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Some tips on how to photograph your Trail Boss

PHXPHOTOG

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Just in case anyone is interested I thought I would offer some quick tips on how to take good shots of your truck. I have years of professional photography experience. I have covered everything from the Olympic Games to NASCAR auto racing. I think it’s safe for me to say I know how to shoot vehicles and things that go fast. I have quite a few pictures in the picture thread of this forum. Almost every single one of them is shot with my phone, not my expensive pro gear. When I am out 4wheeling I am out to drive and enjoy my truck, not to work. So I snap with my phone just like everyone else, but I know how to do it. Here are some basic photography tips that may improve your shots of anything. I don’t have a YouTube page or anything to promote. I do commercial work. I wrote this because I am a Trail Boss guy. Wheeling it is my passion.



  • Game changing rule number one. Don’t tilt the phone. Keep it on a straight vertical plane with the earth. I am not talking about vertical or horizontal format here. I am talking about the face of the lens in relationship to the earth, keep it dead vertical. All phones have wide angle lenses very prone to distortion. Tilting the phone exacerbates the distortion and ruins the beautiful lines of your truck. Almost every amateur truck shot is the same. Someone standing tall shooting from eye level and tilting the top of the phone forward for composition. This distorts everything. If you want your shots to improve don’t do that. The answer is to change your position and to not tilt the phone. I will show examples.

  • Before I fire a frame of anything I quickly consider these four options: Go Long, Go Short, Go High, Go low.

  • Go Long: This used to refer to lens selection. But it still applies to your phone. It means shoot very tight, as though you have a telephoto lens. With your phone this is achieved by getting close to the truck for a tight shot.
  • Go Short: This refers to wide angle shots (short lens) your phones native lens position. This can include the environment your truck is in. It can also make great close ups.
  • Go High: Shoot from above the truck for a great perspective. Most of the world shoots from whatever their eye level perspective is at the time. So professionals don’t do that. Our job is to make our photos look different from ordinary. Angle and perspective is everything to us.
  • Go Low: I often shoot my Trail Boss from ground level. This is how you get the “ominous bigger than life shot”. Getting down to tire level and shooting tight can make it look like the truck is about to roll over you. Resist tilting the phone.
You can combine one or more of these tips in the same shot.

Here are examples of these basic tips:

Go long. This means shooting tight as though you have a telephoto lens. Get up close, dont use the zoom fuction on your phone if you can help it.
20211230_154426.jpg

20210228_131145.jpg


Go Short. Your phones wide angle lens is perfect for this. You can shoot the truck and include the environment your in.

20210804_184502.jpg

20210803_151441.jpg

Lakeside.jpg


Go High. Get above the truck for a different perspective.

Grand_Can_08_21-114.jpg

BigRocks.jpg


Go low. Ground level can work great for off road shots.

20211022_171548.jpg

20211022_171638.jpg


This is a clasic vehicle shot. I shot from the corner of the truck to take advantage of its lines and reflections. I squatted down to make the truck bold in the picture. I did not tilt the camera so the lines are not distorted. I included enough of the background to show the sunset and rough environment.

TB-1.jpg


I hope someone finds this helpful. The TB is beautiful and easy to shoot.

Steve
www. corporateshow.com
 
Last edited:
Thanks for the write-up, tips and suggestions! Amazing photos by the way! (y)
 
Can you critique this iPhone photo I took? I’ve heard it’s not good to have trees, poles, etc sticking thru the vehicle?
2BD1A715-D08A-4A29-AB65-9DC4154A167D.jpeg
 
Can you critique this iPhone photo I took? I’ve heard it’s not good to have trees, poles, etc sticking thru the vehicle?
View attachment 4874
That's funny Jim, assuming your kidding. Unfortunately the pinstripes on my truck indicate how many times it has been invaded by trees.
 
Here is another example of a wide shot that includes the truck and the environment. The truck does not always need to be the prominent feature in the photograph. By placing the truck high up in the composition I was able to include a famous Sedona landmark AND my truck in the same picture. As a professional photographer we are trained to stop a viewers attention. Our photographs should make you pause when flipping through a magazine or brochure. It is my job to make you think about what your looking at. In this shot some people don't even notice the truck right away. Then when they do it changes everything. The truck puts the rock face into perspective. In advertising terms this shot says "A Silverado will take you to cool places."

Steve

SoldierPass.jpg
 
Here is a few more examples.

If you shoot into the sun don't put it in the center of the frame. Everything else will go dark. Some phones will even adjust exposure for a place you touch. Almost all of them focus where you touch. You can check to see if yours changes exposure by pointing it at the sun or a lamp and touching the darkest part of the screen. if that spot lightens up you have exposure adjustment.

Moab_CO-336.jpg

I included the sleeping bags in this one to tell the story. We rolled into this campsite after dark. When I woke up at sunrise it felt like we were on another planet. Super cool.

Moab_CO-335.jpg


You can use the truck to bring perspective into a shot.

Moab_-372.jpg


If your out 4wheeling don't forget to look back to where you have been.

Moab_CO-108.jpg


This is not a good shot. I forgot to roll the window up. Your truck will always look better with them up. Somtimes up will even make it a great shot if there is a cool reflection.

Moab_CO-124.jpg


Sunrise rain.

20230330_071427.jpg


Steve
 
Here is a few more photo tips from a recent overland trip. As mentioned, I carry 50 pounds of profestional photo gear. On these trips I rarely use it. Almost every photo I post on this forum is untouched straight from my Samsung S20. Any of you can do this.

