The Tarmac Scotland Photoshoot

I was recently approached by a group of car enthusiasts who were looking for an experienced photographer to come on a trip round Scotland taking pictures of cars. Photoshooting a car or any other vehicle involves the photographer being able to catch the best possible angles in order to create a photo that truly captures the subject or car at its best. While automobile photography is certainly not my specialty, I decided I would take on this challenge and give it my very best shot.

tarmac scotland

The Tarmac Scotland Brief

The name of the project was Tarmac Scotland – a fitting name a car tour of Scotland. Before embarking on the tour, I decided I should brush up on my knowledge of photographing subjects rather than architecture while is my speciality. One of the most important tips for successful car photography is using lighting. This is probably one of the most important aspects of shooting any type of photo, and this applies doubly to photographs of cars. Car photography requires the photographer to be able to use the right amount of light, and this will require practice. If you are not yet familiar with lighting, it may be in your best interest to practice photographing cars outdoors under natural light, since you will probably not be using flash. In addition, using low light will help you achieve the color and shading that is often found in high-lit photographs.

Changing My Approach

Another important tip to keep in mind when it comes to car photography lighting is to make sure that you do not use a studio flash. The problem with using studio flash is that it tends to wash out colors and the contrast is often not as strong as you would like. In order to create photos that are very clear and which are not washed out, you should instead try to shoot using a reflector. Reflectors are cheap little light sources that you can find at almost any local hardware store, and they can create a lot of interesting shadows and reflections. This is especially important if you are photographing cars indoors where you want to avoid streaking or puddles of water.

tarmac road

Why Tarmac?

Tarmac is a road surface made from fine-grained sand and macadam, an asphalt preparation derived from clay. Tarmac is also referred to as tar wash. Tarmac is primarily used for parking lots, school yards, and other commercial business activities where vehicles can be parked, but it is also used for other public uses such as roads and walkways. There are many forms of tarmac, including concrete, asphalt, stone, rubber and composite. For petrolheads like the ones that had invited me along, tarmac represents a lot of things, like freedom, adventure and most of all, speed.


Tarmac is the popular paving material that is used on city streets and roads in the UK. Tarmac is usually mixed with asphalt to create a smooth, durable, slip-resistant and water-resistant surface that is ideal for interlock paving where two adjacent streets or parking lots touch. The composition of tarmac consists mainly of fine-grained sand and macadam, which are primarily responsible for its waterproofing properties. Tarmac is also known as tar and tarragon, because of the resemblance it has to tar beds on ancient battlefields.