Most detailing enthusiasts enjoy capturing photos of their work to share with friends, family, and the detailing community in online forums.
One of the most important shots to show that you really nailed the paint correction process is the overhead sun shot in which a direct reflection of the sun is captured on a nicely polished panel as seen below. As we all know, inspecting your work in the sun is the true test in demonstrating your paint correction skill, so why not show it off.
The image above is effective in demonstrating the lack of defects in the paint as seen in direct sunlight, but overall it is just kind of boring. An easy way to add some interest to the photo is to create a sunburst reflection of the light rather than a simple circular reflection. This is done by manipulating the aperture of your lens. If you’re shooting with a DSLR or a more advanced point and shoot that allows you to manipulate your exposure settings, you will need to be in either a fully manual mode or a semi-manual mode, such as aperture priority mode, in order to make these changes.
Notice in the first image, the f-stop value is set to f/5.6, which is a relatively wide. In order to produce a sunburst, the aperture must be closed to a narrower f-stop. I have found that this effect is most easily obtained at apertures of f/11 or narrower, however you’ll likely not want to exceed f/22 as diffraction will lead to a loss in image quality. If you’re shooting in a semi-manual exposure mode, your camera will compensate for the lack of light entering the lens due to the narrower aperture by slowing down the shutter speed and/or bumping up the ISO. If you are shooting in manual mode, you will need to adjust these settings on your own to maintain a proper exposure.
This can be a fun effect to use anytime you have bright reflections coming off of any part of the vehicle. Hopefully this simple tip will help add some more interest to your photos as you show off your abilities as a detailer.