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 was spending some time going through my Lightroom catalog looking for some interesting images to post to my Google+ profile when I came across this image that I took in 2008. The car is a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham and it was on display at the annual Eyes on Design car show held in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. I don’t think I ever posted this image anywhere before, so here it is now!
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.
As I’ve mentioned before, one of the cool things about the Gilmore Car Museum is their replica Shell gas station. They’ve done a nice job outfitting the building with vintage signage and contents (tools, oil cans, etc.) Just outside of the building is a rack of old tires. I liked the character of the old tires and tried to capture the feeling. I was using my Olympus E3 with the 50mm macro lens (equivalent to a 100mm full frame) which gave me a nice crisp shot of the tire. My only regret is that I should have closed the aperture down a bit more. I think part of the raised lettering is a bit out of focus and I think I would have preferred it to be as sharp as the cracks in the tire. Oh well, maybe next time.
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 took this picture of a 1933 Plymouth hood ornament during the 2011 Motor Muster held at Greenfield Village. The gentleman who owned the car gave me some information on the history and evolution of Plymouth hood ornaments. The 1933 had the flying figure and by 1934 they had switched to a stylized sailing ship. The key bit of information was that the 1933 ornament actually used gold in the medallion. True or not I thought the ornament was pretty cool. I took the shot with a 105mm macro lens that I had rented. I have a couple other shots which used a more open aperture, but the field of focus was too thin. I closed it down to f16 for this shot and managed to get more of the ornament in focus. Sometimes razor thin DOF looks cool, but for this sort of shot I prefer to see more detail.
The annual Eyes on Design car show is part of a fund raiser for the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology. The show isn’t quite as big as some of the larger Concours d’Elegance shows held around the nation, but it generally as a couple hundred cars of various vintages, with the focus on automobile design. The show is held at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Point Shores, Michigan. The house is located next to Lake St. Clair and has wonderful grounds for a car exhibition.
With springtime comes the opening of the Gilmore Car Museum, a great car museum located between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, Michigan. The museum has a great collection of automobiles from virtually any time period. In addition to their regular displays, they also hold various car shows on their grounds. This shot was taken late last spring at the 2010 Classic Car Collectors of America (CCCA) show. This show features a wonderful collection of wonderfully restored classic automobiles. This particular image shows the interior of a 1940 Packard Touring Sedan.
Today’s image was not the image that I was planning on posting today. I have another shot of this car, a detail shot of this 1932 Bucciali TAV 12, which I was going to post. I was simply going to clean up the full length shot of the car to give viewers an opportunity to see what the entire car looked like. The picture was taken at the 2010 Concours d’Elegance held at Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester Hills, Michigan. The show always features a terrific collection of classic automobiles both common and rare. This car was parked under a tree and was the first car people saw when the entered the grounds. Lots of people were surrounding the car so it was difficult to get a clean shot. I never really thought I would do anything with this picture, but as I started to make changes, I started to like it more and more.
This is a shot of a 1956 Thunderbird Convertible taken at the 2010 Motor Muster held annually at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. Processing on the image was fairly minimal. I created more of a square crop to focus on the window ports and I used a curves layer to darken the image a bit and add some additional contrast. I used a HSL layer to remove the blue sky reflection from the chrome and then applied a little vignette in Lightroom.