15 Tips for Awesome iPhone 6 Car Photography
Professional photography can be a daunting endeavor. Equipment costs border on the outrageous, high-end cameras aren’t always intuitive, and one minor mistake can ruin a photo before you even get to say “Cheese!” However, photography doesn’t always have to be a struggle. All you need is a bit of insight, a pinch of creativity and – get this – an iPhone. Don’t believe us? Automotive photo ace Ben Revzin teamed up with San Francisco’s Club Sportiva to share with us a few top tips for snapping great shots with the all-new iPhone 6. And yes, all of the following photos were taken with an iPhone 6. 1. Use one hand as a lens hood
The new iPhone 6 lens sticks out a bit farther to accommodate its new sensor, so holding your hand above the phone will help you get rid of unwanted lens flare, as well as boost the colors in your image.
2. Shoot during the early morning or sunset
The most important aspect in any photo shoot is lighting. During the early morning and sunset hours, light is fairly even, which will help you avoid harsh shadows and car colors that look strange on camera.
3. Don’t shoot with filters
You’ve seen it hundreds of times on social media – filters get very overdone. For an instant touch-up, your iPhone’s built-in filters offer a decent stylistic effect, but if you want to create photos that look like they came straight from a digital SLR camera, leave that filter button alone, or instead give apps like VSCO Cam a try.
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4. Get low or get high
Make a car seem bigger and meaner by getting down low and pointing the camera up. Cars tend to look best when viewed from below, as if you’re sitting in another car, so get to about that height when crouching for best effect. Also, try shooting from up high for another perspective.
5. Take photos in HDR mode
Tap on the car to focus. You will notice that one part of the image, especially on a sunny day, tends to become either brighter or darker, which results in a loss of detail in the highlights or lowlights (seen on left).
Use a technique called HDR to combat this effect by creating a ‘High Dynamic Range’ photo of your subject (seen on right). In HDR, your camera takes a properly exposed photo and merges it with underexposed and overexposed variants to create an image that looks similar to what your eyes see.
6. Keep distractions to a minimum
No matter how good looking a car might be, if there is something else in the shot like a person walking or in this case, another car, the viewer’s eyes will wander away from the subject of your shot.
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7. Don’t use the flash
The iPhone’s flash is insufficient for high quality photography. Instead, use another iPhone’s LCD light as a flashlight. This will give you much better control of the light and shadows in your shot. It works wonders for interiors.
8. Lose the case
If you have an iPhone case, it could be cramping your photography. Some cases have colored material surrounding the lens or protectors that can reflect unwanted light back into your iPhone’s camera. If your camera is surrounded by any color other than black, take off the case for the best results.
9. Aperture is your friend
In layman’s terms, aperture is the size of the opening that allows light to enter your camera. The iPhone 6’s F/2.2 aperture lets you get a nicely blurred-out background while keeping the main subject sharp. This can help you get creative when photographing taillights or trim accents.
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10. Let the subject breathe
When photographing a car from the side, make sure to ‘lead’ the car and leave some room at the front. You don’t want to cut the photo prematurely at the nose of the car, as the viewer’s eye wants to flow from the back to the front, and beyond.
11. EarPods make a great remote trigger
Use your EarPods’ volume control buttons to operate your iPhone’s camera. This will help eliminate some camera shake and enable you to shoot crisper and better-composed images.
12. Use spare clothing to even-out the sun
Even lighting makes all the difference between a harsh photo and a good-looking shot. Have a friend hold a jacket up to block out the sun from hitting small sections of the car: wheels, badges, mirrors and door handles.
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13. Take advantage of iOS 8 exposure control
The new iOS 8 provides a very simple-to-use exposure slider that can help make your photo brighter or darker. Slide it down to give your photos a darker, more shadowy look. Slide it up to reveal details from within the shadows. Play with it to find the right balance for your shot.
14. Optimize photos for Facebook and Instagram
When you scroll through Facebook mobile, vertical photos display larger than horizontal shots. However on Instagram, vertical photos seem smaller compared to horizontal photos due to their square nature.
Cater to both of these sites by shooting appropriately composed shots (vertical for Facebook, horizontal on Instagram) and it should maximize your screen time. You can also use apps like InstaSize that enable you to post your full image on Instagram without cropping.
15. The tachometer shot
Gauges in motion create a much more interesting photo than seeing 0-rpm and 0-mph. If you are shooting your own car, get someone else to drive and sit shotgun to take the shots. If you can’t drive the car, shoot the tachometer while giving the engine some revs.
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