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A Walk About Challenge

It’s important to create challenges for yourself photographically. For instance, if you’re going out and about, take your camera and one lens. To make it even more of a challenge, use only a prime lens. Try to see the everyday world around you in a unique way.

A boy sits on his dad’s shoulders as they make their way through the car show. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

I did my own walk-about challenge recently at a local car show. Full disclosure, I’m a fan of classic cars but not spending all day in full sun scrutinizing them. Granted every automobile has artistry built into them, and I greatly appreciate that, but I don’t know the first thing about engines, horse power or rear suspension. Therefore I feel ill equipped to start conversations with most car show attendees.

My husband, Andy Dunaway, cleans his 2017 Mustang GT 350. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

 

My husband, Andy Dunaway, is a Ford Mustang enthusiast (we have two) and he’s a car show regular. Unlike me, he enjoys the “shop talk.” Most times, I’ve got my travel chair perched under a shade tree reading a book while he rubs elbows with his fellow gear heads.

The Nikon D7500 camera. Photo by Stacy Pearsall
The NIKKOR 16-80mm lens. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

This time, I brought my Nikon D7500 camera and one lens, the NIKKOR 16-80mm. Instead of sitting like a lump in the shade, I decided to take the opportunity to challenge myself to a photographic walk-about. The goal? Just seek out colorful, pictorial images using one camera and one lens.

The mode dial on the Nikon D7500. Photo by Stacy Pearsall
The information screen on the Nikon D7500. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

In order to concentrate solely on the capturing colorful, graphic frames, I set my camera to Aperture Priority Mode, Center Weighted Metering Mode, Single Point of Focus Mode, Auto White Balance, Single Exposure, ISO 100 and f/2.8 to start. I knew my f/stop would vary depending whether I was zoomed in or out given the NIKKOR 16-80mm is a variable aperture lens, but I at least knew my aperture started wide open.

 

As a people person, I was instantly drawn into watching and photographing the people walking around. They were all so interesting. I was derailing my own challenge from the start. I stopped with the people and turned my gaze elsewhere.

Locals walk around The Monck’s Corner Car Show and view the classic automobiles. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

I rotated to the car nearest me and snapped a picture of the interior. The exposure was a little over, so I used my Exposure Compensation Button to under expose the image by two full stops. The reason the image turned out over exposed is due to the amount black material inside the vehicle with just hints of white. The metering system wanted to bring the dominating blacks up to 18% gray, thus blowing out the highlights and making the blacks look washed out.

An over exposed frame of the interior of a car. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

The Exposure Compensation Button on the Nikon D7500. Photo by Stacy Pearsall
To adjust the Exposure Compensation on the Nikon D7500, press the +/- button and rotate the back dial. Photo by Stacy Pearsall
An under exposed frame of the interior of a car. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

After messing around a bit, I found a super-cool old blue pick-up truck with the telltale 1950’s spaceship bumper and light lenses. Instead of photographing the entire truck, I broke it down into segments – concentrating on photographing the details.

The steering wheel of an antique Chevy pick-up. Photo by Stacy Pearsall
The odometer of an antique Chevy pick-up. Photo by Stacy Pearsall)
The grill and head lamp of an antique Chevy pick-up. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

I was beginning to find my groove, but I still wasn’t pushing myself enough. I wanted to capture colorful, pictorial details of the cars, but I wasn’t successful yet. Instead of walking around willy-nilly, I began to seek out cars that had the color, contrast and visual appeal I was looking for.

The shadow of a chrome hood ornament on a car’s hood. Photo by Stacy Pearsall
Gauges of a muscle car, hood and engine . Photo by Stacy Pearsall

I looked for repeating lines.

The hose wrap inside an engine bay. Photo by Stacy Pearsall
The wood and medal bed liner onf an old truck. Photo by Stacy Pearsall
The grill and headlights of an old truck. Photo by Stacy Pearsall
The pipes of an engine. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

I looked for repeating patterns.

The grill of an old sedan. Photo by Stacy Pearsall
The reflection of diamond plate running board on a car. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

My last attempt to capture a colourful pictorial image from the car show was a sky blue Chevy Corvette. I created a skyscape by incorporating the reflection of clouds in the upturned hood of the car. That’s what I was looking for. Done.

The hood of a Chevy Corvette. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

Before retreating to my shaded chair, I wanted to try one last trick. The Nikon D7500 has the ability to do Multiple Exposure. So I went into the camera settings and turned on Multiple Exposure option and set it to expose two frames in one.

The Multiple Exposure menu setting on the Nikon D7500. Photo by Stacy Pearsall
The Multiple Exposure menu setting on the Nikon D7500. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

My first attempt was a bit of a muddled mess; I’m not going to lie. I could discern the steering wheel and that was about it.

My first Multiple Exposure attempt using the Nikon D7500. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

I went back to a grabber-blue vintage Ford Mustang I fell in love with and tried again. This time, I photographed the front quarter panel of the car’s exterior for the first frame and then photographed the steering column of the second exposure. It was much better.

My second Multiple Exposure attempt using the Nikon D7500. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

The 30 minutes I spent walking around was very amusing and I learned something new in the process. It made the car show much more engaging and fun! So what will your next photo walk-about challenge be?

A little boy drags his father by the hand toward a car he’s eager to see up close. Photo by Stacy Pearsall

 

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