How to take the perfect ROTM pic of your ride - FordTough.ca - Home of Canadian Ford Truck Enthusiasts
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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How to take the perfect ROTM pic of your ride

One thing common to all enthusiasts here on fordtough, regardless of the model,colour or generation of F150 you own, is the quest for that heart stopping pic of your pride and joy.

You've spent untold hours and dollars turning your F150 into the truck YOU want, so it only seems natural to have a picture that showcases that effort to it's full potential.

Here's some quick and easy tips you can try.........



CHAPTER ONE: Functional Versus Fantastic



Let me distinguish between what I would consider to be a fantastic pic, and what would be a "functional" picture.

Functional pictures are typically (but not limited to) cell phone pics or any pics that convey a sense of "here's what I did, here's what it looks like".

Generally you'll use functional pictures to show quick and easy "before and after" mod shots....swapping out wheels, tail lights, intakes etc.

Meet & Greet's are another example of functional pics.

A fantastic picture is like a professional portrait of your ride, something you would mount up, frame and hang on the wall.


That being said, it's not for everyone.

Not everyone wants to go to the time or trouble to follow every tip found here, and that's OK.

But, it's not really all that difficult to take some simple steps to a better picture.



I'm going to use some of my own pics that illustrate some very common mistakes that are made by the amateur shutterbug (like myself) when taking pics of your ride.

All of these pics were taken with a basic point and shoot digital camera, and are presented in raw form, with no Photo Editor enhancements.

You don't need high end equipment either - I'm currently using a Canon Powershot SX120IS (10.0 Megapixel) point and shoot and I'm quite pleased with it.

For what I do, it suits the purpose.


Let's start with some basic examples of functional pics, and some of the problems that routinely can occur.

Again, nothing wrong with functional pics, they still serve a purpose.


Functional - this pic suffers from half shadow/half light, missing body parts, and a cluttered background, not to mention the tail light in the foreground.



Functional - great comparison of the '04 and '09 rear end styling, but not a great pic.

Nice to know when the shot was taken, but the date stamp is distracting.



Functional - great shot of a Mustang the day it was delivered, but not a flattering shot of the car.

Too much going on in the background, various textures on the ground, and the glare of the snow.....crappy pic for ROTM.


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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CHAPTER TWO : The basics


Basic Tip #1 : Use the highest resolution available on your camera. This will help you maintain picture detail if you wish to blow up the pic and get it framed.


Basic Tip #2 : Turn off the date stamp. Nothing ruins a good picture like the date burned into the bottom corner - save the date for functional pics.


Basic Tip #3 : Fill the entire frame with your ride: the idea is to focus on your ride, and not what's around it.

For example.......what's the focus of this pic? The car or the old timey gas station?




Not a bad pic, not a great pic, and it suffers from the date stamp problem, not to mention our next topic.....

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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CHAPTER THREE : Positioning for the pic


Basic tip #4 : position yourself so that all four wheels are visible.

This shot suffers from what I call the "curse of the floating front end". What's holding up the left front of the car ??







Basic tip #5 : Be aware of what's behind you !!!

These aren't terrible shots, but why are there streetlights and dealership signs growing out of the roof ??






Basic tip #6 : Be aware of what you're parked on...

Generally, for the sake of this thread, we drive our trucks on pavement.

Take your pic parked on pavement, not on the grass, it makes for a better pic.




This leads nicely into our next topic......lighting.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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CHAPTER FOUR : Lighting

Great pics don't come easy, and the tricky part is lighting.

Shadows are inevitable, so you have to do your best to minimize the impact.

Some of the pics already posted are also good examples of how shadows can ruin a good pic.

I have two favourite conditions for shooting pics of my ride....early evening, almost at sunset, and heavy overcast.

I find the light to be less harsh, and creates a better atmosphere, for lack of a better word.



Example : this shot was taken at high noon, in the summer. Not terrible, but the bright light really highlights the bug splatter on the front end. lol



These two shots were taken at the same time on a heavy overcast day.

These pics show the difference positioning can make, even on the same day.

Shot #1 was looking west toward the lake, early afternoon.



Shot #2 was looking east, early afternoon. Changing your position can change your lighting effect.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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CHAPTER FIVE : The small details...

Basic Tip #7 : Roll up the windows, throw on the headlights or marker lights for a subtle change, be aware of the reflections, no one wants to see your tire tread.....

Not bad on this one, but the yellow line and open drivers window are distracting.




Turn those wheels away from the camera and show off your wheels, not your tires.




Pure functional here....most of us keep a good shine on our vehicles, so have an eye for what's in your paint !!

Another distractor is to see the reflection of whoever's taking the pic in the paint.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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CHAPTER SIX : Putting it all together.


Time to complete the picture - we've found a long stretch of flat road, no hydro poles, wires, trees or signs cluttering up the background.

It's early evening, and the sun is behind you.

Stand 25 to 30 feet back, you will be forced to zoom in to fill the screen, so a tripod is another consideration, but keep an eye for oncoming traffic!!lol

(This is where a low traffic,rural setting lends itself best. It may take some time to find the right location, but it's worth it.)

Standing that far back ensures that there are no unwanted reflections in the paint, and can also make the centre line road paint a non issue.

Have all four tires visible, and again, consider what's in the background, as well as any grass in the foreground.

Take a shot and move one step left or right. Take another shot. Repeat as required

Adjust your height and take some more shots. The beauty of digital cameras is the ability to take limitless numbers of shots, and review them at the roadside.

I used these basic tips and got the shots I was looking for......







Same basic pic, just a slight difference in perspective.







Different day, different perspective can make for a slightly different pic.

Don't be afraid to experiment with angles and perspectives....




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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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Some light reading while everyone waits for spring.

Any other tips for pics (preferably with examples) are welcome and encouraged.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 10:03 AM
 
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Good write up Mike!

That should help our up and coming photographers.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 12:45 PM
 
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Great write up...thanks.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 06:55 PM
 
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Good write up Mike,
But shouldn't you be shoveling all the snow you's got in Port Elgin lol..

Is that the Mustang you sold ? Very nice.

Its funny how you notice things after the pic is taken, like the missing wheel/tire on the Mustang.

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