The 2015 #Chrysler200 And My Nikon In Louisville

2014 March 25

You should know if you pronounce Louisville with 3 syllables people WILL correct you.


Now that we have that straight, let’s talk about photography + new cars!

A Manual Challenge

The car I learned to drive on was a stick shift.  I’m totally proud of that. But I rarely get to drive manual transmissions these days. Sooo…. While I was in Louisville on a hosted Press Trip to ogle the newly re-designed 2015 Chrysler 200…

I challenged myself to ONLY SHOOT my camera IN MANUAL mode on the trip.
(Close enough to driving a stick shift? — Oh nevermind.)

Also the only lens I brought was my 50mm set prime. Which means I have to take extra time to manual focus as well as take the time to get the lighting right.

21c Museum Hotel Louisville goodncrazy photography HTCOneMaxI played around a lot with really wide open F-stops and tried to experiment with the light in creative ways. I got lucky a few times with window lighting and I nearly cried when a couple shots developed so beautifully!   (She says with no humility at all.)

First I was simply blown away by the 21c Hotel & Museum where we stayed. It’s located right on Main Street next to the Ohio River. I hadn’t yet unpacked when I was mesmerized by the light from the windows in my room. I kept adjusting until the light from the windows reflecting in the mirror literally turned my photo to butter!

Hotel 21c soft window light goodncrazy photography

F-Stop 2.0 | Shutter Speed 1/40 | ISO 320 –magical!

The curtains are blown out but the golden mod chairs pop and I boosted the colors in my shirt in Lightroom.  This shot reminds me of EVERYTHING I see Kirsten of SimplyGrove take. Hope she doesn’t mind my imitation? Cuz SHE’s brilliant!

Rooftop Lighting

Before we got a chance to hang out with the new Chrysler 200s we had some time in downtown Louisville and on the rooftop penthouse suite in the swanky and hipster Hotel 21c. The light outside on the rooftop was divine and so fun to work with! Again I tried to keep my F-Stop low and see if I could compensate with the shutter speed to find that magic butter light.

No worries! The signature Red Penguins (they’re the official 21c Mascot) were happy to oblige!

21c Red Penguins rooftop afternoon light goodncrazy photography

F-Stop 2.2 | Shutter 1/500 | ISO 320

I edited a little bit in Lightroom, but when I saw how the light was warming up the penguins’ backsides and the sparkle on the buildings across the street, I kept working until I REALLY liked the angle of the penguins in my viewfinder.  You know how you see a shot and go.. MONEY! But you keep taking more photos anyway… only later you go, YUP, first shot was the best one. Yeah that happened.

More photos from the afternoon walking near the hotel on Main Street in Louisville…

Louisville 21c Hotel Museum artwork Slugger Museum goodncrazy photography

A HUGE replica of Michelangelo’s David (Talk about room with a view?), the rooftop mirrors enticing me, a city street grate and mini-bats in the Louisville Slugger Museum one block from 21c.

Photographing the New Cars!

#Chrysler200 2015 redesign Red midsizeFinally it was time to meet the guest of honor. The 2015 Chrysler 200 midsize sedan has been on the design block for 4 years.

It’s sporty and powerful, techy and practical, quiet and elegant. Enjoy my photos because you won’t be able to meet one until June of 2014!

I did a little automobile photo research before  flying to Louisville. And the photos of cars, ANY CARS, I liked the best were taken from a ground angle? How to do that I wondered?

Sit down on the ground and take the photo I guess?
Not low enough?
Lay down?
Maybe— but just how dirty did I want to get? (Not very.)

Instead I found my favorite lighting, focused and then opened my Nikon D5000’s ‘live viewer’ screen, when you twist it around you can literally sit the camera down on the ground and see the image from above the camera. I rarely use the live view screen because it slows down the camera so much. But I was patient and pleased with the shot I got!

Chrysler 200C

With a V-6 engine and 295 horsepower…
TRANSLATION: Ohmigosh it has serious ‘get-up-and-go’!

#Chrysler200 2015 new redesign blue midsize car

F-Stop 18 | Shutter Speed 1/125 | ISO 320

This photo was taken after our morning drive time and my driving partner in crime Chad Kirchner from MotorReview helped me understand all the new fancy bells and whistles inside the car. HUGE THANKS!! He thought this color was a racier color than usually seen on a sedan. I thought it was totally sexy.  And kind of showing off in my photo with all the light bouncing around the blue finish!

Another Chrysler 200 photo…

Chrysler200 Scotty Reiss Shebuyscars

F-Stop 2.5 | Shutter Speed 1/320 | ISO 320

My friend Scotty Reiss of SheBuysCars modeled in the 200 and let me snap a whole bunch of pictures till I was happy with exactly how the building was reflecting in the front window! How fun is that?!! I totally tweaked this shot in Lightroom and Photoshop Elements. I was fascinated with the bright light reflecting on the side of the car and the building on the window plus the shimmering storefronts behind the car.

I have one more shot of the car I’m saving for last because it’s my favorite by far.
(Don’t cheat and scroll down yet!)

First I have to share probably one of the most gorgeous farmhouse rooms I’ve ever seen.

