We’re well into summer in Australia which means its the season for hot rod shows and show and shines, which seem to be every weekend and they attract people from all walks of life and some of those people have clearly made some pretty bad choices and mistakes along the way. Mistakes like the mullet haircut (why?), poor clothing choices (pockets go on the inside) and rubbish tattoos which led me to think about mistakes I’ve made in photography and I was about to make another without realising it.
Originally the plan was to photograph hot rods and cars as they cruised passed using a technique called panning. This technique requires slow shutter speeds and the subject needs to be tracked as it passes by. You also need to give consideration to the background as it may distract the viewer away from the subject and the one criticsal technique you need is patience as you shoot because you will more than likely need to adjust shutter speeds on the fly to perfect your shot.
It wasn’t until the images were downloaded that I realised that none of the subjects were in focus. This is a direct result of my unwillingess to wear my glasses when photographing and resulted in blurry images. I firmly believe that If I had worn them I would have realised that the shutter speed to needed to be increased to ensure the subject is in crisp focus. Lesson learnt…..again
Even though the subjects are not in focus these images convey movement, exposed properly and the location is, to me at least pretty good. Overall I actually like a couple of them however I am yet to determine if they are print worthy.
You may not be able to see it but these lovely gentlemen were flashing their rubbish tattoos as their mullets were flapping in the breeze whilst showing me a rarely seen bird but what does stand out is their incredibly bad choice of car.
The key take away for me was to (wear my glasses) not to be afraid to experiment with the camera settings and shoot in manual. I also realised that every mistake I make is another lesson learned and hopefully that mistake won’t be made again in the future.
But we also need to remember that skills are learnt by trial and error. This is the method that we as photographers and creative types learn and grow.
So get out there and make mistakes.
I’ve said it before, car shows are the place to go and get your photography groove on. You can spend hours wandering around the cars photographing all aspects of the chrome adorned hot rods and on some occasions the people who own them or have been hired to work on them.
But every now and then you find something different, something that is worth that little bit of effort to photograph, making sure that you get it right and in this case it was this gentlemen with the steadiest hands I have ever seen painting the white edging around the flames.
As I started to post process the images I felt as though that overall there was to much red and I ended up going down the path of processing the image to black and white. Now the problem I have is I don’t know which one should be the final product.
Which one do you prefer?
The photographic opportunities at car shows to practice are endless. I haven’t met a car enthusiast yet that isn’t happy for you to take photos of their prized possessions.
However the problem with car shows is that a lot of people crowd around cars, and I always seem to find that they get in the way whilst trying to take a photo or you’ll end up with a lot of people, who are as photographic as I am, in the shots. So to avoid having photos with people in them I try and photograph the smaller details or find a view point that is often over looked by everyone else.
With these two shots (above and below) I wanted to process them in such a manner that they would have a 70’s or 80’s feel to the overall image. This is something that I was thinking about when I took the photos as well however I’m not sure that I have managed to achieve the look but I may let them sit for awhile and come back and have another look in a couple of weeks to see if I’m still happy with the result.
Some times the smaller details are in the windows.
There were quite a few people around this muscle car either taking photos with smart phones or DSLR cameras but I would say that most of them ended up with photos that had a lot of people in the way or in the background. I simply didn’t want that so I had to look harder to see what I could photograph. I spent a few extra minutes walking around the car I found that the GTR Badge with the thick black racing stripes which hopefully leads the viewers eye away from the badge towards the window making you see the other colours and more of the car.
HOLDEN = Hope Our Luck Doesn’t End Now
Well that what I think of every time I see a Holden Badge.
As young fella I had a Holden GTR Torana, It went like the wind and handled like it was on rails but every time I turned the engine over the police would turn up and book me for some thing, anything they could find which forced me off the road and ultimately to sell it. The police were happy about it, I wasn’t !
Some of these hot rods or muscle cars have interesting signage on the doors and this sign is something that I wanted to photograph because of the originality of it and the likely innuendo that the sign writing implies.
The end result is a set of images that are all about cars showing the smaller details that are often over looked which in some cases the small details matter.