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How to Take Great Car Photos with Your Phone

How to take great car photos with your phone: We all want to take awesome pictures of our cars, but not all of us have the money to buy a really good DLSR camera you would need to take professional-quality pictures. Thankfully, modern cell phones have cameras that can just about rival a professional camera, if you know how to compose and take a good picture. Here are some tips to help you pull it off with just a cell phone.

Wash Your Car

The problem with high-resolution photography is it exposes every flaw to the camera, and on your car that includes dust, bird poop and water spots from your last hasty car wash. Take the time to wash and wax your car so it really shines, and don’t skip the undercarriage or the wheels.

How to Take Great Car Photos with Your Phone

Photo credit: Bre Ann Houston shot using iPhone 5s

Pick Your Background

One of the biggest parts of photo composition — and this applies to any subject — is the background. Pick something that will look good while it takes up all the space behind your car, something that’s not full of cracked paint and road trash unless that’s the look you’re going for.

Make sure to keep your lighting in mind when picking a background — if you’re shooting inside, you might need some additional light sources.

Don’t Use Your Flash

Nothing ruins a picture of something shiny worse than a cell phone camera flash. If you need the extra fill light, try making a homemade light diffuser for your camera flash — on a cell phone, this can be as simple as placing a piece of white electrical tape over your camera’s flash. In general, though, it’s better to avoid the flash in favor of more natural light.

How to Take Great Car Photos with Your Phone

Photo taken using natural light.

Tweak Your Shutter Speed

Most modern cell phones have the option to change your shutter speed similar to the tools you’d find on a professional camera — use them, especially if you’re planning on taking some driving shots. A low shutter speed is perfect for motion shots and can give you the tools to capture pictures that would otherwise look like big blurs.

Photography Apps Are Your Friend

Your phone camera might be able to capture pictures with a decent resolution, but can it provide different camera angles, like wide angle or fish-eye? If the answer is no, check your phone’s app store for programs that can alter the functionality of your phone camera to create new and unique styles of photography.

How to Take Great Car Photos with Your Phone

Photo credit: Stephanie Hoover using iPhone 7 Plus

Use Your Angles

Don’t just frame your car in the shot — quite frankly that’s just boring. Instead, get down on the ground and take a picture looking up, or climb up a ladder to get a shot from a higher angle. Not only does this provide a unique perspective of your car, but also it makes for some awesome shots as well.

You might not have a professional camera, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some impressive-looking pictures of your car with just a cell phone.

Scott Huntington is a writer from Harrisburg, PA who covers everything from Autonomous to Z-car. He has written for dozens of automotive websites, including Yahoo Autos, GT Spirit, Hooniverse, and more. He was once accidentally interviewed to be the next host of Top Gear USA.