friday field trip. on monday.

car_city-3583- copyOne thing that I plan on adding to this blog on a weekly basis is what I’ll call “Friday Field Trip”.  I’m introducing it today, Monday!

I live in the Atlanta area and am always searching for fun, unique and interesting destinations around here to photograph.  So far I haven’t found one comprehensive site for that and thought, well, I’ll just make one.  I’ll post on Fridays, except for today, of course!

Last week I told you about Old Car City in White, GA.  I’m a bit  fully obsessed with it.  I went back on Saturday night with a group from The Showcase School of Photography here. A very talented photographer, Judith Pishnery, led a workshop that taught the group how to photograph in the dark using flashlights.  Oh my, was it fun!  I’d never done anything like that before. And, it was sort of spooky being among all of those metal hulks in pitch dark!  Kind of like Halloween in March.

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car_city-3568-Edit copyI’ve never been a big fan of using a tripod but we had to given the long (4 minutes in one case!) exposures. During each of those exposures, we used a variety of flashlights to paint light onto the cars.  It was great fun moving around and shining the light from different angles into and onto and around the cars and .  I only wish I’d had more time in order to photograph more cars.  I will go back!

car_city-3572-fb copy 2car_city-3563-Edit copy 3car_city-3584-Edit copy 2If you’d like to give this a shot on your own, you’ll need a tripod, a cable release for your camera and two or three flashlights.  Compose your shot, use manual focus as it would be most difficult for the auto focus to find anything to grab on to, set your ISO to 200 and your aperture to f11, and enable the bulb setting. Make sure any ambient light is super low. Release the shutter and start illuminating your subject by sweeping the beam fairly slowly two or three times over each area.  It takes a few frames to get the hang of this, so go ahead and experiment.  My exposures ranged from 2 minutes to 4 minutes.  It was pretty dang dark out there, though! I’ve seen some pretty cool images taken in cemeteries using this method so that might be a cool place for you to give it a go.

If you live near Atlanta, check out They have lots of great classes and workshops.  I’ve attended many classes over the years and also taught a few myself.  It is a topnotch photography school!

And again, I would highly recommend a day trip to Old Car City. It is a blast!  Their hours are 9-4 Wedsneday-Friday & Sunday 9-1. It’s just an hour north of Atlanta on I-75. Admission is $15.00 with a camera, $10.oo without.

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