to photograph. I am not trying to be condescending to anyone. Some like my pictures, and some don't. The important thing is...go out there and take some pictures.

P.S. The last picture just jumped in from nowhere!

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

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Last edited by ebooks4pentax; 06-05-2008 at 10:51 PM.
06-05-2008, 11:48 PM   #2
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The only issue with fisheyes is the distortion, which can be fixed in Bridge, ptlens, etc.

I used my 28mm for one show I did. Next time, I'll use my "newer" 24-50 or a 20mm if I get one. The 16mm will come along for those shots I don't want to "de-fish."

But I agree...use a shorter focal length and get closer, or people will walk into the picture, turn, look at you, then go ooops and walk away, even though their scared look has already been captured
06-06-2008, 02:45 PM   #3
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Cool shots, and good inspiration. I need to constantly remind myself to get closer.

You can also get close with a longer lens, and capture a portion of the subject. I've tried unsuccessfully, but I've seen it done well, so I'll keep working on it.

Thanks for the post.
06-06-2008, 03:14 PM   #4
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It's very tempting to try and capture the whole car, which I do as a matter of 'record' and sometimes, if the background etc is good. as a keeper. But with classic and restored cars the detail can be the main event.

I know people who have spent hours, weeks, crafting a part out of a lump of scrap metal, the intention is to make that part indistinguishable from the original.
We might never know which part it is, but the passion that goes into these restored cars is immense, and I think that a photographer who records small details captures that passion.

06-06-2008, 05:27 PM   #5
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I am missing from the wide end myself .... and I'd love to get something in the 10-20mm especially for shows as sometimes they pack the cars in like sardines.

At the moment I have my kit lens that is my widest ... and it's OK ... btu not the best for those perfectly detailed shots ... I have had to resort to it though to at least get the shot in.

My widest decent lens though is my Sigma 28-70mm ... but I ahve found 28mm just isn't wide enough sometimes.

I do agree though with the detail shots ... I have used my FA50 at shows and I found this is quite good for the detail work ... and for some of the longer shots as well.
06-06-2008, 05:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mechan1k Quote
I am missing from the wide end myself .... and I'd love to get something in the 10-20mm especially for shows as sometimes they pack the cars in like sardines.

At the moment I have my kit lens that is my widest ... and it's OK ... btu not the best for those perfectly detailed shots ... I have had to resort to it though to at least get the shot in.

My widest decent lens though is my Sigma 28-70mm ... but I ahve found 28mm just isn't wide enough sometimes.

I do agree though with the detail shots ... I have used my FA50 at shows and I found this is quite good for the detail work ... and for some of the longer shots as well.
the pentax car is great

not mant car shows down here. the main one in march, and then Autosalon twice a year. i may go to the next one, may not...
06-06-2008, 05:55 PM   #7
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I am finding there are more and more shows about that I don't know about ... speak to "Distorted Vision" on here ... he's a Vic car nut and op photographer .. he will be able to tell you about upcoming shows and the like ... I am find there are a lot of different hot rod shows lately ... and other car meets as well.

I am looking to head to All Ford Day again at Warwick Farm (couple of thousand cars outside) ... and the Wagga All Ford day as well as that's meant to be pretty large as well.

I haven't been to Autosalon in ages as I find it gets way too packed inside and there's literally any room to even walk anywhere.
06-06-2008, 11:03 PM   #8
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Great post and photos K10Dbook!

Thanks for sharing.

c[_]

06-07-2008, 03:55 AM   #9
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Thanks very much for posting your photos. If you establish an online album with more car photos, I'd be grateful to have access. Thanks again, and best wishes, from another photographer of cars.
06-07-2008, 04:54 AM   #10
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That PENTAX CAR is pathetic!!

QuoteOriginally posted by nakey Quote
the pentax car is great .
[RANT]That PENTAX CAR is pathetic!! Not to hijack the post or anything, but if that is the level of involvement that Pentax is putting forth at any event where Kodak has such a huge display and we have a local RENT-A-BOBCAR with some media stickers on it, that is absolutely embarrassing!!! I could only imagine how big the other manufacturer displays were. That really pisses me off. [/RANT]
06-07-2008, 07:58 PM   #11
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Nice shots!!

I am a beetle fan myself and I happen to come across this car show sometime ago.
I would like to share some shots taken. One of the comments I received about these images is that the pics are taken "without reason". I think what he meant is "without a theme" Anyway, I like the images myself

Attachment 13570
Taken with Tamron 28-75/f2.8

Attachment 13571
Taken with DA14/f2.8

Attachment 13572
Taken with Tamron 28-75/f2.8

Last edited by raider; 02-07-2012 at 06:34 AM.
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