How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about their photo-taking processes. This week, @drsmoothdeath shares his tips for finding and photographing beautiful classic cars, which he’s collected in his #morninautos series.

Camera: iPhone 4

Vantage Point: Obviously I’m always across the street from my subjects, but the question is whether I can get the whole car in the frame without leaning on someone else’s car too excessively or stomping someone’s garden to a withered mess.

Shooting: I always use my iPhone camera and do most of my shooting on my bike. I generally have a planned route in my head of neighborhoods I want to explore — either areas I haven’t shot yet, or where there is a regular turnaround of parked cars. I have the advantage of living in one of the best cities for older model cars (thank you, Portland!), which gives me a lot of beautiful subjects to choose from.

While riding, I’ll slow through every intersection looking down as far as I can see on either side of the street, scanning for older cars or just a fin or headlight sticking out. Once I find a car, I’ll look directly across the street to see if I have room to get the entire vehicle in the frame. If all looks good, I’ll head down the street and set myself up. If I can’t center-up, or the shot looks funny somehow, I move on and find something else in hopes of finding the car again sometime (I’ve waited months to see a car again!). And if I climbed a hill or had to pedal hard through traffic, I may need to slow my heart rate down first by breathing slowly in and out to get the “shake” out of my hands and arms (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, run in place for a couple minutes and try holding your phone steady. Not easy eh?). I like the pic to feel as quiet and calm as possible, so I try and pass on any cars with too much going on in the background, like other parked cars.

Editing: No real editing secrets here, just good ol’ fashioned cropping, and I usually end up using the Rise filter. The only other thing before posting is finding out what the car is and what year it might be to include in my caption.

Want to share your advice for taking photos? Reblog this post and let us know in the comments! Or include a tip in the caption on your Instagram photo and use the tag #howishoot