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Tim's Top Car Photography Tips

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Category: Transport

Tim's Top Car Photography Tips - Founder of AmbientLife Tim Wallace shares some top tips on car photography.

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Tim Wallace is the founder of AmbientLife.co.uk, a company specialising in high quality car photography. He has clients including Aston martin and Jaguar.

Here, he shares with us his top car photography tips:

Get Down Low

"People in the industy used to meet me and think I was about three feet tall because of the low angle I use on my shots!" says Tim. "A low angle helps to make the car look imposing and impressive to the viewer."

Make The Light Minimal And Natural

"I usually only use one light source,"explainsTim. "The aim is to make the light look as natural as possible – remember that a car is basically a giant reflective surface, so too much light wil spoil a photo. Try and get the light to come from the same direction as the natural light if there is any, to fill the scene and emphasise the shape of the car."

Shelby legend
Photo courtesy of Ambient Life

Shoot Wide Open

"Your choice of lens is very important. A 50mm f/1.4 lens is very underestimated," says Tim. "You should use a variety of lenses for different types of shot. Don't let yourself get pidgeonholed."


Photo courtesy of Ambient Life

The Shot Is More Than The Car Itself

"The scenery can be just as important as the car itself, and should represent something about the car." Says Tim. "For example, the style of the shot can match the temperament of the car. Cars have different personalities, just like people, so the shot should represent that."

Shelby Alps pass
Photo courtesy of Ambient Life

Use Filters

Tim uses two ND grad filters for most of his shoots as he explains: "I use one the right way around to balance out the sky, and one upside down to to give the tarmac a dark and broody look. Without a filter, tarmac can look a nasty dull colour."

Minimal Editing

"I try and get the shoot as close as possible to finished actually on the shoot," reveals Tim. "This saves time when having to edit shots later on, with only minimal tweaks being needed. I can do a shoot, and have all the images edited and ready on location in a couple of hours."

To find out more about Tim and Ambient Life, take a look at our member feature.

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