On a recent trip to the Silverstone Classic Event I spent a good many hours photographing the show cars. With a large rally like this it is easy to become overwhelmed by the whole multi-sensory experience. There are not just the fabulous colours, curves and shapes of the cars of course, but also the revving of engines, the colourful stalls and bars, the milling crowds and the owners in their marquees and deckchairs. In this case I chose to stay focused on the cars themselves. My advice would be as follows:
- Don’t try and photograph the whole car unless you are making some kind of specialist catalogue for knowledgeable enthusiasts
- Use a wide angle focal length when you have full access to stationary cars
- Get close – it’s dramatic! It will also tend to exclude distracting background elements
- Try a variety of perspectives, especially low angle. You will gain sky as a background rather than a complex mess of deck chairs, tents etc. A low angle will emphasise the power of the cars
- Diagonal composition lines will tend to suggest the dynamism and excitement of the subject
- Include some close-ups of interesting features like emblems, handles, trim or mirrors
- With so much chrome and shiny paintwork on display, reflections are inevitable. Just keep your eye on them.
- Number plates will need to be blurred out later if you intend to put your images on the internet. A number plate constitutes personal data and falls within the scope of the Data Protection Act
If you are going to photograph cars racing on the circuit you will need as long a telephoto as you can get your hands on. You are going to be a long way from them and that is a whole different ball game!