Going too far . . . ?

Ornament, 1947 Hudson Terraplane Pickup, Embudo, New Mexico 2013  Photograph by ©Craig Varjabedian

I grew up in the Motor City, albeit just across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario Canada. We kids would sit around on hot summer afternoons in front of the Metropolitan Store eating Popsicles and making bets on who could identify a Dodge Charger or a Ford Mustang or any car, by the sound of its engine. While my friends Brian and Joey were good at doing this (their dads worked at Chrysler and Ford respectively) I really could never tell the difference between the sound of a Plymouth Road Runner or a Fairlane Cobra though I was convinced at a young age that I should be able to.

I made this photograph, a detail of the hood, front fender and trim on this late 1940's Hudson Terraplane Pickup. I am intrigued with the elegance of the chrome trim detail, which by the way resembles the hood ornament, and I love the line it makes as it graces the beautiful textures and colours of the rusting metal of the hood and fender. I am reminded of the abstract expressionist paintings of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell when I look at this image.

Yep, this photograph was indeed made using HDR and was processed using Nik’s excellent HDR Efex Pro 2 plug-in which enhanced a lot of the colour that you can see in the final image. While I typically don’t take pictures to this extreme when I process them, I have always abided by something that photographer Fred Picker used to say:

"If you don't go too far, how do you know if you have gone far enough?"

P.S. Ideas often come from many sources and places. During a recent workshop with Eloquent Light Photography Workshops I happened to notice my workshop student John Cavallito struggling to make a photograph of this old Hudson pickup. If there is any truth to the old adage that “great minds think alike” then I know I am in good stead with John as the photographs we made are remarkably similar.