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.
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.
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.
In my previous post I mentioned that the image I posted was not the one I was originally planning on posting. My original thought was to post this shot of the grille of the 1932 Bucciali TAV 12 and include the shot of the full car as additional reference to let the viewer see what the entire car looked like. Since I posted the full view, I figured it was time to post the detail shot.
As you can see, processing was fairly simple. Some minor cropping and a conversion to black and white to emphasize the look of the chrome on black.
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.
One of my favorite car shows of the summer is the ‘Eyes on Design’ car show held annually at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford mansion in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. The show always has a great collection of interesting vehicles old and new. This picture shows a customized 1955 Thunderbird which was given the name ‘Goldenbird’ by its owner.
Another shot taken at the 2010 Concours d’Elegance of America at Meadowbrook showing a Talbot Lago T-150-C, also known as the ‘teardrop’ design. While not a perfect shot of the car itself, I picked this image because I liked the context. Normally I try to keep people out of the shot, but I liked the position of the gentleman in the back and the way he seems to be looking at the car. I also liked the people in the far background, not to mention the Bugatti off to the side. In processing, I made one change to the image. I used the Painting – Oil preset in Topaz Simplify to make the image look like a painting. I then reduced or eliminated the effect on the main car. I think the effect is subtle and helps separate the car from the background. Compare the finished image to the raw image below.
I like to take pictures of classic automobiles but dealing with lighting conditions that you can’t control, reflections of cars and people, etc. can make it difficult to get a nice final image. I like to focus on the details which make these cars so interesting and sometimes the reflections are really a distraction. In the image above, I actually liked the reflections. The picture shows a 1932 Packard Stationery Coupe on display at the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) show held at the Gilmore Car Musuem near Kalamazoo, Michigan. I took the shot primarily because I liked the way the reflections looked in the curve of the spare tire holder and other places on the car.