One of my favorite activities to do in the summer is to attend some of the wonderful classic car shows held in Michigan. The image above comes from the 2012 Concours d’Elegance of America held at St. John’s, near Northville, Michigan. This Concours is one of the best in the country and they always have a great collection of classic automobiles. It’s always nice to see cars from other countries or manufacturers that you don’t encounter every day. One of my favorite time periods are cars from the 30’s. I think car design was really taking off during this period. At this year’s Concours, there was a group of cars produced by Delahaye.
Yesterday I posted a detail shot from this 1957 Buick Century Wagon which I saw at the 2011 Concours d’Elegance of America show at St. Johns. It seemed to be popular so I’m posting a couple more shots today. The shot above shows another detail element of the car and the picture below gives you a look at the entire car. Processing on the first image was similar to yesterday’s shot. I used Topaz Detail on ‘Abstraction’ to smooth out some of the details, mostly in the paint, and then masked out the key elements such as the chrome ‘Caballero’ badge. For the bottom image, I used Topaz Simplify to make the background more abstract and painterly, but I masked out the car itself.
I went to the Concours d’Elegance of America car show today. The event used to be known as the Meadowbrook Concours, but for a variety of reasons the show had to move to a new location. This year the event was held at St. Johns near Plymouth, Michigan. I believe the show had over 300 cars of various vintages and styles. My favorites tend to be the cars of the 30’s but there are interesting aspects to most cars displayed at this event.
I’ve been posting so many black and white images of late I decided I wanted something more colorful. I was perusing my Lightroom catalog today and ran across this shot I took a couple years ago at a show at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan. I called this post ‘Little Red Corvette’, but actually the car was white, with a red interior. The car was built in 1954, the first year the Corvette was manufactured.
Every time I visit a classic car show I try to get some shots of the ‘mascots’ which were used to adorn the radiator cap. Most of the time when I review the final image I’m not happy. What I want to get is a shot which is sharp for the ornament, but without a distracting background. In a controlled setting you could control the background, but at an outdoor show it’s hard. I have seen photographers set up their tripod, set up the shot and then get behind the ornament with a black cloth to create a better background, but I’ve never been quite that ambitious. What I try to do instead is find an angle which finds a neutral background. Sometimes the car next door works well, sometimes it’s the trees. The really tricky part is getting the sharpness right. For this shot I used the Nikon 105mm macro and I’m quite pleased with how it came out. At f8, I was able to keep most of the foreground sharp, but get a nice blurry background. For you car fans out there, this ornament was on a 1930 Cadillac V-16 Fleetwood Cabriolet. The car was one of many fine automobiles on display at the 2011 Eyes on Design car show held at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford mansion in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.
I’ve never been a big fan of 1950’s automobiles, but I am fascinated with their design elements, particularly the chrome and the obsession with tail fins. At the 2011 Eyes on Design car show, they had a whole row of ‘finned’ automobiles. The shot above shows the tail fin of a 1957 DeSoto Adventurer. The car was pretty stunning with its black paint job and polished chrome.
When I think of a ‘Studebaker’, I think of the funky looking cars that were made in the 50’s and 60’s not a stately automobile on par with Duesenberg, Packard, etc., so I was somewhat surprised to find that the car belonging to this hood ornament was a Studebaker. I took this shot at the Classic Car Collectors of America show at the Gilmore Car Museum. When I go to these shows, I generally find some aspect of the car that looks interesting and I might not even know who made the car. As a way of keeping a record of what shots belong to what cars, I’ll take a picture of the identification sign that is usually posted in front of the car. So with this one, I saw the hood ornament and thought it look interesting, and after I took a few shots, I took a picture of the identification sign and at that point found out that it was a Studebaker. This years show had a special emphasis on cars manufactured in Indiana. Studebakers were manufactured in South Bend.
No moody black and white image today, just a simple color shot of a wonderful automobile. This shot shows the exhaust pipes of a 1935 Auburn Speedster. The Auburn was manufactured in Auburn, Indiana and was noted in its day for being a high performance automobile. Before a customer received their automobile, it was certified to have been tested to 100.8 Miles Per Hour by Ab Jenkins a professional race car driver known for setting speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. I’ve always liked the look of the Auburn Speedster. There is something about the chrome pipes coming out of the engine that just looks cool and exudes speed.
When I went to the Classic Car Club of American car show at the Gilmore Car Museum I took both of my camera bodies. I’ve been using primarily my Nikon D700, but I still use my Olympus E3 on occasion. I had equipped the E3 with my 50mm F2 Zuiko Macro lens, an old manual lens that I used to use with my Olympus OM4 back in my film days. It was a nice change to use a completely manual set up. Focusing was manual, as was setting the aperture. When I changed aperture, the lens closed down and made the viewfinder darker, which made focusing a little more challenging. I like this 50 macro on the E3 because at the 2x crop factor its like using a 100mm lens. This lens also takes really nice images.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Gilmore Car Museum for the annual Classic Car Club of America show. This year the show highlighted cars manufactured in Indiana. One of the key companies in Indiana was the Auburn Cord Duesenberg automobile company which manufactured cars in Auburn, Indiana. These cars are some of my favorite because they had such interesting designs. I particularly like Auburns and Cords. At the show, this car was referred to as a ‘1937 Auburn Phaeton’, but the car is actually a Cord, probably a model 812 (although I suppose it is possible that it was marketed as an ‘Auburn’, some car buff will certainly correct me if I’m wrong) Late model Cords have a distinctive design created by legendary automobile designer Gordon Buehrig. The front end has a shape somewhat like that of a coffin so these cars are sometimes referred to as ‘coffin nosed Cords’. Anyway, I love the design and I love to take pictures of this line of cars.