“Old Holden”

Titled “Old Holden”, this is one of my most popular photographs.

Holden’s FJ series was produced in Australia from 1953 to 1957. The FJ was the second model of an “all Australian car” manufactured by Holden and was based upon the established FX series. The sedan, in Standard, Business and Special trim levels, and a coupe utility were announced in October 1953 and were followed by a Panel van derivative in December of that year. A wagon prototype was built but the bodystyle was not put into production. In 1954, Holden’s first exports began with sales of the FJ in New Zealand.

Here’s a short story about my photo of this iconic Australian car.

The place

Poking around the back streets and old buildings in Toowoomba presents little gems that make great photographic subjects. I was fortunate enough to be able photograph this FJ Holden waiting for its turn to be restored.

I had the opportunity to photograph inside an old factory. It’s a large complex which was empty except for some areas that the owner was using for different purposes.

The prep

Well, little actual prep for this photo. I didn’t expect to find this.

What I did do was look at the scene. I moved a little rubbish but nothing else.

The conditions weren’t ideal for a straight one off photograph. There were no lights on and the only light source was through a large open roller door to the right of camera.

The area to the rear of the car was very dark and light streaming across the front of the car.

I looked at a number of places to setup my tripod and decided a low (about 40cm off the ground) front on image would look good.

I decided to take three photos to compensate for the vastly different lighting. One to take into account the very dark back area, one to capture the middle area and one to get the right exposure for the brightness of the front.

I merged these three to keep the feel of the dark back area and reduce the brightness. I wanted to keep the feeling I got when looking at the beauty.

My thoughts

This photograph is one of the very first I offered for sale.

As a photograhpic subject, you really can’t go wrong with an iconic Australian car like the FJ. In any condition.

There are a great range of colours and some areas make you think about what you’re looking at. People who have seen this photo often share a fond memory.

I hope you like it.

Framing suggestion

This print looks fantastic on white based or brushed aluminium print.

As a framed print, a simple off white mat and distressed timber frame give a sense of timelessness to the subject.