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ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS & TRICKS – Creative Photography With A Car

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This video has Ray walking the neighbourhood and coming upon an old car. What to do with it? He decides on isolating parts of the car to create abstract images. As usual, the possibilities are endless. By focusing in on only certain areas of this vintage vehicle, Ray is able to render images that may suggest automobile but don’t really show the whole thing. Abstracting a car is not necessarily easy but with some thought, it can be quite rewarding.

When in studio or in the field Ray uses Canon gear. This is a choice he made years ago knowing that he was buying into a system that he could grow into. His go to camera is the Canon EOS 6D with the second camera being a Canon 5D. Lenses used are all L series f/4 except for the 100mm macro f/2.8L lens. They are the 16-35mm f/4L wide angle, 24-105mm f/4 walk around and the 70-200mm f/4L medium telephoto. These lenses round out the kit which is carried about with either a Lowepro Urban Reporter 250 messenger bag for city shooting or a Lowepro Sling Bag for landscape field work. While Ray does more camera handholding than before due to the image stabilization capabilities of his various lenses, he still is a believer in using his Manfrotto carbon fibre tripod. It’s light and it is sturdy. In studio Ray now uses Westcott constant lighting for good clean balanced lighting.

Ray is a firm believer in exposing himself to as much photography and its history as possible. By looking at other people’s photos, he has gained a big appreciation of what this medium has to offer. Ray doesn’t think that “copying” someone else’s style is a good thing but rather feels that exposing oneself to others work can work as a teaching and inspirational tool. With this in mind, Ray has amassed a list of favorite photographers that he uses for inspiration. Some of these artistic photographers are Galen Rowell, Ansel Adams, Frans Lanting, Annie Leibovitz, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Freeman Patterson, William Neill and Richard Avedon.

One of the playlists on this channel is called “neighbourhood photographer” which covers tutorials shot in urban and suburban areas. It’s always a challenge to see different things of interest when you’ve been to an area many times yet this is the best way to create good images. You need to return to familiar locations many times. To do so, Ray often drives by car to an area but when he really wants to cover ground yet see things more clearly, he uses his bicycle…bike…and explores the given place.

Whether shooting landscape, macro, portrait or abstract images, Ray always tries to be aware of his surroundings to capture the best pictures possible. Part of this workflow means he is very aware of composition and uses various tips, such as the rule of thirds, as a good starting point in composing. He also likes to break rules from time to time to add new effects to his photos. Being aware of angles, shadows, shapes, lines, textures, patterns and colours goes a long way to making good pictures. He is also a big believer in “getting out there” and shooting as much as possible as it is the only way to improve and flex one’s imagination. His message is it doesn’t matter if you do your photography in the city, suburbs country, mountains or by the sea, just make sure you do it and follow your artistic passion.

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This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. Great video and photos, thanks for that! You must have been very lucky to have such a beautiful car in your neighborhood. I like the less edited photos better. Even if they are supposed to be abstract. Without "glow" the photos appear more natural and authentic. The textures don't get too flat, e.g. like the raindrops on the side window in 6:39. But that's just from my point of view.

  2. Graeme Borlase

    Thank you for the tips, I am a regular Car Buff, always looking for something different…

  3. Mark Ferrell

    I like the way your brain thinks seems pretty interesting to me, thanks so much

  4. Jeannine Brien

    I miss your vlogs, I hope all is well and we get to enjoy them again soon!

  5. eva eriksson

    Great video,beautiful photos! And an awesome subject you found there. 😊😊

  6. Mike H.

    Seeing old cars like this make me think how cars of today are going to look 50 years down the road. Modern cars don’t even rust that nicely!

  7. Shalom4703

    This is an amazing car Ray.
    You have to take it to your garage and make a project of it.
    Love the pictures, however, I only photograph in black and white.
    But in B&W you can get a lot of great shots from a car like this.
    Great video my friend.

  8. Anatoly Abakumov

    Wonderful video! I'll give it a try as there are a lot of rusty things around there at my place. Thank you Ray and have a good time!

  9. Terry Roth

    Some great ideas here Ray. Very much appreciate the info.🙂

  10. Mark Harris

    This video started with a "Wow!" I love the contrast between the rust and the chrome as well as the different textures. It certainly tells the story of a once loved car. The rain added something to the image on the third shot, yet another texture.

    When you zoomed back in around the sixth shot, I think, I love the editing. Sorry, on the next shot I like the paint like shot but I think I would have taken the saturation down with the wheel. I really like the paint effect of the front, it’s abstract and even as a Brit I know it’s a caddy. That is the one for my wall. I also like the rear windscreen shot.

    As alway Ray, a brilliant video you cheered up a bed day. Hope you’re having a better weekend.

  11. Gary Bennett

    This was fun to watch. I love the beauty of the old cars and how the lines and colors are so cool. This is also why I like the macro world channel you do. The same concepts apply and I’m discovering a whole different style I’m having lots of fun with. Great stuff, thanks.

  12. Stephen Stevenson

    Great video Ray! Such beautiful colours and textures. My favourite was the abstract windshield visor. Well done my friend.

  13. Enrique

    Nice video Ray, thank you for sharing.

  14. Martin Wedge

    Great video, as all ways. I notice that your ISO changes from pic to pic, are you using auto ISO. Thanks, Martin

  15. Kennynva

    I new to photography..or starting over again..and I set the settings to the iso 200, 1/80, f11…and cant even see anything thru my camera…is this normal? It is in daylight I tried this.

  16. Lisa Palzer

    Awesome find! Somehow i see texture for backgrounds. I've been into that lately. Thanks for sharing!!!

  17. Sky

    Very informative. I have run across an old farm truck and wanted to shoot, and milling over in my mind how to go about it. This is the perfect video to give me the answer. Thank you again for a very informative video. Keep up the great work. Respectfully Dave from Norfolk, VA

  18. Colin -47

    Always interesting to see someone else's take on subjects, I'm inspired to go out and see what I can find like that, things were getting a little stale photography wise :)) thank's.

  19. James Urzykowski

    Loved your images! I enjoyed the video. If you want to travel and shoot old cars then “Old Car City” in White Georgia is the place to go. It is only a couple of miles East of Interstate 75. They charge $25.00 for each person with a camera and tripod. You can easily spend the day there. Photographers come from all over the world to take pictures there.

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