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OSMojo

Photographing an Esprit

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OSMojo    17

I cannot seem to take a good photo of a car. Years ago I had an Alfa Romeo RZ which had an impressive rear, just like the Esprit S2 I have now. But when I took a photo, it just disappeared at the back. There seems to be a way to take a photo so the camera sees what your eyes see. Take a look at this photo, the photographer has used a lens of some sort (wide angle?) so the rear of the lotus looks good, and how your eyes see it, nice and wide. You can see he has done or used something, as when you see the second photo of the car driving away, ludicrously it is bigger at the front. Obviously he didn't have time to change whatever setting he had as he took the second photo as the car drove off. Take a look. Anyone know how this is done? I really want to capture the drama of the wide rear of the car when I take a photo from the front.

Lotus Esprit S2 1

Lotus Esprit S2 8

 

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Giniw    14
5 hours ago, OSMojo said:

Take a look at this photo, the photographer has used a lens of some sort (wide angle?)

It's the other way round: the parallel lines are almost parallel, it's almost an orthographic projection. => Those two photos have been taken with a long focal lens (>300mm I would say).

Please take a look at the last photo and explanation there: http://artandstructure.com/photography/artofpho/widetele.php
(that one: http://artandstructure.com/photography/artofpho/wntlines.jpg)

Personally I find the two photos you show taken with a too long focal lens, it's too "square", there is almost no perspective at at all. But it's just my taste.

It's actually very easy to take a photo with the same rendering than what you see. Just move around the car until you see something you like. Pay attention to the perspective, not just the general impression. Then, stay there and adjust the focal length of your lens so that the car fits in the frame and ... take your photo. The perspective on the photo will be the same than what you saw. If you don't have a zoom lens (=fixed focal) then just take your photo and crop in post production (of course if you can't see the whole car through your viewfinder and fixed focal lens then there is nothing you can do about that ^^)

5 hours ago, OSMojo said:

I really want to capture the drama of the wide rear of the car when I take a photo from the front.

 – Walk  away from the car as far as you can (don't forget to lock the doors! :D),
 – then zoom in (use the longest focal length you can; the farthest the "squarest" the perspective)
 – and take your photo.

And show us the results ^^

 

 

PS: Actually to be clear the perspective depends only on the distance you are from the object you are seeing. The trick is that if you are close to your object and want it to fit the whole frame, you have to use a short focal lens (wide angle) whereas if you are far from your object and want it to fit the whole frame, you have to use a long focal lens.
=> If you take a photo from a long distance with a wide angle lens, and then you crop the photo to isolate a detail, you have the same effect on the perspective. The thing is, there is not an infinite resolution so if you want to isolate a tiny detail from a wide angle lens, you will end up with a really tiny resolution photo.

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Giniw    14
1 hour ago, Giniw said:

the parallel lines are almost parallel

=the parallel lines in the real world are almost parallel on the photo (I think that wasn't so clear ^^)

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OSMojo    17
11 hours ago, ian29gte said:

Were those photos both taken by a speed camera?

These guys stand around on motorways and take photos of rare cars, they actually took one of me and my wife in France on my way to Italy in an Alfa RZ. 

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OSMojo    17
6 hours ago, Giniw said:

=the parallel lines in the real world are almost parallel on the photo (I think that wasn't so clear ^^)

Thanks for the information. I will give this a try. It has always bugged me that what I see through a lens isn't the same as what my eye sees. Here's an RZ (sorry it's not a lotus) first one someone knows how to take it, second someone doesn't. 

   Related image Image result for alfa romeo RZ

 

Edited by OSMojo

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Giniw    14
3 hours ago, OSMojo said:

It has always bugged me that what I see through a lens isn't the same as what my eye sees.

It is actually, it's just that the brains interprets it a lot. The next time you want to take a photo, pay more attention to the perspective lines.

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gvy    154

GiniW,

I am no photographer, but you explained it very well. I look at it this way.

A car is about 4m long. If I stand at a distance of (  exaggerating here ) 100m, looking at the car or taking a picture with a zoom lens, then the front of the car (100m) and the back of the car (104m)  is about the same distance,( 4m is very little compared to the 100m distance)  so the perspective will be almost invisible. The front and back of the car will look the same width. The lines of the car will be almost parrallel or square if you want.

