Photographing the Car Show

It’s harder than you think!

It’s summer and it’s car show season. Every rain-free weekend will have a car show and one will probably show up within 30 miles of your home eventually. The shows usually have a theme. Muscle cars, Italian cars, German, etc. Pick a show that interest you the most and go. The owners LOVE displaying their expensive trophies and they can be fun to see. It’s not every day you can catch a Lamborghini Diablo driving down the street. They are the ultimate example of form and function.

Now let’s grab the cell phone, tablet, point-and-shoot camera or your DSLR and take some amazing photos of these amazing machines.

What you’ve pictured in your mind’s eye quickly vanishes after your first exposure. People are everywhere and they are showing up in reflections. These cars are painted and clear coated to the point where the finish becomes a mirror. EVERYTHING reflects in the paint and the chrome.

In some instances, you get folks stepping into your shot or parking themselves right in front of your lens as you are about to hit the shutter. That’s just going to be the hazards of the event.
In all my years of pro photography, I’ve only found a few work-arounds that will produce semi-acceptable images. First, get there early when the sun is low and the color of the morning sky is rich and warm. Second, use a polarizing filter. This will reduce or eliminate a lot of the reflections like clouds in the windshield or reflections in the paint. You’ll never be able to remove the multiple glare spots caused by the sun but that can be done with selective angles or in post-production using “content aware delete” in Photoshop. The cloning tool can work too. The images will never look like you took them in a studio but it’s the best you can do in an uncontrolled environment.

The third solution is to only photograph sections of the vehicles. The attention to the details of a Ferrari, Porsche, Rolls Royce, etc. are astonishing. Close-ups of headlights, tail lights and interiors can look amazing. The design and machining of these parts are works of art in themselves and can make for some cool images.

The best advice I can offer is to go and enjoy the car show for what it is. If you strike up a conversation with one of the owners, maybe you can offer to photograph the car at some other time in a more controlled environment.






©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company





Get Noticed at Your Next Trade Show

The message needs to be clear at 30 feet.

Even though floor space costs are at all-time highs, the elements you need to exhibit have been reduced dramatically since the dawn of the digital age. A full color booth that once cost in excess of $12,000 to produce can now cost less than half that amount. Not only did the costs get lowered but so did the weight. Aluminum skeletons and printed wraps make the haul to the show lighter and the set-up quicker.

So now that you’ve saved a bundle, don’t skimp on the visuals that will be needed to attract attention at the show. Competition is stiff and those who visually stimulate an attendee from 30 feet away will have a better chance at making new connections and landing a new business. The high school science fair is not the look you want!

The smart business owner knows this along with their marketing person, sales manager and the business development executive. Make sure your photographer knows it too. It will take more than someone with great gear. It takes vision and the ability to share, conceptualize and execute that vision. It takes a pro with experience.

The Javitz Center in New York City along with the Las Vegas Convention Center are two of the largest venues for trade shows. People come from all over the planet for shows at these locations. It’s time for you to make an impression.

Here’s an example of a recent booth design that was a collaboration between Grant Marketing and myself. The Javitz Center was the first venue where it would be used. The goal was to attract attention visually as well as tell the story of what they do in one very large image.

Prior to the shoot a site survey was completed to assess the possibilities. Listening to the client is crucial but it’s also a two- way street. They need to listen to you visually. A great client understands and expects this.

At the completion of the survey, it was agreed that only one image was going to achieve the goals set forth by the client. The robotic spray arm in all its glory!

My concept was explained and agreed upon within minutes. This was the shot. The shot that they needed to attract attention. One that would catch your eye, tell a story and lure the show-walker over for a conversation.

In total, six lights were used with three different color temperatures and the camera color balanced for the main spray arm. Quite a complex set-up. The background was made from new air filters that were white and pristine. A blue gel was added to the 2 lights that illuminated them. The actual spray was added in post-production. Atomized paint and cameras have never had a very good relationship.

The next time you’re planning trade show booth development, make sure you get the right photographer to bring your vision to life. ©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company

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Wayne Dion
Dion & Company
Boston Aerial

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