what's up?


1938 plymouth

almost didn't get up for the oldies' show today. knew the heat there can be brutal. after a half an hour of inner arguments, i got my sorry ass out of bed and got ready to go.

out the door a little after five, and with a forty-five minute drive ahead of me, knew i'd lost the sunrise, at least the full dark to that sun peeking over the horizon.

got there early enough anyway, to catch some of the golden hour. almost didn't get in the gate. usually, no problem, no question, pay my way in, and get to work.

this year, i'd arrived just as the gates opened for clubs, and no one at the gate recognized me. they seemed confused as to how to handle a photographer that didn't work for a magazine, simply wanted to shoot for the love of the cars. i guess the main confusion was in my wording of, "can i come in now," implying that i wanted in for free. nope, fully prepared/expecting to pay, just let me in before the sun gets too high.

in the end, after the question getting passed through about three people, the guy one called, "grampa" let me in for ten, though i would've paid the thirteen advertised. so thanks to all of those people that figured it all out, and helped me get in.

probably the closest i've come to being turned away at a show. i would have just stayed out on the street for a little while, shooting the cars passing by, as they waited in line at the gate, since that was where i was parked, first on the curb. certainly would have left a hell of a lot sooner, because it really did get to warm to be in the sun for long periods of time.

at least there were shady areas, with cool breezes, for a change from the normal weather there. and with the fire in santa clarita, a few miles away, the breeze blew away that smell of burnt wood and ash within the first hour.

blah blah blah.

ok, this was the second year in a row, out of about five years that i'd been there, and it was slow to fill up. first couple of years, it was packed, with cars lined down the street and around the block. i dont' know why many of the shows lately are so lightly attended that early, unless you consider the partying the night before.

well, i just go with it, and the cars that are there get all my love, with room to move around.

this plymouth was being polished when i walked by the second time, and i momentarily waited for him to take a break from the job. i think he said it belonged to his uncle or cousin, who also owned another car that was later parked in front of it. told him i'd come back later when he was done.

i did, but i like this earlier shot better than the later ones. there was space around it to get a decent shot, and no people.

the kid was interested in seeing what i shot, but i explained that it was multiple exposures, so he wouldn't really be that impressed by one frame. told him i'd post it, so here you go.

i like the playing cards that were blowing randomly down the street. guessing from the newer, fancier cars around the corner with the mirrors and fuzzy material under their vehicles. one did have a pack of card strewn about on the blanket. 

may day, may day

posting this truck for the owner, who came over and talked with me. seeing the plaque on the truck, i asked if he ever goes to the show at san fernando high school. he said his club hosts it, so yeah, i guess he does.

he drove a long way to be in this show. i think it was worth it. so many great cars. perfect day; only reason we left was that so many people arrived to see the cars, they were just getting in the shots, and we were afraid they'd trip on the tripod legs or knock the camera over.

i guess we could have just walked around and shot hand-held with the macro lens, just hunting down hood ornaments. i took sixty-three gigabytes of pictures, so, i have enough to keep me happy for a while. better half had already packed up his bag, and though he said he was happy to follow me around with the bags, i decided we should just go.

let the sunshine in

i've had a completely unambitious weekend so far. mostly catching up on sleep. did a little laundry.

still need to make some travel plans for next month. kid getting married out of town. those plans are done. also making a road trip out of it, so need to decide how much in debt i want to go, since it would just be me, out and about, during the holiday season. i could hole up in a random hotel somewhere, and hide out until xmas passes.

or i can just head straight home, and spend time with my better half and his mom, then head to my parents' for what is, lately, quiet xmas dinner. my brothers have moved out of state, so it's just my sister and me now.

some years, i just don't want to deal with holiday cheer; some i'll reluctantly participate. this year, i'm feeling a bit indifferent about it. no little kids around for the time being, so i can still choose not to deal with it.

i'm sure the closer to xmas it gets, the likelihood of me just saying 'fuck it' will go up.


getting to car shows early, and catching pictures like this one, cheer me up just fine. 

oldies' san fernando high school car show in july—hasn't disappointed me yet. even if it is hotter than hell there, i try to do my best to at least have a look at every car there. except those extreme machines. hate those cars. really, i do.

valley high

gonna post this, because i had it ready to go. i did make it uptown to the show today, and i'll start posting some of those soon, after i move from out of the front of this fan, and into a cold shower.

i'm way behind posting on recent shows. just been too busy and not home enough.

this one was from san fernando last month. love this show—oldies car club is very efficient about getting things organized, and moving the cars in. plus, they've let me in early for the three or four years i've made the trip up there.

pretty much have decided, since my better half mostly hasn't been able to join me at car shows lately, that if i can't find decent parking, in a relatively safe looking neighborhood, i'm not hanging around. luckily, i haven't had to leave one yet. there are other places i can be, which is the great part about socal and the los angeles area.

i think this is one of theirs. was in a line of their other cars, in the last parking lot i made it to before i was done. not sure which i liked most—the car or the hood ornament. liked the pop of the red, of the wheels, and the subtle pinstriping.

early bird gets the...

got to san fernando so early, that i parked on the curb near the entrance, and could have parked even closer, but held back a few car lengths. years' past there had been a line of cars down the street and around the corner. not entirely sure why it wasn't the case this time, but i needn't have worried--so many showed up later. must have been hungover, or, egads, they went to church?

i get to shows early, just for opportunities like these. no people in the shot, that glowing morning light, always chasing the light. gotta setup and shoot quickly, or you miss it. no gold reflectors needed. still, i got there too late for the transition from dark blue to purple to orange. oh well.

can't remember which club these two belong to...don't remember any club insignia, though they were later surrounded by a zillion pachuco club cars. i just know that i saw them across the field first thing, with that golden light, and went as quickly as i could to them.