Now The same car ( 4m) and you stand at a distance of 2m and look at it or taking a picture with a wide angle lens, then the front of that car is visually way closer ( 2m) than the back (6m). So the front will look very wide compared to the back. There is a lot of perspective involved and the lines of the car are not parrallel at all.

Taking a picture from close ,  the perspective can make things look more dramatic, sometimes it looks ridiculous.

But taking a picture from a bigger distance will flatten things out, looking more realistic, but it can become dull

 

A good example of ridiculous if you take a photo to close with to much perspective : take a selfie  from your face from close up (20cm) . Your nose which is the closed to the camera, will look ridiculously big compared to the rest of your face that looks to small. Take that same picture with a selfiestick and your face will look normal. ( I hope for you:P)

 

 

Geert

 

 

Edited by gvy
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Mark Blanchard    917

The Esprit looks good from low angles.  And a 50mm prime lense will take a nice photo of it.  Walk back till the car fills the camera frame and get down low.

I took this pic of my car back in 2003 with a crappy Olympus Stylus 300 camera.  It was taken low and at roughly 50mm.

Google images displayed it back then from my website and I guess it's a popular photo, as Google images still displays it 14 years later.

Lotus_Esprit_4.jpg

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*****

Esprit SE pictures from a different / non traditional angle sometimes are interesting imo..........

 

59baf39086d36_IMG_3966-kopie(2).thumb.JPG.03d0ba624ad63cf783c30fc37188d9c6.JPG

 

59baf3c59c60b_LotusEsprit(2)JPGsmall.thumb.jpg.f9a43edfd9c8bc787a6e492d2514019d.jpg

 

 

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GTK    208

Howarya Darren,

No camera can recreate your mind's eye, but a good photo is one that combines some key ingredients (composition, focus, colour/contrast reproduction) to build up an image that you perceive to be close to what you see. Or in many cases, far from what you see but emotive enough to become the image you have in your head, however unrealistic. I say this because the Esprit photos are both technically a bit suspect, and the Alfa photos are more closely related than the overall effect makes you think.

The 1st Esprit photo isn't a particularly good one. It's in focus, but aside from the high angle, I think there's some lens distortion going on - the nose seems short and skewed. The 2nd one is unflattering because the car is physically low at the back, whether it has something heavy in the luggage space or has tired rear springs, it aint right. The front wheel looks crazy big. I'm wondering whether it's a crop from the edge of a larger photo which could explain the apparent distortion. Either way the car looks bigger at the front, I suspect due to the hardware used or method of obtaining the still or both. The better RZ photo was taken lying down like you'll see a guy doing at Bib's link [Edit] and the car is further from the rock background than it might seem. The bad RZ photo would be a lot better if the location was different, the angle isn't terrible and is taken from a crouch rather than laying down.

What kind of camera are you using? Make sure it's in manual and learn to manipulate exposure and focus, it'll be a pain with a compact cam but achievable. If it has a zoom, zoom in fully (do not use digital zoom) and leave it there. Physically move the camera to compose the shot, whilst staying as close to the car as possible. This will have the lens the best chance to produce bokeh - the nice blurry out of focus background effect. You can practice this with your phone. Get an object, a glass of water (or beer) is fun, and put it standing so that the TV or a window (source of light or just something bright) is in the distance behind the liquid. Bring the phone lens close as you can putting the glass across half the frame, with the other half left for whatever's in the background. Tapping the screen on the surface of the glass/liquid to get focus, you'll see the background goes blurry. Et voila, bokeh and an interesting image.

To scale it up and give yourself the best chance take your car to a place where you can get the car a good distance from the next nearest thing - a field/grassland/large empty car park. The further you get the car from the background, the less it will matter how busy the background is because it'll be more blurred. Take a small step ladder maybe, but get low, get high (not mind expanding drugs, but can help :P) and just play with angles and camera setting until you hit something you like.

Hope that helps.

George

 

IMG_4086-2.jpg

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Giniw    14
16 hours ago, GTK said:

The front wheel looks crazy big. I'm wondering whether it's a crop from the edge of a larger photo which could explain the apparent distortion.

I don't think so, it's just a very long focal. I just checked it and the front wheel diameter is just a bit smaller (like 2 pixels) than the rear one.

As the brain knows that a distant object should appear smaller, it interprets it as being bigger than the rear wheel.

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GTK    208

Yeah maybe you're right, still looks weird though. Very flat.

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Giniw    14
1 hour ago, GTK said:

still looks weird though. Very flat.

I totally agree with that.

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