seeing red 72

I shot this image on 6/24/22 at the weekly car show in Webster (Where Life is Worth Living). It was a perfect evening for most folks that like these shows. The temperature was around 80° F and the sun shined bright. But the bright sun and the shiny cars are a bad combination for photos. There are a lot of cars at the show so they tend to park very close to each other. Getting a full profile of a car is practically impossible. The owner of this car asked me what I was shooting. I said “details”. I think he was amused by that answer but it does sum up what most of these photos are.


With these limitations in mind, I take one camera (Olympus) and one lens with me and leave the camera bag and tripod in the car. I have the camera set to f5.6 or f8 and shoot 3 (bracketed) frames of each shot. I prefer to shoot if the subject is in the shadows rather than in direct sunlight but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. All the files are shot in the RAW format and converted to dng on import into Lightroom. This is what the shot looks like before processing:

I have a standard editing routine and use the same routine on almost all the photos. I have presets for sharpening and noise reduction and apply that as a first step, Second step is what I call spotting or the removal of bugs, dirt, small scratches, and specular highlights. This is done at 100% magnification with the spot removal tool.

The new masking tools in LR have made the rest of the editing procedure much easier. Just about every photo has several masks which are unique to each photo.

The last editing step is usually cropping the image, but I seldom use it. I almost never bring a (car) photo into PS for more editing.


14 thoughts on “seeing red 72

  1. disperser

    These are awesome. You do a lot more fine processing than I do.

    I tend to process globally and seldom use masks and local processing, hence my lack of spectacular photos like these. Excellent, and well done.

    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, E. I guess it’s between 10 and 40 minutes per shot of editing, That includes a few minutes of just looking at it and trying to figure out what each shot needs, In a perfect world, the shots would be taken in a studio where every element can be controlled. But you may have noticed, that it’s not a perfect world.

    2. disperser

      Wow . . . you put me to shame. If I spend more than a few minutes on a photo, I feel like I’m wasting my time.

      . . . and, sadly, yes, I’ve noticed.

      1. oneowner Post author

        Don’t sell yourself short, E. I love editing about as much as shooting so it’s no hardship for me. I used to spend hours in a darkroom developing and printing. Some of those skills can be used in digital editing (exposure, color balance, dodging, burning). But I think patience and a positive attitude are the most important attributes to have. That goes for both shooting and editing (and probably everything else in life).

    1. oneowner Post author

      That’s so nice, Linda. I have no excuse for not posting for such a long period of time. I spent the winter months working on my Second Chances project. It’s similar to your “Archives” project. I’m re-editing older photos and editing older photos that didn’t make the first cut and never got posted. It’s weird to examine your own vision at a different point in your life. That project is almost ready. Please stay tuned.

  2. TomDills

    I’ve always enjoyed seeing your car details, and this is a superb collection. I was struck by a number of them but particularly like the very last one. I think that would be considered a “chiaroscuro” effect.

    Nice to see you posting again! Feedly tells me the last one was 24 months ago? Yikes!

    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Tom. I had to look up what Feedly was. Guess I have been away for a long while. I’m trying to make more of an effort to post. I’m not enthusiastic about Instagram. It’s designed for portable devices and it appears awkward on a PC (where I have all my photos). I find it a little too restrictive. Although there is some fine work there, it seems so “disposable” to me (like a cheap pair of flip-flops). Or I could be wrong.

      1. Tom Dills

        I use Feedly to keep track of all the blogs I follow. I also have The Old Reader, which is pretty basic but I don’t use it much.

        Regarding Instagram, your opinion lines up with mine. Originally intended as a photo sharing website, it (under Facebook) has become another social media cesspool. It is now more useable on a browser but doesn’t have all the features of the app, which I refuse to use because of privacy concerns. I have a closely curated set of people I follow (and allow to follow me), and the algorithm makes it practically useless since I don’t see recent posts until they want me to, and I keep seeing old posts because I haven’t “reacted” to them. Frustrating.

        Love seeing your photos, wherever you post them!

    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Howard. I don’t know if I can keep up the hectic pace of posting more than once every 2 years but I’ll give it a try,

  3. bluebrightly

    What a feast, Ken! And it’s not all shiny. 😉 I like the more abstract images, like the first one above and the first in the block of 16. Also love that engine, wow!!
    I’m interested in the project you told Linda about – can’t wait to see it. Otherwise, I trust you’ve been well and are enjoying the summer. BTW, we saw some terrific vintage wheels in our small, local Fourth of July parade yesterday. Sometimes the drivers are as interesting as the rides. Also – my feelings about Instagram jive with yours. It’s too fast, too throw-away, and too restrictive with its always-square format. It leaves one unsatisfied.

    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Lynn. Going to the shows and shooting these cars is a real treat for me. I take my time but I try not to get in anyone’s way. I see a lot of folks shooting with phones and not many cameras. Maybe I’ll try shooting with a phone someday. Some day is code for never but we’ll see. You’re right about the drivers being interested and they love when someone asks about their car. Most can talk all day about it and some of the stories are really interesting.
      Almost all of the second chances photos are ready to be posted They are sitting in a folder on my desktop waiting. And waiting. And waiting.


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