Cruising and shooting the vintage car circuit

DETROIT MAY have churned out a lot of clunky metal monsters over the years, but it has also created some truly gorgeous works of mechanical art. Thousands of these beauties, pristinely preserved, appear regularly at classic auto gatherings around the country. Whether ita big national show or just night”at the local diner, strolling among these vintage rides will surely lead you to some cool pictures.

Youfind the best photos in the details, says Phoenix-based Jill Reger (jill-reger. who has shot 5,000”cars. She often overlooks the entire car (tough to shoot in bumper-to-bumper shows) in favor of an intricate hood ornament or elegant fender. She suggests wandering with an open mind and a ready camera, and shooting lots of pictures. process of shooting is more like the shotgun method,”she says. often walk away with 20 or 30 frames of a single detail.”

Rather than shrinking from the hot Arizona sun, Reger likes capturing the brilliant colors produced by hard, contrasty light. paints at midday are the toughest,”the photographer says, a blown-out area is easily fixed with a bit of cloning.”A cool trick: She frequently zones in on multicolored reflections in chrome work created by reflections of nearby cars and peoples’clothing.

She shoots in auto-bracket mode (0 EV, +1 EV, and-1 EV) and often restricts depth of field for detail shots. Just as important, she says, is where you focus: focus manually and pinpoint what you want to be the sharpest.”

Reger carries two Nikon D2x bodies with 35-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 Nikkor lenses, plus an 18-35mm f/2.8 on standby. Two tools she considers necessities: a Steady Stick for supporting her longer lens and knee pads for getting low angles in comfort.

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