Kaelin’s Custom Cycles Hot Rod Shop Truck

Frank Kaelin's red rat rod truck in HDR.
Frank Kaelin’s red rat rod truck in HDR.

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Last weekend the weather was mild and I decided to take a motorcycle ride around Louisville.While out I rode by Kaelin’s Custom Cycles in Fairdale, KY to schedule an appointment to have heated grips installed on my bike. With a heated seat and heated grips riding in cold weather is much more comfortable and allows me to get out and enjoy riding even when the temperature drops below 50 degrees.I pulled up to the shop just as Frank and Dee Dee Kaelin were closing up for the weekend.They were in Frank’s latest acquisition this little Rat Rod Pickup that doubles as a shop truck. While most of the rat rods on the road are unpainted, rusty vehicles with lots of character they typically exhibit little attention to paint or body work.

The truck stands out because Frank has taken a different approach. This little truck is immaculate; the paint is truly eye catching and all the other details are very well done. I don’t know what make truck the cab from is but the blending of that cab with a Model A radiator shell and the suicide mounted front axle gives it an air of early California hot rods. Powered by a small block Chevy engine and sporting a cool set of exhaust headers the truck screams HOT ROD.

The sun was getting low in the sky and I only had a couple of minutes to grab my camera and shoot a few HDR bracket sets. Getting down low and shooting into the sun gave some interesting lens flare to the image. As I was processing the HDR image I made sure to accent the lens flare too. Shooting situations like this heavily backlit scene is an area where bracketing exposures and combining them to create a HDR image really pays off.

Rat rod pickup truck in Black and White
Kaelin’s Custom Cycles shop truck processed in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and then converted to Black and White using onOne B&W Effects software.

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I liked the composition of the image so I decided to experiment with a couple of Black and White versions too. For this one I took the completed color HDR image into onOne Perfect Photos Suite 8.5 and used the B&W application. I chose to use a high contrast setting and added a thin black border to the final image.

Rat rod pickup truck in Black and White
Black and White version  of Kaelin’s Custom Cycles shop truck created in Topaz B&W Effects 2

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In this last image I again took the color HDR version into another Black and White conversion app. I used Topaz B&W Effects 2 and didn’t apply any edge treatment to the final version.


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