We are always looking for great prerunners, race trucks, and side x sides to feature in the magazine. The problem we run into is the vehicle might be nice but the pictures showing it arent. We felt the best way to solve this was to give our readers a little instruction on How to get your Prerunner in our Magazine. Think of this as photography 101.
Remember with each picture you snap you are trying to create a work of art. The 2 key elements here are lighting and composition.
Composition is how everything in that picture looks, what are the surroundings, what is the backdrop, where is your prerunner in relation to those items in the backdrop? Lets take a look at some examples.
First we have a basic good shot. Lighting is good, nice background, but kind of bland and lifeless.
Next we move back a few feet and see how the composition changes. Now you see the mountains in the background with more bushes, and overall it just looks better.
Here is another example of how composition affects the picture. Here you see that the truck is parked on top of a hill with the valley in the background.
These are examples for still shots; now lets look at action shots. We will first look at bad action shots.
This first pic was shot for a feature we did in a previous issue. You have not seen this picture because it is not getting in our magazine. Notice how the whole truck is not in the shot. This can work for stills, but not for action pictures.
This next picture is another example of bad composition in an action picture. Notice how you dont see much of the truck because of all the dust.
This picture looks nice but you dont want people in the background..takes away from the shot.
These two pictures show great action composition. Both have good lighting, and it looks like we stopped the truck mid-air for the shot.
Now you can also make a shot look better by simply cropping it. The first picture shows the Buffalo Bills resort in the background.
By cropping the picture we made it look 100% better by not having to look at the back of a hotel.
Ok that is enough on composition; lets take a look at how lighting affects pictures of your prerunner.
The key to good lighting is having the sun to your back. This way the lighting is on your prerunner. The best time to shoot is dawn or dusk when the sun is low. Shooting during the afternoon when the sun is high in the sky can wash out your pictures, showing very little detail. Most magazine photo shoots are done at dawn for the best lighting.
The first picture shows you how the lighting is behind us, making the whole truck, shine.
Next you see the truck shot on the opposite side with the sun in front of us. Notice how the trucks shadow makes up a lot of the picture.
Then you will see the ultimate mistake made, You in the Shot. I did this shot to show that we want to see your prerunner not your shadow.
Now we need to see what makes your truck a prerunner. Shooting still shots of the suspension work or any other fabrication you have on your prerunner is important. This helps other readers get ideas on their builds. It also shows what makes your prerunner unique.
The first picture shows the details of the front a-arms used on this F-150.
This shot could be used to show the bumper although it is still not a great shot for that, but it certainly does not work for featuring your front suspension. The suspension is shadowed by the bumper and makes it difficult to see any detail.
This shot really shows the fab work on the front of this Ford Ranger. We had the owner turn the wheels to the left so we got more of the suspension work in the picture instead of the tires.
Taking pictures of your prerunner is not hard. Using these simple rules and seeing the examples can help you take better pictures. So get out to the dirt, shoot some killer shots of your prerunner, race truck or side x side and send them in. You might just see your prerunner in our magazine.