Posts Tagged ‘industry’

The Secret of Vehicle Photography

June 9, 2010

Taking pictures of a car requires more skill than some people think…there is a process to it, and if you find your pictures turning out less than satisfactory then you’re reading the right blog. By the time you finish reading this, hopefully you will be able to snap better shots of your car either to sell, or for your own personal use. You’ll learn techniques and the process behind taking good, quality vehicle pictures.

What you’ll need:

-A camera, any will work but a digital SLR is best
-A light source
-Photo editing software
-A cloudy day

The best time to get good pictures of a car outside is on a cloudy day. This is because the clouds diffuse the harsh light from the sun which reflects into the lens making your pictures turn out too dark because the shutter closes too soon.

The photo editing software is simply to help make the lighting even, sharpen the pictures, and put the color back into the car because the camera doesn’t always take a picture that turns out looking exactly like how you saw the subject.

The light source will help to light up the areas that your camera’s flash won’t reach.


For the exterior, don’t stand close to the car…get back a ways, and zoom in. Depending on the type of camera you are using, don’t use the digital zoom. Only use the optical zoom mode. try getting down below eye level a little for a car, and maybe up over eye level for a truck…a different perspective will show people something than they’re used to seeing.

Close the view in on the bumpers, but be careful not to cut any of the car off. Try to have a non-distracting background, you don’t want too much going on to distract from your subject. Take your picture.

Walk around the car getting different angles, try different heights…lay down on the ground, or shoot from a ladder. The sky is the limit!


Grab your light, and you’ll want to aim the light into the car, but not at the same angle as the camera. The light is supposed to fill in what the flash will miss, so you don’t want the light shining the same way that your flash will fire.

The interior is pretty easy, just make sure its clean 🙂

That’s the hardest part…


Whatever software you use, make sure that it is capable of adjusting the lighting and saturation, Adobe Photoshop Elements works great for me, and it’s fairly cheap.

Import all of the images into the program, and for each photo, individually adjust the lighting so that it looks even throughout the entire picture. Also, if your car is anything other than silver, black, or white, you can adjust the saturation to give the car a better look. If you feel that the picture is a little fuzzy, you can sharpen the picture, but not too much.

There you go, that’s vehicle photography 101…hope this helps.


Saab set to be independant from GM

June 7, 2010

New owner Spyker cuts costs, shops expertise to others

Spyker CEO Victor Muller, shown during a March visit to Saab’s factory in Trollhattan, Sweden, says of his recently acquired automaker, “We are now in charge of our own destiny, which means we can do anything we want.”

TROLLHATTAN, Sweden — Saab Automobile AB is reinventing itself as an independent automaker.

Since its sale by General Motors Co. to Spyker Cars NV in February, Saab has been re-evaluating every aspect of its business. Big changes are under way or expected.

“We are now in charge of our own destiny, which means we can do anything we want,” said Spyker CEO Victor Muller.

Saab is slashing manufacturing and engineering costs. It is looking for tie-ups with other European automakers to share engineering costs, with an announcement expected in the next two or three months. It also is shopping its engineering expertise to automakers worldwide.

It is all part of an effort to reduce Saab’s breakeven point to about 80,000 vehicles by the end of 2012 so the automaker can become profitable even as it ramps up its new model line.

Saab is replacing its 13-year-old 9-5 sedan with a redesigned model in July. The 9-4X, Saab’s first crossover, arrives in April. The redesigned 9-3 will debut in 2012, and the automaker would like to offer a car smaller than the 9-3 in 2013 or 2014.

Saab has targeted global sales of 50,000 to 55,000 vehicles this year and about 100,000 next year.

In two to three months, the automaker also is expected to unveil its electrification plan.

As part of its cost-slashing efforts, Saab chopped its engineering budget 40 percent, to $151 million for 2011, said Mats Fagerhag, Saab’s executive director of vehicle engineering. The cuts reflect reductions in development, material and supplier costs and fewer contract workers.

“We are gradually moving from a GM strategy of shared components and investments,” Fagerhag said in an interview at Saab headquarters here. In some cases, Saab wants to improve quality over the GM-prescribed components.

“You are going to have a Saab car that consists of components and systems that we have developed jointly” with other carmakers, Fagerhag said. He said the first vehicle to benefit from the engineering cost savings will be the redesigned 9-3.

Saab is re-evaluating its underused engineering capability. It has worked with a handful of Swedish companies over the years, but that is expected to change.

This year, Saab sold the tooling for the 9-3 and the past generation 9-5 to Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp. Production in China begins in 18 months. Saab also submitted proposals for engineering work related to those vehicles.

Muller said Saab “will work much more for third parties.”

Saab also is targeting manufacturing costs at its lone assembly plant here in Trollhattan. It has state-of-the-art assembly equipment, installed by GM. But Saab’s maximum production is expected to be far less than the plant’s capacity.

“We have a huge infrastructure and engineering capabilities for 190,000 cars and overhead costs that are related,” Muller said.

Also under review is the amount of assembly automation that will be needed for the redesigned 9-3.

“Automation is a very heavy upfront investment. A high-volume plant in most cases gets the payback because of efficiency, quality,” said Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson. “But we are only going to be a 110,000-car plant.”