Ghost of the American Road

I took this one last week at the Classical Gas Museum near Taos. It’s the hood of an old Packard, and I think I’m always a little struck by the joy and grandeur of mid-century hood ornaments (auto design in general, but those iconic hoods…)

I did three outputs of the same raw shot. The above is a b/w output with a slight sepia filter laid over it – my favorite of the lot. Here’s the straight black and white:

And finally, the color. This image was bracketed, by the way, although the HDR processing on it was minimal.

4 thoughts on “Ghost of the American Road

  1. I like the color one the best. The hood has a sepia-like color to it, and I like the juxtaposition with the bluish cast of the bird. But of course this is purely personal preference. I also really like the shallow depth of field. It focuses attention on the bird’s neck, and also creates a dreamy background. (But maybe a touch more depth of field would have been even better just to get the bird’s head completely sharp. That said, a little brushed in sharpening might do the trick!)

  2. You may be right about the depth. I was sort of looking for a pinpoint focus on the neck, with the blur setting in quickly. And I did what I was trying to do. I guess I was afraid that if I didn’t go with this shallow a depth I’d lose the dreamy quality toward the tail. Not really sure, but your comment is apt.

    You may be right about the color, too. The blue/rust contrast is something I liked from the outset.

  3. They’re both excellent (I lean B&W as a personal preference). What I like most is the lack of visual distractions from the focus on the neck.

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