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#BrightSquare: Four Tips to Take and Create Better Car Show Photos

#BrightSquare Day #26

And if you have not yet joined in with squares, why not join us today. All I ask is that your image has 4 equal sides, and that it reflects the theme of bright.. You can visit our square galleries for inspiration.

Becky B.

Becky is gone for a few days, but she will be back to checking your posts. If you are new to participating in the squares challenge.

#Prescott Car Show #7 Mostly Orange

Today is mishmash day in this series of car show photos. I will also address techniques I’ve learned for taking more professional looking car show photos – or sometimes in my case – what not to do.

Look don’t touch

It’s always a good idea to take CLEAR pictures of the identification cards or record shots. In this case, I was just browsing not photographing a car show professionally. They had attached the card by placing it under the windshield wiper. Since the owner was not present, I couldn’t touch the car to get a better view. If you get too close, you could scratch it with your coat zipper or an extra camera. Vince estimated that it was a late 1930s Plymouth.

Take a record shot

My dad always told me to take pictures of signs if there were any. There weren’t any signs on this car that I saw, but I had never heard of a Henry J car, so I took the picture. I could have straightened the sign a little, but I liked the tilt.

Cropping Rules

How do you treat photos that might be better uncropped when you meet the criteria of the square’s challenge?

My Canon Rebel EOS XTIi camera may have a way to shoot a square picture, but I haven’t found it. These photos are all squared in Photoshop Elements 15, which I was fortunate enough to be able to load back into my new computer because I saved the serial number.

The conservationist part of me hates to cut either back or front ends. Who knows which is most important? In the case of this first photo, I decided mostly by size and proliferation of color in the front. The interest in the split front window also influenced my decision. Besides, I already had a picture of the back.

When I crop car pictures, or even focus on a smaller part of the car, I’ve learned that closer is better. I loved the ghosted Plymouth name on the side of the car. Because I got so close to the car, in the crop I had to eliminate some of the other decorative painting when I squared it.

Of course, you can’t get a picture of the entire car in a super close up shot. In this picture the entire painted section shows up. As pretty as the painting is, if I hadn’t taken the close up shot, I would have missed the ghost painting.

I got lucky on this photo and didn’t have to chop anything. The poles annoy me a little. If this was a professional photo I’d get rid of it. In Photoshop and Elements 2021 it is easy to get rid of poles, but I haven’t tried it in Elements 15. The sky is beautiful in this picture because of the direction in which I took the picture. If it hadn’t been, there are quick edits in the 2021 Photoshop Elements program to quickly change it.

In this photo I decided that the detail in the 56 Chevy door was more important than having two headlights in the square. I wanted to keep both front bumperettes in the picture, and it worked out perfectly.

I love woodies. This old surfer dude dressed to go perfectly with his car. His expression and the fact that he was busy with his other admirers, made me decide not to stay and chat. In the case of the second picture, I decided that the door was not important.

Eliminating Unwanted Background

I opened with this 1953 Henry J. It had one of more interesting paint jobs at the Prescott Car Show. It also had the unlucky spot of sitting next to the porta-potty.

You probably have similar edits in the processing programs you use. I used the Guided Section Fun Edits of Photoshop Elements 15, to eliminate unwanted background with a paintbrush and some texturing.

Canva will eliminate all the background like I did on my Zombie Van photo two days ago, but it also eliminated part of my watermark. I tried unsuccessfully to fix it afterwards in Photoshop Elements. I could have started over, and if anyone wants to buy this picture, I’ll go to the effort of making it perfect! LOL

Have a great week. I’m Onward to a new Bright series tomorrow to finish up the month. are you doing a series or individual posts for becky’s brightsquares?

29 replies »

    • Thank you so much, Janis. I’m interested in hearing what others think, too. I wouldn’t classify any of my pictures as being outstanding. It would be fun to get there.

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  1. I like that wooden car as well – who knew there was so much to think about when taking a picture of a car – I guess that’s the difference between an average photo and a great one…

    great Beach Boys song to include…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting to read your thought processes when deciding what to crop and what to keep. I often reject photos for squares because I can’t get a result I find satisfactory!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. another great post – and some fabulous square crops πŸ˜€ I have tried taking them square but have actually found I prefer cropping afterwards. Otherwise I am constantly fiddling with the camera settings

    Liked by 1 person

    • My iPhone doesn’t have a square setting. My old one did, but the new one does not. So I square in Photoshop Elements. Sometimes it pops into place. Other times I fiddle with it for several minutes and get it within a pixel or two.

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    • I’m super impressed. I haven’t done much work, make that any work with masks since my first Photoshop class 9 years ago. I could use a refresher course, but I think I could follow that enough to do it. You will have to read my post on Tuesday to see the featured image I created for the story I publish for different authors each month. I create the artwork, the ambiance, the questions about the stories, and then draw together all the comments in a second post. It’s pretty cool, really.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Marsha, Malcolm loves cars shows, but I always end up deleting most of the photos I take (for all the reasons you’ve stated). Next time I will have to try some of your suggestions. I especially like the zoomed-in pics. Sometimes the details tell the story best.

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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