Tips For PhotographingYour Model Cars


    •  Fill all visible sides of the car with light.

   Good                               Not So Good
  • When possible, use a flash or blue light bulbs for light. Standard incandescent bulbs burn cold and will make your picture yellow. If you must use incandescent light, move the light as close as possible to the model dar as possible or use a blue filter on your lens. Blue light bulb lighting can be a favorable choice over flash because you can plan and predict your lighting a little better. “What you see is what you get.”


  • If you have no artificial lighting available, you will need to photograph your model car outdoors.

  • Select a cloudy day with indirect sunlight to eliminate shadows. Late evening light can produce some interesting light effects also. Experiment and determine the effects you like best.

      Direct Sunlight                              Indirect Sunlight                                               Evening Sunlight

The Camera:

  • You MUST use a digital camera or a single lens reflex (SLR) camera! A view finder camera will not work with close-up photography. If you do not have a digital or an SLR camera, find a friend who has one. Your friend may even help you photograph your model car.

  • Set your camera at as high an “f” stop as possible to achieve more depth of field. Use f-16 when possible.

  • Use a tripod when shooting a shutter speed less than 1/60.

Film and Prints:

  • Use 400 ASA film for lower light and 100 ASA film for higher light sources.

  • Print either 4X6 or 5X7 size prints.


  • Use a rolled poster board, cloth or other materials as a background. Try to use contrasting colors and not shoot a white car on a white background.