Auto typography

12 comments on Auto typography
2 minutes

Every May I go to the giant Mecum Spring Classic muscle car auction held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. It is one of the top-five most favorite things I do for myself every year. I spend many happy hours there wandering around the old cars, and I take hundreds of photographs. I especially love to move in close and photograph each car’s little details.

I recently wrote a post for Curbside Classic about the excellent typographical design behind some of the badges on classic automobiles. While I was sorting through photos I took at the Mecum that illustrated my point, I found several other photos I wanted to share with you here just because they’re pleasing photos, at least to me.

I love the way the light falls across the hood and grille of this 1939 Ford.

1939 Ford Deluxe c

When I shoot my Canon S95 at its widest setting (28 mm), it can create a slight twisting effect in the image’s corners. I put it to good use in this photo of a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS.

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 b

This is among my favorite photos ever, of a hood scoop from a 1970 Dodge Super Bee. I love how the light falls on the matte scoop and the shadow the scoop casts, set off by the shiny yellow paint.

70 Dodge Super Bee

This is another of my all-time favorite photos, of the domed hood on a 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe. I so enjoy how the clouds reflect in the paint. I like this photo so much I had notecards made of it!

1951 Chevrolet Deluxe c

This 1959 Plymouth Sport Fury is every bit as long as this photo makes it look.

1959 Plymouth Sport Fury

The main hall at the auction always has several late-60s Dodge Chargers (like this one from 1969). I always move in close to the badge to capture how the light from the skylight bends across the car’s sail panel.

1969 Dodge Daytona

I like how this 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 reflects me! This car is black, but up close it took on a mirror finish.

67 Olds Delmont 88

The next Mecum Spring Classic is May 14-19. You’d better believe I’ll be there.


12 responses to “Auto typography”

  1. ryoko861 Avatar

    Yup, it’s all about the details!!

    1. Jim Avatar

      Somehow the details aren’t as much fun on modern cars.

      1. ryoko861 Avatar

        Costs too much to bling out cars these days. They try to push that cars have styling, but they don’t.

  2. pesoto74 Avatar

    Maybe I sound like an old fogey, however I can’t help thinking when I see these images that we seem to have lost the sense of style that we once had.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Then I must be an old fogey too.

  3. Michael Avatar

    I’ve liked most of your car shots over the years. When doing engine compartments outside (or any darker subject with bright background), you might try using some fill flash to get more detail from the dark compartment though it may be a challenge to limit reflections since they use so much chrome and still get the angle you desire. Perhaps a better option is to use a tripod and exposure bracket so you can merge the shots later. The S100 allows HDR within the camera, but I don’t think the S95 had that.

    1. Jim Avatar

      I can experiment with fill flash at this year’s Mecum, but I don’t see any way I would want to carry a tripod around. Mine’s pretty light but it would slow me way down each time I wanted to use it, and would certainly get in the way of the hundreds of other people milling about.

      1. Michael Avatar

        If you’re steady, you may get by without one (or use it as a monopod instead). Some image editing software that does HDR can merge pics that are shifted slightly.

  4. davidvanilla Avatar

    Agreeing that “style” in the automotive world is a thing of the past.
    I’ll get to go to the Mecum vicariously, for you will be there with camera!

    1. Jim Avatar

      Isn’t that what blogging is all about — living vicariously through others’ lives?

  5. Mike Avatar

    Nice bunch of car shots. The selfie is good too.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Thanks Mike. Nice to see you ’round these parts again.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: