This year’s Autofest held at Lakeview Park in Oshawa Ontario was packed with hundreds of classic cars. A thousand plus machines filled the waterfront park during the weekend long event. These classic cars were a automotive photographers dream. Row after row car after everywhere you turned there was an opportunity to take a shot.
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Photographing car shows
When taking photos at an outdoor event a photographer faces numerous challenges. Although this weekend was sunny hot and simply perfect for the auto show for picturing taking there were a number of challenges. From people walking by to reflections of cars beside each other capturing a great photo takes time and persistence.
Where to start when taking pictures at an auto show?
The first I did when I arrived at the show was very simple. Check my gear! Ok I should have and to some extent did check my gear before I left. However, now that I’m actually at the show I wanted to make sure I had everything set before I walked around. When you start to walk around an event like the Autofest car show in Oshawa you can easily get distracted. The sheer number of cars was overwhelming. Row after row of shinny detailed cars makes your head spin. This is why I checked my gear. I had two cameras with me this day the Canon 1 DX and the Canon 5D MK II. Both bodies are perfect for capturing details of the work done on these cars. You can see a range of Canon 1 DX sample images throughout this site.
Camera settings for a car show
Today it’s a pure blue sky and high noon, not the best time to take photos usually. Before I left I checked the weather channel and grabbed a polarizing filter to help with the problems I was going to face. Another problem with this location was that much of it was held underneath tall trees. You think that the shade would help to diffuse the sun and make for great light. Well it sort of did and didn’t. The sun poked through the trees making for bright and dark spots all over the place. The challenge was on!
Basic camera settings for take photos of cars at outdoor auto shows
I set both cameras at the same starting point. With all of what was going on around me I didn’t have time to gather myself between shots. Although the cars were parked the action was fast. Every turn of my head was another chance for a photo. So setting both cameras the same way helped to minimize the strain on my brain!
- Aperture priority (wide open for both lenses)
- Single point focus (helped me control what I wanted to focus on)
- Single shot (I was going to have enough pics to look through didn’t need 20 of the same bumper)
- Focus (one shot no need to track anything)
These settings were my starting point and ended up being the best setup. Some shots I fooled around with metering etc… but more or less kept it all set as above.