11 tail lights

18 comments on 11 tail lights
1 minute
Camry tail light
Nikon F2AS, 135mm f/3.5 AI Nikkor, Fujifilm Fujicolor 200
57 Buick Century
Kodak EasyShare Z730
1973 Chevrolet Impala
Canon PowerShot S95
68 Chevy Bel Air Wagon
Kodak EasyShare Z730
Passat tail light
Olympus Stylus, Fujifilm Superia Reala 100 x/3-02
Tail light
Nikon F2AS, 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor, Fujifilm Velvia 50 (exp. 4/12)
66 Ford Galaxie 500 XL
Canon PowerShot S80
Bug light
Nikon N90s, 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor, Fujifilm Industrial 100
Tri lights
Canon TLb, 50mm f/1.8 Canon FD S.C., Kodak Gold 200 (at EI 100)
Impala lights
Pentax ME, 50mm f/1.4 SMC Pentax-M, Kodak Tri-X (at EI 200 by mistake)
1963 Ford Galaxie lightweight
Canon PowerShot S95


18 responses to “11 tail lights”

  1. brandib1977 Avatar

    I love this, maybe because I always photograph the lights as well. You’ve heard me whine about this before but more modern cars do have boring features compared to their older cousins.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s true, but a lot of the reason why has to do with safety standards. Today’s cars are a cage around which a body skin is stretched. It limits what designers can do.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        I known but it still seems like they could do a little better if they actually tried. If you’ve seen one you’ve seen ‘em all.

  2. J P Avatar

    Gorgeous! But I am with brandib in noting that there is so little visual interest in modern taillights (ot other features) compared with the older ones.

    I am sure my photography of cars has improved since I started paying attention to your work, but all it takes is one shot of a car I shot as well (the 72 Lincoln) to see that you found a fab composition I would never have thought of.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That butt shot of the Lincoln is the old crouch-down-and-fill-the-frame trick.

  3. DougD Avatar

    Old taillights are better standalone pieces of art, new ones are more a part of the whole design.
    You were brave to get so close to that 63 Ford rocket nozzle, if it went off you may have found yourself in another galaxie 😉

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Fortunately, the 63 Ford was in dry dock and wasn’t going to do anyone any harm!

  4. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Love this entry…BrandiB and JP have it correct, but it’s not due to the lack of flamboyance in design, but the cost of production. Some of those 60’s era taillights I recognize must have had 15 steps in their production and assembly; I doubt the red plastic on my newer car had more than two.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I read an article a few years ago about how things like tail lights are all outsourced for manufacture now. It’s a different era.

  5. Marc Beebe Avatar

    This is quite a telling series. It demonstrates clearly how even small segments of automotive design have gone from artistic expression to mere utilitarian function. I miss styling.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Today the styling is in the complete package, not in the details. I wonder if it will ever swing back.

  6. Neal Westergaard Avatar
    Neal Westergaard

    Love these, the details are almost always more interesting than the whole. Went to a “Good Guys” car show a few years ago and took several hundred images of hood ornaments.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I agree, it’s very interesting to move in close and really look at these cars through the camera lens.

  7. Reinhold Graf Avatar

    Wonderful, this is history at its best 👏🏻

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you!

  8. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    Wonderful! New Zealanders are quite fond of American cars (I learned to drive in a 1955 Chev) but we don’t see so many of them!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Why is that? Do you get your cars primarily from Asia?

      1. Steve Mitchell Avatar

        when I was young they came mostly from the UK. Now it would be Japan, Korea and Europe. Classic American cars are imported by enthusiasts, new cars are only the Ford Mustang in the last two or three years and a small number of pickup trucks. We had a lot of Australian cars but they are no longer made.

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