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Home / Tips and Tricks / How To Take Badass Autofotos With Your Galaxy S10 Plus

How To Take Badass Autofotos With Your Galaxy S10 Plus



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Andrew Hoyle / CNET

So you have a Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus ($ 941

on Amazon) Google Pixel 3 ($ 725 at Walmart) or Huawei P30 Pro in your hands. ($ 960 on Amazon) and you have the keys to the incredible Aston Martin DBS Superleggera. Of course you, lucky you.

To document this wonderful event, you really have to take beautiful photos. Here I come into play. I will guide you through my top tips on how to get professional pictures of cars with your phone.

While I use a Galaxy S10 Plus and an Aston Martin (because most of these tips also apply when taking pictures with a phone or another car), all images in this article were taken and edited with the Galaxy S10 Plus. Let's start.

Position, Position, Position

Finding a great environment for your car is the absolute best way to increase your chances of getting brilliant shots, so think carefully about where you want to go Parking behind a supermarket will probably not bring much success to you, but a beautiful coastal road? Now let's talk. [Rp-export-1380727990188351-20190423-132213199"data-original="https://cnet3cbsistaticcomcom/imc/z6pKoQdZ28sWMHb8xX1YSW4y7ws=/2014/04/64e93734-3/64e93734-3/64e93734-4/4e93734-export-1380727990188351-20190423-132213199jpg”/>


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

For me, I went to the idyllic hills and expansive streets of the Peak District in northern England. I know this area well, so I had some good points in mind. It's also a great place to drive a car like the DBS, and I wanted to make sure it matched the car's theme. For example, a racing car would look a little wrong on an off-road track in the mountains.

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<h2>  Use the Weather to Your Advantage </h2>
<p>  The weather can completely change the mood of your picture. So think about how you can use it. A rainy day with billowing black clouds is great for giving an impression of the wildest nature – it would add drama to a car like a Land Rover that belongs to the great outdoors. A beautiful, golden summer day is now worthwhile to adapt to the mood of a luxurious open-top cruiser. </p><div><script async src=

Of course, when planning the weather you can only go so far that you often have to take care of it with what you have. Again, location planning is important – do not go to Scotland if you want a clear, blue sky ,

Use the available light sensibly

Even if today's smartphones like the Huawei P30 Pro can take great pictures at night? You still get the best results if you take pictures during the day, so you should take the most pictures.

But even then, choose your times well. When I was shooting with the DBS, the midday sun was too hot. Often the already dark car fell into the shadows as the phone struggled to balance it against the radiant sky. By waiting until later in the afternoon, when the sun was lower in the sky, I was able to make much better-looking shots of the car as the light got a softer quality.

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With the sun directly behind the car, the side of the car visible to the camera has fallen into the shadows. Not a good look.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Even then, it's important to think about how you use this light. Do not make a car with the sun directly in the background behind the car. The side of the car you're photographing is in the shadows and one of two things is going to happen. Either the phone is exposed to the sun, the car is thrown into the shade, or the phone is exposed for the car, and the sky is completely gone. Also, the look is not good.

Instead, by moving, you can find an angle at which the sun illuminates the car for a more even exposure.

Find Your Angle

Finding the Right Position With angle, you can capture the car in its best light, giving your image real drama and creative flair.

The classic view of a car – certainly the angle you see most in advertising – is the front three-quarter view. This shows the largest possible number of cars in one shot and captures all the unusual front details. It's the best place to start thinking about your shots, and it's an absolute must-have.

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Andrew Hoyle / CNET

But how you get that angle depends on you. For powerful cars like the Aston Martin, I like to use a lower angle. This gives the car an imposing, dominating attitude that works well with the powerful nature of the car.

Move around the car and try it from different angles to find out what works best. If you move around and use the wide-angle lens on the phone, you can only keep the car in your shot – ideal if you can not control where the car is and you want to eliminate distractions in the background.

I wanted to show the car in the beauty of its surroundings, so I took off and used the standard zoom lens to add more context to the scene. Why should you come all the way to the countryside if you do not want to keep it in the picture?

Capture the details

Each car has interesting details that tell a bit about the history of the car. For the DBS, I witnessed the sewing details on the seat and the DBS badge on the sparkling color close up to focus on exactly where I wanted to be pin sharp.

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Andrew Hoyle / CNET
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Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Take a look around your vehicle and think about which details to highlight. If it's a power car, look for rear wings, aggressive vents, carbon fiber details, or anything that suggests speed and power. Shoot a luxury car? Climb aboard and enjoy the classy leather seats, real wood trim or other ornaments such as the Rolls Royce "Spirit of Ecstasy".

Shoot Raw, Later

Although the Galaxy S10 Plus is great, in standard photo mode, I strongly recommend switching to Pro mode and shooting in raw format. This option can be found in the settings menu in Pro mode. This file format removes all of Samsung's standard image processing and gives you a much cleaner file to work with in your inbox.

Unformatted pictures often look quite flat and lifeless straight out of the camera, and you always have to edit something. It's not as fast as shooting in automatic JPEG mode, but high-end shots like these are much slower than fast shooting. I always do my car images in RAW format, whether on my phone or my Canon DSLR, because I know that I always have to do some post-processing.

I edit my images with Adobe Lightroom CC on the phone, however, I also spent a lot of time with Snapseed and VSCO. Do not be afraid to edit your pictures, and do not be fooled if you think you are "cheating". Keep in mind that there is not a single image of a car that has not yet been edited – or, in many cases, extensive expert compositing – and the vast majority of the car footage shown on Instagram will be there at least some work them.

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The shot after processing Lightroom CC on the Galaxy S10 Plus.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

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The unedited version of the JPEG image.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

For most of my pictures, I tend to push the lights down to control the sky, highlighting some of the shadows that helped lighten the dark Aston Martin. I've also used the brush tool in Lightroom to selectively brighten up the car and add a bit of contrast, making it jump out a bit more – after all, it's the hero of the picture.

Finally, I usually do some sort of color balance by adjusting the hue, saturation and brightness of each color to achieve the desired effect. By using the RAW files, you can do a lot more with your images without the unpleasant image artifacts you get when using a JPEG image.

How much or how little you do with your recordings depends on your taste, but it's worth experimenting with your app of choice and experimenting with styles. My advice? Grab a cup of tea, play some music, sit back, and spend some time tweaking these sliders to see what you can imagine. After all, you can always return to the original if you are not enthusiastic. So why not go a little wild?

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