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    • It's amazing how much time and money we spend restoring and caring for these old cars. Why do we love them so?

      Whatever the reason, I have to stop and stare. The craftsmanship. The history. The love and time owners invest in them. I can't imagine.

      The thing that caught my eye this year was all the wood. How do you keep it so beautiful? There was a long row of woodies from Santa Cruz:

      Check out the back of this Cadillac. The fit and finish...

      Damn that's a fine Cadillac. No wonder the brand they once had became such a symbol of the best.

      Even this Chevy was fancified with wood:

      Even the utility vehicle for Randy's bomb shop from 1961 (not sure that branding would fly so well in 2019).

    • I couldn't take my eyes off the various vintages of Corvettes. Maybe they're on my radar more now with the recent launch of the new mid-engine C8.

      This gentleman has owned his for over 40 years and completely restored it twice:

      A vendor was showing off their customizations. Everyone was gathered around this car, staring:

      The show included customs & hot rods. They are not so much my thing, but I'd love to drive a jacked one like this just to see what it feels like:

    • This is Bill McCombe, owner of this ALL-ORIGINAL 1940 (!!!) Ford Deluxe. What?! I challenged him over everything I could think of, including the cloth top and paint. It seems impossible, but both the paint and top are what came with the car.

      I spotted a chip in the paint which you can see in this photo, below the headlight nearest to him. It kills him, but he said yes, it's recent but he's allowed to touch it up and still enter the car in shows as original. I think he said it won its class at Pebble Beach Conours d'Elegance in 1988.

      Aside from the chip, the paint is perfect. There were a few small pits in the chrome I could hardly notice that he pointed out.

      He is allowed to repaint the engine, which he plans. He got penalized in a show for not having the exact same type of battery that came with the car, so he hunted and found one:

      The love that goes behind these cars!! 🤯❤️💰

    • Nikon D850 camera with Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens. I was unsettled about whether to shoot the cars at f/1.4, 2.8. 4.0 or even 5.6, so I quickly shot the first cars I saw at multiple apertures.

      Here's a Mustang at f/1.4:

      Same car at f/4.0:

      Just looking at the back of the camera I settled on 1.4 for the show and when I got home I was sad. I thought that, shooting so close to the car, 1.4 was too shallow so the back of the car was too out of focus.

      For the cars shot like that where I had a frame at 2.8, that's what I preferred and used:

      On the other hand, when I was more to the side and further away, I preferred the 1.4 version:

      What do you think? Other opinions?

    • Great photos, Chris! I took a class on Aesthetics, studying beauty and how we define it. Something about vintage cars catches our eye. I think you nailed it when you said it’s the craftsmanship, history, and dedication of the owners that captivate us. Nothing else is able to capture our imagination in the same way that these vintage cars do. That’s what makes them such a treasure.

    • I like your choices of aperture in these images. I tend to shoot cars with smaller apertures ( larger fstops numbers ) and I think I need to change that approach.

      So, I went to my smugmug account and searched keywords for "car" or "cars", and find images shot from f2.8 to f16. But many of my images were of single vehicles alone, in the out of doors, not tightly packed close to many other vehicles as they usually are at car shows and expos and other venues. SO it really depends on whether I want the background to be a sharply rendered part of the image, or not. A nice snowy mountain rainge sometimes is a nice backdrop.

      At car shows, I think the very shallow DOF of f1.4 or f2.0 can work very well.

      But my images of the Cadillacs in the ground at the Cadillac Ranch display, caught outside Amarillo, I chose to shoot at f16, because I wanted them ALL sharpely rendered, with the empty background behind them apparent not blurred.

      I think that it ultimately comes down to the intent of the photographer and what they choose to emphasize, and to de-emphasize. In the crowded spaces of car shows, with lots of vehicles and people, crowded closedly together, fast primes sound like an excellent choice.

      I need to carry that f1.4 24mm, or 35mm, or 50 prime more often I think. Sometimes a 21mm f1.4 might be interesting for closeup car images.

      Or you can grab them with your phone and blur out the background later, and achieve a poorer result with a bit more work. 😧

      The woodwork on those cars is truly incredible. Modern epoxy and varnishes really can create lovely woodwork. I love it.

    • Yerp. I know that sadness well. I hate it when the whole subject isn't in focus when using my Sigma 35mm F1.4. Even your F4 of the Mustang above still has a blurry back wheel.

      It's motorcycles dead-side-on only for 1.4 or even the 50mm F1.8 on the Z6.

      F3+ if it's a 45 degree angle shot of a motorcycle. I usually dial up and down a few stops either way on every frame-up now. But I have to constantly remind myself not to fall in love with F1.4 in the veiw finder.

      I've also got a Tokina 16-28 Zoom that I use for car and bike shows. No stylin' bokeh at all, but subjects are always all in focus and you can work closer if it's crowded.

    • Chris....not sure how you do it..and, it isn't just the camera setup. This pics are gorge and I find it very difficult to shoot car shows with people mulling around, trying to get the right angle and not get misc. into the shots....amazing shots of amazing cars...those woodies....well, they gave me a ..........................

    • I agree, Chris's pictures are marvelous, and show a stunning absence of other folks in in his images. I have a small idea of just how challenging that it - I never can seem to find cars that don't have folks hanging over and drooling all over them, and hence are almost impossible to get out of my framing.

      He must be very patient.

      I make an effort to be, but at many car shows hours can go by while you wait for a clean capture. He must have a really nice camera 😄

      There is also a remarkable consistency to framing, color balance and vehicle sizing when posted - which creates a very pleasant trip for the eye to wander about.

    • Thanks @vegasphotog and @Pathfinder . I have a few personal tastes and it's nice to hear a few other people share them. 😊 If I were shooting for a magazine like @DangerDave does, I'd have to shoot it as they want it, but this is just me admiring cars.

      One is I don't like traditional photography's negative space idea where the car takes up maybe 65% of the photo and to each side and in front you get...blades of grass.

      Ars Technica did a photo gallery of the best cars of Pebble Beach Concours this year and here's an example, their lead image:

      I like to crop tight and lose the grass (and those guys on the left), thereby enlarging details of the car.

      Second, if there are people in the shot, they should be admiring the car. It really wrecks the mood to have their backs to it as if some other car is more interesting.

      Third, to me — and I realize this is personal — it's like taking a portrait and telling a story. Your eyes are drawn to brighter, sharper things and that's part of storytelling. I like the shallow depth of field because it's a way I can tell what I found interesting without having to write it.

      For example, I thought the interesting part of this car was the very front with all the detailing and emblems and grill. I know you are scrolling through the photos fast so I want to say "But look at the front of this beauty!" And make it so they can't miss it.

    • You described it better than I did - but when I was looking at several of your images, one below another all in landscape format, I noticed how the vehicle in each image was almost the same size in the frame as the vehicle above it and below it, and frequently shot from the same viewpoint, and captured with minimal grass and negative space as you decribed so well. It all contributes to a pleasing page and an easy path for my eye to follow.

      I frequently get images with the people facing away in them like the one you posted above, but I have gradually learned not to show them to anybody, Sorry Ars Technica!! 😄

    • If I were shooting for a magazine like @DangerDave does, I'd have to shoot it as they want it,

      As I think we talked about before - I frame up with how it will appear on the page in mind. Because I'm a designer first and photog down the list I see it differently to some.
      The image isn't the most important bit to me - just one component in a larger scheme.

      Here's some of this month's output eg: