The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fowler's Auto Parts

Fowler's Auto Parts in Griffin is a hidden treasure of photographic opportunities.

Last Saturday the Fayette Photo Club met at Mr. Fowler's place. It was easy to find but you would never think from the highway that there is an auto junkyard of this size behind the white fence. When I arrived my first thought was where do I park? There is not a specific parking space except for those taken up by vehicles that will never move again (unless a tow truck is involved). There are rows and rows of these vehicles.

I am not good with years of cars but I can tell you I can't remember the last time I saw a Biscayne motoring down the highway. I saw a Biscayne Saturday but it wasn't motoring anywhere and did not look like it had been for quite a while. One car without and engine or much of a front end at all had written on the windshield (1945 Sudan).

What ever that is?? Sedan maybe?? There were old rusted cars from the 1960's and earlier and newer cars mixed together in rows. There was a Pacer there I had not seen a Pacer since the last time I watched the movie "Wayne's World." The rust spots spots?? some cars were nothing but rust and the cracked windows were interesting subjects to photograph.

The auto names were also interesting to me. I have one photo of the model name "Chevelle" with the last "E" hanging off at an angle. The rust design behind the name makes it interesting too. I brought along my gold reflector and made use of it a couple times.

We arrived at 3 p.m. and the sun was very bright. There was not a cloud is a brilliant blue sky. Saturday was definitely a day for the polarizing filter and lens hood. Even with the lens hood I shielded the lens with my hand a few times to prevent flare.

Some of the auto names and other features I was interested in were in a shadow compared to other parts of the vehicle in bright sun. I set the camera on the tripod clicked on the timer and stepped away with the reflector to shine a little "gold glow" on the spot I wanted highlighted in the photo.

All of the photos that day were taken in color the colors of the rusty cars and bright chrome were very photographic. I always take photos in color but then change them to black and white with my photo-editing software. The photos of the junk cars are just as interesting in black and white as they are in color. I can't decide with some of the photos if I like them better in color or not. An afternoon spent at Fowler's could give you an opportunity to complete a study of photos of cracked windows/windshields, flat tires, rust, old (and new) auto names --- you name it!

The "junkyard dog" was a friendly, blue-eyed, tail wagger. Not long after we arrived I was standing at the top of a row of cars setting up the camera for a long view shot of all the cars down that row. Off in the distance I see something running toward me.

As I am pressing the shutter button I notice it is a dog this dog is in two of my photos running toward me. All of those wild stories of junkyard dogs come flooding to my mind. This one is wagging his (or her I did not check) tail so much I hold on to the tripod and pet the dog on the head. Satisfied with sniffing me and getting a head pat the dog moved on to the next person.

I did not see the dog much again that afternoon but while wandering through the field I noticed by the souvenirs left behind something else lived there something larger than the dog.

After I negligently placed a tripod leg in a fire ant mound, it was one of those can I take the photo faster than those critters can hike up the leg to get to me I forgot about what had left those other mounds. I forgot until I heard a sound that made me think of Jurassic Park you know that sound like one of the dinosaurs is out of the pen? Well, this velociraptor turned out to be a shiny black cow.

As I stood out in the field of cars I watched the cow mosey along looking around in a very la-de-da sort of way.

One of the photo club members was out of town last Saturday. She was sorry that she was going to miss this outing. I told her when she returned that I would go with her to Fowler's so she could wander about and take interesting photos of vehicles that have not seen a road for years.

Now that I have been I think I have a couple ideas of things I really want to focus on the next trip there.

I might even take the junkyard dog a treat.

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