loved the light hitting the hood ornament on the plymouth, and that it showed it's age, hadn't been replaced with a shiny new piece.

camera bags don't roll too good on grass. maybe they should make them with bigger wheels. that glow with fiber optic light. nah, wouldn't really blend into the background that way.


crazy busy weekend/week ahead. day off on friday, mother-in-law's birthday; a graduation saturday, followed by a drive to vegas. a week there (any local shows besides cars and coffee?). car shows when i get back. thoughts: uptown whittier car show or bridal shower for future daughter-in-law??? hmmm hmmm hmmm.

gotta figure out how/when to take 100+ hours of vacation time before the end of the year. my mom just changed her mind and said she'd be willing to do a road trip. interesting. wait a few days...she'll change her mind.

field of "dreams"

this stunning pontiac was parked on the baseball field. almost walked past the entrance to the field, since the majority of cars parked toward the front, where you could see them, were the big, loud, overdone newer type cars. i wanna say the guys with the teeny peenies, that need to compensate, but maybe they just really like those types of cars. not my cup of tea.

anyway, saw this on the same field out the corner of my eye. sitting next to an old chevy. that one is nice too. so i hiked across the infield, remembering when my kid played ball, and then it hit me. the sweet stench. a recently "fertilized" field on a hot, hot day. oh, how i felt sorry for these poor bastards, having to hang out on that field all day with their cars.

i suppose you eventually don't notice it, but later, when they get back in the car, what about the "dirt" on the bottom of the shoes? lots of air freshener will be needed.

as i was saying, really nice car. really nice owner. chatted a bit. happy, happy guy. i liked the pinstriping, and of course, the hood ornament.

butt, gumby

saw this car at bob's big boy in downey, back in 2011. saw it drive onto the back field here at san fernando, and headed over.

usually, it's nice to see another car reflected in the paint, kind of a two-fer-one deal. i knew that bright orange car was there, didn't think it would be too bad, since it's a complimentary color. but now, all i can see is the butt:

kinda ruins a good picture for me. but the butt makes me smile. maybe next time i'll catch the car in a field without such a close neighbor, or ask him to move it—something i don't typically do—shoot it where i find it.

anyway, the owner, let's call him noah, since his shirt was stitched with "noah" on it, was very nice. chatted a bit. i mentioned i'd seen the car before in downey, and he did remember being there. said he'd seen a picture of it on the computer...thought maybe it was one i took? possibly, but i'm sure than one person that's shot it before.

junk in the trunk

i do notice these cars; i just don't always bother to shoot them. only the exceptional ones catch my eyes, be it the art, the chrome, the details.

saw this majestics car out at the oldies san fernando show last year. i really liked the glittery airbrushing on the roof, but i'm not tall enough to get a good shot usually. 

i also like the engraving details on the metal of the plaque.

there was a woman sitting behind the car, holding a sleeping baby. i thought the child was so beautiful, but i dare not take a picture, that would be too up close and personal, at least without permission.

look at all the chrome fun in the back end. what is that? stereo equipment or just the hydraulics? pretty sure they don't drive this to the supermarket.

back to school

1951 chevrolet bel air

yup, another bel air. i can. 

i just liked how i caught the car and the school sign, and how it framed up. could almost imagine that it's the 1950s, save for the overhead electrical lines...did they have those there back then? ditto for the school logo.

and that i got all my shots between groups of people walking down the sidewalk. patience pays off sometimes. must have been an early in the day shot.

second time i'd been out the july show in san fernando, this time on my own, as my better half was very sick. i know he hated to miss it. many more cars there than the previous year. lots of awesome cars, and good vibes. it is included on our do not miss list now, and we'll be there next year.


countdown to turkey day, and i don't care. family gatherings test my introvert's boundaries.

if anyone has peeked at this blog over the last couple of years, you know how much the march up to xmas just makes me more and more morose. one year, before i remarried, i did just hide out at my house for xmas, because that's what i wanted. so everyone left me be. and i was fine with it.

no, santa didn't leave me any toys there, nor lumps of coal. i found the usual gifts from "santa" over at my parents' house, so curious that he always has had the same handwriting as my mom as long as i can remember. hmm hmmm.


throwing in this pic of the real reason you guys show up at these shows, apart from the camaraderie. a very large table full of trophies. of the many categories awarded, i just don't know how the judges narrow it down to the lucky few.


backside story

1959 chevy impala

found a group of impalas at san fernando in the new lot they opened this year. love the '59s. plain vanilla up front, party in the back.

so the owners are all sitting behind the cars, enjoying the shade and something that smells vaguely of skunk. i think they're feeling pretty relaxed by this time of day. 

so i'm trying to jam myself between them and the back of their cars, trying to get the best angles on the fins and stuff. i don't know if they're enjoying the show, because i'm crawling around down low and looking up into the viewfinder, so you know, my back end is behind their back end, and you know...

whatever. so i see this nice view of the car, and i really really want the shot. and as i'm setting it up and about to click the shutter, this lady walks over to talk to a couple of guys that are just out of the frame. so, okay. i'll wait. patience usually wins out in this situation. happens all the time. after a few minutes, i'll try the meaningful look at the interloper. if they continue to be clueless, i suppose i start glaring, but not going to ask them to move, as they have just as much right to be there as i do.

at some point after ten minutes of looking balefully at her, and chatting with the owners, i'm getting overheated, there are plenty of other cars to shoot, and she isn't budging, and probably never even noticed me sitting there.

usually, i wouldn't wait that long, but i like the car. usually, i'd just pick up my stuff and move along. but no, this was kinda starting to make me smile, so i shot it. if she can ignore me, i can ignore her. i like the car. i didn't like the skunk. the end.