Archive for the ‘Old cars’ Category

I’m always a sucker for a shiny red car, but I do love these old blues and greens. 

As of yesterday, my right eye is now sporting a snappy new lens. (Left eye is scheduled for Tuesday.) Since many of you are photographers or artists in another medium,  I think you would find this whole light perception thing to be fascinating. If I use only my left eye, the world has a soft, yellowish tint, as though illuminated by an old-fashioned lightbulb. If I use only my new eye, yowzah! Now everything is brighter, with a clean blue-white glow, much like an iPad.  As I review this post on the screen, there is a marked difference in how I perceive the shots, depending on which eye I use.

I think I will like my new windows on the world, though all this brightness will take some getting used to. (“Vampire Photographer Adjusts to Lights in the New World. Film at 11:00”)

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A dense green canopy filters the sunlight,  green plants are working hard to reclaim these wrecks and, for a photographic trifecta, what is left of the paint job on the Pontiac is green as well.

I love this part: you can see the leafy growth on the driver’s side fender. Those same leaves are mirrored, but as shadow-shapes on the passenger’s side.

Nice touch, Mother Nature. Nice touch.

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Hood ornaments, Dodge Ram.

As before, these are from the late 40’s-early 50’s

 

Most of these closeups or macros don’t do well as thumbnails. If you can, view on a full screen.

In addition to the cars and the rust, I really enjoyed shooting here because of the tree cover. As bright (and hot) as the day was, there was plenty of shade to be found. (And if there was no shade, I just shot elsewhere on the grounds.) The results? A very noticeable  tendency for green backgrounds and dappled sunlight. And I’m pleased on both counts.

 

Call them hood ornaments or car mascots, radiator caps or bonnet ornaments, they’re car jewelry to me.

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They began as radiator caps. (Make a picture in your head: radiators used to be outside, on the front of cars.)  By the early 60’s, hood ornaments were on their way out, generally due to laws that regulated their sizes or even whether cars could have them and that was predicated on concerns for pedestrian safety.

Too bad. I find that many of these add a real touch of beauty to the machines they grace.

Total disclaimer here: Wabi Sabi doesn’t even remotely claim to know about cars. I drive a silver Camry and  I frequently wander around parking lots, attempting to get into random silver vehicles, wondering who left a bag from Target on my front seat or just when did I acquire a small dog?  For that matter, who is that old man and why is he frantically locking all the doors?

I’ll bet I wouldn’t have that problem if my car sported a fine work of art on the hood.

These hood ornaments are all from the late 1940’s-early 1950’s and are made from Lucite. From what I’ve read, they were designed to light up …well, maybe glow softly would be more accurate. First set: two shots of a Desoto ornament.

 Moving on: Two different Pontiac pieces. (I’ve seen them identified as from the Pontiac Silver Chief.) I seriously love the first one.

The next, taken from two different angles, is from a Chevrolet. Reality check: I’m in a junk yard in the Deep South.  It would be lovely to wash these pieces up and make them look all spiffy, but rust and weeds and trees growing up right through the middle of the cars…not to mention spider webs and bugs that I don’t even want to think about… are the order of the day.

And all that broken down crusty and rusty is exactly why I find shooting in this place to be a completely awesome experience.

Still…I do wish I could have shot a buffed up version of this red piece.

Finally, a broken-but-still-cool  Ford hood ornament:

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More art and history still to come.

Another trip to seven acres of rusty automotive heaven tucked away in northern Georgia. Please click on photos for gallery views.

A shout-out to my faithful companion, Kemo Sabe, for getting us to this out-of-the-way destination using a primitive tool called a “paper map.” Zelda, long-suffering voice of Tom Tom, the magical GPS machine, could get us ANYWHERE but here, since the junkyard and the town it is located in do not exist in the world of GPS.

Kemo and Zelda were quite the pair for the entire 1,600 mile trip, sniping at each other, ignoring instructions and road signs and each generally trying to best the other in an on-going game of one-upmanship. Zelda would indicate a split in the highway (“In 500 yards, keep left.”)

Kemo would stubbornly remain in the right hand lane.

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Wabi Sabi: “Stay in the left lane, Kemo.”

Kemo Sabe: “That’s not right. We don’t take this road.”

Wabi Sabi: “But, she SAYS…”

Moments later,  Zelda:  “Proceed 300 yards and make a U-turn…”

KS: “Trust me.”

Zelda: “At Cloverleaf Road, take a left and then another left and return to the freeway.”

KS: “She’s wrong.”

Zelda: “For the love of God, Montresor!” 

WS: “Do you hear banjo music?”

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This reminds me of the time my eldest son travelled to Mississippi to pick up a standup bass and, on his way home, decided that he wanted to see the crossroads where Robert Johnson made his Faustian deal with the devil to become the greatest blues musician in the world. He found the tiny rural community where Johnson had lived and went in search of the crossroads, but it was late in the day and road markers were a little vague and eventually, the road sort of petered out and he found himself in total darkness and sitting in a field all by himself.

In rural Mississippi.

In the middle of nowhere.

And not a light to be seen but his own headlights.

And where was his GPS in all of this? She (Zelda’s sister, Mavis) was quite sure that wherever he’d landed didn’t actually exist and refused to help, the tight-lipped satellite wife version of a cold shoulder: “You got yourself into this, mister. Now you figure it out.”

Which he did, eventually, though he has not spoken with Mavis since.

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Because nothing says “Happy Holidays!” like a gallery of vintage hubcaps!