Posts by Joe Farace:
There are a few photographers who really, really want to venture out in the rain, afraid that their cameras and lenses, or perhaps their own delicate selves, will be damaged. (After all, look what water did to the witch in the Wizard of Oz.) But don’t be afraid of getting wet. You can always cover your camera with my old stand-by shower cap that most decent (anyway) hotels provide in each room. This cheapie solution was a big help on my trip to Japan and kept a Canon Digital Rebel dry between shoots in and around a rainy Tokyo.
For a little more substantial solution, like shooting during the downpour during a past US Grand Prix at Indianapolis (above,) you can use one of Op/Tech USA’s Rainsleeves. They are available in four sizes with prices from $7.95 to $9.95. These are must-have accessories for all outdoor photographers, not just motorsports shooters, and offer protection from rain, sand and snow yet easily fit in your pocket or camera bag. Rainsleeves feature an eyepiece opening that adapts to most camera viewfinders, allowing composition of shots through the camera’s lens, not through the plastic. And all camera and lens controls are easily seen and operated through it. An at these price points you can go wrong.
If you’re shooting with the camera mounted on a tripod, consider attaching an umbrella to that three-legged necessity. This is easy to do with one of the many Manfrotto clamps also available.
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“Street rods have a Chevy in front and a can of wax in the back…Hot Rods have a flathead in front and a box of tools in the back”—Fred Offenhauser;
According to Wikipedia: A rat rod is a style of hot rod or custom car that, in most cases, imitates (or exaggerates) the early hot rods of the 1940s, 1950s, and early-1960s. … Most rat rods appear “unfinished”, regardless of their status, as only the vehicle’s bare essentials are driven.
To real rat rod aficionados this old Chevrolet may not be a classic “rat rod” but, to me, has the proper vibe. This car was photographed in the city of Prospect, Colorado that has always been one of my favorite places to photograph because of the unique architecture.
To get high angle “Hail Mary” shots in the past I would hold the camera over my head and make a guess at where it was pointing, then make a lot of shots until I got something close to what I wanted. Instead of guessing, the Panasonic Lumix G5 (that I used for this shot) has a tilt-swivel screen that let me hold the camera over my head and see exactly what I was getting. Lumix G Vario 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (at 17mm) was used with an exposure of 1/400 sec at f/8 and ISO 400. The final image was tweaked in Analog Efex Pro using the Classic Camera filter.
In How I Photograph Cars, there’s also lots of information on photographing cars including motorsports from sports car racing to drag racing including safety tips when working around fast racecars. You’ll go behind the scenes as I photographs a small car collection for a client and look at not just the challenge of photographing a group of cars but the logistics involved in making the shot happen.
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Shot while testing the Canon EOS Rebel T3i (for Shutterbug magazine) with the now discontinued Tamron 11-18mm lens at the annual classic car show in Castle Rock, Colorado. Exposure was 1/1250 sec at f/8 and ISO 200
The 9th Annual Classic Rock Cruise‐In Car Show will be held Saturday, June 17, 2017, on the Saturday before Fathers Day. The show is organized and produced by a partnership of the Vintage Car Club and the Castle Rock Downtown Merchants Association and transforms historic downtown Castle Rock into a showplace for all kinds of cool cars, hot rods and trucks. The main streets are closed for the day so that more that 300 entries can be displayed by their proud owners and admired by thousands of spectators.
Please join me in our annual Castle Rock Photowalk. Details will be posted in an upcoming blog post. And it’s free.
My book Creative Digital Monochrome Effects is available from Amazon with new copies under $6 and used copies at a giveaway—less than a buck— price. Your purchase of the book helps support this blog and Amazon does not raise the price to you, so it’s a good deal for everyone.
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I’m often asked about cropping, so here’s the deal: After capturing my images I seldom crop them, preferring to do so in-camera in order to extract the maximum image quality from the minimum number of pixels—especially with the smaller sensors of my Micro Four-thirds cameras— but I make an exception to this rule for some of my drag racing photographs.
