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Old 11-02-2010, 05:01 PM
STL STL is offline
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Default A few tips to getting a great shot of your Ranger

Guide to help take better pictures of your truck.

This was written by TenSilver and DieHard4rd

Please feel free to ask questions!


This little write-up will hopefully help out some fellow truck enthusiasts in finding how they can take a better shot of their truck. Some doís & doníts are provided but remember for every rule, there is an exception to the rule which is where the real creativity starts

The first step in getting the right picture is your background. Unfortunately, if the background isn't right, the viewer will have lost attention to the main subject and it will draw the eyes to the background, away from your truck. Try to find a background that either compliments your truck, or just adds to the truck, without completely distracting you from it.

Any object that gets in the picture is a distraction, so try to keep trash cans, poles, telephone, power lines, or other people out of the picture if at all possible. If itís not possible to do this, you can try to use Photoshop or some other photo editing software to get rid of these things.

The next step in getting a great shot is the angles you use. An extreme or different angle can give an aggressive and mean look to a truck if that's the goal. Not only does it do that, but it also can help with the background. By getting lower, or at eye level with the truck, you can get rid of certain distracting objects. There are a few different angles that you can take your pictures at to give the pictures different feelings. Donít be afraid to lie on the ground, climb a ladder, tilt the camera up or down, side to side. Really look at everything you see thru the viewfinder. Take your time.

Getting down to an eye level angle with your truck can help eliminate distracting background objects. It can also help by giving it an aggressive look, and it doesn't look like you just ran outside, walked up to the truck and started shooting away, you actually put out the effort to kneel down and get the shot.

Extreme tilted angles. A tilted angle is tough to get right, if you tilt it too far, it becomes more of a distraction and takes away from the pictures quality, and if you tilt it too little, it just looks like you messed up while taking the picture. If you can get this angle down right, it will definitely make for some pretty cool pictures and it sometimes gives it an effect of motion, as if your truck were to drive right off the page. Also if the truck is facing into the picture you want the truck to look like its driving into the picture. If itís from the back you want it to look like its driving out of the picture.


Shoot from above the truck. If you have access to a tall ladder, rocks to climb, taller buildings, or even a two story house, this can provide a different point of view, and itís usually very cool.

Shoot from the ground or shoot by setting the camera on the ground can give excellent results. It gives similar results to shooting at eye level, but if thereís a bump, or change in elevation you can use that in the bottom of the frame to provide interesting foreground for the picture, and it can also be used to provide a contrast to the rest of the colors in the picture.

Different positions your truck can be in for the shot. Not only do some people want to see the front of your truck, they also want to see the sides, and rear of it. For the most part, you can use all the techniques in this write up to take pictures of all the different sides. There are still some different things you can do to get the most out of these pictures. While taking multiple angled shots using the same background, don't be afraid to move your truck! If you keep your truck in the same spot and just walk around at every angle to get the picture, they are a little more boring than they could have been if you moved your truck around, and you'll also be able to use different backgrounds and different lighting to get these pictures.

Moving action shots. Nothing, NOTHING beats a great action shot of a truck. If you can pull a good one off, I can almost guarantee that it will probably end up being one of your favorite pictures. There are a few different techniques in doing this.

Panning. Panning takes practice, a steady hand, and a capable camera using the proper settings. The results show a blurred background, blurred wheels, and it gives of the feeling of the truck really moving. Generally, you don't want your shutter speed to be any faster than 1/125 when doing this, with an F stop F8.0 or more. Depending on how much zoom you're using and the lighting. Using a tripod or a monopod will allow you to use slower shutter speeds which will in turn give more blurring effects. What you do, is follow the truck with the camera as it moves down the road or track. While following the truck, keep taking pictures, the more pictures you take the better chance you have of getting a good shot. Experimenting and practice is all I can suggest with this. Panning is not for the light of heart. It takes lots of practice & some luck.


Shooting from another moving vehicle is a great and relatively easy way to get some very cool pictures. The way I've done this is ride shotgun in one vehicle, hang out the window, and fire away, it will take multiple shots to get a nice clear picture because most roads are bumpy, and wind is also a factor. Other things you could do would shoot from an open rear window, hatch, sunroof, convertible top, etc. at slow speeds. The same ideas for backgrounds of a truck standing still apply to this technique. Try to get a flattering background if at all possible, if not possible, fret not, you'll still probably get some great shots. If itís possible to catch the truck turning on a banked turn, that will also help.

Lighting. Lighting is another thing that can make or break a picture. The general rule of lighting is shooting within an hour ("the golden hour") of sunrise or sunset, will give a nice soft, warm look to the pictures. This is because it creates a nice golden color shining on the truck, giving it nice reflections, and warming up the foreground and background. In my opinion, it is best to shoot during the sunrise, but for the most part it depends on the weather conditions, and if you have a great sunset one day, it very well might give better results than a sunrise under less than perfect conditions. Also, shadows are something that is created by different light sources. When the sun is behind you, face the part of the truck being photographed away from the sun. One thing to be careful with while doing this is your own shadow finding its way into the picture. Try at all costs to avoid this, as it will most likely require cropping later on. Avoid taking pictures between the hours of 10AM and 3PM as the light is very harsh during this time. Avoid Bright overhead sunlight; it will cause harsh glare and harsh shadows. If you do end up having to shoot in bright overhead sunlight, use a Lens Shade, and a UV Filter if at all possible. Also, use fill flash to fill in the shadows that are cast by the overhead sun. Avoid shooting into the light as it will lead to blown out skies which is distracting to the eye. Donít have half your truck in the shade & half in the light.

