Brad Becker  

The Truck by Brad Becker

September 2023 - The Truck

September 2023 - Brad Becker


September 2023 - Brad Becker

Original 2

September 2023 - Brad Becker

Original 3

About the Image(s)

This month's image has gone through many iterations. I'm happy with the truck and the night sky. I've added a variety of other elements to lend a story and not sure if this one is the final one. I applied a variety of layer mask adjustments to the truck image including a topaz filter and then added the northern lights sky. This version with the bird was created by adding several blur effects to the bird and then making a separate layer and using the liquify tool to part of the wings. I know people don't like birds flying off the image but I feel the northern lights streaming up suggest the movement up and away.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
12 comments posted

Kirsti Näntö-Salonen   Kirsti Näntö-Salonen
Hi Brad, I think that the bird definitely needs to fly in this direction, leaving a trail of light in her wake, to guide the truck foreward. No wonder that you are happy with the truck and the sky. I like the lighting very much, too, it is like there were a street lamp out of sight that illuminates the truck and the foreground against the dark background. And thank you for explaining in detail the clever trick of giving motion blur to the bird!   Posted: 09/07/2023 09:18:21
Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Kirsti, Thank you for your kind words of support   Posted: 09/18/2023 15:51:59

Peggy Nugent   Peggy Nugent
This is such an interesting image, Brad. I keep coming back to it because, for me, it works very well on an emotional level while eluding an "explanation" of what it seems to be about. Well, there is a great deal of art that I can't "explain" but I can appreciate.
I think the bird is just perfect where it is; it's not simply an element in the picture, its position and blur show that it's leaving, right now. The gorgeous light in the sky makes a beautiful trail that the bird is leaving - or perhaps it's the path it is riding.
I love the texture and color on the truck. The truck is such an integrated part of the field and the road - it obviously can move, but it's as stationary as the field, and it's empty. For some reason, to me, it feels as if not just the cab of the truck is empty, but that the truck itself is an empty shell that the bird has left.
So, for me, there's something poignant about the empty truck but a sense of joy for the bird being able to fly to wherever it is going.
I think it's a beautiful, complex, and compelling image.   Posted: 09/15/2023 15:23:22
Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Peggy, Thanks as always for your detailed exploration of my images.   Posted: 09/18/2023 15:52:54

Maria Mazo   Maria Mazo

Hi Brad,
What a wonderful image you have created this month. I like the colors and the nighttime light setup. The flying bird adds a dynamic element to the image and complements the story. My only suggestion is regarding the blur effect on the bird; I would prefer to see the movement just behind it, like a wake, rather than in front of the wings and neck.
Thanks for your detailed explanation about how you created it.

  Posted: 09/15/2023 23:20:37
Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Maria, Yes, good suggestion. I recall in the old days when I used a flash there were two curtain options, I believe the rear curtain would give the blur behind the image. That is certainly more logical. I think I got tired after multiple attempts to create a feeling and this worked. Your suggestion is an easy fix and worth trying.   Posted: 09/18/2023 15:54:53

Aavo Koort   Aavo Koort
There is a great difference between the sharpness of the truck and the blur of the bird. What shutter speed did you use? Just kidding.
I like the composition and the northern lights. The truck is very plain. Maybe it should have a statement one the side. Something like 'Big White Bird Delivery'.
Overall it is a very original image.   Posted: 09/16/2023 16:19:21
Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Aavo, I rarely add words to my images as I think they can shut down the thought process in our heads, i.e. explain the meaning. I believe some images, like life, are not to be fully understood.   Posted: 09/18/2023 15:56:13

Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
This is a complex image that just may keep you enthralled for a while. That's a compliment. An abandoned truck on a country road with this wonderful lighting invites extraterrestrials or surrealists. In the movie "Signs" the scariest scene was when Mel Gibson was in the corn field at night and his flashlight catches a glimpse of a leg of the e.t. turning amidst the corn. I saw only the calf of the e.t. and that was enough to make me jump. If this were my scene, I would eliminate the bird and its trail, darken everything except the truck, and have a part of someone walking out of the scene. Your elements of night, abandoned truck, and lonely country road work very well together and are work exploring.   Posted: 09/18/2023 09:42:45

Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Alan, I really like your suggestion. It would make more sense from a story perspective. I will play with this idea. Interestingly this truck was parked down the street from Stonehenge. Although the rock circle has been on my bucket list, and enjoyable to see in person, I found the surrounding fields equally, if not more captivating. There were a lot of hippie type people camped out on this road.   Posted: 09/18/2023 15:58:53

Lisa Cuchara   Lisa Cuchara
(Groups 41 & 44 & 46)
very cool composite.
The night and added aurora are wonderful and the icm bird adds to the scene. The green truck and composition with the bird fits well.
perhaps darken the road a tad?   Posted: 09/26/2023 23:02:15
Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Lisa, Thanks for visiting Group 54. Thanks for the suggestion, I will give it a try.   Posted: 09/27/2023 00:31:38