I came across this photo story about Grand Central Terminal turning 100 this year. I love to see vintage photographs of this New York icon. Enjoy!
I enjoyed spending some time along the Detroit Riverfront today to visit a Tall Ship (the Niagara) and take in the Marine Corps Band from New Orleans. It is all part of Navy Week and the Celebration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Detroit is the only major U.S. city to ever surrender to a foreign power. General William Hull, Commander of U.S. troops in Michigan, surrender to the British in August 1812. He was later convicted of treason and sentenced to death for his cowardly surrender. President Jackson later commuted his sentence to discharge from the Army since General Hull was a hero of the American Revolution.
It was a picture-perfect day for the 2012 Woodward Dream Cruise in metro Detroit. I am sharing a few of the photographs I took in Birmingham and Royal Oak.
10 Tips for Photographing Classic Cars
It’s crusin’ season for car enthusiasts. The Woodward Dream Cruise is approaching in metro Detroit along with many other classic car shows and cruises. Photographers will be snapping thousands of pictures, hoping to capture the moment and possibly relive a classic era.
Here are a few tips to get the best pictures of classic cars.
1. Prepare – Get familiar with the settings on your camera. A review of your manual can help you decide the best settings for moving cars, still vehicles, sunny days with lots of contrast, and night shots.
2. Panning – When cars are moving fast and you want to catch the action, pan your camera with the movement of the car. This will help keep the car in focus and provide a nice blur of the background image. I often set my shutter speed to about 1/40 and pan to create an effective background blur. This takes practice and a steady panning action. Try to practice before you head out for the big day.
3. Use the Right Shutter Speed – If you are using a telephoto lens, increase the shutter speed to compensate for the greater impact of camera shake. I like to use double the focal length of the lens (2:1 ratio) when I am shooting moving cars. For a 200mm lens, I use a shutter speed of 1/400 second or faster. I consider a 1:1 ratio to be the minimum, recognizing that you may end up with more slightly blurred shots at this lower speed. When cars are stationary and you can hold a steady stance and grip, it opens up more options for slower shutter speeds.
4. Consider Rear Curtain Flash at Night – The rear curtain flash mode on a DSLR camera fires the flash at the last second before the camera’s shutter closes. If we break rule number 2 above and slow the shutter speed at night to 1/40 (for example) to take in more low-light background, the rear curtain flash setting can provide a cool effect and still give you a sharp image of a moving car. Try it out and experiment, and don’t forget to pan with moving car.
5. Change your Angle – Try to get away from the standing up position / point and shoot mode. Bend down and shoot from close to the ground to get a unique angle on the front grill of a classic car. Alternatively, find a higher vantage point. Mix it up and you will reap the benefits.
6. Look for the Details – Hood ornaments, door handles, license plates, tail pipes and more are all possible subjects for great classic cars. Try to find a clean background and use a wide open aperture (e.g., f 2.8) to blur out the background.
7. Watch for Background Clutter – For all shots, quickly scan the background for unwanted distractions (utility poles, ugly signs, etc.). If you can’t avoid clutter, open up the aperture and let the camera blur out the background.
8. People – Don’t forget that every classic car has a story, and the person behind the restoration effort is likely nearby. Most will be proud to be part of the photograph. Consider taking one shot with just the car and another with the owner. You may end up hearing a great story.
9. Context – Sometimes a classic car parks near or drives by a historic structure of a similar era. This might be an opportunity to capture the vehicle in a historic context. Go to the highest f-stop setting you can to maximize depth of field. A tripod is helpful on overcast days. Also try shortening the depth of field (lower f-stop number) to provide a totally different look.
10. The final tip is related to post processing. Experiment with conversion to black and white, tonal contrast adjustments, and other techniques. Sometimes I like to boost the contrast and levels in the sky in Photoshop or Lightroom to bring out more details, while keeping the balance of the shot at a different setting. This allows people to see images that are closer to the tonal range that the human eye sees. If you have a tripod, take multiple exposures at different exposure values and process with high dynamic range (HDR) software to increase your creative options (tip: keep the same f stop and change the shutter speed so the depth of field remains the same in each shot).
Best of luck and feel free to share your links. You can find many of my Dream Cruise photos at Patch.com
The call came from Maxine just a couple of weeks ago. She had an old photograph of her parents, Clarence and Josephine Davis, that was taken in 1949. It really showed signs of age and wear – cracks, spots, discoloration, and more. It was the only photo of her parents together, both of whom are now deceased.
I assured Maxine that we could restore the photo so that she and her two siblings could have new prints to cherish. The original photo was only about 2×3 inches, but she wanted larger prints; I told her that 5×7 prints would be our goal.
Maxine’s mom Josephine passed away last year at the age of 90, and I know from personal experience how the passing of a parent can be a motivating factor to preserve history. When my father passed away in 1984, I realized a dream to write and publish a family history. It is one of the accomplishments of which I am most proud.
The final restoration is now complete and I am pleased to be preparing these new 5×7 prints for Maxine and her siblings. My thanks to Maxine and to Steven Volk with Volk Video Services who referred me to Maxine.
I had a great time covering the Birmingham Bike Festival last year in downtown Birmingham, Michigan. The 2012 Festival is set for Sunday, August 26, 2012. It brings something of a European vibe to a city that already boasts numerous sidewalk dining venues, shopping, entertainment, office, and residential uses. For more information, go to birminghambikefestival.org
I had a great time over the weekend with some photographer friends touring Eastern Market and the Dequindre Cut in Detroit by bicycle. The tour was hosted by Wheelhouse Detroit.
I highly recommend Wheelhouse for great tours of a great city!
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I have attended the Beverly Hills Memorial Day Parade almost every year since 1990. It is a tradition.
This year I enjoyed riding my bike to the parade, taking in the festivities, and seeing some friends. Happy Memorial Day!
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The Detroit Tigers’ Opening Day is always a special occasion, and this year even more so because of the anticipation of great things from this team. The panorama below was taken by blending 21 different photographs so that I could capture the essence of the opening ceremonies. GO TIGERS !!!
I had the opportunity to photograph some of the buildings in Detroit that are supporting Autism awareness by lighting it up blue. Below are photographs of the Renaissance Center and Motor City Casino in Detroit.
Autism affects 1 in 88 children in America. For more information, http://lightitbluemichigan.com/ and http://www.autismspeaks.org.