How to Photograph a Car Tutorial from Ex-Auto Photographer Turned Adobe Employee – Video

Auto photography tutorial by Bryan O'Neil Hughes of Adobe 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
Some recurring readers of autoevolution often ask us what the auto photograhper does during a photo shoot, what equipment, and what techniques he uses to get the ideal automobile images. Our reviews are a testament to bringing out a car's feel and function, but words and opinions alone are worth jack without the visual details offered by the photographer.
The adjacent 12-minute photography tutorial pretty much sums up the basics of taking the perfect RAW, the best digital photo format to edit. As a general rule, editing in PhotoShop is a gift that shouldn't be taken for granted. It's way more complicated than applying a filter on Instagram. The name of the game with car photography is to keep post-processing to a minimum.

Of course, magazine covers require some degree of altering, but those that read a review to get acquainted with their soon-to-be-bought vehicle aren't interested in that kind of stuff. Bryan O'Neil Hughes explains this formula best in the tutorial. Now working for Adobe as a product manager with the PhotoShop team, Bryan started as an auto photographer before making it big at Adobe. He knows his stuff, alright.

The complete Photo Worskshop: Car Photography Tips course on has a total duration of 1 hour and 20 minutes, with this specific video acting as just a single film from chapter one of the course. For the best shots, Bryan recommends evaluating the lines of a vehicle first and foremost. If the skies are mostly cloudly and the car is clean, you're good to start the photo shoot after evaluating its sumptuous lines.

We don't want to spoil details such as the camera, lenses, settings, and post-processing tips and tricks Bryan uses, but we have to make an observation. The HDR photo of that Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG could've been much better with less editing. Other than that, auto photography isn't rocket science. You can do it as well. Oh, and always remember that practice makes perfect, so don't get upset over beginner mistakes!

Top tip: if you shoot a car with EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, be sure to wipe the dirt off with a rag first.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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