Posted on Aug.03, 2011, under Automobiles

(Nikon D700, 28-300mm at 122mm, ISO 200, 1/500 sec @ f/11)

The mid 30’s Cord automobile has long been a favorite of mine. The distinctive feature being the ‘coffin’ nose and on some models, exposed chrome exhausts. My favorite Cord designs are the model 810 and later. The 810 was introduced at the 1936 New York, Los Angeles and Chicago auto shows. The show car was unique in that it had copper accents. The show car is on display at the Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg museum in Auburn, Indiana. The 810 was designed by noted car designer Gordon Buehrig. The 810 was originally going to be a 1935 Duesenberg but after incorporating a front wheel drive design, the vehicle was renamed the Cord 810.

The car above is a 1937 Cord 812 Sportsman Convertible automobile, on display at the 2011 Concours d’Elegance of America show held in Plymouth, Michigan. The 812 grew out of the 810 and was introduced in 1937. The 812 included a supercharger to increase horsepower, and featured the distinctive chrome exhaust pipes.

My main goal in processing this image was to draw attention to the two key details of the Cord, the exhaust pipes and the coffin nose. The original color shot (seen below) was a bit too bright, so I reduced the exposure in lightroom to bring back some details. The D-700 raw file is pretty forgiving of slightly overexposed images, you can generally reduce the exposure and have a nice shot, a benefit of ‘exposing to the right’. After some other minor cleanup in Lightroom, I used Silver Efex Pro 2 to convert the black and white. I think the end result sort of looks like an alien being, or the sort of car that an Imperial Stormtrooper might drive.

Here’s a final shot to give you an idea of what the full car looks like. I used Topaz Simplify to rework the background and used a layer mask to bring the car back to ‘normal’.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts, comments or questions.

Copyright ©2011 James W Howe – All rights reserved

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