Film Photography

Car parts

I recently updated my 2012 review of the Pentax K1000; see it here. On my first ever roll in that camera I walked through the parking lot at work, photographing colorful everyday cars up close. I’ve always thought these photos were fun. A couple of these have been only on my hard drive all these years.

Jeep light

Over at Curbside Classic, the old-car blog to which I sometimes contribute, someone will occasionally post a parking-lot photo from 30 or 50 years ago. It’s always great fun to see the everyday cars of the era. The cars that get saved or restored tend to be the more noteworthy or upper-trim models.

Decklid

These photographs are far too close up to ever provide much of that feeling of nostalgia. But even seven years later, when was the last time you saw a Dodge Neon R/T (above)? Even the once-ubiquitous Chevy Malibu Maxx (below) is starting to be thin on the ground.

LT V6

Cars date photographs. I follow a group on Facebook for vintage photographs of Indiana. The posters are often left to guess when photos were made. Because I have good knowledge of American automobiles after World War II, I can frequently help narrow it down. “That had to be made no earlier than 1968 because there’s a 1968 Chevy in the photo.”

Sidewalk?

I made all of these photos with my 50mm f/2 SMC Pentax-M lens on Fujicolor 200.

It’s easy to make detail photos of old cars; there are so many details. I find newer cars to be more challenging. Revisiting these seven-year-old photographs makes me want to try more often now.

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10 thoughts on “Car parts

  1. I make no claim to be a great photographer. I mainly shoot cars with a cellphone. But I must give you credit for the improvement I have seen in my results over the last several years. Shots like these have been an education in composition.

    With all of the black white and silver cars in modern parking lots I would think that this would be a good subject for your black and white stuff too. 😀

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  2. Cars are something I don’t photograph enough of. Occasionally on a walk I’ll come across what could be considered vintage (like a rusting orange/yellow VW Golf Cabriolet circa 1982ish on a favourite walk), but rarely photograph them.

    I do agree that cars can pinpoint the date of a photo pretty well. It’s always strange seeing old photos (or indeed old films) where cars that are now rare and vintage are plentiful, new and shiny!

    Like Stuart said about Jeeps, I’ve always loved Land Rovers, and the basic body shape hasn’t really changed from the Series II in the late 60s to the present day. Though most these days are designer urban taxis rather than the off road utilitarian vehicles they were designed as.

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  3. bodegabayf2 says:

    When I was a kid, I could name any make and model…sometimes even the model year…with just a quick glance. These days, it takes a bit more study. And I am in the retail automotive business

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    • Same here. I still can, for anything made 1950-1980. But the refresh cycles are so long now, and the year-to-year updates so minor. Also, I have less time to pay attention to this stuff as an adult and there are entire generations of modern cars where I recognize it as “one from that generation” but I don’t know exactly what years that generation was built.

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