How to Stand Out as an Automotive Photographer

Red car volkswagen

Whether you want to take some pictures of the car you just bought or are a photographer interested in the thrilling world of automotive photography, there are some tips and tricks you can use to make your photos pop and dazzle. Check out these top five techniques on how to stand out as an automotive photographer.

1) Watch the Reflections

The best car photos are those that come from spotless, shiny cars. But you can completely ruin a shot if you don’t check what is being reflected on its surface. You typically want to shoot in wide open areas, avoid plants and buildings. They will distort the image so the contours and lines of the car do not stand out as much.

2) Motion Shots

These are the trickiest shots put if done correctly, you will be amply rewarded. The best pictures of a moving car come from photos taken from another moving car. This is where shutter speed is key.

Switch it to 1/100th of a second while you are traveling between thirty and forty miles per hours. Play around with shutter speeds and vehicles speeds so you can get some truly unique pictures.

3) Get a Circular Polarizer

This handy little device does not even have to set you back more than $25. What it allows you to do is block reflections in certain elements of the shot. This gives you more of an opportunity to choose the certain features you want to pop or not. Combined with a tripod, you can get a wide variety of different shots that just may surprise you!

4) Get Down Low

This is Photography 101. It’s all about the angles, but particularly with automotive photography, this is a great way to capture a vehicle from an impressive perspective. You have to get down real low, sometimes even lying on the grass or pavement so save yourself the trouble by skipping wearing the white suit on this day!

Old white car.png

5) Car + Nature= Awesome Photo

Think about every car commercial that you have ever seen. Trucks are usually kicking up huge piles of dirt while roadsters are twisting and turning mountain roads. A still photography shot with the right background really shows how impressive the machine can be. Play around with some of the places you go, sometimes you might find a place that is a little counterintuitive but be impressed by how good things actually look.

The Most Important Tip: Experiment

Photography is an art and the best thing you can do is experiment. Try different shots from different angles at different lightings. This is the best way for you to figure out what looks good and what doesn’t. Best of all, you might stumble upon something other people haven’t, which is how you can truly stand out as an automotive photographer.

5 Things to Know when Renting a Classic Car for an Event

Renting a classic car

One thing you should know is older cars don’t necessarily have all the creature comforts you might expect in this modern era. When renting a classic car, the challenge begins with figuring out how old it actually is. The only way this question is answered is by asking, because there’s no global consensus on what ‘classic car’ actually means. The umbrella definition is ‘an older car with enough historical interest to be collectable and worth preserving or restoring rather than scrapping’ but that could mean almost anything.

The Antique Automobile Club of America defines classic cars as ‘motorized vehicles, 25 years old or older, built in factories, specifically designed and manufactured for transportation use on public roadways and highways.’ To qualify for registration, such vehicles must also have ‘been restored to the same state as the dealer could have prepared the vehicle for delivery to the customer.’ These classic cars are unlike the cars which you drive on a daily basis and so it is important to keep some things in mind.

Be Aware Of Your Steering Wheel

The first American car with power steering was a 1951 Chrysler Imperial. General Motors added the technology a year later to its Cadillac. Family favorites like Ford and Dodge took a while longer to follow. Spinning the wheel when parking, is not the same thing as steering with both hands.

Temperatures May Vary

The earliest autos like Model T Fords had wooden floorboards that leaked heat to the driver’s feet. For Aircon, they removed the side windows in summer. The first cars that came with HVAC standard were 1939 Packards. As recently as the 1970’s heating was an optional extra in family sedans. Best find out first before renting a classic car for an event.

Old red mustang by Vinty

Plan For A Relaxing Drive

Early American cars used a system of rods connecting the brake pedal with the wheels. These need a fair amount of strength to operate in an emergency. While Duesenberg invented hydraulic braking for his racing cars in 1914, the technology only became commercially available in the 1930’s. The moral of the story is, take it easy when self-driving a rented classic car.

Pack Light

Renting a classic car for a motoring holiday is a super way of adding a superior touch, and you may even get a classy reception when you arrive at your accommodation. Know that some American classics have a rumble dickie seat that limits space for luggage. Some European sports cars have hardly any space for rear seat passengers unless they are pre high school children.

Don’t Forget A Map

Finally, do remember to take your sat nav with you and hope and pray there is a socket for plugging in the charger. When the Antique Automobile Club of America defines classic cars as in their original state it means every word of it, and digital auto sat nav is quite a recent event. If you are dressing period-style, borrow a roadmap from the library so you really look the part.

