A treat for orange lovers at the Pasadena Police Department Classic Car Show, June 17, 2012.
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It must be the color scheme of this 1940 Chevrolet pickup truck, the cream and brown tones make me think of chocolate milk, and I can see in my mind milk crates with old glass bottles of chocolate milk stacked in the bed of the truck. This beautiful machine was captured at the Pasadena Police 2012 classic car show in Pasadena, California on June 17, 2012. This year’s Pasadena Police show was a bit of a disappointment, though, not as many cars as last year, and fewer, in my opinion, distinctive vehicles. I also thought last year’s venue on Colorado Boulevard was a better showcase in front of Paseo Pasadena rather than this year’s venue on Green Street, behind Paseo Pasadena.
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One of the most important attributes of Adobe Lightroom is the fact that it is not an image editor, but an image data base application. Unlike tasks you perform in Adobe Photoshop, which permanently alter files, tasks you perform in Lightroom that are related to editing your image are non-destructive, you are not altering your image, you are simply attaching a series of descriptive attributes to the image file. No matter what you have done to an image file in Lightroom, you can always return it to its original, raw file state. This means that Lightroom allows you to travel back in time, and “re-do” any image in the catalog.
This has proven very useful to me as my skill levels have improved over time and my self-critical eye has become more discerning. The original rendering I made of this image last year used the HDR process, and that processing resulted in a muddy image with no additional dynamic range other than the range of tones that are present in this rendering. The other outcome of my original HDR rendering produced an incorrect color tone on the body of the Cadillac. Today’s image was processed in a straight-forward manner, with minimal adjustment to overall exposure, highlight and shadow detail. Minor boosts in contrast and clarity of the car and a boost in brightness of the chrome and white walls were brushed in. A virtual copy was made of the entire image and that second image had clarity reduced and was darkened. The two images were then composited together in Photoshop, producing the bright, sharp foreground image of the car with a subdued background. I am very happy with the final body color, which to my recollection matches the actual body paint color of the car in life. Suffice it to say, I am now moving in a steady direction away from HDR processing of my automotive images.
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For a change of pace we are back to automotive images in the blog this week. This image was captured at the Pasadena Police Department Classic Car Show in June of this year. One of the issues that impacts the images that I capture at these events is the fact that all the cars are so close to each other, it can be a challenge when you are trying to capture an image of one specific car. I like to let the viewers of my images appreciate one car at a time. In quite a few cases I resort to employing post processing techniques, and then the likes of Topaz Simplify and Photoshop, among others, come in to play.
Another element that can be distracting in these scenes is the people usually “loitering” around the vehicles. Sometimes I try and wait them out to get an unobstructed view, sometimes I find that if I am patient, the people may position themselves where they can become a part of the narrative of the image. This was one of those times.
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Another classic Chevrolet at the Pasadena Police Department Classic Car Show, June 19, 2011. A reminder of how inspirational art objects of the past can be for artists of the present.
Whether the car or its owner, you get the idea that once they start driving forward, they will not be slowing or stopping until they have reached their objective. A Dodge Charger (circa 1968) on display at the Pasadena Police Department Classic Car Show, June 19, 2011, Pasadena, California.
This image is for my friend Sheila Creighton who is a photographer and an automotive lover, Sheila blogs at Imagery of Light. This classic piece of automotive art was on display at the Pasadena Police Department Classic Car Show, June 17, 2011 and was parked on Colorado Boulevard where the Rose Parade takes place every New Years Day.
Car Show Fortnight
The last image in this series from the Ontario Police Department Guns & Hoses car show on July 23, 2011 is another Buick. This car is from the same era as my childhood and I love the color scheme on this automobile, it reminds me of a Dreamsicle. It took some lawyer masking trickery in Photoshop to get the body tones right and I also added the background blur in Photoshop.
Car Show Fortnight
This beauty was also on display at the Ontario Police Department Guns & Hoses car show on July 23, 2011. After initial processing of the brackets in Lightroom I used Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro to merge and tone map the images, then I duplicated the final HDR image and converted one copy in to a colored pencil drawing using Alien Skin’s Snap Art Photoshop plug-in. I then layered the original HDR image with the colored pencil version and masked them together in Photoshop to achieve the painterly effect for the final image.
Car Show Fortnight
Another red coupe on display at the Ontario Police Department Guns & Hoses car show, July 23, 2011. I gave this a painterly treatment using Topaz Labs’ Simplify Photoshop plug-in.
Car Show Fortnight
Today begins the Car Show Fortnight on the blog, two weeks of automotive images captured at car shows in the greater L.A. area. This image represents the oldest vehicle in this current series, an antique Buick that drove to the Ontario Police Department’s Guns & Hoses Car Show, in their parking lot 23, 2011. This image was created from two tone mapped versions produced in HDR Efex Pro, then layered and masked in Photoshop.
Update: This is a re-worked version of the original images, after considering Ken’s feedback.