I took a trip down to Lexington, Kentucky this past weekend to the Keeneland Concours de’Elegance auto show. I have always been interested in automotive design and an event such as this one allows me to see firsthand the craftsmanship and beauty of our automotive heritage.
This Packard caught my eye with it’s massive headlights and brilliant grillwork. I decided to shoot this image as a bracketed series of images in order to overcome the wide range of light that the dark car and the brilliant chrome created. I knew that I was going to finish this image as an HDR image when I shot it. I monitored my histogram which showed me that I had the full range of tones in four exposures which would result in a good HDR image once merged and tone mapped.
Back home in the studio I merged the four exposures in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and applied the Structurized 2 preset as my base image. I adjusted the structure, black point and white point sliders very slightly before saving the image back into Aperture 3. I had to place a control point on the building in the lower right side of the frame and increase the exposure on the stonework to keep it from being a dark distraction in the composition. Once the image was back in Aperture 3 I cleaned up some sensor spots that had been emphasized by the tone mapping and hdr conversion before adjusting the vibrancy and sharpening the image for final output.
The composition is a pretty straight forward rule of thirds and uses the repetition of form to unify it. That along with the complimentary color scheme of blue and gold makes this image work for me.