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Car Shows

I’ve been looking for a project this year to work on improving my photography skills.  It looks like I’m headed for a busy summer, so I was looking for something that would be easy to access.  Usually in the summer, I look forward to traveling to the some of the National Parks in the Rockies to shoot animals and scenery.  I needed something that I could do locally and that was different from what I’ve been shooting.  Last fall I shot a friends antique car and found the experience fun.  Also, I saw that there was a lot more too it then I had given.  This spring the village I live in has a Festival that includes an Antique Car Show.  So, remembering the experience I decided to give it a try.

I quickly remembered that there are a lot of things to consider and a lot of things that are out of ones control.  First of all, it’s difficult to find decent backgrounds with the cars parked on the street in the middle of town with a lot of people enjoying the experience with you!  You’re shooting (usually) in harsh mid-day light (although I got ‘lucky’ and it was overcast).  Lastly, is a problem that I’m not sure I know how to approach.  Most of the cars are not in pristine condition.  These are cars that ordinary people have used their spare hours to administer TLC to.

Almost all of these cars have been driven to the location.  Now I suspect that most all them have been toweled off.  But, when you get close you see a lot of imperfections in their finishes.  Ranging from water spots to blemishes in the paint jobs and chrome.  For the common car junky this is not a problem.  There just happy to see a car they remember from their teenage years that looks like what they have in their memories.  Whereas, for the photographer, it means a lot of post work.

Now, with a micro cloth like I use for cleaning my lenses, I could wipe/polish water spots off chrome areas I’m trying to shoot.  But, do I ask to do this?  Or, will I offend this poor guy that’s worked his butt off getting this car ready to show and then getting it to the show?  I did ask a couple of the owners if I could shoot the dash from the back seat of the car and they were more than willing to allow me to do this.  So, I suppose to ask for permission for me to clean up their chrome rims would not be that dangerous?

I’ve tried a number of post processing techniques here.  Some are HDR.  On others I’ve used Color Efex Pro and/or Topaz Detail.  I’ve a lot of pictures from this event to work on.  But, I think that most of them will be throw aways.  Like most projects, the more I work on it, the more I will begin to look for a certain type of shot.  Not to that point yet though.  Still looking for a ‘look’!

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