While I have little interest in cars or motorbikes for themselves, I do find them interesting photographically speaking. And especially so old cars and shiny bikes!
Ideally the latter will be Harley Davidsons, to which I attach a certain romantic notion created by films such as Easy Rider and Electra Glide in Blue. I’ve never been on any motorbike, but I do love the empty open roads of the US western states and when I see a Harley that’s where my imagination takes me.
As to the cars, anything from the 1960s or earlier just looks more interesting, don’t you agree? So for Cee’s CBWC this week, with the theme of Anything with Wheels, I thought it would be fun to play with sepia edits on some old vehicle shots from my archives, and some selective colour edits of Harleys.
Many of these shots were taken in Cuba, an obvious place to photograph old cars. Others are from various places in the US and a few from elsewhere. All of them are old if not technically vintage. Conversion to sepia was done using Silver Efex Pro, mostly with the Antique Plate filter adjusted for brightness, contrast and structure. I also added a vignette to some images to increase the feeling of age.
In Havana, Cuba, in 2005
Also in Havana, on a back street in the oldest part of town
Taken in Cienfuegos, Cuba, I think (my memory is hazy, it was a long while ago!)
In Madrid, New Mexico (the original colour version of this shot is here, if you’re interested)
Old fire truck in Elizabethtown, a ghost town in New Mexico
Chevrolet Bel Air in the Route 66 museum in Santa Rosa, NM (read more about the museum and see the colour version of this here)
An old prison wagon at Fort Laramie, Wyoming
Old Trail Town near Cody, Wyoming – a re-created frontier town from the 1800s
Ambulance in the garages at Bletchley Park, the secret base of the WW2 Enigma codebreakers
While the cars and other vehicles were photographed in a variety of locations the following shots were all taken on our road trip through New Mexico. I often find myself on a trip focusing on one specific subject as a sub-theme to my overall photographic record; and there it was Harleys, as I spotted them in almost every town we stopped in. The exception is my featured shot above of bikers, taken at a viewpoint near Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State.
Again I used Silver Efex Pro to convert the images to black and white, and then used control points to bring back the colour in selected areas. I wanted to retain the contrast between colour and gleaming metal which first attracted me to photograph these machines.
Also in Roswell
Silver City, NM
I visited New Mexico in 2011; the other shots were taken between 2006 and 2019