The town I visited for the fireworks show also had a car show earlier in the day. People from the town and the surrounding area came to show off their prized automobiles both new and from decades past.
Next Time: Restored Movie Palace
There are so many photos of grand old theaters in ruins. Although I enjoy the work of urban explorers and photographers, I have a happier story for you: the story of one that was saved.
I didn’t make it to the fireworks this 4th of July, but I did check out the festivities at a nearby small town. This festival had a car show, which is one of my favorite events to photograph. Old cars have so much beauty, detail, and style.
Hood ornaments and other markings showing the make and model are always of interest. I was particularly taken with this bird.
This Pontiac symbol made for a nice symmetrical shot. It was also a great subject to play with split toning. I kept it close to the actual color of the car.
I also liked the shapes and colors on this 442.
Headlights and tail lights have a lot of character as well.
This time, I had a favorite car in the show: a Corvette Stingray in this beautiful blue color. What a car!
My sister talked me into coming to this Cruise Night in a small town near us. It was rather crowded and the lighting was sub par, but there were some interesting cars. I focused mostly on the details as I find them more interesting than a long shot of the car where you can’t see much of the vehicle’s nuances.
Note: Photos have been edited to obscure license plates and faces. Just in case you were wondering why some spots look a bit odd. I can’t ignore privacy.
Next Time: Fall Nature or Background photos
I’m continuing my automotive theme this week with classic cars. I had a great couple of hours out at a local Cruise Night last week. Nice cars. Most of them were owned by older people who’d had them for years. Their pride and love was evident.
There were probably at least five Mustangs (this goes out to my Mustang-loving friend from college, if you’re reading this, you know who you are).
I don’t know much about cars, but I love the details on classic autos. It was like being a kid on an easter egg hunt: so many wonderful logos and features.
Next Week: Nature, weather permitting
Unfortunately, my schedule didn’t permit me to make it to a cruise night last week. I’ve got some prospects for next week, so hopefully things will come together this time. Meanwhile, here are some artistic shots of more average vehicles. It was a color, shape, and texture exercise. Good practice for when I get my lens on something more interesting.
Yes, I like tail lights, but I did consider other parts of the cars.
Next Week: Cruise Night or Nature
Which one it is depends on when I can find a cruise night and what else is happening in my life.
I had no assigned topic this week. I more or less tried out a lens that I’ve had for around two years and never really used. Summer of 2009, I was in the South doing an academic internship on an independent film. A group of us were out at a local secondhand store when one of my friends found an old 50mm Nikon lens. It was cheap and appeared to be in good shape, so it came with me. I tried it out just enough to know that it works, but since then, it’s been confined to the depths of my camera bag (except for being featured in my post on imagination). Not this week. Little lens, your time has come.
The goal was to work with one focal length only, as I fear the zoom lens is robbing me of some sort of discipline. The real challenge was focusing a wider prime. Yes, technically the 50mm is longer than a normal lens on my DSLR, but I like the 70-100mm range, so it is wider than my comfort zone. For years, I’ve been zooming in and focusing with SLRs and using magnifiers on large format. Not to mention that it’s obvious when I’m off on the macro. Fortunately, I met with some success this week.
First of all, I paid a visit to my old faithful test subject: the snowball bush. Admittedly a bit green right now. Really, the 50mm is a bit wide for this subject. It only focuses so close, forcing me to move back.
I moved on to some trees with interesting features, such as this “eye” of sorts, for more focusing practice. Success. Autofocus and zoom lenses haven’t completely ruined me.
Lastly, I focused on my sister’s car. It has some styling details I find attractive. Unfortunately, the paint isn’t so good, forcing me to give the car a Photoshop makeover. My sister was glad that I was painting her car, even if it was only in Photoshop.
Since I could use to spend more time with this lens, I may do a part 2 to this post, but not right away.
Next Week: Time
There are so many directions I could go with this. My hope is to use timepieces and objects around them to say something else about time other than, oh, half past seven.
I spent Memorial Day with my relatives in the small town of Polo. Since it was such a nice day, I decided to go downtown and shoot. I wanted to reaquaint myself with the place I’d often visited as a child and look at it through new eyes. Downtown Polo is, oh say, about a two block area of old stores all connected to each other. Some were kept up over the ages, others were not. My relatives don’t see anything particularly interesting about the town or all that old stuff, but I do. So I left the house, weirdo with a camera, and went exploring.
Sadly, a good chunk of the buildings on one side of the street is hanging in rags. It was difficult to discern if this one spot in particular even had a back wall. I felt somewhat crushed seeing it more dilapidated than I remembered.
At one corner stood the considerably more intact old bank. I only know it was the bank because it is labeled as such. Otherwise, I would assume that the handsome grey building across the street had always been the bank.
I had to admire the detail in the buildings. The way people built things back in the day was so much more ornate. Not at all like many of the plain square structures put up today.
On the other side of the street, I found this amazing doorknob. Seriously, have you ever seen such a beautiful exterior doorknob?
Buildings on the other side of the street seemed to be better kept up as a whole. This one is particularly nicely kept up or restored. I’m not sure which.
Unfortunately, a large and beautiful old school building just outside the downtown is not. I’m told the building was designed by a noted architect. My relatives can remember going to school here and can still point out their classrooms. They convey a great sense of sorrow about the state of this building. I’ve often wondered what could be done with it. The town has more modern and efficient school buildings, so they don’t need it for that purpose. Economically, a business big enough for the building wouldn’t survive in a small town. I’ve wondered if it could be turned into some sort of housing like they do with old factories in the Southeast, but the area around Polo probably wouldn’t support that economically either. It’s just not big enough. It’s amazing what’s hidden away in some corners of the state, and sad that those things aren’t living up to their potential.
Just how big is Polo? My father once speculated it would be impossible to get lost in Polo because it’s so small. In many ways, that’s comforting. I’ve always felt safe in that town. Surprisingly, there are even smaller towns. One of my college friends came from such a town not so far from Polo. I asked how she knew Polo was bigger. She responded that Polo had a restaurant that wasn’t a bar. Strange qualification, but as far as I can find, it’s still true.
For me, Polo is a very American sort of small town. It’s a familiar yet different place where I come to be with my relatives. I hope to be seeing more of it this summer.
Next Week: Time or The Woods
I’ll tweet when I have a better idea of what I’m doing.