Taking a picture of a car is pretty straight forward but taking a great picture of a car can involve more aspects than you might think. Most racing games allow you to take pictures of your cars to show off, but Forza has taken photography to the next level, allowing for some great freedom and creativity. Actually, some players mostly use the game for taking pictures – a hobby commonly called “Forzatography“. In this post, we’ll be going through some thoughts you can bear in mind before you press that capture picture button.
Cropping generally describes where you place the car inside the picture. Originally the term crop, comes from old days where you’d cut off parts of the actual paper prints, but nowadays it is an actual photo editing tool that often looks like a square with a diagonal line across it. Fine cropping, can be done after you’ve taken the picture, but it’s a good idea to think about this, when taking the picture. This will allow you to crop more creatively.
Experiment with moving the camera around, to place your car in an interesting place of the picture. Instead of having the car dead center, try placing it toward one of the sides of the picture, at the bottom, or in a corner. This will allow for a bit of background to liven up the picture, making it more dynamic and interesting. If you use the pictures for marketing, this also allows for some space to overlay a title and text. If you want to place the car in the center of the picture, try enhancing this by placing the car in a fairly simple backdrop and zooming out. This will bring enormous focus to the car.
The images above are actually the same picture. I’ve kept the angle, and position of the camera more or less the same, but i have worked with the cropping of the car. Notice how cropping can affect a picture of the same thing!
Angles are such an interesting tool to work with, and can be a very creative asset to you you photography. Instead of keeping the camera horizontal, try angling it downwards, upwards or sideways. A very powerful shot can be to be on top, pointing down. When choosing an angle, try to make the picture interesting and consider what detail of the car you want the viewer to notice. This often needs to be something eye caching that attracts the attention of very fast browsers, so try to be bold here.
Try to be creative with the angles and experiment, to find out what looks good. Personally i like to get low, and close to one corner of a car. I generally don’t like the results if the camera is much higher than the car, unless it is exactly on top of it, or at a very far distance from it.
This covers where you place the car, when you take the picture. It plays together with all the other aspects of photography, but is vital to how your picture will look. Basically this will define what the background looks like and how well it works with the picture of the car. Try to match your car with a location that will either blend in or stand out, by using contrasts.
When we discuss composition, we’re talking about how your main motive (often a particular car) works with the rest of the elements in the picture. This could include other cars, but often also simply location elements, such as curbs, fences, lines etc.
Often, this includes using the location creatively. In the images above, notice how it is not always the car that will catch your attention, but non the less, they can be very interesting to look at. An image that makes you go “.. whats going on here..” is often a food picture
The colors of the location and the car are important to the feel of the picture as a whole. In sim racing, we are quite lucky to be able to change the color and design of a car pretty easily, so we have a lot of freedom to make great pictures. There are many guides on what colors work well together, but ultimately, it is a matter of taste and creativity
You will find many colors to suit your shot, in almost any locations. Don’t just look at the usual backdrop, but also consider walls, posters, track surface etc when looking for suitable colors in your locations.
There are many more aspects of photography, that we have not touched on, such as shutter speed, aperture exposure etc but for not, these handful of tips should get you started with some creative photography.
Check out the photos bellow, and see if you can spot some of the aspects discussed above. Also make sure to comment bellow with your thoughts, experience and results of your photography on Racing Platforms