Here at iLHP, we are car lovers as well as camera lovers. So in celebration of the ongoing North American International Auto Show in Detroit and the many international shows to come, we’d like to take a moment to share 10 quick tips on photographing an auto show. For your convenience, below is also a list of some of the major car shows around the world this year.
10. Avoiding the Crowds
Assuming you don’t have a press pass, timing determines whether or not your pictures will be filled with strangers. Try weekdays after work/school. Avoid opening day and weekends. I was at the LA auto show on a Monday. The convention center was nearly empty and I sat in every car I wanted. It made the experience that much more enjoyable.
9. Bring a Zoom Lens or a Wide Angle Prime
Car shows are dynamic affairs. Zoom lens, such as a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L or a Nikon 24-120mm f/4G, are great for low light, variable distance shooting, and static subjects. Larger apertures are less important here because (a) car shows are usually well lit so ISO is less of a problem and (b) you’d want smaller apertures to capture more in focus.
After 17 states, 70+ hours of driving, about $550 in gas, and 4523 miles (7279 km) later California welcomed me with sunshine, palm trees, and 20 lane freeways. It is a one-in-a lifetime road trip that few will have the opportunity to do so. But I am grateful that my car was perfect for the whole trip, no punctured tires (my biggest worry since the car doesn’t have a spare tire), no speeding tickets, and no belongings were lost or stolen during the whole trip. This was a solo trip of a lifetime.
This last leg of the journey took me across some of the most amazing landscape throughout the whole trip. Starting off in the mile high city of Denver, I made a detour and headed up to the Trail Ridge Road and slowly winded my way through to out-of-this-world landscape of Utah. Then from the post-card-perfect Arizona, I passed through sin city Las Vegas and finally made my way to my new home in Los Angeles. The photos turned out great, but you’ve really got to go see it to believe how beautiful this part of America is.
Nothing makes you feel more like a journalist, or perhaps a traveling salesperson, than trying to type up your work in a dingy hotel room in the middle of nowhere. Actually, my $55/night Hotwire hotel is pretty nice (it even has a kitchenette and a dining table) and I’m in Knoxville, Tennessee which has a population of 182,200 so it isn’t exactly “nowhere.” But you get the point.
So all is well, I’m alive (first question a few friends seems to always ask), but it hasn’t been without its unexpected adventures. A bear attack, biblical rain, a really good cheesesteak sandwich later I’ve somewhat deviated from my original route (Part 1). Nonetheless good times and good photography were had.