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Taking Photos at High Noon

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As a newsletter editor, I take lots of pictures during our clubs events. This almost always happens at the worse possible time of day for good photography, full sun in the afternoon. I am impressed with the photos in AACA Magazine. You can see that they are taken in these same conditions but they aren't washed out or have glares, contrast issues. West Peterson takes a lot of these pictures and I was wondering if he or any one else has any tips for us.



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I understand a lens filter (polarizing) will cut all glare out of your camera subject. A gentleman years ago showed me how his filter turned the car window glare to complete black (you could not view the inside of the vehicle), highlighting the colorful paint job. It was impressive to me.

I still have not bought one. I own a cheap digital camera now that is not doing the job. I am in the market for an upgrade.

As always, in my opinion, when buying camera you get what you pay for.


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I guess I should add here that I like to take pictures at either early morning or late afternoon, As you say, high noon is tough. Of course taking the car's pictures in the shade works fine as long as your camera is in the shade too.

I'm sure West will have a lot to add to this.


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  • 2 weeks later...

This is my dilemma. I hate the sun also. What I do is seek shade... complete shade without the mottled sun shining through leaves. I also force a flash if I'm shooting a dark car.

Up until just recently, all my photos were taken in the "automatic" mode of the camera. I am more of a compositionist (does that sound dirty) than a photographer, and am just now learning about how to use the manual modes. You can overcome the hot sun issue, somewhat, by adjusting F-stops, shutter speed, "film" speed (asa), etc. I'm starting to experiment a lot, and it takes a lot of practice. Read your camera's manual and start one step at a time. There are some good hints and tips that will get you started on the right track.

I think you have to be very careful with polarizing lenses. I've used/experimented with one a couple of years ago, and while it seemed to tone down the "hot spots," it seemed to make all the other colors look strange. It could have been a cheap filter.

For several years, I had an additional problem with photographing in bright light. I was getting a magenta halo around chrome and around each and every leaf of a tree if there was sun coming through. I discovered it was ALL caused by a cheap clear lens protector I was using. What a mess. Many, many hours of Photoshop time has been spent trying to eliminate those halos in photos that would be printed.

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Actually, I like SXXX. I almost replaced my previous SXXX with a new SXXX.

I bought a Cxxxx EOS Rebel XSi instead. Around $1,000.

You've got to ask yourself if you want an SLR or not. The non-SLR SXXX Cybershot that I was using produced almost all of the photos in Antique Automobile for the past 5 years. The best part is the Carl Zeiss lens, but the camera also has 4-color Super HAD CCD (I don't even know what that means, but in my research, it was important). In fact, the camera was rated higher than a comparable Cxxxx SLR at the time I bought it. "The very top of the amateur-pro digital cameras." I was told that it was better at still photography than the Cxxxx SLR in the same price category ($1,000 at the time... much less expensive now, I believe). However, you're limited by the non SLR feature.

I've seen some pretty nice pictures come out of high-megapixel pocket cameras, too. Fuji and Canon both make high-quality mini cameras.

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Nikon SLR something like a D40 or whatever is their current model in your price range would be my recommendation. They are very versatile. You can leave it on automatic mode and point and shoot, or you can do all sorts of complicated manual adjustments if you want to do some really advanced things with it.

They are pretty tough. Our CSI folks use Nikon and I have been using them for a couple of years too. When I retire, I have to buy one... I will not be able to live without one when I turn mine in upon retirement.

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  • 7 months later...

We must remember that it may be raining on that high noon sun time. I have taken pictures as a hobby for 50+ years. Remember that rain, snow, sun, or even the moon helps to set the mood of the picture and is a reminder of the weather conditions when the that picture (activity) was happening. All my picture are not perfect, but I try to tell a story with picture. With digital photography, take lots and lots of pictures and use only the good pictures.

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Every picture I take is made with a Nikon D60 with a UV filter, and some with a polarizing lens.

