Recently I had the fun and exciting opportunity to attend a local Hot Rod Show at Lake Merced, CA. What a great setting. The Hot Rod Clubs were allowed to park their cars all around the lake’s perimeters near access roads and in other locations in the park area!
With the lake as a background and the subdued lighting, the stage was set. I took advantage of morning light and cool air conditions and showed up at the show at 9:00 in the morning. By that time there were several hundred cars carefully placed in the park and around the lake. Each owner was his own showman and had his own way of presenting his custom hot rod in all of its glory.
The grass was green and the lighting on the lake waters was subtle and soft! Great pictures were just begging to be taken. So, with my Nikon D-80 in hand and my 28mm to 55mm wide angle lens and my 55mm to 200 mm telephoto I proceeded to collect groups of digital photos throughout the park. I tried numerous settings and utilized the on board flash and supplemented with Nikons SB-400 Flash unit.
I reviewed the positions of each hot rod and shot each with the thought in mind that I would take advantage of the 55mm to 200mm zoom lens to capture strong angles and alternative views. Wow, was I pleased! This walk in the park really excited me and took me back to the days when I used to race a 66 Chevy Malibu at a quarter mile track in Stockton, CA. Those were the days – Muscle Cars Ruled!
You can also see an article here on racing car photography.
I was able to shoot cars under varying light conditions and many varying light reflective conditions too! Sometimes a flash was appropriate and sometimes natural lighting was the answer! I found myself utilizing the 55 to 200mm zoom most of the time to vary the close-ups and squeeze in those cool engine compartments and all the goodies!
After the day in the park, I returned home to download all 500 photos that I had taken and make a few lighting and contrast adjustments. As my daughter used to say Viola! I found my-self transported back in time and enjoyed every minute!
Should you find that this opportunity avails itself to you and it tickles your imagination, go for it. Take your digital camera, SD Memories, Flash or flashes, tripod, wide angle lens, and don’t forget the tele lens for those unforgettable close-ups! Your will find yourself enjoying a day of creative shooting and all of those works of art that the men & women of the world of Hot Rods have slaved over and invested significant dollars in producing eye appealing, ground pounding machines for all to enjoy!
Remember, that this is the opportunity to share your love of photography with those enthusiasts and Hot Rod owners who would really appreciate a picture or two of the love of their life. Their Hot Rods! Men of Iron – Machines of speed and excitement. You may find a few customers flocking around you for copies of your final products.
Contribution by David Corn
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