On Assignment: Outlawed Restorations

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Hello Dolly
One thing that I failed to mention in my series from Topsail Island was that I received a text from Dean Cornelius with Outlawed Restorations in East Bend, NC.  I had just finished up a shoot from his shop the previous weekend and that had lead to a conversation about the rat rod Caddi that I had shot in the barn.  It was going up for sale and the actual owner of the car had commissioned some pictures to be taken of the car for the broker in Florida.  Well, when Dean texted me, he let me know that the owner was now interested in me doing the pictures for the Caddi.  To make a long story short, I spoke with not only Dean, but the owner of the car and came to an arrangement.  It was going to have to wait until I got back in town before I could get the pictures, and they were OK with that.

Essentially, the assignment was simple, shoot between 12 and 15 shots of the Caddi so that the broker can post them online.  They needed to capture the spirit of the build and car, and spark the imagination of the potential buyer.  These types of shoots are all about feeding the fantasy of owning a product.  It was a little different that what I was normally accustomed to, but I jumped at the chance!

Caddi Pipe
Before going, I had a few ideas of what I wanted to shoot of the car since I had now seen it a couple of times.  The biggest thing that I wanted to capture was the exhaust pipe out of the side of the car.  This is just not something you see on a Cadillac, and I thought that feature alone would sell the car.  Having the emblem below the pipe was an added bonus.  I set the shot up here to showcase the lowered stance of the car, the whitewall tire with original hubcap and the shiny bit of chrome trim.  The highlight was that gigantic hole in the side of the fender where the diesel fumes could escape.

Resident of US
Another feature that I wanted to capture was the seal on the door.  I had always been under the impression that it was a replica of the Presidential Seal which is on the Limos of the POTUS.  Well, I was shown to be wrong by Dean.  He pointed out that he had the seal slightly altered when it was painted on the door.  To avoid any possible problems with the Secret Service, the seal reads "Resident of the United States"...I guess that is a true and accurate statement.  It is a really cool feature on this limo.  This shot also shows the stance of the car on the air bag suspension and the section of a tree trunk that grew over the exhaust hole in the rear bumper.  Instead of removing it, Dean just cut the wood around the corner of the bumper and left it there.  While you see a lot of rust here, there has been plenty of metal welded up behind the panels  to make sure that the car is still solid.

Air Compressors
Speaking of the air ride suspension, Dean wanted me to get a shot of the air compressors and tank in the trunk of the car.  What is so special about this is the way that the lines were plumbed.  They were done to mimic exhaust headers and should appeal to any car guy.  By the way Dean, I vacuumed up a little bit on the carpet with a clone stamp tool just to clean up the appearance a bit.

Diesel Caddi
While externally, the big exhaust pipe is the eye catcher, it is what is under the hood that makes that pipe so cool.  This thing runs on a Cummins diesel engine which is turbo powered and has several very cool touches under the hood.  Most notably is the radiator overflow jug which pays tribute to Dean's Fire Department days.  Yep, you see it correctly, that is a fire extinguisher.  I wonder if Kidde ever though that they their product would be used for this purpose?

Captain's Chair
No automotive shoot would be complete without a shot of the interior.  I mean that is where the owner will be sitting and spending most of their time.  The burlap seats are quite the centerpiece in the car, and the texture on the dash is from the burlap pad that was glued on it to replace the failed leather upholstery.  The owner decided that he didn't like the burlap and Dean took it off which left this residue.  Honestly, it works!  You can also see the air controller here in the seat, as well as some of the gauges.  For those who are interested, this was an HDR shot made up of five exposures which allowed me to get plenty of detail throughout the cabin.  I think it is a great representation of the interior.

Control Center
For those that want to get up close and personal with the instruments, I got in low and shot this view of the dash.  It is not quite fine art quality, but it does a great job at showing what it needs to.  This car is just so cool!!!!

Limo Interior
What is a limo used for?  Hauling lots of people, or a few of them in extreme comfort.  I would be totally remiss if I neglected to include a shot of the rear of the car to show the expanse of room and the jump seats.  The question was how to do this.  Well, I had a trick up my sleeve that was going to really impress Dean.  I pulled out my Rokinon 14mm lens and fitted it on the camera.  I got right up on the door and set the image up.  When I was done, I had to show Dean what I had captured with this nifty lens (best $250 I've ever spent).  He was amazed that is showed the entire interior of the car.  Honestly, I was pretty amazed at the outcome of this shot too.

Draggin' Like Friday
At this point I started to ask Dean what features he wanted to capture that I had missed.  I mean, this is to show off his work, so I wanted his input in the shots that I used.  He started to tell me about the air horn (yes, a road tractor air horn on this Caddi) which was located just behind the passenger front tire.  OK, that was going to be easy enough to capture.  I got down low and used the whitewall tire as my anchor, and I exposed to capture the horn in the wheel well.  I also got the exhaust pipe...yes, that is my favorite part of the car I think.  Does it show?  The lowered stance and patina are also very visible here in this shot.

Fill 'er Up
Going down the list of details, he showed me the fuel filler which is still used.  It is a standard feature on this car, but still quite cool, and the tank has been replaced by a smaller '55 Chevy gas tank to allow for the air system to be in the trunk.  I tell you, there are so many thoughtful touches on this car!  You can also see the intake vent for the air conditioning right in front of the trunk lid, as well as the patina on this side of the car.

Number 30

VIN Plate
Two other little details were the plate that goes on all of Dean's builds, as well as the original VIN tag that shows that this is number 213 for the '55 Caddi Limo body.  An interesting side note here, the current owner of the car wanted Dean to sign below the edition plate.  This is not something that he normally does, but I really like the idea.  He is an artist and should sign his work, each and every time.

At this point I was pretty much done with the require shots, but I wanted to play a little bit more with this car.  I had a few images that I shot which were more or less for me, but included in the package if wanted.  They highlighted features that liked, and just a shot that I wanted to take.

Custom Touches
I just can't get enough of the exhaust pipe sticking out of the side of this car.  I love the fact that there is a factory emblem right below it which is unharmed.  The chrome trim makes for a great leading line, and you can see the details in the distance of the seal, and the chrome trim.  This is just a fun image, and one that I like.

Vintage Caddi
Well, there comes a time in every blog entry where I have to say "the end".  This is that time.  I had a great time with Dean and spent about two hours capturing the images.  I had another hour processing them once I got around to doing them.  I could definitely see myself doing more of this type of shoot, whether it be for a broker, or for a celebration of your own vehicle.  I am a car guy at heart and I love working with automobiles.  I just hope it shows here, and that my client is happy with the images.

Edit: 06-28-2018

After speaking with the broker, I realized that I forgot some of the obvious shots that were needed for the car.  I needed broadside images.  I knew this, but since I was quite worn out from the recent trip, it just slipped my mind.  I was able to schedule another follow up shoot where I collected the last two images needed for this Cadillac before the add would go live.  Of course, since it was my mistake, there was nothing else charged to the client.  That was the proper thing to do, and I how I like to do business.

Long Caddi

Power Caddi
Circle the Wagons

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