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Blacktop Vampire by flyrod

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What happened near Cedar Lake Texas in the summer of 1974 is more horrific and grizzly than a Wes Craven movie plot. It happened when an abandoned and rusted Detroit relic bonded with a psycobilly teenaged outcast who toyed with an acetylene torch and a bag of hammers? That’s when a monsters with an appetite for blood and gasoline rose from the junkyard dead to scour the blacktop veins of West Texas in search of bounty and booty. A hell-bound duet with a “get it while you can” attitude preyed on gas stations, liquor stores, and roadhouses in a triangle of mayhem between Odessa, Lubbock and Abilene. A long black trench coat, steel toe boots, and a black Stetson hat formed the shadow cast by a twisted juvenile named Melvin Barton, and a never washed black satin paint concealed his murderous machine from the unsuspecting eyes of Texas. A pistol in the gut opened cash register drawers, and a pool cue to the forehead freed whistle bait from the clutches of bloodied boyfriends as Melvin and the Merc rolled over the windy plains of Midland County.
Governor Briscoe decided he had had enough, and that it was time to handle this “local matter” by rounding up a half dozen rangers and a couple of backwoods deputies. An ambush at Walkers Crossing down on Highway 180 put enough holes in the Merc to sink a battleship. The law dogs eased off their triggers when the gas tank exploded, and the menacing Merc skidded into a ravine. Texas justice was delivered at a high cost that night, as two Rangers and a Deputy lay dead on the Highway. An hour later when a rescue team searched the wreckage there was no trace of a body, all that was to be found was a rusted old car that looked like it had been there for fifty years. The next morning a shocking Coroner’s investigation of the dead bodies of the lawmen revealed that they were not the victims of gunshot wounds, but died due to loss of blood caused by bite marks on their necks. It was all covered up though and the official report listed their cause of death as gunshots inflicted during a heroic shootout. But the real story got out, and a people who generally dismiss scientific data easily accepted the notion that “a vampire killed cops” as fact.
To this day local residents shiver when they hear the wind whip across the plains with a sound eerily similar to a V8 engine, and they start to sweat when the headlights in their rearview mirror seem to steadily close in.
Listen up Texas. There’s good reason to fear the night, and the Blacktop Vampire.

Canon 5D Mark 2, 24-105mm 1:4 lens
Photoshop CS5

The car was photographed in full sun on a dirt road. The top of the car picked up blue reflections from the sky, and the doors and fenders picked up reflections from the yellow orange road. I booted the saturation in the car to get the color to immerge. Then I added two textures to the background and shifted their colors by applying photo filters from the adjustments menu. I blended the backgrounds at a diagonal that aliened with the car. Using the clipping mask from the car, I created an identical masked area of the background and made it 50% transparent. I merged the masked car and masked background section, which looked a bit washed out. (That is normal in this process) Then I boosted the contrast, which brought back the light and dark detail originally in the car. Now it appeared that the texture was on the car. This tacks practice and a lot of judgment calls along the way, so you need patience to master this. Finally I copied and merged all layers and moved the hue a bit to get the red and blue-green color in the final version.

The name’s Flyrod. American car culture is my thing. If it rolls, roars, or rumbles I’m into it. Statistics and facts aren’t my gig. My mission is to track down and capture the infamous rides that make up pop culture, and to tell their stories.

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  • AuntDot
    AuntDotover 3 years ago

    I haven’t been that scared since I read Stephen King’s “Christine.” It sure has the fangs of a vampire! I enjoyed the story and the process, which is way above my head. You are so talented!

  • Dot, I had to keep the lights on when I wrote this one. Thanks, I’m glad you like it.

    – flyrod

  • Nigel Bangert
    Nigel Bangertover 3 years ago

    This is brilliant, very Stephen King as Auntdot says.

  • Nigel, i always appreciate your comments.

    – flyrod

  • timmburgess
    timmburgessover 3 years ago

    very nice could be a Frank Miller creation…..timm

  • Thanks very much.

    – flyrod

  • ChasSinklier
    ChasSinklierover 3 years ago

    Nice One ~:0) VivaChas!

  • Thanks Chas.

    – flyrod

  • Damienne Bingham
    Damienne Binghamover 3 years ago

    Wow, seriously fantastic image and writing to go along with it. Very compelling. The colour and textures you’ve achieved here are great and I love how the grill is reminiscent of fangs – is that a real grill or a photo manip?

    Great work!

  • Damienne, I’ve been to many places in the world, but never S. Africa. Your photos make me want to go there. Comments mean a lot when they come from talented people like you. Thanks.

    – flyrod

  • barkeypf
    barkeypfover 3 years ago

    As AuntDot said, your processing is way above my head. But, you work and explanations make me try different things. Thanks for that. Some day flyrod, put them in a book.

  • Paul, you have guessed my secret. I actually am in the process of doing a book on 100 cars and 100 stories. Encouragement from wonderful folks like you keep me pushing ahead. Red Bubble has been a really good way to find out what people like best and respond to. Thanks again for being so supportive.

    – flyrod

  • WildBillPho
    WildBillPhoover 3 years ago

    Like! Processing is definitely your forte, and the stories ain’t bad either…I’m waiting for a South LA story! LOL The book goal sounds great! Thanks again for sharing your techniques!

  • Hmmm. I feel like a story about a guy named Bill who likes Corvette might be on the horizon. Thanks as always.

    – flyrod

  • John Schneider
    John Schneiderover 3 years ago

    Creative photographer, post-production maven and writer…. awesome triple threat!!! – John

  • I appreciate that John.

    – flyrod

  • JohnDSmith
    JohnDSmithover 3 years ago

    Awesome work,…

  • Thanks John.

    – flyrod

  • Anne Guimond
    Anne Guimondover 3 years ago

    I really enjoy the story.
    Plus you describe the tools and process. What make it more appreciable (if that’s a word?)
    Good luck with this challenge :)

  • Thank you Anne.

    – flyrod

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