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to my personal photography blog. I specialize in making unique and highly detailed photographs. Notice I said making and not taking. Yes I take photos but a lot of time and work is involved in pushing and punishing the pixels in my images to achieve the look I like.

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Entries in Pontiac Hood Ornament (7)

Friday
Jan032014

Classic Fractures

Yesterdays post was of a perfect Pontiac Indian head hood ornament. This one, which was taken at the same show may be old and fractured but has a lot of character. I like it.

Wednesday
Jan012014

Top Notch Pontiac

Kathy and I went to the Majestic Car Club's New Years Day car show at the Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale. Having never been to the show or location before, we didn't know what to expect. The show was huge with what must have been a thousand cars on display in the various parking lots that surround the lake, which itself is encompassed by the dam. We were getting ready to leave when Kathy spotted this Pontiac from across the street. It was parked near the base of the dam's tall rock wall embankment. Regular readers of my blog and/or photostream know how much I love to photograph these iconic Pontiac hood ornaments. This one really stood out with the late afternoon sun streaming through it.  While many original Pontiac hood ornaments are lined with a multitude of internal cracks, this one looked factory fresh. I guess it's a reproduction. The owner mentioned that at night you can flip a switch inside the car and the amber colored Indian head glows. This was shot with a Minolta 100mm macro lens at f2.8 for a very shallow depth-of-field and enhanced bokeh.
Tuesday
Sep172013

Golden Hour

I had walked by this car earlier in the day and I liked the light then but now the sun was quickly giving way to evening and the light was very difussed and full of color so I decided to walk back to see if the owner had left yet. This is what I saw. So glad I went back.
Monday
Sep022013

Time Out for Some Bokeh


I found that taking photos of hood ornaments was a nice break from using my tripod to create HDR sequences at the Car Show by the Sea in San Pedro. While having so many cars packed closely together makes creating a nice HDR composition difficult, it makes macro photography of hood ornaments and emblems a joy. The cars surrounding the object being photographed are for the most part very reflective, with fantastic paint and lots of chrome. This means that when shooting with my macro lens using a very shallow depth-of-field, these reflective background objects are rendered out-of-focus very beautifully.

Monday
Sep022013

Chief Pontiac

I've photographed a lot of Pontiac Indian head hood ornaments but I've never seen one made of clear material before. This example was very striking and I took several exposures of it from many viewpoints. This one was a favorite.
Sunday
Aug192012

I Dream of Fake Bokeh


I Dream of Fake Bokeh, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

My Sigma 50mm f1.4 is a good lens but it doesn't hold a candle to Kathy's Minolta/Sony 100mm f2.8 Macro lens in the sharpness and bokeh departments.

After seeing some of her great photos of these amber colored Pontiac hood ornaments, I've been on the lookout for them at every car show I go to. She usually finds them first and lets me know where I can locate them.

In this case, Kathy and I had been at the 2012 Uptown Whittier car show for a while with each of us going our own way to seek out whatever treasures the day might bring. Later when we met up again, she told me about this Pontiac hood ornament she had come across. We walked down the street so I could make a few images of it too.

I've noticed that the older the hood ornament, the more cracks it is likely to have. Here it was possible to orient the camera in such a way to capture the sunlight illuminating it's internal structure which had a lot of character.

Later when I went home and was reviewing my images in Lightroom, I could see that the bokeh in my shots left a lot to be desired. Luckily I own Nik Software's Bokeh 2 plug-in. It works great as long as you have a good selection isolating what you want to be in sharp focus from that which you want to be blurred. In this case I think it improved the existing bokeh nicely.

Wednesday
Jun062012

I Dream of Bokeh


I Dream of Bokeh, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

Here's another image taken at the 2011 Uptown Whitier Car Show. I have posted images of these iconic Pontiac hood ornaments before. They always captivate me, especially if I can get a shot that is back lit by the sun which always shows off the internal structure of these amber colored jewels. I once again borrowed my wife Kathy's incredibly sharp and contrasty 100mm macro lens for this. In addition to being sharp it has the ability to create amazingly smooth bokeh (a Japanese term meaning "beautifully rendered out-of-focus areas") which contrasts so beautifully with the in-focus areas in a shot. To see more of what this lens can do check out Kathy's blog at www.tweakedpixels.com.