AUTOMOBILES AND TRUCKS One of the foremost industries in this country today, and one in the promotion of which photography is essential, is the manufacture of automobiles and trucks. There is practically no town or city of reason able size in which there is not a factory or an agency for the sale of one or more makes, or advertising concerns who specialize in automobile publicity, and by whom there is a great demand for photographs to be used in the assembling of their advertisements.
Of course, many of the automobile factories have their own photographers, but there are many times when they find it necessary to call upon outside pho tographers, and it is just as well to pick up this work in your own town as to let it go to the larger cities.
In this line of work, which includes the photographing of the parts for the parts book as well, there are a few points which it might be well to emphasize.
In photographing the passenger car there are many features, on some of which the designer has spent considerable time, to be brought out particularly strong, such as fenders, body, top, cushions, and radiator hoods, and the popu lar position which brings these features out best, is shown in illustration No. 23. No particular attention was paid in this instance to the background, as it was eventually blocked out, but you will notice that effort was made to show all four wheels, a separation between the two front lamps and springs, and the top was pulled up taut.
The camera was quite low, not more than two and a half feet off the ground, and a lens of 28-inch focus was used. This matter of the lens being low is really important, as it gives the car a more massive appearance, and at the same time showing all four wheels. Occasionally, a view will be wanted, however, a little more to the front, and it is then more necessary than ever that you use a long focus lens, or you will get a distortion which will show the front wheels much larger than the rear, something particularly to be avoided.
In photographing the interior of a car to make it look as large and roomy as possible, you will, of course, have to use a wide-angle lens, unless two or three views are taken and put together on the order of an interior panorama.
While practically, every bit of photography that is done on a passenger car goes into the hands of the commercial artist or retoucher, there are times when a natural or unretouched photograph is desired, or when little retouching is wanted. For this reason, in doing this class of work, it is quite essential that you know a few good locations around your town. By locations, I mean places where, at certain times of the day, the light is right and there is a good back ground. There is generally a park at hand, where there is an elevated road way around a ravine or lake, which makes a good spot for photographing auto mobiles, as you can get low enough to make a real good job. There also has to be considerable care exercised with the highly polished bodies as to what is reflected on them, and that is why I advocate going into the parks, as the reflections are then such as rarely register on the negative, whereas, if photo graphed in the streets, the structures opposite will undoubtedly show in the print.
Illustration No. 24 shows an effect often used in advertising passenger cars, as it reproduces well in the newspapers. This is obtained by an artist, who goes over the original photograph, using waterproof india ink. It is then generally turned over to the photographer, who bleaches out the original photo graph with a solution such as you will find under the chapter on "Printing," leaving the pen and ink drawing only. This kind of a job will come up many times in many different forms, but the general procedure is the same.
With reference to trucks, their sale is promoted principally by the use of photographs, and form an exceedingly important part in the sales talk of truck agents. That is, the various types of bodies on trucks already sold in the vicin ity, and which are particularly suited to different industries, are photographed to show prospective customers in selecting the type for their use.