Tag Archives: Nikon D4

What do you need as a car photographer?

I get questions like this from time to time from all over the place, so I thought why not start some sort of Q&A for these questions and put them out there on the interwebs for everyone to see.

Feel free to share these posts with others that you know are interested in car photography. I have been doing this for seven years now and I have learned a lot and I still do. That’s the beauty of photography.

So, what do you need to shoot cars? I will divide this post in several parts, so lets start with the basics.
A very good starting point is in fact that you need a camera, duh! :)
Start out with the lens/lenses that you already own. When you start to get serious about your car photography, or photography in general, and get a feeling that you are limited in your way of capturing the kind of frames you want, then there might be time to do some upgrades.

I will write down a list here, lists are always popular, check it out.
- Camera
- Lenses
- A lot of memory cards.

That’s it actually, believe it or not, but there are no secrets hidden between the lines here. ;) In later posts I will go through other stuff that you might wanna try out that are indeed helpful tools that will help you out in your pursuit of greatness!

The camera, there is actually no camera that is a specific camera for shooting cars. You should use the one that you own, see it as a tool, that´s what I do. Some people prefer tools from a brand called Canon, I prefer tools from Nikon nowadays and others might like tools from Pentax, Sony, Fuji, Hasselblad, Phase One and so on and so forth. The most important thing is that YOU know YOUR camera, so learn your camera well and ignore all the other cameras out there for a while.
There are big and heavy cameras like the Nikon D4 and there are more medium sized cameras like the Nikon D800 and then there is the even smaller and lighter ones like Nikon D7000. The list goes on and on.
Depending on your wallet and other preferences like ergonomics and so on you have to make a choice when it comes to picking a camera that suits your needs. Your needs might change over time, but lets focus on the one you have right now or the one that you are gonna buy.
A D4 for instance is a great choice for some people, the D800 is great for some other people. They are two completely different tools. There are some things to consider depending on your shooting style. Do you photograph a lot of motorsport for instance you might like the super fast D4, if you have more time, or experience, and know when you need to push the shutter and dont need to do it as often you might like the D800 more. It is all up to what you do and what you prefer.
If you are interested in shooting a lot with a rig you should perhaps go for a smaller and lighter camera. The more weight you put at the end of that rig the more stable your rig needs to be. The bigger the camera the heavier the fall. But, i might add, the bigger pro cameras like the D4 can take quite a beating. I know, because i have tried. Over the years i have dropped my cameras several times and yes they have broken a couple of times. But no worries, everything can be repaired, almost. ;)
These are just a few of many things that you need to consider when starting out.

The lenses, if you have a wideangle lens and a telephoto lens you are on your way to car shooting greatness. If you have lets say a 16-35mm or a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm lens your good to go!

- The wideangle lens (from around 16 to 35mm on a fullframe sensor) is excellent for detail shots, static environment shots and moving shots like rigshots or car to car shots. (A ”car to car shot” is when you sit in one car taking pictures of another car on the move)
- The telephoto lens (from around 70mm up to a lot of mm on a fullframe sensor) is excellent for tight detail shots, for tight environment shots where you want to isolate the subject from the background and also for panning shots on the road. (A panning shot is when you stand by the side of the road and the car goes by on the road and you snap away when it passes by)

Take a look below to see some examples of what I am talking about.

First is two wideangle shots taken with the Nikon D800 and the Nikon 16-35F4 so that i could have a lot of free space around the subject, which is the new Aston Martin Rapide S, that i shot in England in the end of april. The first one is a perfect example of a car to car shot, while the second one is a static environment shot.

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The next two is taken with a telephoto lens. The first one is with a Nikon 85mm F1,4 which compresses the image a little bit and focuses on the details and the second one is taken with the Nikon 70-200mm F2,8 @180mm which compresses it all even more.

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OK, that’s it for this time. There will be more info in the next post about what you need as a car photographer.

Take care and remember, sharing is caring! Do share this post if you like it so that more can see it. :)

What are you waiting for, get out there and use your tools! Better yet, show me the results!

/Patrik

Posted in Automotive Q&A, Gear, How to, Inspiration | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

A teaser of things to come

Here is a british car in Germany, some might find that odd perhaps. But i disagree, we had a lovely time together. More to come, trust me.

This right here is an iPhone snap, so bear with the quality, it´s a teaser like i said. :)

Jolly good! :)

/Patrik

Posted in New cars | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

Have you stepped out of your comfortzone lately?

And by that i mean the way you shoot your pictures, do you get stuck sometimes? Frankly, we all do sometimes. Do read on if you want some kind of push in, at least, some kind of direction. If it´s right or not for you is up to you to decide.