Renting a classic car for a birthday celebration, wedding, or other event is a superb experience once you know what to expect, and can prepare. Few things can compare with riding in style in a retro vehicle, and you are sure to end up in more than a few photos.

10 Stops Worth Making on Highway 1

Ford Mustang 1965

State Route 1 (SR 1), to give it its correct name is a major north-south state highway that runs along virtually the entire Pacific coastline of the U.S. State of California. Covering a total distance of just short of 656 miles, it is the longest state route in CA.

If you are looking for something classic to show off on Highway 1, then your search is over. Click here to view some of the vintage dream cars waiting to take you along California’s fabulous SR 1. The cars come with professional handlers, but if you would rather drive, grab the wheel of a 1965 Mustang convertible. Perhaps you prefer the bragging rights in a 1970 Chevrolet Impala. These are just two of the many choices.

Time to get your classic beauty from yesteryear on the road! Few stretches of highway anywhere compare with the scenic magnificence that driving Highway 1 offers both driver and passengers. We decided to share some of the hot stops right here to help you plan:

  1. We're starting your journey from Golden Gate Park, San Francisco’s 1,000-acre oasis. Then it is south across that iconic art deco span called Golden Gate Bridge, which first opened in 1937. Welcome to San Francisco!
  2. Passing through San Jose at the south end of San Francisco Bay, next up is Santa Cruz. It’s a 1 hour 20 minute drive from San Francisco. This is where the 60s live on, especially along the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
  3. An hour's drive south of Santa Cruz brings you to beautiful Monterey, which lies at the southern end of a bay with the same name. Stunning Point Lobos State Natural Reserve waits to share its many secrets.
  4. Continuing southward, the Big Sur is next up. The awesome views start just after Bixby Bridge, one of the tallest single span concrete bridges in the world. Among the many attractions the Big Sur boasts, are Pfeiffer Beach, McWay Falls, Point Sur State Historic Park, and Ragged Point.
  5. San Simeon features next, and is the perfect place for a break, perhaps even on an overnight stay. A visit to Hearst Castle on the Enchanted Hill is obligatory – it is a museum like no other. Over a million people visit this legendary attraction annually.
  6. Continuing our journey through ‘Saintly Territory’, we pass through San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria and eventually arrive in Santa Barbara. This is culture vulture space, with attractions like the Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara Historical Museum, and the Arlington Theatre.
  7. Malibu needs no introduction, but when you arrive there follow the signs to Point Dume, where you find a beautiful sandy beach, lovely cliffs and rocky coves.
  8. Next stop ‘The Angels’, or the City of Los Angeles in English. The Kodak Theatre, a walk along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a drive down Sunset Boulevard will reward you well.
  9. A visit to Long Beach involves a minor detour from SR 1. Enjoy the drive along Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach before entering San Diego County. Without giving away too much, the coast around the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is stunning!
  10. San Diego marks the end of your exhilarating adventure down State Route 1. We hope you enjoy your ride in style in the classic car of your choice. We also hope our 10 Stops Worth Making on Highway 1 help you plan a memorable trip.

Over to You!

There is something cool about Highway 1. Perhaps you are local, or maybe you have just landed and want to experience something special…Whatever your choice, get yourself and your group behind the wheel and enjoy the most spectacular scenes found anywhere on the planet. Enjoy your ride!

The State of the Classic Car Industry: Bubble or Correction?

Just a few years ago a savvy investor who could tell a Ferrari from a Lamborghini stood to make a pretty penny in the classic car industry. It was hard to go wrong. With prices going up every year the market looked like Las Vegas real estate, pre-bubble. Even relative novices were making money. Everyone was happy.

Unfortunately, old Mr. Newton got in the way eventually and what went up now looks like it’s coming down. The question is not if it will drop, but instead collectors are wondering how much and when. With data in from the big auctions of last season, the picture is starting to become clearer.

The Numbers Look Bad for the Classic Car Industry

Experts watching sales in 2016 and early 2017 noticed a few trends that might indicate a general softening of the market, especially at the Scottsdale events, known as some of the largest around.  Although the average price per car rose, the volume of sales dropped, meaning less money is changing hands across the board. The industry is shrinking.

