Hood Art at the Lonestar Round Up

The Lonestar Round Up, an annual car show at the Travis County Expo Center, rolled through town this weekend and I got to spend a bit of time walking around with my friend Mark and his kids. This event seems to draw more people every year and while I hate being in large crowds of people I do enjoy seeing the amazing cars that folks bring out. The Round Up is one of few large scale events that I can convince my introverted self to attend.

This year I photographed mostly with film. I've been doing that more lately when I attend car and bike shows. It is something that I have found to bring balance between photography and being in the moment with friends and people I meet at the events. It's so easy to get wrapped up shooting practically limitless numbers of pictures with my digital gear and I come away feeling like I missed out on a lot of the experience of the event and some good conversations with interesting people. Film limits my time behind the camera, in a good way. I'll limit myself to a couple of rolls usually. That doesn't mean I eschew digital photography completely at these events. I still have my iPhone and I've used it to supplement my film shots just a little bit.

Last year I found an app for iPhone called "Blackie" and I use it almost exclusively when I take photos with my phone. The film simulations are really close to the look I like when I shoot with real film. The iPhone focuses closer than most of my lens on my film cameras, which makes it a great tool for getting complimentary shots to the larger scale compositions I typically do with the film cameras. The fast and intuitive interface in Blackie lets me grab quick shots of details in passing.

Hood ornaments are one of the key details on cars that attract my attention, especially on custom builds. They are like a finishing touch on a work of art and often have some special significance to the builder. I decided to put together a collection of some of the ornaments that I enjoyed. As always, you can click images for larger views.

All photos were taken with an iPhone 6S+ using the Blackie app, Tri-X film simulation.

Lonestar Round Up 2015

Last weekend was the Lonestar Round Up, a great car show at the Travis Expo Center that draws a huge crowd to see a lot of custom car creations. It was a busy weekend for me and I managed to get by the show for only a couple of hours - not near enough time to see everything. I tend to gravitate towards the classics and the rat rods. Here are a few highlights from the show. As usual, I shot with my Fuji 14mm lens on my Fuji X-T1 so that I could get up close among the crowd. Full image gallery is here.

Cruising the 2014 Austin Lonestar Round Up

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.