Mar 072011

As much as I enjoy using the high contrast B&W scenic mode of the Ricoh GRD III, there are times when it doesn’t quite deliver the goods. I happened across an American classic car the other day parked in King Street, Riverside. It looked such a mean machine that I was drawn to it instantly.

My first shot was captured in RAW and converted to B&W with Silver Efex Pro in Photoshop CS3. The red filter was applied to preserve details in the sky.

Ford Fairlane. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

The second shot was taken in the high contrast B&W mode.

Ford Fairlane. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

I was surprised at the way the sky and background was blown out in the high contrast mode, which I feel lessens the overall ambience of the shot, although the car looks good.

The car had no badges or marques and it was thanks to people on Blipfoto and my brother-in-law that I finally managed to find out the make and model of this car.

It is a 1957 customized Ford Fairlane and these types of cars are often referred to as “lead sleds”. Lead sleds have all  side mouldings shaved off and filled, as well as having the suspension lowered. They are built for style rather than speed.

Feb 222011

Through subscribing to Blipfoto, I have come to know several photography enthusiasts in New Zealand. From their photographs and journal entries, I have learned a lot about their country — its history and geography.

The news of the earthquake and a death toll that may reach 150 has left me saddened. New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key described what he saw as “utter devastation”.

“We may be witnessing New Zealand’s darkest day,” he told reporters.

The damaged spire of Christchurch's cathedral. Picture courtesy of PA.

I am of an age where Britain’s links to its former colonies still means a lot. In our darkest hour during the days of the Second World War, New Zealand’s sons rallied to our cause and their efforts were instrumental in removing the blight of Nazi Germany from the face of the earth. I hope the present British government, with its Prime Minister who seemingly has little grasp of the history of the Second World War, is honouring the debt we all owe by sending aid and whatever assistance is needed.

The 6.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Christchurch at 12:51pm local time (2351GMT Monday) follows the 7.1 magnitude earthquake last September, when miraculously no one was killed.

Thankfully, my Blipfoto acquaintances and their relatives are safe.

My heart goes out to the 65 victims and their families.