Not Everybody Loves a Parade

Posted on June 4, 2016


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Duvall Car Show 2016

Apparently, they closed the road in front of my store today so a bunch of horses could crap there before a parade, so I had to walk to work. It wasn’t a total loss because there was a little car show on the way. I really wanted to bring a step ladder for some new angles, but it seemed like a lot to carry.

I once shot so many car shows, they have their own category to the left here. For a refresher.

Other Car Galleries:

I’ve learned a few things about shooting car shows over the years. The first is that sunny days are the absolute worst to shoot. The contrast with all of the chrome and paint with the shadows is a nightmare. On film this is relatively easy to deal with, but on digital, it’s hell. So I just automatically shoot everything in HDR now. And since my monitors aren’t calibrated, I don’t bother to color map because it would be relative and not absolute. I used to think someday I would go back and fix all of this, but lets face it, digital photography is so ubiquitous and temporary I’m actually not even finding that compelling. Combine that with the fact that hot rods are often red or yellow, and you have some pretty tough conditions.

Oh, and there is the Where’s Waldo thing. Trying to keep your reflection out of the picture is often the dominant aspect of framing. I have shots that I’m in over 20x. This is because the cars are so close together you can’t get your cropping with a telephoto lens. So sometimes, I just roll with it.

47 Cacillac Woody

47 Cadillac Woody

47 Cadillac Woody

47 Cadillac Woody a la Vivian Maier

There was not one, but two 47 Cadillac Woodies side-by-each. Same color, one restored, one not.


Unrestored. You can see the checkered lacquer. Can you believe it? Finger joints.

You may never have seen a Studebaker. They were to cars what it would be like if Johnny Cash and Chrissie Hynde had a love child – way too cool to be understood, which was ultimately their demise. The Avanti was brought back by five different companies until it finally faded away in 2004.


In fact, it was too cool to shoot it in color.


Here’s another thing too cool for color. My parents used to have that luggage set.

IMG_2581_2582_2583_easyHDRMy friend Doug was there with his ’49 Hudson, which I’ve shot before. This car had the largest displacement 6-cylinder engine ever made, and dominated NASCAR from ’49-’50.  The driver was Doc Watson, which is why the lead character in Cars by Disney is called “Doc.” It is the coolest car ever made, I want one, and paid homage to it in my novellal Destroying Angel. The best thing is Doug has a full roll bar in this baby and races it.


In some ways rat bikes are some of the very coolest ‘rods because the engineering is so accessible. Oh, and see the freaking Hodaka in the background? That hearkens back to when the Bultaco Pursang was the coolest motorcycle on the planet.


Some pictures I just take because I wish R was there.

IMG_2407_2408_2409_easyHDR IMG_2578

This may not be the first Offenhauser I’ve seen, but it’s the first time I noticed it. This is the engine that dominated Indy from 1913 to 1970, made in a garage at a small machine shop in a crossroads in Indiana. From the Wikipedia article.
“One of the keys to the Offenhauser engine’s success and popularity was its power. A 251.92 cubic inch (4,128.29 cm³) DOHC four-cylinder racing Offy with a 15:1 compression ratio and a 4.28125-by-4.375-inch (108.744 mm × 111.125 mm) bore and stroke, could produce 420 hp (310 kW) at 6,600 rpm (1.77 hp per cubic inch (81 kW/L). Other variants of the engine produced even higher outputs of 3 hp per cubic inch (137 kW/L).”

That’s right (although this was an 8) the 4-cylinder version, 252 cubic inches, 420 hp, the same as the Ferrari V12 sitting across from it. VA-room, baby. I could certainly put this on my fantasy bucket list of cars.

IMG_2560_2562_easyHDRSpeaking of the Ferrari, I call this one, “The Ghost in the Machine.”

You shoot car shows for a decade, you begin to recognize some old friends. Come to find out, I haven’t shot this show since 2012!


IMG_2425_2426_2427_easyHDRI love the overflow beer can, unfortunately is was just inside my DOF and out of focus (OOF).

And some you just shoot. I really wish they wouldn’t crap up the windows with the competition information. Put it on the  seat.

IMG_2486IMG_2350IMG_2352IMG_2361IMG_2363IMG_2365IMG_2371IMG_2422_2423_2424_easyHDRPretty sure I’ve shot this before, too.

IMG_2446_2447_2448_easyHDR IMG_2440

Also for R.


This is one of the sweetest pieces of Detroit Rolling Steel that ever graced the planet. Look at how the door incorporates the fender. THAT is design.


Here’s a classic Where’s Jon? I counted 17 before I stopped.


Ouch! How the hell do you replace that? I don’t think you can get to CarQuest today, either. By the way that is the corner of a ’49 Buick grille, called the “Million Dollar Smile.”

Ouch, how the hell do you repla

Ouch, how the hell do you replace that?

Then, I went full-bore reflection mode.

And then I found a car whose bumper I shot an entire roll of slide film on 10 years ago in Enumclaw. I don’t think I ever scanned it. Add that to the To Do list, I guess. What’s fantastic about this bumper is if you look at the reflections, the people are there, then they are not, they split into two. It’s a funhouse mirror, and shooting it is just fun.

Of course these all pale to what I imagine they would look like on film.