what's up?

bass ackwards

1941 chevy hood ornament

1941 chevy hood ornament

i did shoot this ornament from this side, but feel like it needs to be flipped, so it's "looking towards the future." but the drivel filling the space below, is looking back a few days, about a photography class i attended, here in hot, but not yet sultry, florida.


i've always done things in not quite the proper or expected way, be it kid first, wedding second, changing my name for one but not for another. my mother must have been disappointed at the time, and continues to be confused by my choices.

sitting here in florida for the past three days hanging out with hundreds of photographers, wannabes, and world-renown experts in photography and photoshop, taking in my annual training/improving my skills/learn how to do stuff better at work thing. while not feeling like a complete idiot with a camera, i am surrounded by not just a few camera snobs. if it ain't canon or nikon, it ain't shit. 

i'm sorry. your camera has a sony sensor...look it up. 

first day, i took a class on posing people and lighting. need to learn more about it, since i will have to shoot headshots for work. three hours of the instructor's explanations and examples, then an hour letting us take turns with four studio setups with lights and models. 

here i show up with the only sony i have that will accept their flash trigger. even tested that it would actually work with the lights before class. no problemo. 

before she lets us loose to work with the models, she gives us the camera settings for iso, shutter speed and so forth, in manual mode. check, check, and check, but then there is one setting blinking on my screen--m.m. -2.0. i'm in line to shoot and i cannot figure out what the camera needs to make it stop. to me, a negative exposure is going to be dark. i can't find any setting in the menus showing anything but zero.

i ask the people around me, since many actually do take pictures in studios and/or have some intermediate knowledge of what we're doing. camera settings are camera settings, regardless of brand name; it's the menus that are different, that freak people out.

they all take a look at my screen and get a strange look on their face, not recognizing the display.  when they see that it's a sony, they back away as if i've brought a voodoo doll to class and i've already shoved a pin in it. fine. i get out of line and ask the instructor. she can't help either, but says the other settings are good.

i head back to the line i was in, heading to the end, but they had saved my spot, and i was next. fuck. 

i'm seriously shy, and out of my comfort zone as it is, but i go for it, cuz it's my turn, and we're all pretending like we know stuff. 

i walk up and shake hands with the model, in this setup, it' a guy who might as well be ryan reynolds' twin brother. sure i can work with deadpool.

i tell him my name and confess that i am completely out of my element and haven't worked with directing people before. these models expect that, and will help by doing some initial poses to start you shooting. great, right? 

no. i put my camera up to my eye and i see...nothing. it's dark. hmmm. ok, then open the screen on the back of the camera, same thing. hold it up and blindly point it at the guy and squeeze off a few frames, and yes, the big ass lights fire as they should. but i can't see what i'm shooting, so i pass the trigger to the next guy and quickly go back to my seat, not bothering with the other setups.

i know it is probably something simple but i don't know what term to look up to fix it. i send my better half a picture of the flashing display, but he was really very busy with work at that moment and didn't know off the top of his head. 

aside from that, i've only brought two lenses with me. one is perfect for close-up headshots and/or stand from a good distance to get more of the body or motion in the frame, being a prime lens on my crop sensor. not enough space for that, but i really want it's sharpness.  

the other was my wide angle, which, is good for cars, but i really didn't want to be all up in their faces or want the distortion.  

i ended up changing back to my usual settings i like for car shows. everything normal, screen and viewing through eyepiece just as expected. wtf. i just watched everyone else and fired a few shots of models from where i was. then class was over.

wasn't pissed that it didn't work, because it did...there was just a setting that i didn't know and no one to help think it through. 

i was back at my car, trying to decide where to get dinner when my better half calls and says he found out what i needed to do to fix it. really was just a matter of making the camera not use the "live" view feature which was trying to interpret the settings given by the teacher, and making it a very dark screen, as the flash hadn't fired as i looked through the eyepiece yet. a simple menu setting to turn it off, but not in an obvious place when you don't know what you're looking for. 

oh well. not a completely wasted day, but very frustrating.

i did enjoy the older gentleman, who seemed to like to brag about his experience and what he does, in a very loud, deep voice, to anyone and everyone. not only that day, but over the next couple as well. bloviating, self important, and obnoxious.

i guess he is that insecure, he needed to hear everyones' praises when he showed off some of his images. even submitted one for an instructor to critique. teacher said it was ok, not great, more of a lucky shot. he argued with the story behind the picture, how he had to wait to get it, and that the company had used it for a calendar and other things, with him getting paid in benefits like a free membership for a year, etc. i wanted to tell him to just shutup.

headed out again

back at lax, in an apparently newer terminal. work is paying for this trip, so i enjoyed breakfast from wolfgang puck, but there were also options from the habit or wahoos. interesting. lax has always been more of a run down dump before. maybe i've just never flown this carrier before. anyway, nice so far. acoustics suck for announcements and someone keeps opening a security door, setting off ear searing alarms. 

i only worked three days this week, but i feel like i packed forty hours into them, staying late trying to get stuff done. zero time to play with my pictures, so i just snagged this one straight from the camera this morning, no editing...didn't even have time to slap my name on it. oh well. 

going to miss chicano park day, and i'm really bummed. one of my favorite shows, and better half and i usually make a weekend in san diego out of it. responsibilities keeping him home, and here i am off on another trip without him. 

off to florida, where both of my brothers are, so maybe i can catch them both somewhere in the middle of the state. my mom wants me to be sure and take pictures--she was peeved that i took exactly zero pictures of relatives last week. seriously.

has been a crazy month, but i guess i did it to myself. i needed to get away and do the stereotypical recharge. missing the cars tho... 

i have a few other hood ornaments to get me through the week, if i feel the need to say anything. ttfn, my flight is boarding... 


