Baby snapping turtle

You never know what’s right around the bend

Photography

Ford Galaxy 500Art Prints

I’ve been heading down to Westbrook, CT these past few weekends to help my parents clean out their house for a permanent move to Florida. Its a three hour drive and I’ve been trying to make the most of it by stopping along the way at some of the exits which have promising signage. Places that I wouldn’t stop with the family (got to get home do homework or make it to a game) or with the dog in the car. Far too often photography is a solitary endeavor when one can have their mind free and clear to see the images.

This time I got off at Greenfield, MA, my “check engine” light flipped on and my “cruise” control light started blinking so I figured I might want to stop and check things out. Oil was fine, gas cap screwed on tight, nothing leaking under the car. So I figured I’d be alright but maybe I should let the car cool off a bit.

I saw a sign for the Hallmark Museum of Contemporary Photography (which the photography school in Turner Falls, MA) and decided I might as well point the car in that direction so I put it on the GPS. Never did make it. An old factory caught my eye as well as a local sculpture park. I can never pass up funky artwork or abandoned buildings so I walked around and checked things out.

While I was photographing the old abandoned and fenced off factory building a guy who was mowing the lawn motioned me over – “Are you photographing for work or hobby?” he asked.

Kind of a strange question but my spider sense told me that hobby was the less threatening of the two choices. I didn’t know what was going to come next. Did I have a permit or something?

He said “Come here I want to show you something” and motioned over to the bushes. Hmmm, I was getting a bit nervous at this point. It was a rather out of the way and crummy area. But it turns out he just wanted to show me the newly hatched snapping turtles that he nearly decapitated with his mower.

I thank him for showing me his discovery and went through the motions of photographing the cute little buggers. I hadn’t brought my macro lens but I did have my Panasonic LX5 which has a great macro capability.

Baby snapping turtle

Freshly hatched baby snapping turtle already escaped death by lawn mower.

I put the baby snapping turtle safely back in the brush on the river side of the road. Then it started to rain so I decided it was about time to get back on the road, that’s when I discovered on of my favorite shots of the day – a classic Ford Galaxy 500 parked on an empty street with classic New England triple decker houses. It was just too perfect. Empty street, the rain, classic car, classic background!

Vintage Ford Galaxy 500 car Art Prints

I just love seeing vintage cars “in the wild” as my engineering friend and car buff says.  The rain put an extra bleak look on the whole image.  You just never know what you’ll find around the corner.

This whole area of western Massachusetts has that old mill town feeling that photographer Gregory Crewdson loves to use in his work – like in the books Twilight, Beneath The Roses and the documentary about his work – Brief Encounters.

If you get a chance to see “Brief Encounters” do so! It’s fascinating.

Gregory Crewdson’s riveting photographs are elaborately staged, elegant narratives compressed into a single, albeit large-scale image, many of them taken at twilight, set in small towns of Western Massachusetts or meticulously recreated interior spaces, built on the kind of sound stages associated with big-budget movies. Shapiro’s fascinating profile of the acclaimed artist includes stories of his Park Slope childhood (in which he tried to overhear patients of his psychologist father), his summers in the bucolic countryside (which he now imbues with a sense of dread and foreboding), and his encounter with Diane Arbus’s work in 1972 at age 10. Novelists Rick Moody and Russell Banks, and fellow photographer Laurie Simmons, comment on the motivation behind their friend’s haunting images. — (C) Zeitgeist

Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters

Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters

Edward M. Fielding is a fine art photographer in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire.

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Photography Tips: Shooting Vintage Cars

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I love old cars.  Beautifully restored or rusting junkers, I never miss the opportunity to capture a beautiful old vintage car.  Either as a nostalgic throwback to a yesterday that I was too young to remember (except in the movies or TV show) or simply as documenting beautiful textures of pitted metal, cracked rubber and rust – my camera and I are there!

1.  Watch out for reflections -The shiny waxed finishes on a restored vintage car can be a nightmare to photograph because of all the reflections.  Often the photographer ends up in the shot!  Time to be creative with angles as well as being on the look out for distracting elements such as reflections.

2.  Get in close for details – Fins, wheels, emblems, interiors, engines – there are all kinds of details that can be captured on a beautiful old car.  Besides typically at at car show its hard to get the whole car with all of the people milling around.

3.  Ask for permission – At car shows you might notice that the car owners get a bit nervous when you approach their car.  Basically this is their baby and they spend a lot of time polishing and buffing these beauties.  What they really don’t want to see is someone marring the finish with fingerprints or horror of all horrors, scratching the finish with a belt buckle.  Be friendly to the owners and chat them up a bit.  Gain their trust and them perhaps they’ll be more inclined move the “for sale” sign or take out their lunch from the back seat so you can get a great photograph.

4. Get creative with angles – Go low, go high, get an interesting angle.

5. Get creative with crops – You don’t always have to show the whole car.  Get creative with cropping.

6. Have patience – In a crowded car show or even on a cloudy day when the light is constantly change is pay to have patience.  Come back to the same car on different occasions to see if the crowd is gone or plan to come early when the show is opening to avoid crowds.

Image

7. Be ready at all times – Finding vintage cars in a beautiful natural setting is the greatest thrill of them all, at least in terms of vintage car photography.  Twice now I have come across a beautiful vintage car parked at the shore. Once in Victoria-by-the-sea where a cute Minor 1000 was parked on the pier and recently down in Fort Myers, Florida where I found a mint two-tone red and white Chevy BelAir parked right up next to the beach.  It was in a handicap spot and we had just been leaving the beach after snapping the sunset.  Driven to parking lot by a swarm of no-see-ems, this beautiful vintage car was just sitting their basking in beautiful dusk light.  I had to move quickly to get a number of shots trying to keep distracting elements such as garage cans and signs out of the shot and I saw the owner walking back from the beach.  Be prepared and have your camera with you at all times!

 

Where to find old cars to photograph

  • Museums
  • Car shows
  • Cruise nights
  • Local car clubs
  • Car lots
  • Car refinishers
  • Auction houses

See 100+ vintage car photographs here