Posted on Jun.11, 2009, under Automobiles, Michigan

(Olympus E-3, 70-300mm at 70mm (2x crop factor), ISO 100, exposure 1/320 sec @ f/9.0)

This shot shows the drivers side engine ports of a 1937 Cord Beverly Sedan. The car was part of the Classic Car Club of American (CCCA) automobile show held at the Gilmore Car Museum near Kalamazoo, Michigan. I’ve always been a big fan of Cord automobiles. They have wonderful interior and exterior details that are fun to explore, but sometimes difficult to capture in a photograph. When shooting at car shows, it is sometimes difficult to get a good shot without annoying reflections, harsh lighting, etc.

The day I took this the sky was mostly cloudy, but bright. The image had some reflections on the fender that I didn’t car for, so I tried to find some way to tone them down. I ended up doing several things. I used the Topaz Adjust filter to bring out a bit more color in the image. I had contemplated trying the Topaz Simplify filter and I wanted more color variation. Instead of Simplify, I decided to see what the image would look like in black & white. By playing with the color sliders in Photoshop CS4, I was able to reduce the reflection to something you could barely see. I didn’t want black & white as my end result so I created a toning layer using curves. I played with the Red, Green and Blue curves until I got a color which was similar to the color of the car. Some tweaking of the color balance helped as well. I masked out the exhaust pipes to keep them chrome color. Overall I like the way the image came out, particularly the ‘soft’ look of the paint job with minimal reflections.

Comments and feedback welcome.

Image and text Copyright © 2009 James W. Howe – All rights reserved

Visit my Automobile Details gallery at ImageKind. I have other vintage car shots available as well at

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