Deciding what’s causing this to happen is a key to understanding what the future of the classic car industry holds for enthusiasts and speculative investors alike. Most experts agree that the results show average cars are not fetching top dollar like they were just a few years ago. This has resulted in a five-year low on the Hagerty Index, a tool used to measure confidence in the classic car industry. The best cars, one that is rare due to production scarcity, condition, or history, are still in high demand. Essentially, the separation between a good car and a great car is widening both in demand and value.

What is Driving this Trend?

Experts suggest that the steady increase in prices over the past few years has brought a glut of

mediocre vehicles to market being sold by new auction houses and bought by new collectors, enticed with the recent history of high profits in the industry. This lack of experience has resulted in many less than perfect vehicles being offered at premium prices. And, the serious collectors are taking a pass.

Additionally, sales of luxury goods are flattening in other sectors, such as fine art and high-end real estate, and prices are dropping, underscoring the belief that separation is occurring between all luxury and ultra-luxury goods.

Bubble or Correction?

If you own a classic car, you are most likely wondering if you are looking at a market poised for collapse. The experts don’t necessarily think so. More likely, a correction is occurring. For middle of the road vehicles, prices will continue to drop for the next twelve to eighteen months until real value can be had for a price that makes sense for the average investor. At that time, there should be some enticing deals to be made. It is not necessarily a time to panic and sell, but don’t expect to get top dollar for anything less than a perfect vehicle a year from now.

The classic car industry benefits by having real collectors and pure investors present in the market. The collectors will always buy emotionally and will sustain some level of demand accordingly. The investors might drop off if prices bottom out, but they will be back when there is money to be made. Bursting bubbles are catastrophic events. No one is predicting that here.  But, the industry enjoyed steeply increasing valuations for many consecutive years, so any correction could be severe. Most likely, reasonable pricing for mid-range collectable cars will return within two to three years and the cycle can start all over again.

10 Exciting Ways to Make a Wedding Entrance and Exit

Weddings are all about celebrating a lifelong commitment to a journey that is unique to you and your partner for life.  The wedding venue represents the beginning of this journey, and so, it only seems right that you mark the steps in a way that defines your uniqueness:  by arriving and leaving in style!  Give your guests something truly memorable to take away from your big day with these 10 unique transportation tips:

1. Horse-drawn Carriage

Take a trip back in time to how things were done before the Karl Benz and Henry Ford changed the face of transport, and ride to your venue in a horse-drawn buggy or open carriage. Then, after the reception, ride away into the sunset with your special one by your side.

2.  Water Transport

Hosting a wedding by a lake or by the seaside? Have your guests see you off as you sail away on a yacht or speedboat into the wide expanse of the ocean.  For a more adventurous twist, try rowing away in a kayak or paddleboat.

3. Vintage Cars

Celebrate the modern with the antique. There’s nothing like a vintage motor to transform your wedding into a glamorous and memorable affair:  whether it’s a classic Rolls Royce Silver Cloud or good ‘ol Herbie Volkswagen Beetle, you’ll be adding a whole lot of character and style to your special day.

4. Two-Wheeler

Throw the four-wheeler convention out of the window, and ride away in a Harley Davidson or Vespa Scooter.  Or symbolize your commitment to face life as a lifelong team by cycling away in a tandem bicycle.

5. Hot-Air Balloon

Float up, up and away, into a new life together, till the world is beneath your feet and the sky is within your reach. Make a dramatic exit that will have your guests talking about it for a long time.

6.  Antique Tractor

If your wedding is rustic or country-themed, riding off in an antique John Deere tractor can leave you with a memory that’s unique and exhilarating.  

7. Stretch Limo

You can never go wrong with the classic stretch limousine that combines style and practicality into a sleek package. Stretch limos can seat upto 10 people comfortably, making them ideal for transport both to and from the venue.

8. SUV Limo

Are sleek limos not your thing? Take it to the next level with a stretch Hummer or Escalade, which come equipped with cool add-ons like disco lights, mirrored-ceilings, and entertainment systems. They can seat upto 20 people.

9.  School or Party Bus

Have your wedding party arrive in style to your wedding and reception on a party bus! They can seat up to 40 guests. Plus, they come equipped with a bar and entertainment system, so you can get the party started even before you reach your reception.

10.  Open-Air Trolley

An open-air trolley can make your wedding day truly magical. Bring your entire wedding party along for a ride filled with love, laughter and joy, making for a memorable day.

Your wedding day is about making memories for both you and your guests; and an exceptional entrance and exit can make for a truly memorable day.