White on White

White Car on White Background?

Like a black cat cowering in a coal bunker, photographing a white car on a white background presents certain difficulties. But then that’s why, when prestige car dealers need photography for their website, they use specialists like me!

This beautiful new BMW 116d sports the new design of the latest One Series, and cuts a dashing figure against its white background…

Fujifilm X-T3 with Circular Polariser F=50mm, f/5.6, at 1/30th Second on ISO3200

The key of course, is to slightly underexpose the white car, and overexpose the background by at least two stops. So, ideally the camera should be on a tripod, and the shot bracketed, and later combined in Photoshop. Best practice too is to use a light meter to get the correct exposure on the car.

With any form of vehicle image, the camera position is vital. I like to be around 8-10 yards away from the vehicle when taking this shot, to avoid perspective distortion of the shape of the vehicle, – so on the Fujifilm mirrorless cameras, a 50mm focal length is ideal, on a full frame 35mm camera, say around 75-80mm focal length for best results. Not too high either; the camera should be around the height of the wing mirror. That’s much easier these days with mirrorless cameras, and the fold-out LCD, showing the actual processed image.

No exposure compensation needed with the M135, in blue. Simple manipulation using layers and masks in Photoshop can isolate this beauty from its off-white backdrop and make it stand out against pure white.

Fujifilm X-T3, F=50mm, f/5.6 at 1/30th sec on ISO3200