2018 Cruizin’ on Colby

Posted on May 31, 2018

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All Hot Rods Should Just be B&W

I used to go to this show every year, hauling my medium format camera on a tripod for B&W and an SLR with slide film for color. Many of the earliest shots on here come from then.  I haven’t been so long, I almost forgot about it. Now, I take a DSLR. With the DSLR, especially on bright, sunny days like today, with extremes of sun and shadow, the only way I know to do it is to motor drive exposure bracket and stack in software. Since I’m in the software and B&W is always an option, I always save it, because well, that is how I would be doing it had my druthers. I have to tell you that today almost all of the images seemed way better to me in B&W. I see so much more detail. I love the texture of the ground and the sky. The reflections just pop. It tames the highlights. It fits the era (after all, most of these cars were made when the entire world was only black and white). The engines move from chaotic jumbles to ordered machines.

The show is  huge these days, I don’t have as much time as I used to (my bar was in the middle of it back in the day), and I am often with people who may or may not be as into either cars or photos as I am, so I mostly run and gun, don’t crop as well as I might, and certainly don’t wait long enough for the people to clear, resulting in many double exposed people. Eh. I’m no longer pretending this is art.

I think this vehicle was one of the coolest of the show, and fortunately also the best documented, otherwise I thought it was some fantasy construct. That’s my old bar in the background. And my birthday in the numbers 😉

The cars that I feel work as well in color are mostly blue, or, ironically, they are the old MOPARS that I covet (340 Dart, the 440 Orange Road Runner, and the Hemi Superbird).

For, instance, I love how the reflection on this cowl and driver side door looks like smoke or a mountain.

I’ve posted the B&W and color side-by-side so you can decide. If you click on any image it will open a slide show with larger images. There is this cool optical illusion that happens when you click back and forth between the color and black-and white-versions. But, I am endlessly entertained by minutiae.