Revisiting My Old Friend...Rust

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Lazy Eye
OK, I'll be the first to admit, I've been caught up in landscapes for quite a while now.  It has been a long time since I've gone out to shoot any old iron.  That is actually for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, I have been having a lot of fun with landscapes and getting out on some of the trails around our mountains.  Second of all, it is not the easiest thing to find these old cars and trucks as most of them have been tucked away deep within properties, or have been hauled off.  Those that are still visible, tend to suffer from the same issues...owners with guns.  I've been met more times than I care to remember by owners of these gems holding a firearm at their side while they inquire as to my purpose.  A vast majority don't understand my want to photograph their vehicles, and the remainder are skeptical of my intentions.  This takes a lot of the fun out of what I actually really enjoy photographing.

As I have been out and about over the last several months, I've been on the hunt for some old vehicles.  I finally found one that was in a pretty good place in Walkertown.  The problem was, it was well within the property and I knew I would need the owner's permission to gain access to least to photograph it properly.  I had made the approach to the house about 3 times over the course of the last six months in hopes of catching the owner at home.  Each time, I was met with no answer at the door.  This was infinitely better than being greeted by a gun, but gave me no ability to get close enough to shoot the truck.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, while Sierra and I was riding around (without a camera), I decided to give it another try.  Sure enough, there was a gentleman sitting in a chair at the end of the driveway.  As I pulled up into the driveway, I got that feeling that I might not be met with the best of receptions.  I asked that Sierra stay in the car just in case.  Much to my surprise and relief, the owner was very hospitable, even if just a little cautious.  Hey, I don't blame him at all on that.  I introduced myself and what I was asking about.  After a nice long conversation, I had his blessing to return and photograph the truck when the conditions were right...and when I had my camera.  He just asked that I let him know I was photographing it.  That, I can live with.

Just an Old Hoe
Well, after many, many days of the weather being wrong, or me being at work, I had the opportunity to go out before going in late to work.  Initially, it didn't look like things would work out.  The clouds were good first off, but the color temperature was too cool.  As the temperature got warmer, the clouds got thinner and the lighting too harsh.  At 9:15, at about the last possible moment, the light softened and I saw potential with the way the truck was situated. I grabbed my gear and headed out to the truck.  Of course, the lighting started to change as I got closer, but I decided to see if the owner was home and if so, I'd give it a try.

I pulled into the driveway and sure enough, there was the owner sitting in his chair.  The lighting was decent, although not exactly what I was hoping for.  Oh well, I was here, I might as well see how things go.  I stopped to talk with him for a quick minute, and he again gave me permission to go and photograph the truck.  He, of course, took that opportunity to do some maintenance to the pool which was right by the truck.  He wanted to keep an eye on me, and I completely understand that, and respect that.  At least he wasn't right over my shoulder as I have had happen in the past.

The lighting wasn't the best, but as I had previsualized, the truck was out in the open and would be uniformly lit by the morning sun.  There was enough thin cloud cover to keep the highlights under control, so I was able to make things work.  I went ahead and fitted my 24-70mm lens which is my go to lens for this type of photography.  To that, I added an intensifying polarizer and started to go to work.

Garden Hoe
I was very happy with the trees to the rear of the truck as they provided the best backdrop I could have hoped for.  I also found a couple things that I could incorporate into the photographs that I had not seen from the seat.  There was an old stump with a hoe on top of it.  I was able to use that as a great foreground.  There was also an old porch swing right at the tree line which I used as a balancing element to a passenger side shot of the truck.  The truck was positioned in such a way that I could work both sides equally well with neither being in the harsh light.

I had been expecting to photograph this in a bit more cloudy condition, and might return to do just that.  However, I must admit, I was pretty happy with the rather dramatic lighting that I was presented with this morning.  There was enough to where I could get shadows, but not so much that the contrast was distracting.  Overall, I was pretty happy with my time out there.

I spent about 30 minutes shooting, and in that time, I got about 20 frames.  Of those, I am thrilled to have three images I would consider keepers.  It was also very nice to get back to shooting old iron.  I've got the bug again, and am looking forward to finding more out in my neck of the woods.  As always, if you are in the central to western part of North Carolina and have access to something like this, please let me know.  I'm always on the hunt for this type of subject.

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