"Still Cruisin" is an impression of mine from Aug 2016
Another one that was captured at the ghost town of Bodie, high in the Eastern Sierra Mountains of California a couple weeks ago. This is something different for me, I do not usually shoot vehicles in my photography, but in this case, this particular lonely car has been on my mind for some time, and is quite special since I have had the vision for this composition in my mind's eye for some time now...
Bodie is full of little things like this old jalopy to personify and create compositions with...so many things all over this ghost town that were abandoned to be left forgotten about until they catch the eye of a willing photographer. For me, I was drawn to this particular car. I had a passionate empathy for it. I related to it on a primeval level. It is all alone, one of a kind, just sort of out of place in a town full of historic wooden building--it is just way too modern of a machine to be in this scene of an old western town, but at the same time, forgotten about and left to become weather beaten and broken down as all of the years pass on and on like the rest of Bodie.
I wanted to do this rustic subject before me a true justice in a portrayal of its essence. I have such a strong affinity for this car, so I felt compelled to do just that. So, I personify this car as a beautiful woman with attractive curves and lines and headlights; she is laying here all bare and natural; she has been left alone, abandoned, buried partway; she is often hidden and unnoticed; she is unassuming; she is dulled by time but still carries on; she is trapped, a prisoner of her own devices; she is exposed to me, but does not mind as she is comfortable with me standing before her non-judgmentally. She is perfect to me, I am her suitor. I will bring her back to life and give her a glow once anew.
I understand her. She was discarded as useless, but I see a glimmer of the jewel of light inside her. There is a magical glow just beneath her surface. I want to electrify her again, rejuvenate her. I want to bring that out, make her shine again like she did when she was loved and was proudly driven on the streets with her pride of youth. I want to save her from this confinement. I want to make her shine with luster and verve again, take her back to those innocent days from years gone by. I want to bring her back to life and make her gracefully glide across the earth again as she once did so fluidly...I want to show people her curves and sexy headlights as she flows through time and space under the clouds of the heavens. She is my new obsession, and I was compelled to create something magical and worthy of her in my impression you see before you....so, I guess this ramble here is my attempt at giving you a quirky insight into my mind as a corny artist, eh?!? I love this picture as I love my subject here, hope you feel the same as me!
There is definitely quite a bit of artistic liberty that I have taken with this picture. Obviously the glow of the headlights was created in post processing (using a Topaz software star effect). It is not meant to be realistic so much as it is meant to give you the impression of this car being able to move and shine once again like it used to. I was able to do this, this was my gift to this car.
If you have never visited Bodie, put it on you list of things you must see and do. Plus, if you can swing it, look for the three days out of the year where the park is open until 10pm so you can see a sunset and the stars over this mystical ghost town that is in a state of arrested decay.
Btw, this scene before you is just one of the many that we will have the chance to witness collectively in person with our cameras next summer if you join me and Australia's best landscape photographer Timothy Poulton as we guide you on One Of A Kind's (OOAK) America's Old Wild West Adventure! And this scene will definitely be on my list to show to the others in the group...
We will take you seemingly back in time to explore the ageless scenery that has made the region popular in movies and photography. You will get to see stars and the Milky Way like you have never seen before. You will witness some incredible sights with locations made famous in movies...you will get to stand where Forest Gump made his jogging turn around on the highway as well as where many of John Wayne's characters stood alongside other renowned actors and directors of the old southwest. And who knows, you might even get to hold hands with a ghost!...photography, history, and adventure all for around $250/day for 12 days (transportation and lodging inclusive in price)....check it out and sign up, there are still some spots left...
Camera settings: ISO-64, f/8 at 32mm for 915 seconds at 5pm, abut 2.5 hours before sunset on 08-27-2016. Three Progrey filters were used in the capture of this ultra-long exposure image. One 1.2GND to balance down the sky 4 stops and one inverted .6GND to bring down the brighter dirt in the foregound. Plus one 4.8ND (16 stops) to slow down the light and create the effect with the creeping clouds in the sky and erase any people who walked through the scene (about 20 people in all walked into my frame at various times during the exposure)
With this being a CRAZY-ultra long exposure of over 15 minutes, a good sturdy tripod is a necessity and for me this shot would never have been possible without my friends Daniel and April at Dolica Tripods.
I hope this message and image find you well.
#Dolica #Tripods #Progrey #Lowepro #Columbia #Nikon #D810 #Nikkor #Aputure #Dreams #Inspiration #Tranquil #Peace #Clouds #Rustic #Bodie #Ghost #Town #California #Sierra #Mountains #OldWest #Western #Cowboy #Mining #Car #LongExposure #Impressionist #Expressionist #Surreal #Minimalist