Thursday, June 5, 2008

Some suggestions on photographing local car shows with your Pentax DSLR

I am not sure about all Countries in the world, but here in America, it seems like every town has regular car shows. I'm not talking about a three day event, inside a coliseum, with a steep admission fee. I'm talking about local shows, involving local car enthusiasts and usually held in a parking lot of a restaurant or along the Main street, and free for all. It's a place where everyone can go and look at all the work some guys have done to their car, antique car, roadster, Pick-up truck, etc.

We have several of these shows each week where I live and since we are along the path of the old "Route 66", it even more prominent around this region. Every Thursday night, in the parking of "Farmer Boys" restaurant, people gather to look at the restored old cars and customized cars and trucks. Often, music is supplied by local talents. It's a place for owners to show their beloved machine and a place for everyone to admire them.

There is something about the love of automobiles in the heart of all Americans. It seems that most like to photograph cars. One problem I found in these car shows is that it is difficult to photograph the cars without having someone in your way, or having a cluttered background, or the cars being too close together. About two or three weeks ago, I went to the show with my K20D and brought two lenses with me; the DA 10-17mm lens and the DA 16-45mm lens. Most of the pictures I took were with the DA 10-17mm lens. It allowed me to get very close to each car, and by getting very low to the ground, I was able to isolate the cars successfully. Some of the pictures were just a portion of a car, but easily recognizable.

I think that one of the biggest mistakes that photographers do, including me, is that we don't get close enough to our subjects. Sometimes, we are so far from our subjects that it becomes hard for someone else to look at our pictures and recognize what is the actual main subject.When I take my time and really think what the picture I'm about to take should be entitled, or what message or story it should convey to the viewers, I find that I am more successful. So, for this kind of events, get close, think about what the picture should be entitled, ask yourself if the image in your viewfinder will convey the intended message or story to the viewers, and if the answer is yes… click! If the answer is uncertain, move to a different location or angle. If you just shoot at random, you may still get good pictures. However, you might even surprise yourself at what message the pictures convey, and it might not be even close to what you intended it to be.Simplicity is also a key to good photographs.

This is just my way to photograph. Some like my pictures, and some don't. The important thing is...go out there and take some pictures.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque
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