Posted on May.25, 2011, under black and white

(Nikon D700, 70-300mm at 125mm, ISO 200, Exposure 1/500 sec @f/8)

In my quest to find new material to shoot I took a short road trip into northern Ohio this weekend. I had seen a picture of this structure posted by one of my Flickr contacts and I thought it would be interesting to see it myself. I headed down to Toledo, Ohio, where I picked up US-20 heading west. Once I got out of the Toledo area, the road opened up to wide open farmland. I was hoping I might see an old barn or two, and I was really hoping I might find one with a painted “Mail Pouch” tobacco sign, but no such luck. I did see one barn which I’m pretty sure used to have a sign painted on one end, but it had been freshly painted over. Anyway, I pressed on until I reached Fayette, Ohio, a small town in western Ohio. There, on the eastern side of town, is “Hal’s Garage”. My understanding of this building is that it is just a private garage, not a working garage, but I still think it is pretty cool. I love the old signs and the way trunks of cars are used as awnings.

My thought for processing was always to create a black and white image, but conversion posed a couple of challenges. I wanted the yellow Shell sign to show up, but as I played with various sensitivities it tended to blend in with the wall color. It took a little tweaking to separate it from the background, but that caused the Speedway sign to be too dark. I solved this problem by making an initial black and white conversion with Silver Efex Pro 2 and then masking out the Speedway sign. I then used a simple Photoshop black and white layer to do the conversion on the Speedway sign. The one thing I wanted to keep was the rust spots and streaks and in order to do this I had to lighten the blue background a bit.

Got comments or questions? Feel free to leave them below.

Copyright © 2011 James W. Howe – All rights reserved.

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