Photographing Vintage Auto Americana By Bill Fortney

1 hr 4 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

Join outdoor photographer and author Bill Fortney for an immersive trip through vintage auto Americana as he explores over 6 miles of trails filled with old cars, trucks, and the many other things that can be found at Old Car City, located about 45 minutes outside Atlanta, GA. There are classic treasures at every turn and Bill walks you through his gear, philosophy, and techniques for shooting on this kind of special self-assignment. From wide environmental portraits of a rusting DeSoto to up-close and personal gritty macros of decaying hood ornaments, Bill digs deep and shares from his wealth of tips and tricks to inspire you to get out to your nearest junkyard and have your own photographic adventure.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Bill Fortney is joined by Dean Lewis, the owner of Old Car City, and they share a bit about what makes this place such a great destination for photographers.
Bill shares his thoughts on his gear choices, from camera bodies to lenses, for this type of self assignment.
The first stop on the journey is the old office for Old Car City. It is a target rich area, and Bill uses it to describe his way of getting started working on location.
In an environment like Old Car City there is ample opportunity to get in close on various details and graphic elements.
Shooting close up with a wide open lens can create a really shallow depth of field for making subjects pop out of the out of focus background.
Coming across a classic DeSoto provides a number of different shooting opportunities.
Tucked away in the woods this Ford Super DeLuxe is full of character, and Bill shows how he shoots a wider environmental portrait before zooming into a tight shoot on the grille.
There are so many different types of things to shoot in a location like this that it can really help you focus if you come up with a theme for what kind of shots you want to get.
After the shooting is done Bill walks through some of the images he's captured and discusses his post-processing techniques.
Profile photo of Bill Fortney

Meet your instructor

Bill Fortney


Bill is one of America's premier photographer's specializing in Landscape, close-up, nature, Americana, and travel. In his 44 year career, Bill has been a High School teacher and football coach, AP rep, Medical photographer, and Marketing Public Relations person. Bill was an official photographer for the Washington Redskins during his sp...

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Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of Victor Victor

    What type of tripod head and quick release are you using that allows you to shoot both l&p style.


  2. Profile photo of mtfors mtfors

    Awesome class!! I learned so much from you in just a short time. It was really helpful to see the whole process, setting up the shot, what settings to use, etc. Loved the fire engine shot as I am a firefighter. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge and your time.

  3. Profile photo of Horst (Dee) Diederich Horst (Dee) Diederich

    I have been trying to access Bill’s classes. So far no success. What is going on . They seem to be reversing themselves. Again, what is going on?

  4. Profile photo of Ronald Ronald

    Bill, how about a video on shooting all kinds of vintage mechanicals? Motorcycles and tractors are big at least here in the MIdwest…oh and by the way take me to Old Car City…beg, beg, throw money and grovel. :)

  5. Profile photo of bobsachs bobsachs

    First the Olympic Forest and now old cars. The tips are amazing (as well as the photography). Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge as good teachers and photographers always do.

    I look forward to visiting Old Car City and discovering the many photographic surprises that await me.

    Please continue to make the training videos for Kelby One so that we all benefit from your wonderful teaching style.

  6. Profile photo of Gary Gary

    Thanks, Bill! I had attempted to photograph a few old cars in the past without much success. I think now that I will go back and try again!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of Ed Ed

    Very good! Thank you, Bill. I would like to go there. The format of this seemed to work better. A good balance of demonstration and discussion. I especially liked the processing section at the end. I”m starting the like the very saturated pseudo-HDR look more. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of Allun Hamblett Allun Hamblett

    Great class! Bill Fortnay once again takes us to an unusual yet fun place to photograph. I’m looking forward to Bill’s next Kelby Training class. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of Ibelieve75 Ibelieve75

    That was great! Really informative, I’d love to go to that place now that I know it exists.
    I’m going to a junk yard next week and your tips will really come in handy —- Yes, please post my feedback

  10. Profile photo of steve250 steve250

    I liked the class. We utilize many of the techniques shown in the video.
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of Gary Kieltyka Gary Kieltyka

    Cool class. Something different to think about. Worth watching for sure! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  12. Profile photo of npollard npollard

    Enjoyed this so much and really great to see content starting to use some of the great new smaller cameras. Nice job Bill! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of Glenn Glenn

    Great class Bill. I picked up several tips and ideas. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of Walt Walt

    Bill’s class was outstanding, I love classic cars having recently photographed the Woodward Cruise here in Michigan. Bill has a unique style and during his presentation I kept thinking “great idea” and “why didn’t I think of that”. Thanks Bill! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  15. Profile photo of C. C.

    Thanks to Bill for another great video. It’s always such a pleasure to follow along with Bill and see how he can simply just “git er Dun”!—- Yes, please post my feedback

  16. Profile photo of ayahiawi ayahiawi

    Thank you Kelbytraining, Thank you Mr. Fortney.
    great course. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  17. Profile photo of Rob Turner Rob Turner

    Bill Fortney delivers an information packed training session in a most enjoyable environment. The autos in Bill’s training session are remarkably different than the cars Scott Kelby has been shooting ;-) The location, the gear, the advice and the photographic result make this a very enjoyable and information training session. Thank you Bill for the training session! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  18. Profile photo of Dennis Hughes Dennis Hughes

    What fun, old cars! Not only good shooting tips, but also post processing as well. Thanks! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  19. Profile photo of Doug Dillon Doug Dillon

    Terrific job Bill!! I always enjoy your instruction. You have such a good way of teaching and I always enjoy watching you capture some amazing images and how it’s done. Keep doing the videos! I love them!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  20. Profile photo of alessandro.ghersi alessandro.ghersi

    Very useful if you want learn shoot details. As always Bill is a good teacher and good photographer. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  21. Profile photo of pat w. pat w.

    Wonderful course. Bill has the gift of connecting with his audience with his personality and his
    approach to capturing very interesting photos. He makes learning plain fun. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  22. Profile photo of Johnny Skeen Johnny Skeen

    Wonderful job my friend. I have enjoyed all your classes. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  23. Profile photo of Bryan Rymer Bryan Rymer

    Bill, thank you for yet another awesome class. You never cease to amaze me with the wealth of knowledge you possess. For the short time I have been following you/your work I have learned a great deal. Thank you once again and keep them coming!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

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