12 Tips for Smartphone Car Photography

What if you had to shoot publication-quality images of your car with only your smartphone to shoot with? Believe it or not, your smartphone is an incredible photography tool—if you know how to full use it to its potential. COOPH shares some tips for getting stunning car shots with your phone:

1. Shoot in the shade

Find a neutral background and park at a dynamic 45 degree angle. Park on the shadow line in order to get nice reflections. Avoid harsh sunlight.

photograph cars in the shade

2. Shoot up close

Get really close. That will allow you to get intricate details and character lines of your car.

detail shots

3. Shoot low and pose with your car

Try the low angle for a change. Use a tripod with something like the Manfrotto phone clamp to steady your smartphone.

how to photograph cars

Use the phone timer to trigger the shot. Try experiment shooting in black and white.

self portrait with your car

4. Shoot the interior

Fold back the seats. Try the HDR mode to balance the exposure between the interior and the exterior. Try to capture the surroundings.

car interior photo tips

5. Create a panodash

Use the panorama mode. Have someone drive the car you as you photograph. Combine two or more images to create a panodash!

car photography panorama

6. Create an industrial look

Find an underground car park. Try to find some metal and concrete structures. The metal and concrete structures will create a nice stylized contradiction to the contoured outline of your car. You can also experiment with some high vantage positions to create a high look.

car photography industrial look

7. Tilt the horizon

Tilting the horizon can immediately make a composition look a lot better. You can create some dynamic perspectives with this approach.

tilt the horizon

8. Shoot a sequence

Set up your camera on a tripod. Take multiple images. Combine the images in post to create a sequence.

sequence shot

9. Motion blur

Use a piece of welding glass or a proper ND filter to drag the shutter speed. Pan while shooting to get the desired effect.

blur motion

10. Capture headlight glare

Switch on the high beams. Find the right height and angle to capture glare from your car’s headlights.

headlight glare

11. Shoot at the golden hour

Set up your phone on a tripod. Wait for the golden hour. Fire away.

golden hour car photography

12. Capture twilight

Set up just after sunset. Capture the blue tones and the even lighting.

twilight car photography

And you thought smartphones were just for selfies…

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