Pardon the play on words, but Mies Van der Rohe would have said that if he worked in the auto industry up until the 1970's.
Up until then cars used a cheap cast alloy called pot metal that was chromed and affixed to the cars. It was more than just the name of the car or its submodel. It was about casting the illusion of grandeur, power or who know what. Manufacturers used real typography and created fonts to tell a story. None of that ariel or helvetica plactic clued on crap they use today. It was real metal, dipped in chrome and affixed to the car with nuts and bolts.
The need to reduce weight put an end to the creative use of potmetal back in the 70's. Blandness ensued wih the malaise era cars and continue to day with simple nomentclature made of plastic. Shift from names that told a story to alpha-numeric soup makes me batty. I really hate it.
Here's just a couple of examples of potmetal art from the 29th Fabulous Fords Forever show that took place this last weekend. Good stuff maynard.
Crazy busy weekend and a few ruminations after its all said and done.
First up I served as a photographic judge for the regaional NAACP ACT-SO competition on Saturday. Amazing talent and body of work presented by the students. Great variety and vibrancy to it all. It was a richly rewarding experience, one I wouldn't trade for anything. Read all about it here.
What struck me funny about the day was the amount of black and white work being done still. Sadly, its done digitally and desaturated. Something gets lost in the translation when you do that. There's still something to be said for crisp black and white on old school Tri-X. There's a crispness and depth of black you can only get with film.
My question to the mentors of the young folks I judged is why not teach old school black and white. Cost isn't much but the final result is spectacular. In the same vein the rush to automate and left most of these kids with a narrow understanding of the fundamentals of exposure and composition. Rule of Thirds...that understanding was lost on at least one of the young adults we talked with, yes it can be violated, but you need to communicate why you did it.
Sunday was the 29th Annual Fabulous Fords Forever car show in Buena Park. IT was fun. Great collection of cars. Certainly more than a few were real attention getters. The lack of manners by photographers to one another is pretty amazing. One dolt had no problems with cutting in front of others to get a vantage point ruining that of the one he rudely butt in front of. What's up with that. We all get our turn, certainly a parked car isn't going anywhere fast where you have to worry about catching a fleeting moment.
Totally unrelated to photo, is my video work on youtube. I've been working in the vein of the "blair witch project" on purpose. I enjoy the feeling of the vid appearing to be from a players eyes rather than rock solid recording of action. I've used for years "Windows Movie Maker" which Microsoft in its infinite wisdeom dropped from the lastest OS. What to do.
Actually, I learned about an inexpensive program called TrackAx that is supposed to be a nearly foolproof as WMM and offer up more powerful editing tools. I'm going to check it out soon(ish).
I miss my che-ez snap. It was really a horrid little device that made .2, yes POINT 2 megapixel images. Grainy as hell, edges blurred, under exposed and contrasty. It was a toy camera. I adored it and the images it produced. When others around me were busy with cell phone pics and using their big boy cameras I had that with me to take images as well. Hundreds.
You see, that simple fixed focus, pinhole view finder 1 inch by 1 and a half inch camera made wonderfully artsy images. You can spend hours trying to duplicate in Photoshop, but why do that when the camera does it all. All you have to do is concentrate on composition.
Sadly my last one died a horrible death...battery overheated in recharge and its been out of production so long can't even find a left over on Amazon. If I could find one, I'd be all over it.
The self portrait here, actually my first selfie was made in 2003 when I got the first one. What a fun toy that was. More images in my flickr set.
This image was made summer of 1981 while I was living in Death Valley. I drove up to Dante's View a few thousand feet directly above Bad Water, the lowest point in the USA.
I rememver the evening vividly. Yes, it was hot out, well over 100 but oh so gorgeous view. But I digress.
To make this shot I spot metered the dude on the rock. The closest ridge and the distance. I knew I wanted detail in both areas so I shot mid point. I love this image looking north into Death Valley, the dude ads scale to how big that place is.
This morning I was all set to walk along the San Gabriel River. A lovely stroll along the river is what I envisioned. Didn't happen. The Azusa River Wildnerness Park in Azusa was closed because of mudslides 2 weeks ago, and to add insult to injury it was a high fire danger day so they didn't want us anywhere near the brush.
But I did take a drive into the canyons along the river today. I was absolutely gobsmacked by how low the waters was at the dams. One day in particular, the San Gabriel Dam, an earthen dam, was so empty all that was left was muck, flotsam and jetsam and general debris in the bottom.
For those of you not in the Los Angeles Area, or California, you probably aren't aware that we are in a severe drought. Its been several years since we've had "normal" rainfall and our dams are really showing it. This year we are down something along the order of 2/3 of "normal" rainfall which explains the pathetic condition of these dams.Doesn't bode well for us down the hill that rely on this water to recharge our aquifers.
I'll try next week to take a walk along the river in the Azusa River Wildnerness Park. Again
These images were shot with my EOS60D. They are photomergrned into panoramas with the help of CS5. They click to embiggen. If you want the full megapixel view check out my SGV & SGR set on flickr.
Its been a gut wrenching few weeks. Ever since I was told by a major auto manufacturers rep that they weren't interested in car review as much as cars in lifestyle posts I've been reeling. It really came down to "I can't do it". Lifestyle bloggers take perks and write what they are told, not what they honestly believe.
Add in the perfect storm of google ads not paying the way they were supposed to and a huge increase in hosting fees I had to step back and do the "WHOA baby, this is insanity". I killed SoCalAutoBlog as I couldn't morph in good conscious into a "daddy blogger" or similar life style.
So...though I'll still do cars, it will be for the art and documenting a piece of history. I can't change the fact I love cars and all they've symbolized, good, bad and indifferent to our culture.