I don't know much about these Imperial Cars....but I do know this.  If you had one, you had an awesome trunk ornament.  Seriously...this eagle is awesome!

This is another thing I've never noticed at Old Ca City before.  We later figured out appears someone had just recently cleared it of the pine straw.  Thank you, pine straw clearer guy.

ISO 200, 33mm, F/16 @ 1/5 sec.

ISO 200, 33mm, F/16 @ 1/5 sec.

Image captured with a Sony A7R, Metabones adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.  A Vanguard Abeo Plus 323CT kept things nice and sharp.

Calhoun's Go Go Lounge

During our recent workshop at Old Car City USA, I was pretty selective about things I photographed.  I tried to limit myself to things I had not shot there before.  And, even though I've been there a dozen times, there are still plenty of things I have not shot before!

We were walking down one of the trails and I noticed this bumper sticker.  I had to stop and capture this.  I'm surprised this bumper sticker is in this shape after all these years.  I'm also surprised someone from Ohio would come all the way to Calhoun, GA to visit the must've been a heck of a go go lounge.

ISO 200, 31mm, F/16 @ 0.4 seconds

ISO 200, 31mm, F/16 @ 0.4 seconds

This image was taken with my Sony A7R and Tamron Lenses 24-70mm Lens.  I used my Vanguard Abeo Plus 323CT to stabilize my camera and lens.

Upcoming Old Car City Workshop

The Nature In Focus Workshop at Old Car City starts this coming Friday. I am super excited about all the offerings we have this time around.  We are going to be doing casual shooting of the cars on Friday including HDR and macro.  We will also be working on composition and working with tough exposure situations.  Then on Friday night we will have the place to ourselves for a little light painting work.  Saturday we have arranged for a few models to show up to work with lighting and portraiture.  It's going to be a blast!

In an effort to get geared up for this event, I went back and looked at some unprocessed images that I shot there last year.  This one is probably the most photographed scene there...the office.  When I approach a scene like this that is frequently photographed, I try to find a way to put a different spin on it.  In this case I tried to anchor the foreground with these blue car seats.  Then I try to lead your eye up to the office and even on past to the old cars in the background.  In an effort to help guide your eye, I've darkened and blurred the edges so you look directly at the subject.

I processed this image in Photomatix HDR Software, Adobe Lightroom and OnOne Perfect Effects 9.

5 images bracketed at F/11 and ISO 100.  Focal Length 24mm.

5 images bracketed at F/11 and ISO 100.  Focal Length 24mm.

This image was taken using my Sony A7R and Tamron Lenses 24-70mm Lens.  All Mounted on top of my Vanguard Abeo Plus 323CT Tripod. it dead?

I've had conversations lately with other photographers about HDR, or High Dynamic Range Photography, and weather or not the process is even needed as a tool any longer.

The reason I even question this is the ability of new sensors to capture such a huge dynamic range.  For example, I have the Sony A7S, I've seen tests where they say the sensor on that camera has a dynamic range of 14.5 stops!  That's huge!  When you compare that to just a few years ago when HDR was at a very popular point, sensors were recording 4, 6 or maybe 8 stops of dynamic range.  

So, is HDR dead?  I don't know if I would say it's dead by any means.  I am using it less and less now because I've pretty much switched to all Sony bodies and the sensors are amazing in these things for dynamic range.  I will still use it from time to time when there is a very large range of light in a scene, but that is not very often for me.

One thing I really am not doing anymore is what I called "exposure blending".  I used to take an image that would expose for the sky, say in a landscape image.  Then I would take a separate exposure for the foreground.  In post, I would "blend" those images together in Photoshop using layer masks to give a balanced exposure, as if you would get when using a graduated ND filter.  I have pretty much eliminated that whole process from my workflow based on how much range and information I can pull out of a single RAW file from my Sony bodies.

With that question out there, let me share an image I made a few years back at Old Car City in White, GA.  This scene caught my eye for many reasons, but one being the AM Radio Logo.  I am a fan of classic country music and it seems all the good AM stations that used to play it are all gone these days, so the logo is somewhat reminiscent for me.

ISO 100, 15mm, F/8 at varied shutter speeds for HDR

ISO 100, 15mm, F/8 at varied shutter speeds for HDR

So tell me are you still using HDR?  More or less than you used to?

Fungi Car

Breaking the Apalachicola Theme, I am going to share an image I made a few weeks back at Old Car City in White, GA.

I've passed this car many, many times in the years I have been visiting Old Car City, but never photographed it until this day.  The weather was very overcast which provided very nice, soft, even light over everything.  Since the light was so nice and even, I was able to capture all of the detail in the scene that I wanted without have to use HDR as a tool.  Sometimes this can be nice because it cuts down on processing time quite a bit.

ISO 100, 24mm, F/11, 1/3 second

ISO 100, 24mm, F/11, 1/3 second

I used my Tamron Lenses 24-70mm Lens on my Sony A7R body via the Metabones Adapter.  You can see with a 1/3 of a second shutter speed I had to have a tripod.  I used my Vanguard Abeo Plus 323CT for the job.  I then processed the image in Adobe Lightroom and OnOne Perfect Effects 9.

Instrument Panel

While I was walking around Old Car City USA this past Friday, I noticed an instrument panel with all the gauges on it laying on the ground.  I decided it would photograph much better on the bed of an old pick up truck. 

After placing the instrument panel on the bed rail of this pick up I decided I wanted to shoot it at a very shallow depth of field.  I was using my Tamron 24-70 mm F/2.8 Lens on mt Sony A7R via the Metabones lens adapter.  I zoomed in on the gauge cluster a tad, opened my aperture up to F/4.0 and checked my LCD...yup that's shallow enough ;)

ISO 100. 40mm,  F/4.0,  1/20th second

ISO 100. 40mm,  F/4.0,  1/20th second

Above is the final result.  

The moral:  Sometimes as photographers we need to "place" things into our compositions.  Sometimes this is a leaf on a rock in the foreground and other times it's an instrument panel from a Chevy on a pickup truck.  Whatever it is, don't be afraid to "place" objects in the scene to help make the image stronger.  

If you do move something into your frame, it's always good practice to place it back where it was originally once you are done.  

The Old Plymouth

I've really got no news or anything exciting...

So, I thought I'd share with you this image I made at Old Car City.  This was shot with my Sony A7R using my Metabones Adapter with my Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Lens.

I shot this in Aperture Priority Mode at F/22, ISO 100 which resulting in a shutter speed of 1/2 second.