Automotive photography tips by Seagram Pearce



















Physics plays a huge role in panning because objects moving directly towards you or away from you will never be sharp. However objects moving at the same distance away from you perpendicularly will have a much higher sharpness rate. It’s very rare to have the entire vehicle sharp because of physics & object travel while the shutter is open.


You would shoot from the chase vehicle back onto the hero vehicle. Depending on how smooth your road surface is, you should be getting a fair amount of sharp images. Depending on your driving speed, you can increase your shutter speed, because you’re physically travelling faster over greater distance, so the camera interprets this as motion.


The benefit of this is the creative freedom it allows with lighting. Moving lights become light trails and small light sources can be moved to create apparent larger light sources. In this shot I only made use of passing vehicle lights.


For this next shot, it was important to make the car look impressive going through the water. Getting an aesthetic pleasing ‘freeze’ is important. A blurred mass of water would have not looked good at all, so we foze that motion to the point where you can make out individual water drops.


It is a little trickier because you’re essentially having to hang out the window & shoot over the chase vehicles bonnet. With tracking, certain physics come into play which you can use to your advantage, such as objects closer to camera will have more movement than those furthest from the camera.

So when planning your shot composition, try use objects closest to you as framing elements.