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Thread: READ BEFORE POSTING: The Ultimate Bimmer Rides Forum FAQ

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    San Jose, CA
    My Cars
    Nissan Titan, M5

    READ BEFORE POSTING: The Ultimate Bimmer Rides Forum FAQ

    Here it is ladies and gentleman, the Ultimate Bimmer Rides Forum FAQ! I’ve organized all the important topics to separate posts to make searching for what you want a bit more organized.

    Here’s what will be covered in the FAQ:

    Post #1: Introduction. Respect.
    Post #2: How to quickly resize your pictures
    Post #3: How to take better photo’s of your car
    Post #4: How to take night pictures/low light

    Of course over time more things will be added.

    First and foremost:

    - Respect -

    This is a public forum and when people come and post up pictures of their cars, they should be aware of the fact that every member on this board is entitled to have their own opinion about it.

    HOWEVER, that does not give any member the right to bash another member's taste in mods, question their financial spending habits, or anything else in a manner that is down right rude.

    Whenever you are about to hit 'submit reply' think about this... Would you say this to someone's face at a car show? Or... How would I say this to someone's face at a car show?

    In the real world people tend to be a lot more considerate of what comes out of their mouth, and for some reason that tends to be lost on the internet. I'm no angel, i've been guilty at one point or another of not thinking before I hit submit reply and hurting someone's feelings. Let's face it, the last thing people want when they post a pic of their ride is someone ripping it to shreds. Even if they are prepared for it, most of you know, you're really never prepared for it.

    So what should we do? Just type "Your car looks great, i love everything about it." No, that would make it boring, like I said, this is a public forum and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and everyone has the right to post their own opinion, but I suggest we all do it with a little more courtesy.

    If for instance, you see a car with the most hideous spoiler you've ever seen that looks like it's just been traced out of aluminum foil you can simply find something you like about the car, for instance, the color, and say "Hey man, the color of your car is sick, but I'm really not feelin that spoiler."

    That does happen to a degree, but with more and more members joining every day, and more and more "unique" mods getting invented on a daily basis, there will be more opinions then ever.

    Before you click that 'submit reply' button be sure to think about how you would go about saying this to someone's face. The smiley's are also a great way to get your point accross lightly.
    Last edited by Daved; 04-22-2005 at 07:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    San Jose, CA
    My Cars
    Nissan Titan, M5
    - How to quickly resize your pictures -

    Here's a link to a free program for windows XP users:

    Free MS Resize Tool

    Once you install this program all you have to do is select one picture, or a bunch of pictures (using select all, ctrl, shift, or drag etc) and right click. A menu will be brought up with your normal copy/paste functions, and there will be a resize option.

    Left click on the resize option and you'll have 4 choices, i usually use the medium size option. Those of you who have pictures taken by dslrs that are a bit more wide then your common digi cam pic, dont worry, it keeps the aspect ratio.

    when you click ok, it will make new files for you (leaves your originals un edited.

    Remember you can do as many as you'd like at one time. You can take all 500 shots you did, select them all, right click once, left click twice and have them all sized. It's that easy, then upload the sized pics (they'll have the size you chose in the file name, see pic 3 above) and the rest of us wont have to scrolll for 15 minutes to see your entire pic!

    You dont need PS anymore! This has been tested on real and pirated versions of windows xp... so i'm told
    Last edited by Daved; 04-22-2005 at 07:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    San Jose, CA
    My Cars
    Nissan Titan, M5
    - How to take better photo's of your car -

    Original thread:
    Contributed by: digwig2002

    When bad photos happen to good vehicles

    Seeing as I know a little about photography, and seeing as how I notice so many enthusiasts taking less than flattering pictures of their great vehicles, I thought I would put a short list of tips and hints together to help everyone out.

    I am not a professional photographer so please don't flood me with specific questions or bad photos. The following info is a very simple primer on what not to do and how to improve the overall quality of your photography with just a little preparation or forethought.

    Lighting for detail
    The perfect time to shoot a vehicle to show off its interior and overall surface qualities is midday on a partly cloudy or slightly overcast or hazy day. This is when the sun is at its highest which logically means the light will have the best angle into the interior. It is also the best kind of light - indirect. Indirect light is diffused (meaning the rays are scattered rather than in a straight line). Diffused light bounces and evens out a subject...

    Direct bright sunlight is not good because its too bright and causes hard shadows. Most cameras (especially digital ones) dont handle those hard dark shadows really well. Shooting a vehicle in a shadow area (i.e. next to the house when the sun is on the other side) is also bad for obvious reasons. The shadow is dark!! The general rule in photography is more light the better. Just remember that the type of light (direct versus indirect) also makes a big difference.

