Tag: rule of thirds

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.




I found this car at a local car show. I have never seen a top that was chopped and then laced back together but the rat rod crowd does some interesting fabrication. I liked the way the rusted patina of the car contrasted with the slick finish of the yellow car reflected in the stop light. I thought the inclusion of the bullet holes in the rear deck lid helped add interest to the right hand side of the image.

I framed it in as a classic rule of thirds placing the red light at the intersection of the lower third section and the left third section. I processed this image using the NIK HDR Efex Pro plug-in and finished it in Aperture 3.

Navajo Highway

This image is from Arizona along the road out of Flagstaf heading east. I was taken by the alien looking landscape and decided to stop and shoot a few frames before heading east. I climbed up on one of the mounds of clay to get a better composition and to get a sense of the place.

This image is almost straight from the camera. I used a polarizer to cut down on reflected glare. The composition uses the rule of thirds as well as letting the highway become a leading line. All processing for this photo was done in Aperture 3.

Reflected Beauties

As I posted yesterday sometimes a photographer needs to try a different approach to a familiar subject. I attend several car shows every year in search of memorable images of automotive art. Given that there literally thousands of photographers who share my passion for early automobiles it is a daunting task to find a fresh way to showcase these vehicles. For this particular photo shoot I decided to focus on using reflections to capture the essence of the Streetrod Nationals.

This image shows the beauty of a traditional 1940 Ford coupe and a 1938 Chevrolet reflected in the side of a 1940 Graham sedan. The Graham is a nontraditional vehicle for the streetrod scene which is the reason I chose it as the main subject for this image. I found the juxtaposition of the reflected cars with the beauty of the lines of the Graham to be compelling enough to warrant exploring using the reflections as the main theme of the image.

I processed the image in Aperture 3 and Topaz Adjust to saturate and intensify the colors and details in the scene. The composition is another case of using the rule of thirds to balance the image. The strong foreground elements of the Graham fender and the reflections in it help to draw the eye into the image while the repetition of the Ford and Chevy in so many surfaces unifies the composition as well. As you view the image try to see how many times the Ford and Chevy are represented in the image.