1936 chevrolet

back in washington dc with my bro. his wife and kids flew in yesterday. their hotel reservations got screwed up and not enough beds. bro stayed with me, since i had two beds.

now she's spending her morning on the phone yelling at expedia customer service, trying to switch hotels. she has already been disconnected once. feeling like we should fetch the kids and take them out while she deals with that. 

anyway, a few more days and headed home. has been fun, but missing my better half. hope he will pick me up at the airport. pretty sure he will...ya he will, no worries.


another sunrise shot. tired of them yet? i suppose i should sleep in more often and just shoot when the sun is high and harsh, and see if there is any 'mood' to be found at high noon.  middle of a dusty road, shoot-out, just like an old western flick.


1964 chevrolet impala convertible

pretty impala out at garden grove a few weeks ago. hadn't stopped there in about a year, and it certainly has shrunk since i used to go five years ago. 

there are a few cars i like here and there, so was pretty happy to see this drive up. parked in a nice spot too, able to include the "historical street" arch in the background, as an extra framing device. 


here with my younger bro on a roadtrip down memory lane on the east coast. been a great trip so far, perfect weather, and not quite overcrowded by spring breakers.

we're up in the mountains of west virginia today, and it is supposed to rain all day, and start snowing around midnight. temp was in the eighties here a couple of days ago, and will be again after the snow.

got a couple more hours to go to see some relatives i basically haven't seen much since i was a kid, but my bro has been more in touch with, so should be ok. we'll stay a night or two, then head back down the hills to dc. 

after that, i have three more days before heading home for a few days, then on a plane again. crazy month, but it's fun, consoling myself for missing chino cornfeed run and chicano park day.

missing my better half tho... 


1960 impala

1960 impala

after a lot of time wasted plotting a trip to london and france with my bro, his wife shot that idea down  at the last minute, citing his kids' spring break and family time. i secretly think she didn't want him to go to europe without her. maybe he's a little pw, but we changed plans and are staying in the states.

i should have just gone by myself, what with the british pound being eighty cents to our dollar...was really a bargain, even with last minute booking.

so here i am, sitting in lax way too early in the morning, heading out to the east coast. i think i've gotten about six hours of sleep the last couple of nights, and i'm tired. burned out and ready to just be away from work.

going roadtrippin' with hotels booked tonight and the last, and no idea where in between.  spending more money i don't have, just to relax ese.

what i'm saying is, i'll be away from my computer, so those few people i talked to at the last show about their cars, well, you'll just have to keep waiting to see the pictures. sorry, ran out of time.

i'll be gone for a week and a half, back in the office for three days, then back to the east coast on a business trip.

busy month, and going to miss a few of my favorite shows 😞  east coast shows are mostly muscle cars, so <yawn>.

better half staying home with his mom, so if you happen to see him moping around uptown, say hi. 


i have a couple of older shots i can post, but nothing new, besides this beauty. shot it earlier this year, at the dia de los muertos in whittier, and here it was at walnut high school. owner came right up and said hi, but had to remind me about where i'd met him before. as soon as he said it, i knew exactly where it was...better at remembering the cars than faces and/or names, until i meet you a few times.

nothing better than to hear the kid say, "i used to follow you, but..." ya other stuff gets your attention. no big. not writing anything worth reading anyway. just drivel. gave him another card. 

shot a bunch of different angles, but this is the only one i had time to fiddle with...still sorting through the two hundred car shots i did take that day. 

was a pretty good day for a show. usually a hot and sweaty day in walnut at this annual show, but the chance of rain this particular day, with the clouds blowing through, kept it a mostly comfortable temp, with a cool breeze. 

appreciated a slightly inebriated guy, in different part of the parking lot, manplaining how the noisy chevy deluxe driving away on the street, just on the other side of the fence, was all original and therefore more valuable.  keep 'em noisy is all i could say, as i watched it driving away. then he proceeded to talk me around an old thirty-six chevy, pointing out the skirts and chrome bits that add several thou to the value. then he just wandered away. ok then.


guess i'll go wander around the terminal and watch planes take off. better half would have liked that part. ttfn. 

abuelo's 55

1955 chevrolet truck

quick post. quickly realizing there is not enough time to get everything done before vacation or in a day, even.

told a few people i'd post pics of their cars from last weekend's walnut high school fundraiser/unidos car club show. 

only one i've had time to get to so far. sorry. 

gotta get to work now...more later.

