The Austin Lonestar Round Up, an annual show for custom cars, was held recently and I stopped by with my buddy Mark to check out the sights. I'm not a huge car guy myself. Still, I can appreciate the art and creativity that goes into the making of a custom ride. The sleek lines of more polished cars are great. However, I tend to gravitate toward the raw, gritty, often rusty look of rat rods.
I decided to take in the show with a simple bit of camera kit. Shows like these can be packed, making it difficult to get clean shots of the cars. With that in mind I brought only my Fujifilm X-E1 with a 14mm lens. This let me get in close and create the illusion of isolation even when I was surrounded by folks checking out the same car.
For a classic look I chose to shoot black and white - literally. Rather than go the typical route of capturing in color and converting to black and white in post production I threw caution to the wind and captured B&W JPEG files only. My X-E1 has a great feature of being able to simulate a few B&W filters so I bracketed a set of film simulations with the available filter choices (red, yellow, green.) This allowed me to choose what looked best for the paint of the cars. For the most part I tended to favor the red filter.
Here are a few of my favorites from the show.
One of the most fun things for me at custom car shows like this is to look for interesting and unique details that people add to their machines. I could spend hours looking over the cars to discover the creative and sometimes amusing little bits of detail that may not be apparent on first glance.
Mark found in previous years that as the show is wrapping up at the end of the day you can get some clean, isolated shots of some of the cars parked in a field. We headed there as cars started to file out of the show and sure enough after a little while our patience paid off. I was able to get a few relatively uncluttered shots that almost look like they could have been staged.