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May 14, 2019
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I passed several classic cars on the side of the highway a dozen times during a recent trip to Texas, but it was only when I looked in the review mirror early one morning that I saw the photo I wanted to take.
What I saw were these two 1950s Ford cars lined up perfectly. I almost slammed on my brakes.
The lighting was perfect. The sun was barely peaking over the horizon, with its light blocked by the trees. A layer of clouds also helped, providing nice, even lighting. So I didn't have to worry about dappled light or harsh shadows.
I pulled out my trusty Nikon D850 and paired it with a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Standing back, I set the lens on 200mm, framed the cars so they would be stacked and started shooting. But it just didn't work as I planned.
My goal was to show the 1950 Ford Crestliner in the foreground in sharp focus, while allowing the focus to fade by the time it reached the 1958 Ford Fairlane in the background. The problem was that the 70-200 just wasn't allowing that to happen, even with the aperture set nearly wide open.
No problem: I reached into my bag of tricks and pulled out a Nikon 300mm f/2.8 lens. This meant I had to walk even farther away, which provided a nicer stack for the cars while also shallowing the depth of field. I set the lens on f/5.6 and took several shots.
The result was perfect. The rusted Crestliner's grill is tack sharp, with focus fading out down the side of the old car. The Fairlane and the trees in the background are rendered in a beautiful, soft bokah — there's still some detail, but it's just a nice defocused look.
The image was initially processed in Lightroom CC, with finishing touches performed in Luminar. I chose a retro film look to really tie into the classic cars.
Prints of this gorgeous photo are available — and they're perfect for any classic car lover. Choose from a variety of sizes and media types, including paper prints, metal prints, canvas gallery wraps, acrylic prints and more.
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