Nutshell of Taking Jump-Off-The-Page Pictures Of Your Car
If done well, a picture of a single rose will be more attention getting than a picture of a dozen roses or the whole rose bush.
- Use a digital camera to take high resolution pic
- Clean your car
- Pick a simple, uncluttered setting that allows the car to be the focal point
- Take pictures using the 5 specific angles/views of your car
- Take your pictures at sunrise, sunset or on a bright overcast day
- Keep unwanted shadows and reflections (including the photographer's) out of the picture
Think of your car as a single rose. Keep it simple and uncluttered. You're taking a picture to attract more buyer's attantion to your car.
Here Are A Few Pointers On How To Take
Is a picture of my car required?
Jump-Off-The-Page Pictures Of Your Car
Yes, it is a big boost to the interest shown in your car according to our customer research. Cars without website pictures tend to not sell as well or for as much as cars that do have quality pictures. The excitment begins long before the auction.
Digital versus film cameras
Wash your car
Pay particular attention to the chrome, wheels and tires. You don't have to wax the whole car, but using polish on the wheel covers and chrome does help with the sparkle effect. Also use the tire shine that gives the black of the tire a gloss.
- What you are after is a high resolution picture no matter which type of camera. You are after a picture that can be blown up in size once Silver receives it and it remains a clear picture. Low resolution pictures end up being fuzzy and grainy when they are reproduced on a color printer or blown up in size to be placed in a magazine or brochure.
- Silver doesn't have the magic to turn a poor quality picture into
- a high quality picture for a brochure or magazine.
- It is easier for Silver Auctions to put digital (high resolution) pictures on our web site and in our brochures/magazines. When we receive prints from film negatives, we have to scan the picture first (which can reduce the quality of the picture) before we use the picture.
Choose a setting for your car
The idea is to choose a setting that sets your car off car rather than a setting that detracts from your car. A simple, clean setting is preferred to a complex and "busy" setting.
- Locate a setting that makes the car standout as the focal point of the picture.
__ A slightly dramatic but simple setting such as a park, golf course, lake or mountains in the background helps frame your car. But make sure the background is not so busy that it distracts from the car. For example, a car in the driveway of an elegant home or chic building can be made insignificant if the home or building is more attention getting that the car.
__ Usually avoid fences, garage doors, dumpsters, stores, electric wires, people, company signs or logos being in the background.
__ Preview the setting for such things as dead tree limbs, trash in the street, telephone poles "growing" out of the roof of a garage. The idea is not to have objects draw your eye away from the car.
- Find a complementary location where the background color makes your car's color stand out.
- For example, a red car jumps out of the picture when it is surrounded by dark green grass. A white car
- photographed against a light colored stone wall, fence or driveway will get lost.
- If the driveway or street is faded from the sun, it helps to wet down the area with a hose where the car will sit in the picture.
- Level ground or sloping ground?
- Level is usually best for the occasional photographer.
- People or not people?
- No people in the picture is best.
Picture taking angle/view
Light source - time of day
- Generally the best single shot is a driver side three-quarter shot.
- To do this, position yourself with your camera so you see all of the front grill of the car and the whole driver
- side down through the rear fender. Step forward and back until the car fills 90% of the frame. The center of
- your camera lens should be slightly above the left front tire (driver side).
- Do not experiment with low angle shots or "bird's eye shot" from a step ladder unless you have experience with this. Such shots can distort the proportions of your car. Sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a bad way.
- Fill the frame with the car
- Fill the camera's whole view frame with the car without cutting off fenders, top or trunk.
Car lights on or off?
- The best light conditions for shooting pics of your car are typically found just after sunrise or just before sunset. The sun and its position in the sky affects the color of your car. Just before sunrise the light produces a cooling effect to your car's color. Just after sunrise and just before sunset the light produces a warming effect. At midday the sun can wash out the color of your car including the background.
- The best type of lighting is a bright but overcast sky with no direct sunlight.
- Direction of the sun / light source relative to your car.
- Take the picture with the sun behind you rather than taking the shot into the rays of the sun. If you have the
- sun behind you then the shadow the car throws on the ground will appear to go back and away from the car.
- This is good. If you take the picture with the sun direction making the shadow of the car come out towards
- the camera lens, this detracts from the framing of the car in the picture.
Shadows & reflections
Number of pictures to submit
- Most occasional photographers are not aware of shadows on or near the car or reflections that show in the car's paint or chrome. First of all, reflections are not bad. Most great car pics require reflection of light off the car (paint and chrome) to pull off the picture. It's just when distinct objects are in the reflection that reflections can detract from your car's appearance.
- Before you put the camera up to your eye, stand where you are planning to take your picture from and look to see what shadows are being cast by your body, trees, etc. You are making sure that your shadow as the picture taker does not show up on the ground in front of the car. So vary the angle of your shot to eliminate your shadow.
- Most occasional photographers are not aware when they are clicking away that their car is going to show reflections of them as the photographer, a fence, a garbage can, a telephone pole, an nearby car, clouds in the sky.... Again, stand in the spot where you think you are going to take the shot from and without the camera to your eye, check out the reflection showing up in the paint or chrome of your car.
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When you send pictures of your car to Silver by email or US Post Office be sure to indicate the
- If you are submitting only one picture then make it the driver side three-quarter shot.
- If you are submitting 5 pics, as many sellers do on quality cars, the following 5 shots are usually best for attracting customer interest in your car on our website.
- a front three-quarter view -- showing the full front and full driver side of the car
- a rear three-quarter view -- showing the full rear and full passenger side of the car
- a side view -- showing the full driver side of the car
- a single interior view with the driver side open door -- showing the driver seat, dash instrumentation and shifting lever
- an engine view taken from in front of the grill
- the specific auction the car is entered in
- the lot number
- the vehicle year/make/model
- the consignor's name
Questions & comments contact firstname.lastname@example.org