Here is a wide shot. If the truck was not in it it would just be a shot of big rocks. Putting the truck between them adds pperspective and scale. Now it tells a story of where I was.


20230826_092300.jpg


Same shot, nothing moved but me. To show off the truck I got closer to it. It is just a tighter shot. I should have rolled up the windows.

20230826_092324.jpg


Shoot recognizable landmarks of where you are. This is Eagle Canyon Arch in the San Rafael Swell.

This is what most peole would shoot. Just point the camera up and take a shot of the arch.

20230827_131406.jpg


I am shooting for fun so me and my friend have a record of what we did on the trip. So I took a few minutes and positioned the truck. It changes everything.

Wide shot for perspective.

20230827_132912.jpg


Tighter shot to show off truck in it's environment. Notice I am using the tips from the begining of this thread. I got down low to make the truck agresive. I made the wide angle distortion in this shot work for me by showing off the front end of the truck by being close to it. Windows are up. I should have turned the wheels out towards me. Now it says I went 4wheeling on Eagle Canyon Trail to the arch.

20230827_133119.jpg


Similar thing here. Those bridges are Interstate 70 I am about to drive under. I included just a small part of the truck for scale and the story. Otherwise it would just be a couple of bridges.

20230827_135855.jpg


20230827_135846.jpg


It can be hard to show 4wd action and cature how steep things realy are. Photos dont do it justice. I new the truck was going to drop at an angle so I used the "go high tip". By showing the top of the truck at least you can see he is dropping over something.

20230829_121851.jpg


A brag shot to say "yes the truck realy fit through that culvert with inches to spare". By getting close to the front of the truck and making it look big you might think there was no way I went through those culverts but we did.

20230901_175323.jpg


This one is more realistic and shows we did have room to do it. Nothing changed but the angle of the shot.

20230901_175336.jpg


All of these shots can be improved with a few adjustments and some croping. But I want to show you what comes straight out of my phone. I hope these tips are helpful.

Steve

Also: I posted some of these and many other shots from my overlanding in this thread. They are all just snap shots from my trips. They are not my profesional work. It is what I do with my phone when im out enjoying the Trail Boss. I only post them on this forum because I am a Silverado TB guy.

 
Just in case anyone is interested I thought I would offer some quick tips on how to take good shots of your truck. I have years of professional photography experience. I have covered everything from the Olympic Games to NASCAR auto racing. I think it’s safe for me to say I know how to shoot vehicles and things that go fast. I have quite a few pictures in the picture thread of this forum. Almost every single one of them is shot with my phone, not my expensive pro gear. When I am out 4wheeling I am out to drive and enjoy my truck, not to work. So I snap with my phone just like everyone else, but I know how to do it. Here are some basic photography tips that may improve your shots of anything. I don’t have a YouTube page or anything to promote. I do commercial work. I wrote this because I am a Trail Boss guy. Wheeling it is my passion.



  • Game changing rule number one. Don’t tilt the phone. Keep it on a straight vertical plane with the earth. I am not talking about vertical or horizontal format here. I am talking about the face of the lens in relationship to the earth, keep it dead vertical. All phones have wide angle lenses very prone to distortion. Tilting the phone exacerbates the distortion and ruins the beautiful lines of your truck. Almost every amateur truck shot is the same. Someone standing tall shooting from eye level and tilting the top of the phone forward for composition. This distorts everything. If you want your shots to improve don’t do that. The answer is to change your position and to not tilt the phone. I will show examples.

  • Before I fire a frame of anything I quickly consider these four options: Go Long, Go Short, Go High, Go low.

  • Go Long: This used to refer to lens selection. But it still applies to your phone. It means shoot very tight, as though you have a telephoto lens. With your phone this is achieved by getting close to the truck for a tight shot.
  • Go Short: This refers to wide angle shots (short lens) your phones native lens position. This can include the environment your truck is in. It can also make great close ups.
  • Go High: Shoot from above the truck for a great perspective. Most of the world shoots from whatever their eye level perspective is at the time. So professionals don’t do that. Our job is to make our photos look different from ordinary. Angle and perspective is everything to us.
  • Go Low: I often shoot my Trail Boss from ground level. This is how you get the “ominous bigger than life shot”. Getting down to tire level and shooting tight can make it look like the truck is about to roll over you. Resist tilting the phone.
You can combine one or more of these tips in the same shot.

Here are examples of these basic tips:

Go long. This means shooting tight as though you have a telephoto lens. Get up close, dont use the zoom fuction on your phone if you can help it.
View attachment 4864
View attachment 4873

Go Short. Your phones wide angle lens is perfect for this. You can shoot the truck and include the environment your in.

View attachment 4865
View attachment 4866
View attachment 4867

Go High. Get above the truck for a different perspective.

View attachment 4868
View attachment 4869

Go low. Ground level can work great for off road shots.

View attachment 4870
View attachment 4871

This is a clasic vehicle shot. I shot from the corner of the truck to take advantage of its lines and reflections. I squatted down to make the truck bold in the picture. I did not tilt the camera so the lines are not distorted. I included enough of the background to show the sunset and rough environment.

View attachment 4872

I hope someone finds this helpful. The TB is beautiful and easy to shoot.

Steve
www. corporateshow.com
Great tips thank you!
 
Incredible photos as always and the tips are very much appreciated!
 

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