Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back to photography - cars!

I was just cruising through a few older posts on the blog. It looks like the vast majority of my recent posts have been about non-photography stuff. While I don't claim to have a specific focus for this blog, most of the time what I have to talk/rant about is photography related. Recently I have taken a hiatus from shooting anything interesting. Bummer, I know. I'm finally starting to get back on my feet.

Today, we're back on track with a few car images I shot the other day. As usual, They look better enlarged.

1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic

1997 Mazda Miata

1990 Mazda Miata

My first shoot of the day was with the two Mazda machines. Working on a motion images is both a blast and huge pain. Instead of doing everything in post production, which I know how to do, I prefer to get out, feel the wind in my hair and freeze my freakin' butt off. Cue convertibles in 30 degrees with overcast skies.

I tried to employ a shutter speed that gave me some motion blur in the wheels, while still maintaining some semblance of sharpness on the rest of the car. I think I did alright, but the line is a fine one. The VR II on my 70-200mm lens definitely did most of the heavy lifting. Playing around with shutter speeds, I went from 1/50 to 1/250 of a second. My best results were somewhere around 1/125 or so, with the cars moving between 35 and 40 mph. 

The Chevy Caprice Classic came later in the day, with even less light. A large, wet storm spent the day inching its way towards Boulder, so as the day went on I had less and less light to work with. I finished the shoot with the big red boat around 5:30pm with a hand-held shutter speed of 1/50 sec, ISO 800. Definitely not ideal for shooting a stationary car, but it worked out alright. Again, the Vibration Reduction system saved my butt.

The learning curve on photographing cars is a steep one. I'm climbing like a maniac, and I hope to get somewhere where I can start making BIG prints of cars and be proud of them. You, my fearless reader, get to come on that journey with me. Please do stick around :-)

Thanks to:
Mark Beaty - 1990 Mazda
Rick Schader - 1997 Mazda
Rhoads Hollowell - 1975 Chevrolet