One thing that you’ll notice at the track is that there are lots of people—spectators, crew, and safety staff who inevitably will walk into the frame. That’s when I crop but always try to maintain the image’s original aspect ratio. Aspect ratio is the relationship between the height and width of the image and is usually expressed by two numbers. Traditional 35mm film cameras and full frame digital SLRs use a 24x36mm (3:2) format but these day many cameras shoot in different aspect ratios, including the widescreen 16:9 HD video ratio.
The way I prefer to crop my car photographs it is to set Photoshop’s Crop tool using the proportions of the photograph using numbers shown in the Image Size (Image > Image Size) command. In Photoshop CS6 and CC you have the option to maintain the “original ratio” or pick a bunch of others, including the 16:9 that’s one of my favorite options when I do crop. Using the original ratio maintains the same look and doesn’t look cropped.
Some of my photographer/friends like to kid me about this approach (when I am nowhere near a purist in the rest my work.) The most important part of the last sentence is this is the way that I like to do it. Since this is not a “my way or the highway” blog, you should crop your photographs any way you like.
My book, “Creative Digital Monochrome Effects” is available from Amazon with new copies under $6 with used copies for less than five bucks. Either one is a heckuva deal and if you bring a copy to one of our Cars & Coffee PhotoWalks, I’ll be glad to sign your copy.
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One upon a time, I went to a car show and sometime during the day I scratched the front element of my (expensive, for me) Canon EF 10-22mm EF-S lens. This wasn’t the first time I’ve done something this stupid but I hope it will be the last. Here’s a few tips from the trenches to save you an expensive repair or worse yet, you that was my first time, replacement.
When it comes to caring for photo equipment, there seem to be three kinds of photographers: The first group includes my friend Bunky, whose idea of cleaning is to lick his lens and wipe it off with a pulled-out shirttail. This is the same guy, who drove nails with a 200MM lens. Maybe he’s trying to give his equipment that patina of wear often seen on equipment sported by globe-hopping photojournalists. This first group of people are the Oscar Madisons of photography.
At the opposite extreme is (obviously) Felix Unger. His or her equipment looks as if they never use it. There is no brassing on body corners, no dust would dare land on their lenses, and they never leave the house without a full supply of lens cleaning tissue and fluid. Between these two extremes lie most of us, but I will confess to some Unger-like impulses about caring for my photo equipment.
Some shooters don’t like to clean their lenses, feeling a little dust won’t hurt anything. Their concern is that the more you clean a lens, the more likely you are to scratch it. According to experts I spoke with, the biggest mistake photographers make when cleaning lenses is they don’t blow them off first. Often the lens is covered with is a microscopic layer of dust that quickly turns into fine grade sandpaper. To remove this layer of grit, you should blow off the glass or give it a light dusting with a soft brush. One technique I learned in art school was to blow off the front of lenses with an ear syringe. A rubber ear syringe costs pennies, never runs of out air and was always environmentally friendly.
The next most useful cleaning tools are lens tissue and cleaning fluid like Purosol All Natural Lens Cleaner and for my Singh-Ray and Cokin optical plastic filters, I use Singh-Ray’s RayVu Optical Cleaner. When cleaning your lenses, don’t douse your lens tissue or, worse yet, front element with cleaning fluid. It’s highly viscous and can find its way into nooks and crannies on your lens or front filter and can cause problems with repeated abuse. Instead place a single drop or two on a piece of lens tissue (or whatever) and gently swirl in a circular motion. Be careful there when cleaning older lenses from companies such as Leica and Rollei. They may not have multicoating or even a single coating, which helps in hardening the glass.
I like to use a LensPen for cleaning smudges. It has a retractable natural hair brush that’s useful for knocking off chunks of dirt, or whatever, from your photo gear and a soft chamois-like tip on the other end for removing smudges. Its carbon based cleaning compound reduces electrostatic charges that can attract dust to a lens surface and replenishes itself after each use. Since it doesn’t require cleaning fluid or lens tissue, a LensPen creates no trash.
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