Sunday, April 05, 2009

Under the stars

Under the stars

This old wrecker truck was my muse during evenings on the Cumberland Plateau in south central Tennessee last week. I spent the daylight hours wandering some of the backroads or exploring hiking trails that provided views of high bluffs, rocky coves and roaring streams tumbling over stony outcroppings while making their way down to the valleys 1000 feet below.

When night fell, I turned my attention to several abandoned trucks on the property adjacent to the place my wife and I stayed. I experimented with an old flash unit, which I fired by hand while walking around the vehicles during long exposures. Clear moonless nights on the plateau revealed an amazing array of stars, which I wanted to capture.

The plateau is wild and rugged. The people who live in small towns are descendents of the first settlers who tried to wrest a living from the rocky soils, abundant trees and veins of coal in the area. Some succeed, many fail, as attested by the numerous decrepit shacks along the roadways. At the same time, development is creeping atop the plateau as people discover a place to build second homes in advance of their retirement.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll share photographs and thoughts picked up from one of the largest geographical areas of its kind in the world -- and one that most people have never heard of.

Photo info: Exposure - 1 1/2 minutes at f5.6, ISO 400. Hand-held flash unit fired six times - three times at the front and side of the truck, twice inside the cab with a blue filter placed over the light and once under the hood. Photograph © 2009 James Jordan.


Robert Kruh said...

Oh, yes! Very good flash lights you used - creativ! Great night shot! Bravo!

CJ said...

This is a stunning and beautiful photograph. I'm glad you explained how you did it. I thought perhaps, you aimed your headlights at the truck, but that didn't explain the interior light, nor the lack of obvious "beams" of light. The setting may be "background" but it is so much more.

I love old vehicles, especially ones that have been abandoned. Several years ago, I spent several hours in a junk yard taking photos with the aim to create drawings or paintings from them. I like the challenge of creating chrome in my art work. That project never got off the ground and now I have no idea what I did with the photos ---must be in a box or drawer somewhere. I guess I'll have to snap some more pix. I'm more into digital art now, so I might still work on the project but do it digitally.

CraigM said...

Exceptional work and a fantastic result. Bravo!

Erik said...

Lovely. You just gained a new fan and follower. I, not only, appreciate your work, but also your explanation of how you got there.

Keep up the great work.

Here's to more beauty in the world!