Anyway, I went down to Anderstorp for the sixth race of the season, actually my fourth this year since i´ve missed two of them. If you´ve been to Anderstorp you know it´s a big track, they actually had F1 races there in the seventies, which is pretty cool.

It´s a fast track with long straights and long sweeping bends. It stretches over a huge area, and it would take ages to walk from one end to the other. Which means that if you have to cover all classes during the day you dont really have time for any longer excursions out in the wild. I guess that is why a lot of photographers go to the places where everyone else stands, but that just results in a sort of a ”copy & paste” situation. All of them is getting roughly the same results.

But, if you take it a step further and step out of the famous box, or if you rather call it your comfort zone, things will start to happen. And what do you know, you might have a bit of fun as well while your doing it.

I´ve seen people standing in the exact same position during entire races and i dont get it. Imagine going through a thousand files showing the exact same thing, how fun is that? It beats me. I tend to get bored seeing the exact same thing over and over again and on top of that i dont want to give my clients pictures that look like everyone else pictures. I got several reasons to why i never stand in the same position during the entire event. The funny thing is that this is not something that is just applicable on photography, i think it is applicable on life in general. Lists are always popular, so i made one.

If you try to step out of your comfortzone, you might experience one or more of these things below:

  1. You will not get bored that easily.
  2. You will get several different angles.
  3. You will discover new areas.
  4. You will have more fun. Fun = better results.
  5. You will keep your clients happy.
  6. You will broaden your vision.
  7. You will hopefully get great satisfaction when the above is fulfilled.

I guess i could go on and on but i think you get the point.
The only sort of mistake you can do is if you dont try hard enough.

Never stand still, keep moving and stay hungry. Or to qoute the late Steve Jobs: ”Stay hungry, stay foolish.”

So go out there and reinvent the way you use your camera, that´s what i try to do as often as possible.

Here are a few snaps from the day, and as usual they are clickable so that you can see them big and beautiful. :)

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Take care!
/Patrik

Posted in How to, Inspiration, Racing | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

A TTA racecar in Volvos windtunnel.

One of the absolutely biggest advantages with my job as a photographer is that it takes me places that i would never ever go, or be able to go to otherwise. You could say that my camera opens a lot of doors that are usually locked. And my trip to Volvos own windtunnel outside of Gothenburg a while back was a typical case of door opening magic happening. You wont get in there unless you are invited or work there. I went there with fellow automotive-shooter Richard Sjösten and the pr-man of TTA Johan Meissner to shoot the testing of the brand new TTA racecars.

Volvo is like fort Knox, you need the right papers to get in there, and it´s like that for obvious reasons. There is a lot of stuff going on behind the fences with future products in development. And this might be historic in a way since it could have been the first time a Saab was in Volvos own windtunnel. :)

This was the first time for all three of us visiting a wind tunnel and it wasn´t just me that thought it was a really cool place. They performed some serious testing in there since it cost around 80000 sek to rent it, per day! So we were quick between each run. It has a huge fan that pushes the air in speeds up to 250km/h, that´s a lot of air. But i think the favorite moment, for all of us, was when they took out the smoke machine. We we´re like kids in a candyshop running around trying to get different angles. When the smoke was on they ran the fan at a very low speed, otherwise you wouldn´t see it. But trust me, it was windy enough in there.

Here are some of the images from the weekend. The Volvo looks really cool, and now when i have seen the other cars in their final stage i got to say that i look forward to see sixteen of these battling it out on our racetracks this year.

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/Patrik

Posted in New cars, Racing | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

English, yes please!

I’m going all in with the International language from now on, i have seen in my stats that i have quite a lot of visitors from all over the place.
So this and all the following posts will be in English.
Here in Sweden the knowledge of the English language is pretty good. My English is far from perfect, but i’m willing to give it a try.

If you rather read stuff in Swedish then i’ll suggest that you head over here, to Fotosidan.se which is a superb site for the whole swedish photocommunity. There you’ll find my posts in Swedish.

We’ll see how it goes! :)

Here’s an iPhone picture from yesterday when i was at Fotografiska where Nikon was showing their new gear amongst other things. But the best part was of course that they had invited Joe McNally and Bill Frakes to do a little presentation of what they have been up to lately. I’ve seen both of these guys on stage before and i got to say that they’re really good, not just in their profession, but also in how they tell their stories with a great sense of humor and wits. Especially Joe, he’s a true entertainer. I think we all have a lot to learn from these craftsmen.

To top that of, i got a call late in the afternoon with a very nice surprise. My long awaited Nikon D4 have arrived and i should have it sometime next week. I’m actually quite excited, and it’s going to be fun trying it out.

See ya!

/Patrik

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Posted in Inspiration, Personal, Stories | Also tagged , , , , , , 2 Comments