This morning, I also got to go in to work late, so I had a little time to kill and the weather was looking pretty good for doing some automotive photography. Having the permission to work the '56 Buick, I waited until the sun was fully up behind some pretty good clouds. I needed that hint of warmth in the lighting that early morning wouldn't give me. I drove over to the house, and pulled into the driveway. The clouds were starting to break apart, but there was still plenty of clouds in the sky for some diffusing action.
Well, I was here, and so was the sun. I was going to have a really hard time photographing a black car in direct light. I tried a few compositions, but there was just so much glare from the sun that the images were not really good enough to fine tune. In an attempt to salvage the morning, I started to work with some isolations featuring rust. There was one blistered place on the trunk that caught my eye. I had my 24-70mm lens on, which was really good for getting up close with the subject. I twisted the Singh Ray Color Combo filter and started to compose some images that captured the texture of the rust as it bled through the paint. It wasn't quite as satisfying as I had hoped, but it was something at least.
I started with the trim work on the hood and fender. The diagonals were interesting to me, there was a splash of color with the marker light, and the moss gave the black paint a little bit of texture and life. I had gone saying that I wasn't going to do anything with this truck, but all of a sudden, I was happiest with how these pictures were turning out.
The only problem was the exposure was going to be way too difficult since I was shooting in the shade, and capturing the sky. I decided to do a four shot HDR image that covered four complete stops of light. With that, I was able to capture the detail in the black, as well as the detail in the clouds. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, and honestly, looking at the individual images I didn't have much hope. However, after they were blended, and I processed it, I was actually quite happy with what I had captured. It wasn't quite an isolation, but it wasn't a full capture of the car either. It highlighted the portholes, and then had a very light and airy feeling despite the primary elements and colors being quite dim.
|Fire and Ice|
When I was done processing the image, it seemed to take on a different feel from anything I had shot on a car before. It was no longer rust, it wasn't even really abstract. It was hard and gritty, and full of emotion. It was a rock-n-roll album cover if I had ever seen one. Oddly enough, this one 6 inch section on the quarter panel of the car turned into my favorite shot of the day. There was just so much personality in this image that it can't be ignored.
With that picture taken, I decided that I had worked everything that I could on the car with the existing light. It was time to pack up the camera and head to work. I got everything put away and suddenly realized that the sun was not nearly as intense. I looked up. There were clouds moving in, nice thick ones at that. I still had a bit of time, so I pulled the camera back out, and left the 70-200mm lens attached this time. I added that Singh Ray filter once more and started to find new compositions. I went with the front quarter shot from where I was standing since I had the long lens.
I was just able to miss the corner of the house and the Ford next to the Buick. With the clouds killing some of the glare, the lighting was much better, but having a black car with shiny bits on it, was still creating problems. I decided to be safe and shot a 3-Shot HDR image which appears as the opening image. It is kind of a flat composition due to the focal length, but it draws the attention directly to the car. The patch of tan grass behind gives a nice color balance to the image, so it does work fairly well. This was the view that had caught my eye from the road several weeks ago, and I now had that shot in my collection.
|Season of Rebirth|
For a single location, being shot on the way to work, I have to say that this was pretty successful. I shot 55 frames in about an hour and a half. Of those, there were three different multiple image series for HDR conversions. I ended up with seven out of the batch that I deemed good enough to hang onto. With that, I really can't complaint one bit.
It was nice to be able to get out with the camera once again too. It had been far too long.