So I recently had a chance to get out and do something I have wanted to do for a while. I wanted to go look at old “stuff.” I was in the mood to go to a museum. Museums for me are a place to sit and reflect on history. Many times we will sit and dream of our future and where we’re headed in life, but sometimes it is just fun to sit back, slow down and reflect on the past. So on Labor Day I took the scenic ride up through Sussex County to the Space Farm Zoo & Museum. I love this place. I know for many it may sound crazy. I think many people think of art & sculptures when they hear the word museum. But for a country boy like me it is the old cars and other vintage whatnots at Space Farms that really turns me on. Not in an exciting way, just in a “peaceful reflection of the past” kind of way. I have been to this location many times and the felling is always the same. As I near the entrance to the farm buildings that house the vintage cars I get kind of happy, almost as if I was going to step inside and see an old friend. I enter the through the doorway and there they are, all lined up just waiting. And they are like old friends; I will spend a little time with each one looking and thinking. Thinking about many things, the engineering, the detail, the style and grace and what it must have been like to see these wonders gliding down the road. Not only on a sunny day but the winter as well, why one old Model T is claimed to be the first snowmobile with its skies fitted in place where front tires would be. Simply amazing!
So today was a rather extra special day as I was here to photograph a few of the old girls. I choose this very day to do this task as I was hoping it would be a low traffic day for the museum and I would not bother too many people with my camera & tripod. To be honest I really came for just one photo, I know that sound crazy but it was so true. I wanted an image of an Indian hood ornament for something I will be working on in the near future. But hey… I’m here and I really want to spend some time ogling over the old cars. And not just the old cars, for there are many things I like to revisit each time I come to the museum. I like to see the old flags with 45 stars and the vintage covered wagons that actually carried a family into the Western territory and years later carried remaining members of the family back to the East. For me personally seeing something like that is better than any statue or painting, drawing or any other piece of art. For me that old wagon is a piece of art, it was made by hard working hands and if the wagon could just utter words, my god the story that could be told. It really is like seeing old friends when I go to this museum and I leave feeling good. Sadly enough I see many people just cruise through the buildings with a brisk walk dragging children in tow and no attention is really given other than “oh look it’s a bunch of old cars” and they move on. I’m ok with that for I know not everybody has the same interests. But somehow I still feel like they cheated themselves just a bit by not stopping and noticing the style of the old beauties.
So for the technical: All photos were shot with a Canon 6D with either a 70-200mm or 24-105mm lens. Most of the car photos are HDR photos. They were shot 1 stop up, one stop down and one normal exposure. They were sent unedited from Lightroom 5 to HDR Pro in Adobe CC, from there most received one of two custom presets that I have saved. Once merged into one photo they were edited with a custom “High Pass” preset action I created a few years ago. This action really works wonders on detail in a strange but good way. Then they get Topaz Clarity, Nik Tonal Contrast and then back to Lightroom for final tweaks. The Selenium effect was done in Adobe CC with Nik Silver Effects Pro, and a custom Selenium filter with tweaks to opacities. So yeah… they are not “one click” wonders. Now that I have the actions recorded in Adobe CC I can go back another day and photograph some more and edit very fast. I would like to do a collage of grills or hood ornaments for a final project with these vintage autos.
So whatever it is those turns you on get out there and do it. Make a day of it and have fun with it, plan it out like I did. Make a road trip out of it. Just go out and appreciate something from our past.