Tag: Hood Ornament

Oldsmobile Rocket

Rocket 88
Rocket 88

Click on the image to open it at a larger size in another window.

I shot this image a while back and processed it using NIK Define 2.0 and Viveza 2.0 to bring out the colors in the photo. I liked the pinstripe work and the artist’s choice of colors for the car. It’s a simple image and there’s not much else to add about it.


1948 Pontiac

1948 Pontiac

I went back into the vault for this image. I shot this several years ago but I had never done anything with the image. The original file is a little overexposed and judging by the shadows it was probably shot in the middle of the day. I liked the camera angle but the colors were very washed out. I wanted to try a psuedo HDR approach to see if I could give it some depth.

Yesterday I started by using NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 on it to see what I could create. I tried several different presets and finally settled on Deep 2 as the start point for finishing the photo. I then adjusted several sliders which really brought out the clouds as well as revealing the green reflections under the headlight. Some times when working on an image with the adjustment slider I will simply grab the slider and move it all the way to the right or left to see what happens. Most of the time it is way too much but I liken it to having an eye exam where the doctor places two sets of lenses in front of you and asks “better here or better here?” when trying to find the right combination for your vision. Once I know what the extreme effect is I can then decide whether to use that adjustment slider or not. If the effect is in keeping with my vision for the image I can then dial it down and fine tune it’s effect.

I was pleasantly surprised at the way the sky came to life after the initial adjustments in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 but there was still a problem area on the left side of the image. Just to the left of the headlight there was a red car that was drawing my eye away from the rest of the image. I returned it to Aperture 3 and then I took the image into NIK Vivesa 2 where I used a couple of control points placed on the red car to desaturate the red of the car. After that I took the image back into Aperture 3 and finished it with a little tweak to the vibrancy slider and some minor sharpening.



This image is another pseudo HDR I created a couple of years ago using  Topaz Adjust. The advantage of using these plug-ins is that they can often salvage an otherwise flat image and allow me to create something rich and dynamic. The ability to extract information and enhance the colors and details within the original file is the main reason I started using them. I don’t think they are an answer for every situation, if the image is poorly composed they won’t help it, but if the exposure range is too extreme they can be invaluable and allow me to rescue my original idea for the photo.

This image works because of the composition which adheres to the rule of thirds. By giving the car the bottom two thirds of the frame and placing the hood ornament at the intersection of the of the upper right third of the frame the viewer’s eye is directed there. The colors of the sky reflect in the chrome and tie the blue of the sky into the dark browns and oranges of the rust on the car. The yellowish orange of the clouds further emphasizes the complimentary color scheme of the photo too.


REO Speedwagon

This REO Speedwagon was at the NSRA Streetrod Nationals last year. It was powered by the Buick Fireball Eight Engine I featured a few days ago. I’m sharing this because I think the way I chose to shoot it really worked out well. I was using my 18mm-200mm Nikkor VR lens and I got down on my belly to frame the shot. I shot at f8 with the lens set to 18mm. I wanted to accent the wheel and tire in the frame while including the Cadillac “Lady” hood ornament. I really dig the way she is soaring into the clouds while the wheel heads straight at the viewer.

I processed this in NIK HDR Efex Pro from a single frame image. I first did some minor cropping in Aperture 3 then adjusted the exposure and vibrance before finally sharpening the photo slightly. After doing this I saved a virtual copy with my Aperture 3 adjustments which I then took into NIK Hdr Efex Pro for the final version you see here.

One additional note: as with all the images I post here; if you click on the image it will open in another window at a larger size.