Retro Builds in Modern Times

iron trap garage Jan 07, 2020

Let me tell you a story… of a Hot Rod Shop housed in a WWII airplane hanger!

When Matt Murray or Iron Trap Garage was looking for a home to purchase one of his requirements was that it has a garage large enough for him to work on his hot rods.  When he found a location in Boyertown that boasted an “extra large 3 car detached garage … great for the car enthusiast” his interest was piqued. Most people want to see the yard, kitchen, bathroom or other parts of a home when searching for a home.  I know I did. Not Matt. He wanted to see the garage first. Once Matt set eyes on what is now the home of Iron Trap Garage, he decided to buy the property immediately!

Jerry first learned about Matt Murray when he had his Pagoda City coupe (30s Model A Ford) on display at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles where he is a Board Member.  

Jerry:   “As soon as I saw this garage I just knew there was a piece of artwork waiting to be created.”  Matt & his partner, Mike Hamm love to share with their YouTube followers their progress on their various projects, educational videos on hot rods and their adventure road trips.  Jerry knew immediately that he had met people like us that love to tell the story and preserve history.   

Matt & Mike have a true love of hot rods and creating builds in a “period correct fashion.”   Let me explain -- when fabricating parts for a build they could buy new modern parts or create the part themselves.  When creating that said part they could use modern technology and/or equipment but NO! They stay period-correct as if they were building their hot rod in the 50s or 60s.   They use period-correct tools, materials & parts even when modern technology could perhaps be easier or cheaper. It’s really quite impressive!

One chilly evening, we set up shop.  We’d done plenty of light paintings before.  But this would be a first for us, and as far as we could tell, anyone!  The garage was too wide to get into one frame of our camera lens. We would have to do two light paintings and then stitch them together.  Stitched panoramas have been done many times by photographers around the world. But we were attempting to create a stitched panoramic LIGHT PAINTING.  We knew it might be impossible. But we accepted the challenge!

Jerry and Matt went to work setting up the scene.  Hot Rods, chassis, car jacks, tires and more were shifted, moved to new locations, or hidden from sight.  As with most light paintings we create, Jerry gets a vision in his mind and he will work with the owner to bring that vision to life before the camera lens.  This job was no different. We took test shots and reviewed it with Matt. Oops… gotta move a few more things around ;) 

We took 254 images over a span of 2 ½  hours that night! Jerry used about 126 in the final image.  Check out the video of the layers all going together here...

You can purchase a print of the final image at...

Want to learn more about our light painting techniques?  Click here to get a copy of our Gear Guide and be placed on our email list for light painting tips, workshops, and more!



About the author: Lori Keefer is an entrepreneur, Jerry’s other half, avid bird watcher, band mom, lover of a good cup of hot tea, and your guide in personal branding photography. The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author. You can connect with her on her personal website, her business website, or on Facebook. 


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