    Showin off the finish
    Aaah the old "photo at sunrise/sunset" shot of a new vehicle. Its the unwritten rule of automobile marketing. Well, who can argue? Even an '86 Escort looks great in it! (No offense to those Escort owners here). This is for good reason. The best time of day to show off the lines of the vehicle and that glass-like paint finish is the first or last 1-1.5 hours of direct sun daylight when the sun is low on the get that warm yellowish light and long dark shadows which provide nice contrast for the reflections in the paint.

    Remember the vehicle's immediate environment will be reflected in the finish, so a busy, highly detailed environment (like trees, buildings, etc) will end up complicating the reflections. Try to find a background or area around the car in that is low in detail or visual clutter. The ideal place is of course a green field, like a park or something with lots of distance between you and the nearest tree, building etc. The lower objects are the horizon (meaning the farther away you are from things like buildings, trees, etc) the better. If you live in an area with lots of hills you can also achieve this by finding a higher elevation to shoot on.

    If you cant find someplace like this, find a plain, bright neutral colored background like the wall of a brick building. Remember you want your sweet ride to stand out as the subject of the photo, so the simpler the background the better. For vehicles that are colorful (like you Dakar and Hellrot folks), keep the background as neutral (meaning not colorful) as possible...For those of you more with more neutral colored vehicles (Cosmos, Arctic, Alpine) a solid colored, more vivid hue like red, green, yellow etc will provide a nice contrast. Of course, you can experiment with this to see what you like the best. Just remember that your red car will look different when surrounded by a yellow or green background.

    Move it!!!!
    Don't just park the vehicle and snap photos as you walk around it. Unless it is a perfectly overcast day (which is not good either) one side of the vehicle will be in shadow! Not good. Find the background you like, pick the best vantage point to shoot from, shoot, reposition the vehicle, shoot again...You get the idea.Think about what angles you want to shoot from too and if you are really anal about it, put a shot list together (front, rear, profiles, 3/4 fronts and rears, etc). I know, it takes a little extra effort, but once you see the results you'll be glad you put the extra effort in. Oh, and if you are shooting at sunset, remember to work quickly...the last hour of daylight goes REALLY fast and believe it or not 10 minutes can make a huge difference between a great shot and something that looks too dark.

    Avoid using the flash if possible.
    We've seen lots of pics on this forum shot with a flash and we all know its about the most unflattering way to show off your sweet ride Generally, most autoexposure cameras meter the light of a subject in several areas, then average the light reading to decide if the light level is too low. If it is, the flash will kick in. Remember this, if the background of the picture is MUCH darker than the car than when the camera takes the average light level it will think its too dark and use the flash. This means dont shoot your vehicle against a dark background if you can help it. For those of you shooting black vehicles, well you are gonna have a hard time regardless. The only way to ensure the flash doesnt kick in is either:

    Spot metering, fill cards, tripods and other advanced Stuff
    For those of you who wanna experiment, most digital and SLR cameras have a little crosshair in the middle of the viewfinder. While most cameras use average light metering, you may be able to set the camera to look at ONLY the brightness of what is in the center of that little crosshair. This is usually called SPOT metering. While pointing the spot at a darker or shadow area of the vehicle, pressing halfway down on the shutter button will PREMETER the exposure. Without pressing all the way down or releasing the button, you then move the viewfinder to compose the shot accordingly, then PRESS ALL THE WAY DOWN. THis way the camera will adjust the exposure to use that DARKER area as the average light, meaning it will expose longer to let in more light. Make sure you have disabled your flash with this approach. Confused yet?

    For close ups of areas that are hard to photograph because they are too dark, or interior areas, you can try using a fill card. A fill card is nothing more than a LARGE WHITE board. Most are made out of cardboard or foam core, a graphic mounting material. Anything reflective like tin foil works too. Position the card just out of the composition and angle it until you see the reflected light hit the subject area that's dark. You can hold it yourself, or bring an assistant to hold it who also loves your car

    And finally, if you really want to be able to play with exposure for light and depth of field, get a tripod. Sometimes, in order to have a long enough exposure to get the shadow areas in your photo, the camera will want to set the shutter speed to something slower than even the steadiest hand can hold without causing image blurring. A tripod lets you manually adjust the shutter speed and/or aperture (also called f stop which is the little iris like thingy inside the lens that lets light in). What is depth of field? Well, simply put its the distance interval the camera lens can see in focus. You can play with that if you want to blur the background out rather than have it be nice and sharp. See this link for more info on that!

    Well that's it I guess. Hope this helps you closet photographers and those of you that just want to get some good shots for the autotrader ad. Good luck, and always buckle up everyone!

