Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Rodders Revival ~ Hot Rod and Custom Car Show

Nikon D4 f-16 ISO 800  1/250 sec 28-300mm at 32mm focal length hand held VR on.
Saturday I attended The Rodder's Journal Revival ~ Hot Rod and Custom Car Show at the Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore, Maryland. I first learned about the Rodder's Magazine when conversing with a gentleman in Ocean City this past spring when I was making images of his car. The show at Pimlico was awesome! It was a fabulous day, and there were amazing rods everywhere!
Capturing images at a show like this is difficult due to the crowds, background issues with lots of cars close by and sometimes light. I have found it best to work with my 28-300 mm lens handheld as it allows me to work details and wide angles in a crowded environment outdoors with plenty of light.
My favorite perspective when shooting the cars is low to the ground and shooting front to back, from the side or looking up, using the sky as the background. Often I will just sit down and wait for a moment when there are no people passing by, it requires patience.
Nikon D4 f-8 ISO 800  1/60 sec 28-300mm at 200mm focal length hand held VR on. Processed in Photoshop and Nik Color Efex Pro 4: Glamor Glow Filter
The new matte satin custom auto paints are fabulous for handling light, they absorb it and reflect it gently minimizing those harsh hots spots typical of highly reflective paint.Shooting custom details is also terrific as the designers crafting these custom looks are truly artists!
Nikon D4 f-22 ISO 800  1/500 sec 28-300mm at 105mm focal length hand held VR on.

I love the curves of the old coupes and enjoy using them as abstract shapes against the sky. Often on really bright paints like this one you have to underexpose to avoid blow out and color issues. When processing these images there is often a lot more dust, chips and imperfections than at first sight. I enlarge the image several times and scroll through all areas looking for dust, lint, fingerprints, chips and imperfections to clone them out.
Nikon D4 f-11 ISO 800  1/500 sec 28-300mm at 72mm focal length hand held VR on. Processed in Photoshop and Nik Color Efex Pro 4: Glamor Glow Filter

"Reflection management" is also a challenge. I constantly look at the subject especially the chrome parts and in highly reflective paint, to see how reflected subjects are appearing in the shot. Depth of field is also challenging as often we are shooting very close to our subjects so I find f-8 to f-22 works best unless you are looking to create some boca in the shot.
Nikon D4 f-11 ISO 800  1/500 sec 28-300mm at 28mm focal length hand held VR on.

I will often make image compositions in the field that crop out either adjacent cars, people or buildings, leaving a somewhat unusual composition...but I think it is better to get a clean shot with an unusual composition that to get a great comp with lots of distracting backgrounds and picture elements that just don't support the main subject. If you can find them repeating shapes are fun to work with as in the image below. Color is important and bright colors make impactful images. A great paint job is also critical or you will be doing a lot of repair in post processing, selecting the best subjects out of the crowd is also important.
I am marking my calendar for next year for the last week in September to attend this show again! I am leading a Hot Rod Photography Workshop in a couple weeks in Ocean City if you would like to join me check out the link on the side bar of this blog! Or Click Here for more info and registration.