Magazine Article


Every Picture Tells a Story
Vroom, vroom. Click, click.

Race Car
Joe Farace

Joe Farace

Sports Car
Joe Farace

Child and Car
Joe Farace

Low Rider
Joe Farace

Old Cars
Joe Farace

Jaguar XK-R
Joe Farace

Race Car
Joe Farace

Joe Farace

"As often happens at shows, I was shooting upside-down twisted into a pretzel-like contortion and produced this unorthodox view. Is it a horizontal or a vertical image? I didn't shoot it for any orientation, but prefer the vertical format and show it that way on my website.

"By the way, Mary is doing so great that she has begun competing in her 1993 Mazda Miata. She's not faster than me yet, but I don't expect that to last."

Farace admits he loves one car more than any other: the 1948 MG TX that belonged to the late film star Larry Parks. He made a pitch to purchase the vehicle, but was rejected. "It's enough to make a grown car enthusiast cry," he quips.

Running on All Cylinders

In addition to racing and photographing cars, the engineering graduate from Johns Hopkins University is also a writer. The author of some 20 books on photography, digital imaging, and computing, and 1,400 magazine articles, he and photographer-marketing consultant Yvonne Butler wrote The Advanced Digital Photographer's Workbook [ISBN: 0-240-80646-8], published by Focal Press in April of this year. Farace is currently working on a book about how to photograph automobiles for both photographers who enjoy cars and auto lovers who want to take great photos of their cars.

This prolific, widely read creative is also a savvy marketer, who has tapped the power of the Internet with two websites:, dedicated to his car images, and, which showcases his fine art, fashion, and travel images.

Farace is also a Master Photographer of the prestigious Yellowhouse (, which is dedicated to increasing the quality and productivity of its members' digital printing.

This high-octane photographer well deserves his place in the winners' circle.

Joe Farace's Gear Box

Digital Cameras
Canon EOS 1D Mark II, EOS 20D and EOS D30 (Modified to IR-only use), Leica Digilux 2

35mm Cameras
Leica R8 and M6 with Hasselblad Xpan, Flexbody

JTL and Photogenic, FJ Westcott light modifiers and umbrellas, Plume Wafer lightbanks and Jumbrella

Digital Darkroom
Apple Power Macintosh G4 (networked with) eMachines Windows XP computer, Apple Mac PowerBook, Canon i9900 printer, Epson Photo R200 and Epson Stylus Pro 4000 printers, Microtek ArtixScan 120tf, Adobe Photoshop CS, nik multimedia Old Photo filter

Adorama Joe Farace Edition backpack, Lightware, Lowepro backpack

By Joe Farace

Photographing cars is lots of fun. You can even make a few bucks at it. Vintage cars with classic lines and strong vertical grilles; street rods have colorful paint schemes and swoopy lines, and sports and foreign cars with styling idiosyncracies and flourishes all make great subjects. Next time you're in "auto" mode, consider these tips:

  1. Lower the cars hoods before you shoot. Many car owners like to display the cleanliness or sparkling chrome underneath, but it breaks up the car's lines. Ask the owner if he or she would close the hood so you can take a photograph. In exchange, offer a print of the car. That offer can open many marketing doors.
  2. Remove show placards, such as the identification cards placed on the dash or under the windshield wiper. Ask the owner before touching any part of his or her car! It's best to have them do it, so ask politely. They want you to make the best possible photograph and this interaction can provide potential print sales, as well as a better photograph.
  3. Make images of parts of cars. Don't be frustrated by the lack of space and crowded working conditions at car shows. Use it to your advantage by finding small details, such as the delicate nature of a Bugatti's grille or the sensuous lines of a street rod's fender and capture them in sharp focus.
  4. Get close to the car. Begin by working in close and gradually back away until extraneous, non-car details or people no longer appear in the frame. Wide-angle lenses or zooms let you fill up the frame with part or even the entire car, while making sure distractions are eliminated, but make sure your zoom lens allows close focusing.
  5. Explore unconventional views. Tilt the camera to provide a dynamic image. Crowds at most car shows make it almost impossible to use a tripod, so don't even bother bringing one.
  6. Dress comfortably and wear clothing you won't be afraid to get dirty when trying to get an interesting camera angle. Wear a hat to keep the sun off your head and be sure to wear sunscreen. At the races, bring earplugs; bring a couple of pairs and as Emeril says, "make a friend."
  7. Get to races and car shows early to take advantage of the best light and stay late. As cars began to leave, space opens up allowing you to photograph entire cars as well as some of the environment.
  8. When shooting late in the day, ask the owner to turn on the parking lights to add a subtle glow to the side marker, tail lights, and turn signals.
  9. Promote your automotive photography by making business or promo cards with photographs of yourself in action or examples of your work. While you have the photos in digital form, place them on your website. If you don't already have a website, maybe it's time you did.
  10. Don't let your automobile photographs look like everybody else's.