Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Planning for an Event (Part 3) -Results

Well, planning only goes so far. The race on Sunday was rained out. But, the car show did happen on Saturday, so lets back up to the previous topic, "Research", for a sec...

While researching drag racing photos, I took the time to look up some car show pics as well. Here's one that really stuck with me as one that I liked and would like to replicate:

Now, back to Results:
On, Saturday, while driving to the car show I couldn't get over the sky. It was perfect for photos and I knew I'd want my polarizer out to enhance the blue sky and pop the white puffy clouds out even more. -Good photos often rely on the surroundings just as much as the subject. A great sky can make or break an image. I was in luck!

When we arrived, I walked around looking at cars for my own interest for while, then broke off from the group to walk around on my own. I started walking towards the field because I liked the idea of grass under the car like the photo I saw and liked previously. As I walked, the first thing I noticed was an old barn / warehouse building that I've used as a backdrop before. I love it's weathered wood look and kept it in mind as something to use in a photo again. The only thing I needed was a nice looking car in the right spot...

The problem I often run into with car show photos is that interesting cars, according to the laws of averages, often have cars parked beside them. Then, you're left zooming in, using a head-on shot, or otherwise compromising the angle of the photo to eliminate or hide the other cars. ...Part of what I like so much about the photo I found on Flickr is the simplicity. One car, alone in the grass, a nice blue sky. That's about it. Nice lighting, a nice angle, that all helps as well, but the hardest part is finding a car with enough space around it to single it out like that...

In my case, the car show was packed. There were no cars that could be singled out. But, I did find an interesting car, on the end of a row, in the perfect spot in front of the barn, while the sky was still looking good, and I took my opportunity: (click on the photo to view larger versions and EXIF data).

Car Show

I'm very happy with this shot. I like the angle, the colors, the background, the sky... So many things came together just right -and not much of it was technical. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time and be looking for such an opportunity. I was primed to see this shot, and that's the frame of mind you have to be in when you're at an event to come away with images. Many times I find that I have to choose between being a participant in the event (looking at the cars for my own enjoyment, looking at people's setups, talking with friends, etc) or taking pictures. I can't do both at the same time. So, I often break off from our group for stretches of time to "be a photographer", then I rejoin the group later.

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