EDITOR'S NOTE: click any thumbnail to see a larger version with full caption provided the author.
If you love to see and photograph old cars and motor vehicles then the AACM – The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum at Hershey, Pennsylvania is a must-see place to visit. The museum typically has anywhere from 75 to 100 cars, trucks, and motorcycles on the floor at any one time, and these exhibits rotate over the year so what is there now will be completely different if you go back in a year. There is a good selection of permanent vehicles there also. A neat part of AACM is that it is built entirely on donations, and that includes all of the vehicles you will see there. They are donated outright, or placed on loan for a set amount of time. Past autos that have been on exhibit are some of the oldest autos ever made, and also ones owned by famous Hollywood stars, like the 1986 Rolls Royce Silver Spur once owned by Whitney Houston that is on exhibit right now.
Also on exhibit now are some 25 old Indian Motorcycles from 1903 up to 1957, and they include a 1912 twin, 1913 single, 1923 Chief, 1934 Chief “bobber” and a 1957 Apache. Some are un-restored but most have been restored to what they looked like new. The Indian exhibit runs until Oct. 24, 2014.
Other items you can see at AACM is the bus from the movie Forest Gump, the Hershey KISSMobiles, a “very old” 1895 Chicago Benton Harbor, a “very small” 1938 Datson fire engine from Japan, and a 1903 Ford Model A. These are just some of what is there to see and shoot as there are three levels of autos and more rooms than I could count covering 71,000 Sq. Ft with more display areas being added.
And speaking of shooting, the five examples I am showing here will give you a good idea of what you will also be able to do. Image #1 is what I did with about 7 files I combined as an HDR image in Photomatix Pro 5 and made a graphic image out of it. The B&W is another color HDR image that I then converted to B&W in Silver Efex Pro. Old autos are a great subject to turn into a graphic look, like I do with my HDR images, that I give a carnival poster effect to.
The two shots below of the 1934 Chief “bobber” are more HDR images.
The last image is of a 1930 DuPont Roadster that came out real good just using a wide angle lens, a down on my knees low position, and with just a slight Photoshop adjustment.
I only used two lenses that day, a Nikon 16-35mm VR, and a Nikon 28-300mm VR lens only D800E. This range gave me the ability to grab wide shots to include several autos, and the long reach for some of the Indians against the wall. You may have to ask if tripods are ok, but I am sure a monopod would be ok. If you go there off-season or get there on a day there are not a lot of people a tripod may be ok also. Their main concern is that the use of a tripod does not interfere with other visitors. Just ask and be considerate of others.
The museum is located in the town of Hershey, Pa. at 161 Museum Drive. For more info check out their web site at www.AACAMuseum.org.
When you are in Hershey you can also go over to the Hershey Chocolate Factory and see where “my” favorite treat is made. Hershey also has a zoo, a large rose garden, and an amusement park.