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Running On Rims Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

23 February 2017

We were tempted to call this Whistler's Mother because, like that painting, it's an Arrangement in Grey and Black. But after finishing our coffee, we decided Running on Rims said Arrangement in Grey and Black just as well.

Running on Rims. An arrangement in grey and black.

We don't know the whole story but a couple of nights ago during yet another storm, we heard a thump-thump-thump coming up the street. We saw this Mustang with no plates pull over to curb and went back to our couch surfing, wishing them well.

It wasn't until the next day that we noticed both tires on the street side were flat. And it wasn't until yesterday that we saw the sidewalk side tires weren't long for this world and that the street-side rims were wrecked.

The old Mustang had had a rough ride. And nobody seemed to be coming back for it.

We only took two shots of it with the Olympus mirrorless. One was a full view and the other was this one. We took the Olympus with us because, frankly, it is easier to get a low angled shot with it.

The old Mustang had had a rough ride. And nobody seemed to be coming back for it.

That's because the EVF swivels up so you can see what you're shooting with the camera below your head. You just bend over and look down.

The old method, which we use with our dSLRs, is to squat down and lean into the shot. Not very stable. In fact, we recently tumbled over trying to capture a garden gnome. It was not a gold medal performance, either.

We got the angle we wanted before we were run over by a vehicle not running on its rims.

You might imagine the exposure was wrong because this is a dark subject and meters believe the world is gray. A smartphone shot of this subject would have been a disaster for just that reason.

But we were shooting Raw so we didn't care if the asphalt looked like snow and the Mustang seemed to be an old gray mare. We could fix that.

In any Raw processor, you just have to drop the Exposure a bit, increase the micro-contrast or Clarity, recover your Highlights (we watched the hood of the white car), and set the Black point to be black.

You might wonder why we didn't convert this to monochrome since it pretends to be an Arrangement in Grey and Black but there is such a thing as a rich black, as any old pressman will tell you.

There, you can see what mean for yourself. That blue steel, that dull asphalt, the dusty black of the tire -- they're all different blacks and grays that lose their accent in a monochrome rendering.

We did give some consideration to that orange plastic. It plays a role, though, a little Skitch-like arrow pointing to the rim.

And it isn't the only color object in the image.

Take a close look at the badge on the side of the car. You'll detect some red, white and blue, too. It's a little muted from the dust, but it's there.

Then, too, there's Whistler's example itself. It's no black-and-white image. There's some color in Whistler's mother's face and the drapes on the left.

So we left it. You can't, after all, argue with a master.

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