An After Work Trek

June 6, 2014

Several months ago I was driving through the edge of Walnut Cove and came across an old Chevrolet pickup on the side of the road.  It caught my eye enough to get me to turn around and knock on the door of the house near where it was parked.  There was no answer that day, and that meant no pictures since I was pretty sure I would need to get in close to it for the images that I wanted.  Even though I didn't shoot the truck that day, I filed it away in my mind for later.

As it turned out, a friend of mine from work was telling me about an old truck out where he lived that he would like to see me work with.  The more we talked the more I realized that the truck that he was talking about was the same truck I had seen not that long ago.  He said that he could get in touch with the owner and see if he would mind if I stopped by some day to photograph it.  It took a while, but he was eventually able to locate the owner and gained the permission that I needed.

It had been some time since I had looked at this truck and wasn't exactly sure what conditions I would need to make good photos.  Looking at the map, I speculated that the setting sun would provide the best light for the truck the way it was situated alongside the road.  Since I wasn't able to get out last week for any photography, I opted to go out after my last day of work for the week and give it a try.

A Storied Life
When I arrived, I figured it would be the polite thing to do to introduce myself to the owner if he was at home.  I knocked, and surprisingly, the door opened.  I introduced myself, and it took a few seconds for what I was saying to register with him.  I was wondering if I had the right truck.  He did eventually recall the conversation and he gladly gave me permission to work the truck as I saw fit.


I quickly got set up and started to work on compositions.  These compositions were not the easiest to formulate either.  I had power lines above the truck, and a roadway to the left of it.  I was restricted on where I could shoot, and from what angles as well.  I started out up close to the truck with my 24-70mm lens with an enhancing polarizer attached.  I was pretty happy with what I was seeing, but the images were all following my same basic formulas.  I wanted something a little different, so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and include the roadway, and eventually even the power lines above in different compositions.  To do this, I opted to swap lenses to my 70-200mm which gave me more compositional control from the distance I was shooting.

The Road Less Traveled
I had about 20 frames taken of this old truck from various locations.  Of these I found three that I particularly liked.  They are each very individual images that I think say completely different things with their compositions.  In a serious break from my normal rule of no power lines, The Road Less Traveled embraces the power lines as a counter element to the double yellow line in the foreground.  The angles actually help to keep the eyes in the frame and focused on the truck.

With the light fading, I started to work my way back to the truck talking with the property owner the whole way.  He started to tell me about a 40's coupe that he had in the back yard.  JACKPOT!!!!  Or so I thought.  I asked if I could take a look and he started down the hill to where his other cars were at.  I quickly saw the coupe, but saw that it was sandwiched between two other cars which were in very close proximity.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get anything at all because of all the clutter.  However, while I was getting a little bit of the back story on this car, I started to concentrate on the curves around the cabin.  I still had the long lens attached, so I was going to be able to pick out details on the car fairly easily.  I framed a shot that captured the curves I found so interesting.  While its not the shot I really wanted, It had a certain abstract quality to it that kept my interest.

Business Coupe Curves
I found myself wishing that this car was in worse shape.  The body was actually very good, and the patina was a little bit uniform for my tastes, but I had to grab the opportunity to shoot this one while I had the chance since this body style is kind of hard to come by.

It was a quick Trek, and one that wasn't planned out all that well, but I think it was a success overall with four keepers from the day.  My intention was to continue on and do some light painting with landscapes just before twilight, but I stayed at this location longer than I anticipated.  Hopefully, later in my set of off days I'll have another opportunity to go out and try something different.

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