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SKODA has teamed up with UK photographer Julian Calverley, a professional landscape and advertising photographer from Hertfordshire, to show buyers how to take the best photos of their cars using just their smartphone.
With so much competition through social media channels and the web, it’s hard for car owners to make their vehicles stand out from the crowd. Below Julian Calverley shares some top tips on how to capture cars in the best light on your phone, using a SKODA Octavia Scout.
Venturing out to the Welsh wilderness with the ŠKODA Octavia Scout, Calverley set aboutt demonstrating how a smartphone camera can be used to create stunning automotive photography. The British photographer shares his top tips below.
See the bigger picture
Make sure the images work well even as thumbnails or miniatures, especially on social media where an image should be designed to capture the eye, even if its small. Don’t get lost in the details, break the whole scene down into simple forms. Look for dramatic locations that will draw focus and use the rule of thirds to position the car. The human eye is drawn to imagery that is divided into thirds, so this should be reflected in the main elements of a picture.
Start early and follow the sun
Capturing photos of your car at dawn or dusk provides a softer light that accentuates the shape and lines of the vehicle. The window of opportunity for this is small; using apps such as Sun Seeker and Lumos that tell you the exact times when the sun rises and sets in your location can be useful tools.
Perfect weather isn’t always perfect
Clear blue skies are stunning, but it is actually the worst weather for photographers due to glare. Clouds, rain, snow or hail all add drama to your image and can make your photo feel more atmospheric. Rain, mist and fog ironically can create a calm feel when seen through the lens of your smartphone and will help divert the focus fully on to your car.
Find the best angle
Firstly, don’t use zoom. Instead of standing in one spot and using the zoom function move around the car and see how the image works best at different angles. Just a subtle shift can completely change the visual weight and impact of the vehicle’s lines. Explore the distance between the camera and the car. Placing a car in a large dramatic landscape, for example, can add a sense of scale.
Cars have eyes too
When taking a photo of a person, the best angle is usually at the height of their eyes. When it comes to cars, the headlights act as the eyes. The front wheels should be aimed straight or turned away from the camera to show the discs and add sportiness. Avoid using the main lights, subtle front sidelights or LED daylights will have a much better effect for your photo. However, the view from the back is always better with the lights on.
To edit the photo there are a host of great apps that you can use. Add the finishing touches by firstly adjusting the sharpness of the image and then add vignette to focus the attention on the car. Use a subtle film grain layer that also uses a colour grade (warm, cool etc.) to help soften and reduce the digital feel of the image. The final image adjustments usually include ambience and saturation.
For more tips from Julian, check out ŠKODA Storyboard https://www.skoda-storyboard.com/en/people/10-tips-photograph-cars-smartphone/?