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Automotive Photography Tutorials

Here you’ll find automotive photography tutorials with step-by-step directions. Learn location scouting, art direction, camera settings, lighting, retouching and color correction, all within the context of the automotive space.

Topics include Light painting, golden hour, Photoshop retouching, rollers, motion blur, astrophotography, lens selection and more.

I shoot with Nikon cameras and lenses, but you can use these techniques with any equipment.

Have a specific question? Reach out at mike@machineswithsouls.com. You can also follow along on instagram @machineswithsouls.

Automotive Photography Tutorials

The BMW Performance Center shoot

This story depicts a four-day shoot at the BMW Performance Center in South Carolina. They say football is a game of inches. Well, so is car photography. And there I was, perched out the back of an X5, with my camera inches off the ground. Move it an inch too far to the left or… Read More »

PrimeNYC show recap

By now, my love for Japanese cars is well documented. It’s how I got started with all of this. And before I take you to the PrimeNYC show recap, I’m going to give you a little context… Yep, that’s my 3000GT and my first 350Z, together in 2004. This was taken in a Pathmark parking… Read More »

My Formula E Experience

You might not know this, but my love for motorsport begins and ends with Formula 1. I’ve been to many events and each has their charm, but to me, the 20 drivers that take the line on any given Sunday represent the best of the best. And if I want to shoot Formula 1 one… Read More »

Top 5 tips for shooting a classic car

Each car has a soul – you know my credo by now. When it comes to classic cars, the added years and history can make for an even more compelling image, but is shooting an old car any different from shooting a modern one? Hint: yes! Here’s my top 5 tips for shooting a classic… Read More »

AMMO Paint Regimen Review

This is my own AMMO Paint Regimen Review, and in no way endorsed by anyone. While the images here depict REFLEX, the newly available REFLEX PRO works the same way. It’s simply a better version. One thing I really enjoy doing is making my cars look amazing. I’ve been detailing since I was 15, and… Read More »

What lenses should I use to shoot a car?

Like any photography genre, automotive images require some special consideration when it comes to lens selection. But don’t be overwhelmed – you just need three. Here are the lenses you should use to shoot a car. I’m on a Nikon Z7, but these focal lengths are common for almost any camera set up. Prime vs… Read More »

Import vs Domestic – should you buy an imported JDM car?

Nope, it’s not Mustang vs Civic, it’s better! Welcome to a special Father’s Day edition of the blog. This week, we’ve got Jay’s 2016 Toyota 86, and his son Danny with a 1993 Suzuki Cappuccino, which is imported from Japan. I have a big passion for Japanese sport coupes, and this pair begs the question:… Read More »

My top 5 car shots of all-time

I’ve just passed 1,000 posts on my Instagram page, and to celebrate, I’ve got my top 5 car shots of all-time. #5 – BMW M3 in Weehawken We start with the first blog post I wrote on here. Where: Weehawken, NJ, near Port Imperial. Time: November 2018 Car: 2008 BMW E92 M3 Backstory: This car… Read More »

What’s the best modern BMW M car?

I’ve driven them all, on both road and track. My M3 is coming, but did I make the right decision? I’m going to share some driving time and let you know what I think the best modern BMW M car is. Bring out the M2, M3/M4, and the M5! The BMW M2 For: Most fun… Read More »

10 tips on how to shoot a car

This blog goes into great length explaining how to light paint, shoot rollers, even retouch. But what if you’re starting from scratch, and you want to learn how to shoot a car? You can make images like I produce, and I’ll show you how with 10 easy tips. 1 – The camera I’ve said it… Read More »