Capturing the Art of the Junkyard

by | Jul 3, 2019

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”— Thomas A. Edison

Similarly, it could be said that to create an interesting photograph also requires “a pile of junk.” Back in the 1970’s junkyard art was a popular genre and many photographers discovered that these were the ultimate photo op but times have changed. In a different, less politically correct world you might call this junkyard art but even junkyards these days prefer to think of themselves, as they rightly should, as recycling centers. And often the owners or managers of these centers are not interested in or won’t even allow photography into their business.

Nope, can’t do it anymore. Conscious of their image, many junkyards won’t even let auto enthusiasts and shadetree mechanics dig around for parts (although thankfully some will) and if you ask for permission to make photographs the answer will always be “no.”

How I made this shot: If that’s the case, then how then did I make the above image? The recycling center’s owner’s wife is a photographer and was familiar with my work but most people won’t be that lucky. You can always ask the owner, be nice and show examples of your work to demonstrate that you’re trying to make artistic images. It’s worth a shot.

The above photograph was made with a Samsung GX-1S DSLR back when they made cameras. Lens was an smc Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL and was captured using an exposure of 1/180 sec at f/11 and ISO 200. Image was processed in Topaz Texture Effects software.

This is an odd  photograph. It’s odd because these days even a rusted out VW Bus is worth close to $100,000. Yup, I don’t get it either but nostalgia exerts a powerful pull on car values. But why would anybody graft a VW Beetle body on top of a VW bus? One can come up with many scenarios, none of them likely the truth.

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My book Creative Digital Monochrome Effects is out of print but used copies are available from Amazon starting at $4.00, as I write this. No Kindle version is currently available.