    Last edited by Daved; 04-22-2005 at 07:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    San Jose, CA
    My Cars
    Nissan Titan, M5
    - How to take night pictures/low light -

    Original thread:
    Contributed by: Cleoent, 6i9, G.P. Burdell

    The need for this thread is growing bigger and bigger by the day. It seems many of you guys are enjoying taking night pictures, I guess it's the new IN thing as far as car photography goes. That's all said and good, however, to be blunt, a lot of your night pictures are not very good. So i've decided that I will help you guys out, and combined with some of the more knowledgeable photographers on this board, we can make a thread that everyone can benefit from.

    Here's some night shooting tips.

    1 - Get a tripod. There is no reason you should attempt to take pictures at night if you dont have a tripod.

    2 - If you dont have a tripod see if there is a stationary object that you can set your camera on so that it doesn't move during the exposure. There is 0 chance your hand will ever be steady enough. If you use this method, another tip would be to put your camera on a 3 to 10 second delay, so that when you push the button, your camera wont take a picture right away and you'll have time to move your finger and not disturb the image.

    3 - Ok, now those two were pretty obvious. This one is important. Most digital camera's have an option to set the ISO. The higher the ISO the better the camera does at night. So, it would make sense to raise this setting. But that is NOT the case. What happens when you raise the ISO is picture noise is made a lot more visible. The higher the ISO the noisier the picture. Some of you may be thinking that your camera has an AUTO option for the ISO and that it would be best to leave it there. Well that's also incorrect. A lot of the noise seen in the pictures are because the camera has automatically raised the ISO for you, that's why your picture looks like crap. If you have to raise the ISO to get a decent shot, then please, for the sake of everyone here, run it through a free program like neat image ( and get rid of the noise.

    4 - Try not to have to use the flash. If you can find a relatively well lit area to take pictures at night without the flash, that will make your pictures turn out that much better. If you use the flash as your single source of lighting you will not be able to take a good picture.

    5 - The reason why you need a tripod, or stationary non-moving object to set your camera on is because for night shots the "eye" of your camera needs to stay open longer to suck in as much light as possible. This is called shutter speed. The slower the shutter speed the more light that will be in your picture. Experiment with this, on most camera's this is adjustable. If you have a setting on your camera to adjust only the shutter speed, use it, set the shutter speed to as long as possible and start experimenting.

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head. I hope it helps some of you because the quality of night pics on this forum could use a boost!

    If anyone wants to jump in and add their own tips that would be fantastic.

    Here's a link to an write up for night shots.

    [contributed by 6i9]

    Take into consideration aperture. On SLR cameras, this can be changed by rotating the dial on the lens. On other camera's it may be only controlled by an LCD display.

    Aperture is measured in f-stops, which are numbers that represent how large the "opening" of your lens is. The smaller the opening, the more in focus your image will be. Think of it as squinting your eyes. The more you squint, the better you can see something. Experimenting with aperture can make your foreground in focus, and background out of focus, or the background in focus and the foreground out of focus.

    Often times, F-stops range from f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 etc up to around f/32 or higher, depending on your camera. These numbers determine how small or large your camera's lens opening is and how much light your camera is taking in. The larger the f-stop number, the smaller the aperture and vice versa.

    ie: f/1.4 is a larger aperture than f/11. Which means the hole is bigger.

    Combinations of aperture and shutter speed can give similar lighting results than another aperture and shutter speed combination.

    [G.P. Burdell]

    Noise Reduction: If your camera offers a Noise Reduction (NR) feature, turn it on for night shots. Some cameras apply it automatically, but you have to activate NR manually on others. If you don't, you may notice hot pixels (random blue/red specks) in the final image.

    If you forget to turn on NR, there is a way to remove these hot pixels in Photoshop. You take a dark frame with the lens cap on, preferably during the same session as when you took the pictures you want to fix. Then, you subtract the dark frame from the affected images. Here's a link that shows you how to do it:

    I used this technique with good results on some recent night photos where my camera's battery power was so low that the camera didn't apply NR processing to the images.

    Batteries: Have a fresh set of batteries in your camera and a spare set in your pocket when taking night shots - keeping the shutter open and NR processing both require a lot of juice. Also, shooting in very cold temperatures can reduce lithium batteries' run-time, so keep your spares warm.

    Mirror Anti-Shock: Some digital SLRs have a mode where the mirror will flip up a fraction of a second before the shutter opens. This reduces vibration due to mirror slap. Turn this on, too, for night exposures.

    Tripod: Don't cheap out on a tripod if you can help it. A good, stable tripod makes for better images and protects your investment since it's less likely to tip over in a strong wind. Make sure the tripod you select is rated to support the weight of the equipment you want to put on it. Bogen/Manfrotto and Gitzo are two excellent tripod manufacturers
    Last edited by Daved; 04-22-2005 at 07:47 PM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    My Cars
    5/94 Euro 325i coupe
    Thank you a lot, Leo.

    Your contributions are really helpful. I hope this is useful to everyone in this forum.

    BTW, I did only some small changes on this, if someone has any corrections or comments, please PM Cleoent or me.

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