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Douglas Pittman Featured On Chasing Asphalt

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Douglas Pittman Featured On Chasing Asphalt

April 25th, 2017 - Flower Mound, TX

Hi, I'm Doug Pittman. Let me start by saying thanks for the chance to share my story. I'm 55 and work as a Crew Chief for one of the major airlines in the Dallas Ft Worth area. Photography has been a hobby for the better part of my life, but I never pursued it with any seriousness until the last few years. After the purchase of the camera I own now, I found myself looking for events that might offer interesting subject matter and happened upon a car show one weekend. I can't say I came away with any keepers that day, but found I could easily get lost in the moment trying to capture the style and beauty on display there. I was hooked.

Living in a major metropolitan area, there are car shows almost every weekend. One of my favorites is the monthly Cars and Coffee gathering. I have eclectic taste when it comes to cars and having a show that attracts everything from hotrods to exotics makes for a target rich environment.

If you've ever taken a camera to a car show, you've also come to realize it's an exercise in patience. People are out to enjoy themselves, and while most are polite, they often take no notice if they walk in front of a photographer. When I first started out, I concentrated on detail shots; you know, hood ornaments, badges and brightwork. That way I could isolate the subject and eliminate the distracting elements.

Capturing the whole car takes a little more patience, but I've come to find that if I set up my camera on a tripod, I can usually wait out the crowd and get a clean shot.

So far so good, but what I've described only gets you a shot of a cool car in a parking lot. Not exactly a wall hanger. Thankfully one of the items that came bundled with my camera purchase was a copy of Photoshop Elements. By no means as powerful as the Creative Suite version but no slouch either. Thus armed, I set about the task of finding a way to turn my car show snap shots into something more artistic.

Much of my education has come via online tutorials and YouTube videos. I have since upgraded my software to include Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS6 as well as a full suite of plug-ins from Topaz. My time spent in front of a computer screen far outweighs the time behind the camera, but I enjoy all of it.

If I were to guess, I would say that 95% of my work is based on shots I've taken at car shows. My camera is a Lumix G3 by Panasonic. I like that I can get great image quality in such a small kit, and when paired with my 14-140, cover everything from wide to telephoto.

I take inspiration from a number of great artists and have several friends on Flickr with whom I share comments and encouragement. Since I'm a regular at car shows, I count a good many car collectors and enthusiasts among my friends as well.

My advice to those starting out in any field of photography would be: shoot for yourself, your audience will find you.

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