The long, strange trip.

Last year, I captured an image of a worn-out 1974 VW Super Beetle in Old Forge, New York. it wasn’t just any vintage Volkswagen; it was owned by some Deadheads, who decorated the car with Grateful Dead imagery.

I took several photos with various cameras, thanked the owners, won an blue at Durham in 2019 for the image, and that was realistically it.

The static print was branded as “Brokedown on Maggie’s Farm,” and it looked like this.

Brokedown on Maggie’s Farm. Nikon Df camera, five images combined in HDR construct. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

But, see, there was something I really wanted to do with this.

And that something goes back to another VW I photographed some time ago … the Fagbug.

Fagbug and Vaudeville. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens, six pictures combined in lenticular print. Photo by Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

I took several photos of the rainbow-festooned VW, and built a lenticular “magic motion” print out of it. My plan was to enter this at the New York State Fair during competition season, but was told that the image would not be appropriate – mostly because of the word “fag” on the side of the car, and that they Fair organizers didn’t want to have any kids go up to their parents and say, “Mommy, Daddy, what’s a fag bug?”

Yeah, that.

But I liked the idea of a lenticular VW print, and if I couldn’t get one that was entry-worthy with the Fagbug, maybe I can do it with the Deadhead driver.

I contacted Snap3D, a lenticular printer in Toronto. The owner of Snap3D, Peter Sinclair, is a really nice guy and he works well with artists who want to create lenticular imagery. He’s printed several of my three-dimensional shots in the past, including Vivaldi’s Pond, Roses and Vichy and others.

I had several images in which I photographed the VW with my Nikon Df, using various colored lenses. Then I cropped the VW’s colored chassis into a single background.

Technically, if one looks at the VW and has a few hits of brown acid, this might be the result.

The Long, Strange Trip. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 55mm f/1.4 lens with several filters. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

So I sent the images off to Peter, in the hopes that he could create a nice 11×14 print from this.

He couldn’t guarantee a rush job, due to COVID and shipping issues, but I wasn’t worried. Peter does great work, and I’m a patient man.

Then I received word that the Albany Center Gallery is having its member’s show, and I need to submit something for it. Size requirements – less than 25″ in all dimensions. Well, that eliminates that metallic two-tone Jericho Drive-In sign, that’s too wide.

Okay, looking over what I had planned to send to the New York State Fair. A couple of macro images that I had printed BEFORE my external hard drive smoked out. High and TIght, my macro shot of the stitches on an old baseball, was one possibility. The Pinecone, my macro shot of the top of an old tree chunk, was the second.

Either one of them is good enough to enter.

Yeah, no. Never settle for “just good enough.”

Well, it’s one or the other. Deadline is Friday. Today.

But last night … package arrived from Toronto.

It’s the new print of the VW Super Beetle.

And Peter 5-holed this into the net from the blue line.

That undulating color image you see above? That’s what he got me.

So technically, now I have two different Deadhead VW images, one that’s static (“Brokedown on Maggie’s Farm”), which I can enter in contests that do not allow lenticular imagery, and the other one (“The Long, Strange Trip”) for contests where I want to make the viewers’ eyes dazzle.

The Long, Strange Trip. Nikon Df camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens, several different photos with filters, combined in PhotoShop. (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

I’m definitely good with this. 😀