Zoom: Use your cameras optical zoom! Zooming in on the picture brings more attention to the truck and less on the background if that is the desired effect. But try using your feet to zoom also. You can get a different field of view by being physically closer to or farther from your subject.


Editing. Don't be afraid to use photo editing software to change the pictures around to get the colors right and distracting objects out of the background.

The joy of computers and digital photography is that you have so much technology at your fingertips to edit, or even manipulate your pictures into being better than they were originally. This can be considered the 21st century's version of the "dodge and burn" method, where pictures were slightly altered in the darkroom by exposing certain parts to light, and blocking others, which in turn gave black and white photography more to work with. Always edit from a copy of your photo; never the original!

The Rule of Thirds. This isn't a very important factor in basic photography of your truck, but once you get relatively advanced, you can put this into practice and get some interesting results. The rule of thirds goes against common logic that would make someone think the picture is best if the main subject is in the very middle of the picture, but in some cases, by doing this it causes the picture to lack tension and movement, which is what grabs most peoples' attention. The way to apply this would be to imagine lines dividing the picture up into thirds, vertically and horizontally. By placing the main object on one of these intersections, depending on the picture it can give you the picture a completely different feeling.
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:01 PM
STL STL is offline
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Reflections from trees and other objects are bad to some extent, to reduce these reflections use a Circular Polarizing filter; assuming your camera is autofocus. This filter will also greatly reduce glare on the windows & make the sky a bit bluer. Don't park your truck under trees.

Turn your wheels so the rims are towards the camera. Some people forget to turn the wheels towards the camera, and end up turning them away. People would much rather see your rims than your tires, I'm sure. Be sure not to turn your wheels too much, just a little bit is fine.

If you park your truck in a parking lot, avoid painted lines, light poles, signs, etcetera as they will be a distracting part of the foreground and background.


If you take your pictures in JPEG for then take pictures at the highest JPEG resolution possible on your camera. Don't make the mistake of taking your best picture ever, and then realize it’s only a 640x480 sized picture that would barely make a quality 5x7 sized prints. Better still is taking your pictures in RAW format which allows you the most flexibility in adjustments during processing. It is the equivalent of a digital "negative".
Shooting in RAW is the most preferred method but also takes the most work as it is you that processes the photo, not the camera. Most DSLR cameras today have the option to shoot RAW + JPEG. It will save one Raw & one JPEG file for each picture you take. That gives you the option of a ready to use file & a master file if you want to do some serious editing.

Hopefully this little write-up was helpful to you in some way. Now go outside, wash your truck, find a good location, (not your drive way) and start taking some great pictures! Take lots of them, they are Digital so you can delete the ones you don’t like. Most importantly have fun with photography!


Example using a circular polarizing filter.



Be aware of the surroundings and avoid distractions.
With Distractions


Without distractions (done in Photoshop) Photoshop was only used to show what the picture could have been if the time was taken to position the truck, move the car, and not to have your shadow in the pic.

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Last edited by STL; 11-05-2010 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:41 PM
DieHard4rd DieHard4rd is offline
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Default Re: A few tips to getting a great shot of your Ranger

Hope some people find this info helpfull
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:58 PM
TenSilver TenSilver is offline
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Default Re: A few tips to getting a great shot of your Ranger

Hopefully this little write-up will prove helpful to budding or experienced photographers alike.

Now get outside, wash your trucks, find a good location and start taking some great pictures to share with us!
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:59 PM
tmbrockett tmbrockett is offline
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Default Re: A few tips to getting a great shot of your Ranger

sweet baby jesus...thats a lot to read....but good info though....ill have to try some of these tips out
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:27 PM
Dcrymes99ranger Dcrymes99ranger is offline
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Default Re: A few tips to getting a great shot of your Ranger

Great info, so this was what you were talking about MIke?
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  #7  
Old 11-02-2010, 08:38 PM
DieHard4rd DieHard4rd is offline
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Default Re: A few tips to getting a great shot of your Ranger

No, that's what I was talking about.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:12 PM
Dcrymes99ranger Dcrymes99ranger is offline
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Default Re: A few tips to getting a great shot of your Ranger

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieHard4rd View Post
No, that's what I was talking about.
Mike was telling me about it tonight when we went to shoot. I didn't mean as he wrote it.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:10 AM
TenSilver TenSilver is offline
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Default Re: A few tips to getting a great shot of your Ranger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcrymes99ranger View Post
Great info, so this was what you were talking about MIke?
That was what DieHard was talking about. STL, DieHard and I put it together.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DieHard4rd View Post
I see
Dan was having problems with the autofocus on his camera. I made a few suggestions on what to check and he got it fixed with what I suggested. We went test it out and take some night shots.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:42 PM
08Ranger Sport 4x4 08Ranger Sport 4x4 is offline
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Default Re: A few tips to getting a great shot of your Ranger

Great write up.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:54 PM
MikeLoco MikeLoco is offline
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Default Re: A few tips to getting a great shot of your Ranger

nice nice. I have a photog. camera and I'm in a photography class. So, I wil post pics. of my truck soon enough haha

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my film is in black and white though
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