The Neon Signs of Albuquerque’s Route 66

On August 19, 2017, in New Mexico, by admin
Albuquerque's Neon Signs of Route 66

The Neon Signs of Albuquerque’s Route 66 (click to enlarge)

One of the goals of my Albuquerque trip was to find neon signs from the vintage Route 66 motels.  I did some research on GoogleEarth to see where people had posted their pictures of these signs.

I arrived in Albuquerque in the early afternoon and drove to the Westward Ho Motel.   I then drove from west to east along Route 66 (aka Central Avenue).  I had a general idea where some of the neon signs were and stumbled across others.  I pulled a u-turn after capturing an image of the Premier Motel and drove east to west to capture signs on the other side of the street.

I originally thought I would drive the strip at night and capture all of the signs lit up.  Unfortunately, only the El Vado was lit up, and very brightly at that!

Once I returned home I cut out each sign from their background and pasted them all into a new file.  For the background I used the stucco wall from an image of a building in Sante Fe.  The Albuquerque lettering comes from a sticker on the hood of a car hanging on the wall of a building outside the 66 Diner (see this post for the original sticker).  I had taken several images of that hood, one from straight on thinking I might be able to use the lettering on the sticker.  I used the Perspective Crop Tool in Photoshop to straighten the text.  Cutting out the text and pasting it in the master file completed all of the elements I needed for the poster.

Westward Ho Motel: N35 04 39.99 W106 43 08.61

Premiere Motel: N46 04 45.66 W106 36 04.57

Albuquerque Hood Ornament

On August 16, 2017, in New Mexico, by admin
Albuquerque Hood Ornament

Albuquerque Hood Ornament (click to enlarge)

Here is a detail image from the wall of a building next to the 66 Diner parking lot (see this blog entry).  This car hood is actually from the wall next to the one shown in the linked blog entry. This second wall is partially covered by an overhanging tree located between the two walls so I could not get a clean image of the wall with this car hood on it.

Zooming in to smaller portions of these two walls presents lots of interesting compositions.  Because this image is of a vintage car hood and its ornaments, I choose to boost the saturation and contrast to accentuate the color and texture.

Sign Building: N35 04 55.20 W106 37 49.85

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T-Bird Trunk Ornament

On August 15, 2017, in New Mexico, by admin
T-Bird Trunk Ornament

T-Bird Trunk Ornament (click to enlarge)

Another image from the parking lot of the 66 Diner (another image here). As I was leaving the diner, a young guy and his friend pulled up in a great looking classic Thunderbird.  One of the guys went to the trunk and pulled out their old school high school letter jackets.  I talked to them for a bit and snapped off a quick shot of the Thunderbird emblem on the side of the car.

I like that there is a lot going on in this image.  The sun rays reflecting off the top of the emblem add a sense of motion.  The shadow outline below the emblem, the red eye, and the turquoise blue of the emblem give the viewers eyes numerous things to explore.

When you visit Albuquerque, stop by the 66 Diner.  Maybe it will be your lucky day and the T-Bird will be visiting.

66 Diner: N35 04 55.20 W106 37 49.85

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