Tag Archives: metal

The 55 Buick Roadmaster And Why I Did It

One of the more enjoyable aspects of creating fine art out of historical antiques like this ’55 Buick Roadmaster is learning about the history behind them.  Usually, with machines like cars and airplanes, aficionados like Jay Leno, bring out their slide-rulers and talk about all the old technical terms.

You get to learn the Roadmaster had  a Variable Pitch Dynaflow Transmission, and how with a 322 Nailhead V8 you get 236 horsepower. Or, you could even learn why one of these beautiful cars would be worth more if it had wire spoke wheels than the standard issue. It’s like communicating in another language.

But let’s talk art.  When I originally went to take the picture, I thought of just a candid shot of the grill and hood to show off the natural beauty of a Roadmaster. But, I had another idea.

First, I must confess that after living in the Southern States for a couple of years the concept of watching NASCAR on the weekend is not lost on me.   I’ve always loved the angles from the live cameras on the cars. The shot from the bumper showing the other car following you from 12 inches at 150 mph always raises the level of excitement.

The distinguishing characteristic of this one angle is that the lines are never straight on the car behind you. Because the car is so close, and moving at speed, the dynamics of the shot will always show a slight curve or bend in the fenders and hood.   Your eye views this  as speed. Or, in other words, it makes it look like it’s going fast.

55 Buick Roadmaster
55 Buick Roadmaster

Normally, a photographer would reach for a fisheye shaped lens to accomplish this task. I had two problems with this idea. First, I wanted a slight curve, barely distinguishable to the eye. I wanted the subtle effect of speed without the obvious reason behind it. So I’d be understandably nervous about overdoing it with a fisheye.   Second, and most importantly, I didn’t have a fisheye lens with me, so I had to make do positioning myself, and twisting the camera just a fraction to get the effect I was looking for.

In the end, I believe the goal of what I accomplished the look I wanted. So, help me welcome the 55 Buick Roadmaster to our Gallery. Don’t wait; this work looks incredible on a metal print. Contact us and get yours today!

Mystery of the Metal Plate: Solved?

This unusual black and white work is of a United Laboratories plate.   Now, normally you can find this metal plate seal on all sorts of electronics, mechanical machinery, and computer products. But what makes this one special is that its attached to a late 1920’s visible gas pump.

The visible gas pump, invented in 1925, served the purpose of showing the customer clarity of the gasoline pumped into their car. Dirty gasoline was a problem, and if a customer had to pay  17-25 cents a gallon for their gas, they wanted the best. The hand pumped gas flowed into a clear cylinder at the top of the machine.  The attendant measured, and then deposited into the gas tank of the car.


After a little research, I believe that this pump once was serving Shell brand gasoline. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing this for sure.   It seems that Shell, Blue Sunoco, and Conoco gasoline companies used yellow stations and logos.   However, I have only been able to find references to Conoco and Shell stations in New Mexico during the 1920’s. Further, I have located pictures on Google of yellow colored tanks bearing the shell logo during this time period. But, I’ve not been able to find Conoco brand tanks or stations that weren’t green or red and white.

I even tried looking up the UL no. on the label but it seems that it is so old that UL does not have it archived on their internet database. So, unless this is a local brand from some long forgotten company, I’m fairly certain it was a Shell station pump.

Artistically speaking, I love the way the patina of rust and corrosion really highlight and bring forth the dimensions of the sign. As for the choice of color, it became obvious that a Black and white photograph showed much more dramatic variations in the paint and rust all the while highlighting the sign. When the picture was in color, the bright colors retracted from the piece and were unsightly.

In any case, this work is a result of history and art working together in harmony while showcasing the wondrous beauty of Black and White Photography.


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