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What Photos To Send:

You need to think about what your dream Display Board would look like. The clearer your idea, the less expensive your design is to complete.

Would the background be the same color as your car? If so, please send a few close-up, non-blurry photos taken very close to the paint on your car. See your camera's instructions regarding "macro" mode for taking close-up photos.

Are you wanting a collage? If so, you're going to need to send quite a lot of good photos.

The advantage of a collage compared to a single large image is that the images will not have to be blown up as large. What does this mean for you? Smaller pictures print with more detail. A full-body car pic at about 10x6 inches will print a lot better than one that covers the entire board unless your photo is extremely high resolution.

Other designs are of course available, don't think for a minute you are limted to a certain look. The highlight of the Brangeta Design Group's service is that you will not be limited to a template like most other companies restrict you to.

Photo Size:

Essentially, you will need to send the biggest photos your camera can possibly take in order for me to create something for you that's going to look excellent up close.

If your camera is 7.0 mega pixels or higher and you have it set up to take pictures as large and as fine as possible, I believe you'll be satisfied with anything I have produced for you. If your camera is significantly higher than 7.0mp, such as 12.0mp, I believe you'll be blown away with anything I have produced for you!

Where should you photograph your car?

If you want the background included in the display, you may take pictures anywhere you like.

If I'll be trimming the car out of the background, the very best way to take photos of your car is with absolutely nothing around it. No overhanging trees, no other cars, etc. Find an empty parking lot (ideally without parking space lines) or stretch of road in a newly constructed neighborhood, and take your photos. Reflections can be horribly ugly, and some are especially time consuming to remove should you request that service. Street lamps reflecting on the roof and things seen inside the car through the windows are very time consuming to remove. Do not park on grass. Grass is horribly difficult to remove the reflection of.

When should you take photos?

The best times to take photos are when the sun is just coming up or before it goes down to prevent glare. A large building, such as an apartment building, will block the sun's harsh rays and give you a nice photo should you find a location without many reflections.

car in the shade

Simply waiting for a cloud to pass in front of the sun will usually allow you to take nice photos without glare at any time of day. Or, choose an overcast day.

car with overcast sky

Sometimes a nice metallic paint job looks best in direct sunlight, however I find that many solid colored cars look best when following my advice above. In most cases, the glare is normally unappealing as are the overly dark shadows. If you'd like to take photos on a very sunny day, try putting your camera in a mode that allows you to change the ISO to 100. The lower ISO will help reduce the excessively high contrast too much sun provides. If there's a dark shadow over some detail you want visible, you might try using the flash to offset how dark the shadows will be. If optional, set your flash to "fill flash." Below is an example of how my camera takes a photo on a sunny day without the ISO on 100 or any flash used.

car in the sun, looking good

Often, the sun will just overwhelm the camera with glare and make a terrible photo. There's no way to really get rid of this glare, so it's best to take many photos at various angles, or you may end up wanting to redo your photoshoot. There's no quick way to fix the glare on the photo below. It would require extensive work to remove the glare on the windshield entirely, as I think it looks terrible.

car overwhelmed by sun glare

In all situations, I would advise you to not use the flash (unless you are attempting to offset a very dark shadow on a very sunny day). However, camera flashes create unrealistic lighting in all situations. How natural does it look when you photograph your car and we can see the inner fender lining being any color other than a black shadow? Also, unless you want your car to appear on a black background looking rather sinister, I wouldn't recommend taking photos at night. A night photo can be very cool, but only if the photo is of really nice quality, a tripod or some other support is used, and the camera is set up with a low ISO and long exposure time. I recommend using the 2 or 10 second delay timer on your camera as well to prevent wiggles from touching the camera.

The only shot I would recommend experimenting with the flash on would be when taking a picture of the hood for use as a background on your display. As I mentioned earlier, you need to be in macro mode when taking a close-up like this, and the photo has to be in focus, or it'll look terrible. You need to be especially careful with reflections when taking a photo like this, as things such as the fluorescent lights in this photo are very, very time consuming to remove. Depending on your monitor calibration, you may not be able to see just how much these lights affect the photo below.

closeup shot in macro mode with the flash on

How should you take photos?

You should take photos that do not cut off any portion of your car should you be wanting the entire car in the display. See my examples above.

The photos should also not be taken so far away that they contain huge amounts of background; unless you're wanting the background the focus of the display.

car on large background

Obviously, the better photos you send, the better the results. Be sure to think about what is in the photo before taking the shots. (This is something I do not often think about--as you can tell in my example photos, which is why I use photographers for any professional projects needing photography). You need to force yourself to think about these things. Street lamps, signs, other cars, bushes, trees, etc. can all distract from an otherwise wonderful photo. While many things, such as the sign in the photo above, can be Photoshopped out, it's time consuming, and time is money.

Interesting angles and close-up shots can be used to produce potentially amazing designs.

interesting shot

However, when taking your interesting shots, take more than one at a similar angle, and/or turn the camera sideways. It's important to take multiple photos at similar angles, so that you may have something that works how you intended with the size of the display. The photo below is at the 20x30 ratio, and as you can see, I took it too close-up to be able to use the background--there's simply not enough background to fit the ratio and fit the entire car. The only option would be to trim the car out and make it a little bit smaller to fit the dimensions of the display. If I had taken a photo like this standing a little further back, cutting it out could be avoided.

not enough background to fit the dimensions

If taking close-up pictures of emblems to include on the display, I suggest using a tripod and zooming your camera in as much as you can--optical zoom ONLY, no digital zoom-- which on a point-and-shoot digital camera will usually be about 3x or 4x, and backing up to take the pictures. If you use macro mode and take the pictures up-close, your camera will be visibly reflecting in the emblem and paint, which is bad.

I have the perfect photos, what do I do now?

Fill out the order form and describe what your idea is if you have one. I will email you as soon as possible with additional information and you may then send me your photos (20mb at a time) and the text you'd like on the display.