just testing

clearly, i haven't bothered to learn any video editing skillz, but i'll still shoot some video sometimes. usually, when the cars are moving and i can't do what i like to do.

haven't tried uploading video here, since i switched over to the new layout, so figured i'd give it a try. 

shot some video clips last week, since they gate guard wouldn't let me in, so just shot cars while they rolled past.

i'll add a few more, if the first one works ok, for chuckleberries.

jack sprat

1925 ford model t

feel like posting something different. saw this ford last week in south gate. the car was just a car, but it did stand out just because the entire body of it was covered in airbrushed figures and skulls. big modern wheels, with tires so new, the sticker is still on that front tread.

the little back lantern lights remind me of the haunted mansion, or maybe herman munster. 


better half has been working from home for over a month now, with a couple more to go. he has his reasons. he has taken advantage of the time to also eat better, since the kitchen is right there. he has a lot on his plate, so to speak, but is dealing with it in healthy ways. 

to get to the point, he's lost more than twenty pounds in a month, mostly by eating vegetables and fish, and avoiding sugar. and he likes it. 

me, i never liked veggies, and barely can stand to eat a salad once a month. and i think i easily gain five pounds in the same amount of time, without trying, especially since i hit the last big birthday milestone.

don't know how many nights i go to sleep, thinking tomorrow will be the day i will stop drinking coke, only to fail by lunchtime.

i cannot imagine how he can say he likes eating vegetables, it's just not in my vocabulary. they're just gross. maybe my mom just didn't cook them right or just overcooked them to make them unappetizing. maybe i was a picky kid who has become a picky big kid. mentally i know i need to make lifestyle changes to kick my metabolism back into gear, but i never had to think about it before. and i don't know how. how do i say no to the random craving for cookie dough? just don't, i know--diversions.

trying to walk more, now that i have changed my work hours, but i'm inconsistent. mostly, i just want to sleep. 

so what i'm trying to say is i'm happy for my better half getting healthy. sorry i've gotten so squishy the last five years; time has caught up with me, and i guess i will have to figure out how to do better just to keep up. it sucks getting old.


1948 chevy stylemaster

appropriate signage, no? i'll add this to my annual review goals: work hard and get me a stylish old chevy. think they'd go for it? nah. but they might be interested in this picture if the little in-house photo competition actually happens, unless they make me be a judge. then i couldn't participate, right?

i'm kinda thinking i got better shots out in the parking lot than inside on the grass. mostly because i got the early morning light here versus later, harsher light. pfft. it happens. i say i got lucky; better half says the more i shoot, the luckier i get. 

i've shot this car elsewhere, but i do kinda like this one now. and if i shoot it again in the future, i'll probably like that one better too. 


limping my way through two more weeks until vacation. though the time off i have scheduled this month for vacation and business trips will make me miss a few of my favorite annual car shows.  that part sucks, that and traveling without my better half; hoping to spend some time with my brothers, so i guess that will make up for things somewhat.

early and late

buick eight

had a choice of two shows i wanted to go to today. just needed to pick which to do first. pretty much knew which would have more cars, so decided to start with the other one, just to be ornery.

past years' at this show in south gate had been quite busy, with an abundance of cars waiting to get in before the sun was up. so based on that thought, i was there by five-thirty.

aside from the people working the show, there was exactly one impala, which turned out to belong to one of the workers. so i sat in my car and waited. i watched the lone guy waiting to check in cars that were late registers, observed the trash collectors. 

it was almost an hour before the next show car drove in, then another fifteen minutes before the first club showed up. by then the sun was up enough, the "golden hour" was about done.

got out and started shooting anyway. more arrived, so that was good, though still not the consistent numbers as before.

when they opened the gates of the golf course, i headed over and took some video of cars driving past. i suppose i'll post some clips when i have more time.

once there was a lull in the drive-ins, i tried to talk my way in, expecting to pay and get in as usual. but noooo, the lady at the gate said i had to buy a ticket at the ticket entrance. problem with that plan was that the entrance didn't open until ten and it was only about eight.

i should have taken that as a point to head over to lincoln park there and then. but i was tired, and hopeful that one of the other workers would take pity on me and help me out. a couple said to talk to jackie. i was about to head over to watch the girls' softball game for a while when one of the groundskeepers offered to chat with the lady at the gate. by the time i figured out who jackie was, i was being helped out at nine-thirty by that guy, who got me in the ticket gate only a little early. good enough.

just a photographer, feeding her habit, i mean hobby, doesn't always work at the gate. if i'd said i was with a magazine, i wouldn't have been on the list, so why bother fibbing?

so, with the light changing already, i got to work. there wasn't much really, that i hadn't already shot in the parking lot. there was plenty of room, as they hadn't even filled half the field, but the weather was perfect, with lots of shade, so i made the best of the situation.

couldn't decide which picture to post, so closed my eyes, and picked this one. it's a buick, but i can't quite figure which year from the fifties it is specifically.

only stayed inside until a little past noon. decided to skip the other show, as i needed lunch and kinda felt icky. my guts hurt. i suppose i should see a doctor about that.