I like the polarizer to take away glare from glass, but it does have occasional adverse effects.

These 3 were in high noon mode, but the camera is on automatic...


Larger,click once after opening to enlarge.





While I agree that overcast/shade is ideal, as noted previously, sometimes we have no choice...





I think the answer lies in what you intend to do with your camera. Is it for what I call "birthday party"

snapshots, or are you going for polished pics with an eye towards publication?

Buy the best SLR you can afford, if the latter is the question, otherwise make do with a point & shoot.

You can have the most fabulous, costly outfit on Earth, but if your compositions are weak,

your shots will be, too. As noted before with digital, take lots and lots until you get comfy with it,

but try different heights (stand up, stoop, etc.) as every car requires a different approach.

I often carry a step-stool or bench as those extra inches can change everything in a photo.

Concentrate on what's in the reflection, background, and sky, as that matters, too.

And if you're shooting cars, fill in the frame (compose like West said) as much as possible,

unless you want added objects like people, strollers, extra asphalt and more in them.

Then get a free program like XnView to crop, adjust, and reduce/enlarge the images

without popping for PhotoShop.

We can thank West and others for the excellent quality in the AA, but you can do the same

(or close to it) with just a little practice.

Happy shooting,


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Thanks Wayne,

Ted is my Evil Twin, but I appreciate your fine comments, and hope that they're taken

as instructive and not overly-authoratative. I just enjoy taking nice photos, for which

I'm occasionally paid, but always enjoy sharing.

We can all learn a lot about about taking pretty pics by communicating and paying

attention to the details.

Tom(!) Gibson

aka TG

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  • 3 months later...

Well, Santa Claus came early this year. I have been putting off buying this replacement camera. Then a couple weeks ago, I asked a Wal-Mart employee if they would have sales on cameras on black Friday this year. She said yes they would. So I waited.......

.....then Sunday before last, we got the advertizing in the papers from EVERYONE! I decided to check on-line for Wal-Mart. Lucky me, I found a Nikon D3000 camera on sale, including a 14-55 mm lens, with also, a 55-200 lens, and the necessary carrying case, all for just under $600.00. WOW! Ordered the setup online with a total cost of $627.00 including free shipping!

So, while all of those women and unlucky men were shopping at 12 midnight or so last Friday, Wayne was asleep, waiting for reindeer hoofs!:P

The "deer" arrived today in a blue and white panel truck! Thanks FED-Ex!

Our half grown kitten enjoyed the box, too!??? Well, maybe not!!!:rolleyes::D

His brother, Sam, is trying to help him out!:P




Edited by R W Burgess
added more evidence! (see edit history)
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Wayne, be careful with the new camera because when you are taking a picture at noon you should check to see which time zone you are in. You might be an hour off and you know what that would do to your picture.

See you in Philly.

You know, you're right Bill. As a matter of fact the set up asks what time zone I am in!??

Gee complicated. I am disappointed it's not pink, though!:eek::P

Yes, will definately see you in Philly, Bill.

Hey! And Gloria's coming this year too, so keep those stories to yourself, "Ya Heah?";):cool:


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Too late, Peter is putting up a category for Wayne Burgess stories and already has 238 people awaiting placing stories there. I did talk with the producers of Law and Order, and they said could not use such sordid stories as they heard about you. Also, they told me that there is even no place on the internet that they could place the stories.

Good luck with the new lawyer.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My favorite time to photograph cars is approx 10am, but stand way back and zoom in with your lens. Nothing detracts more than your shadow in the picture holding the camera. I also prefer bright sun to shade, contrary to the advice of most professionals. I believe that the sun better penetrates the clearcoat down to the base coat, thereby eliminating the haze on the topside surfaces. Watch the hot spots on the bumpers and move around to minimize them. My weapon of choice....The Sony Alpha 3 with a 3.5-5.6 F stop and 18-70 focal length. Examples of my work....

Hershey AACA Show 2010 pictures by BOOWAH - Photobucket

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