Photoshop is often abused, ever see one of those supermodels before the computer magic? Yikes! On the other hand, sometimes photos just need a cleaner background or a few blemishes removed to bring out what’s hidden in plain sight and that’s where Gordon Calder’s talent lies. He finds motorcycle engines the perfect subject, wrapped as they are in the surrounding frame and viewed in front of busy backgrounds, it’s hard to focus your eyes on the engine alone, so, to paraphrase a famous sculptor, Gordon takes a photo, opens it in Photoshop and removes everything that isn’t engine, … and he’s good, … very good.
Some time back I reviewed a book, The Fine Art of the Motorcycle Engine, which did very similar work and the images looked good, but, to be honest, Calder’s work, in my opinion, looks even better because the motorcycle has been totally excised, it’s all engine. He has a growing online gallery of engines that is absolutely stunning. His subjects include the usual suspects, for instance, numerous Harley V-Twins from the earliest to current models, but he has lots of other engines from many manufacturers including a few rare examples like a Moto Guzzi Dondolino. It’s hard to believe, when looking at the photos that these engines are “in situ,” they’re still in the bike. Viewed after Gordon’s work, they seem to be mounted and on display in a studio of mechanical objects d’ art.
Gordon does superb work and these engines look better for having his attention and skill lavished upon them. I see posters or a book in his future.
Link: Gordon Calder on flickr