These Three Photographs – Cars

In person I might be a little shy on conversation, but give me a written platform and I can ramble for hours.

Whilst common blogging wisdom might say share short posts often to get most reach and response from your readers, I generally write much longer posts, and less frequently.

So to punctuate the inevitable continuation of these deeper meanderings, I thought I’d start a series of more regular short, punchy posts, entitled “These Three Photographs”. 

First up, Cars.

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One of my favourite local gardens is Borde Hill. It has enough space to wander and feel you can get lost in, yet enough formally tended areas to enjoy swathes of organised floral colour. Plus a few ancient decaying greenhouses and an old brick potting shed which make excellent photographic subjects.

The day I took this photograph I stumbled across a vintage Rover show in the main field of the gardens and couldn’t resist exploring and taking a few shots. Cars are wonderful to photograph, especially vintage ones with all their gloss and curves and chrome.

This was a strangely nostalgic trip too – walking past a number of these old beauties the scent of warm leather wafting through open windows on a summer’s day reminded me of the few classic cars my dad had, not least of all a black Morris Minor with cracked red leather seats.

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This old Sujuki SJ jeep has been abandoned in the woods across the back of where we live, and I’ve visited a number of times to check in the progress of its decay and try and find some new angles.

The photograph above isn’t my favourite of the SJ, the sharpest or the cleanest. I just like that I was trying something a bit different (for me) with the self portrait in the mirror.

You can probably just make out I was using a 35mm film SLR, this time a Canon AV-1.

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I would claim this is the best photograph I ever made with this lens, a Yashica DSB 50/1.9. It didn’t see a great deal of action, and I was hoping it would be as good as the ML versions, but it just didn’t seem to be capable of anything special.

Except this shot. Everything just seemed to work as I’d hoped – the depth of field, the tones, the subtle grain of the film, the curves.

I also kind of like that, in a world of relentlessly hectic change, Ford have had the same basic emblem and colour of blue for decades. It’s somehow reassuring.

What are your experiences of photographing cars? Please let us know (and feel free to share links) in the comments below. 

Thanks for reading. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too.

11 thoughts on “These Three Photographs – Cars”

  1. Thanks Jon I appreciate your comments, and I’m glad some enjoy the longer rambles! Some posts just can’t be split up without losing the flow or integrity overall. Whereas if I have a set format like this These Three Photographs series, I can fit in with that quite comfortably.

    Thanks again.

  2. All three of these photos have interesting qualities. The depth of the colors in the first one, coupled with the hexagonal light spots in the bokeh, drew me in and led me to look deeply into the photo for some time. The Suzuki photo does a great job of capturing gritty decay. And I love how the Ford shot has layers of isolation: the car against a black background, and the logo/grille in focus against blurred car parts beyond.

  3. Nice post and should be an interesting series to add to your thread. I can’t say how many car photos I have taken. I used to own a Jensen Interceptor and went to many many car shows as well as visiting vintage racing events like Goodwood. Haven’t taken much in that vein of late really as I kind of done it to death as it were. I appreciate these shots though, I don’t recognise the Ford model in the last.

    1. Jensen Interceptor! Don’t see many of those anymore! I’m pretty sure the Ford is a Popular, if you look closely it says on the badge. 😀

      Do you photograph any cars these days?

      1. I don’t so much, I don’t really relate to the American classics in quite the same way although I have occasionally succumbed

        1. I got get into classic English and American cars just as much I think, both very appealing in their own ways. Next summer I think I’ll try to visit more classic car shows with camera!

  4. I tend to really photograph my own car or cars that I find are placed where I can capture an image without too many people in the way. For example this one ( https://www.instagram.com/p/BMVFGqFBtcO/?hl=en&taken-by=victorbustamantephoto ) (sorry for the Instagram link) I took because the car was broken down in the street. You can’t see it but there was a cone behind the car and in front of the car, I just kind of casually moved the front cone so it wouldn’t be in my way when shooting the car.
    This photo ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/154725053@N06/38590932766/in/dateposted-public/ ) (sorry for having it cropped 1×1 square 😥 ) I took while I was on my way home at 3 am. It was a foggy day and I thought that since the streetlight made the scene moody, why not add my car into the mix.
    I do try and go to a car show called Cars and Coffee. Its a show that comes on the first Saturday of the month and its in the early morning hours. I try and shoot photos, but I don’t end up liking them because of the number of people that are in the way of the cars, however, I did manage to catch an old Army Jeep (https://www.flickr.com/photos/154725053@N06/38646980181/in/dateposted-public/ ) that had a flag planted on the rear. I was walking past it but the flag in the reflection caught my eye and made me turn back and take the image, personally one of my favorites.

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