Canon 5D Mark 2 with 24-105 mm 1:4 lens and polarizing filter.
Mac Pro with Photoshop CS5 and Wacom tablet.
It’s almost 6:00 a.m. as a Ford Crestliner cruises Highway 12 just north of Nashville. A fiddle player named Jerry Rivers is at the wheel, and a steel guitar player named Don Helms is in the passenger seat. They’re about a mile from Rivers’ house where they plan to sleep off their long night at the recording studio with a guy who’s now passed out from drinking in the backseat. He’s a country singer and songwriter with talent beyond measure who lived and breathed the songs of heartache and tragedy that he wrote. They had just recorded Nobody’s Lonesome for Me, Moanin’ the Blues, and Help Me Understand. Three song titles that underscored the cry for help from a country singer who had made it to the top at the young age of twenty-seven. He was a slim and likeable character with a passion for a deck of cards, a jug of wine, and the lies of women, and a lifestyle gone astray. Isn’t it ironic how an artist can capture misery and despair in a song, and make the millions who hear it feel joy and happiness?
He would sell records by the millions, and fill auditoriums by the thousands, but the cry for help by the singer named Hank would go unanswered. An adoring public saw a long road of success ahead. Who could know that in thirteen months he would be dead, just another victim of The Lost Highway?
A shiny black car can be really challenging to shot, but if you pull it off it can yield a very rewarding result. In bright light the black glossy finish on a car reflects like a mirror. That can add depth and richness to a photograph or it can make it really busy. This car was shot at a car show where I had no control over the lighting or the surroundings, but I did have a polarizing filter, and that helped control the reflections. A bright sunny clear sky cast strong clean reflections on top of the car, which created a nice gradation. I recreated the car windows with a gradation to match the car and blended them with sections of the horizon from the background image. The background consists of three layers. A high contrast shot of trees, a cloud layer, and a cloud layer with a zoom blur. The road surface is done with a zoom blur as well. The most critical move I made was removing the rear bumper from the car. Without it, our eyes travel across the car to the road ahead and the horizon, and the lines of the car create a greater sense of motion and forward movement.