Revisiting the Blue Apache

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Patina in the Morning Sun
I've been in a little bit of a creative slump for the past couple of weeks.  Shooting a week solid at the beach, and then coming home to working on the series for the rat rod Cadillac really wore me out.  Add to that, I have been having problems with the computer locking up once again which has really caused me a great deal of stress.  I think I've got the computer issues under control though.  I am limping on a single bank of memory right now (8 gigs), while I wait for two new banks of memory to arrive later this week.  At least I am able to function at this point, just a little slower than I am used to is all.

Since I have a traffic assignment this evening, into tonight, I thought that I would use this time to try and get my creative groove back on line.  I had looked at the weather and the morning showed to be mostly clear with a few clouds here and there.  That wasn't enough to justify going to the mountains which was what I wanted to do.  However, it was passable light for doing some rural shooting as the sun came up.  Since I had a print to deliver in Yadkin County, I figured that I might as well hunt around out there for something to shoot.

After doing my last Behind the Camera entry, I was feeling nostalgic about the old Blue Chevy Apache that I had shot in 2014, and done a fresh edit in 2016 which had won a photo contest shortly thereafter.  I checked the map and found that according to the last pass over the area, the truck was still there.  I remembered speaking with the owner back in '14 and getting a little history on the truck.  I was expecting to speak with her once again to gain permission to get in close to the truck.

When the Light Hits
Knowing how this is situated, I was expecting the sun to catch the front of the truck more than anything and that was fine by me.  It should provide some dramatic light to work with.  When I arrived at the house, the sun was up and already bathing the shelter and the truck.  There was a good deal more hay in the shelter than the last time, but the house looked to be in a much different state than I remembered.  It looked to be vacant, but the yard was mowed.  There were no cars around, and all of the blinds were closed on all of the windows. Weeds were grown up pretty tall around the base of the house.  From the looks of it, I wasn't going to get an answer at the door.  To keep legitimate appearances up, I parked in the driveway with my tag showing to the road and neighbors.  I went ahead and grabbed the camera.  Just in case, I fitted the 70-200mm lens with a Singh-Ray Color Combo Polarizer to give me the reach to get some shots in quickly without having to completely walk through the yard.

I started making some compositions and noted that the exposure, while pretty contrasty, was within the latitude of the camera.  Knowing that the grill would be my biggest problem, I exposed for the highlights, and let the shadows fall where they would.  I had plenty of details in the shadow portions so I was pretty confident that I could balance the exposure in Lightroom so that the image would reflect the view that my eyes were seeing.

I worked my way closer and closer in until I was at the wide end of the lens.  I hadn't been challenged yet, so I went back to the truck and swapped over to my 24-70mm lens which would allow me to get in close and distort the perspective of the truck ever so slightly.  I kept the polarizer attached though as it really helped bring the blue of the truck out a bit more.

A Summer Morning
As I got done with the basic shots of the truck, I started to work on some of the details.  The problem that I was running into was the weeds that had grown over the truck.  Where the lighting was the best, I wasn't able to really get a good view.  The ones that I shot were not all that great and I ended up trashing them in the first or second pass through the images.  The remaining three compositions were surprisingly similar, but the more I looked at them, the main subject was different in each one.  I felt that they each stood in their own right, and deserved their time on display.

I was getting back in the swing of photography, and was starting to feel that creative energy surging once again.  I spent some time driving aimlessly around Jonesville, NC, looking for some more rural subjects to photograph.  I found a few, though not as many as I was expecting.  The lighting wasn't right for any of them, so I just filed them in my head for later and kept looking.

After a while, the sun was up too high and the light was too harsh on the West side, so I opted to wrap it up.  It was time to go and deliver my print in East Bend anyway.  This is part of the frustration of photography.  I had spent about three hours on the road looking for things to shoot and ended up only finding one subject that had good light.  There are plenty of times that I don't even find that so I'm pretty happy with the morning altogether.

I'm hoping for some really good weather very soon so I can get out and do some mountain landscapes again.  It has been far too long since I've been out to the Blue Ridge Parkway under some dramatic skies.

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