Now I know why REAL photographers talk about playing with light. Oh do I ever. We stopped at Heritage Farms a little bit outside of Louisville. The farm is owned by the same dude who created the 21c Hotel. And he uses the farm to house and save racehorses after they are past their racing years.  The Kentucky countryside was the perfect place to test-drive the new 200s.

And the Kentucky sunshine in the back of this farmhouse was simply heavenly.

Kentucky Farmhouse Luncheon – Southern Light is Beautiful!

Kentucky Farmhouse Light goodncrazy photography

Such Happy Light!! (And Food! Oh my yum!)

Kentucky Farmhouse Light Photography Goodncrazy


Kentucky Farmhouse Light goodncrazy photography 2

Big thanks to my new friends Sara Lacey of SoulMobiles, and Amanda Martin of FemaleRacingNews with Chris Rhoad of Studio Rhoad (they’re engaged, how cute is that?) for being innocent participants in my impromptu photo shoot!

This batch of mid-day sun bathed farm house photos were taken on F-stop 2.2 and between 1/500 and 1/650 shutter speed. I barely know what I’m talking about, but again I started with a low F-Stop and adjusted the shutter speed until this magic point where the window curtains sort of faded into the glass and the table and treats started looking like a magical fairyland.

This time I used a few Lightroom presets post-camera trying for a subtle vintage-ish look.

Okay. NOW I’ll let you see the car shot.
Quit whining.

The car wranglers were very helpful, I tried taking photos out in the road and they blocked traffic for me! Then I tried from the sidewalk but stuff was in the way. So they backed up the car for me. But then it was too close to another car and they moved THAT car back too! I had to come up with something AMAZING after all the car jockeying.

What do You Think?

#chrysler200 2015 redesign goodncrazy photography

F-Stop 4.5 | Shutter Speed 1/80 | ISO 320

My fascination with the reflected building continues. I was losing the light and it was STUPID cold and by this point all the drivers were sort of confused by the crazy lady with the camera. And yes I took this shot and thought it was perfect but kept shooting.  I scrolled back to it on my camera and showed the drivers. They seemed impressed and I was dang happy to get out of the cold!

What a gorgeous car huh? See the lower front grille there? That’s where all the fancy tech-y stuff is built in. Um… you’ll have to go read the ‘Car People’  blogs for the real details… but see the red light next to the front tire? The turn signal light!  Cool, eh?

And so many fun new gadgets in the interior I was quite blown away.
Stay tuned, I’ll be sharing my car thoughts over on SheBuysCars real soon!

I’ll end my photo/car/Louisville obsession with a few HTCOneMax cell phone photos…

chrysler200 cell phone collage louisville goodncrazy photography


Disclosure: This was a press trip hosted by Chrysler, I was invited to test drive the 2015 Chrysler 200 and give my honest opinion. This is not a sponsored post and my thoughts and photos are all my own.



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9 Responses
  1. March 26, 2014

    Totally jealous of your awesome trip! I love going new places and playing with my camera. And, for the record, some of my favorite photos are very technically wrong (blow outs all over the place, haze, too much bokeh, etc) but I LOVE them and don’t care that they aren’t technically correct!
    Twitter: mamamommymom

    • March 26, 2014

      Right… it’s not like I’m going to print these up and put it em my family album of photos for 2014…
      But I love the ‘artistic’ part of these kinds of photos… I WOULD however blow it up and frame it something… ya know? More like art for walls..
      I Especially love the penguins! :0)

  2. March 26, 2014

    Your pictures are fabulous! What a fun time. I stayed at a 21C Museum when I was in Cincinnati for an event last month. Such a fun hotel. The penguins are hilarious.
    And you were totally right to be excited about the building reflection shot. It is pretty awesome.
    Twitter: Ohsosavvymom

    • March 26, 2014

      THANKS! I figure even if I do love the funky shots not everyone will??
      I want to see all the 21c Hotels now!!

  3. March 27, 2014

    Lovely photos! You’re making me want to dig out my old 35mm camera and play around with it (it’s not even digital – gasp!)
    Twitter: teresashaw

  4. March 27, 2014

    Good for you for going manual!!! Love these shots, you totally rocked it, and the car looks super slim, love!! Happy birthday momma!
    Twitter: mommybknowsbest

  5. March 29, 2014

    What a fun trip! I love Lou-ville and I love your photos! After owning my “better” camera for over a year now, I’ve finally decided that it’s time for me to get off auto and get creative. I’ve not taken the time to practice yet. I just don’t know where to start.
    Twitter: travelermom

  6. April 1, 2014

    What a great challenge (and awesome car.) I have definitely become lazy and shoot in A Dep 95% of the time! Great pictures, too!

    • April 1, 2014

      I had to google quick to find out what A-Dep means?
      Ahhh Canon-speak? I’m on a Nikon or cell phone so I was confused!
      I love the idea of that though.. giving you a great macro type depth of field when you want it but also ‘thinking’ for you when you are taking photos of people say and need more faces in focus for the lighting?
      My biggest problem so far is shooting indoors completely manual. I can never get the white balance correct.
      And then I miss the moment… so I often flip all the way to auto mode and JUST TAKE THE PICTURE already ya know?

      I’d like to take a class JUST on white balance someday… 🙂

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