Everybody already knows the proper way to photograph an antique car. I mean, who doesn't already know that the first thing you want to do is contact the owner well in advance and arrange to have the car parked outdoors all by itself in a wide open space at noon (to minimize shadows and correctly balance the color)? Then, of course, everybody knows to check for embarrassing reflections of other vehicles in the windshield, headlights, or polished finish. And certainly everybody knows about things like bounce flash and fill-in flash, a heavyweight tripod, cable-release and of course, a nice, slow, grainless color film. Everybody already knows that stuff, so there's no point in needlessly demonstrating proper technique.
And that's why yesterday, on one of those rare, beautiful, sunny vacation days when I have the time to do everything right, I decided to demonstrate, for the edification of this club, all the wrong things to do:
I contacted the Southampton Fire Department at the very last minute and asked whether I could drop by and photograph their 1915 Model T Fire Chief's car (yes, the one that Tim, of Gen3, brought back from the dead as a bright and shining jewel). The man in charge agreed to accommodate my last-minute request.
I had not asked for driving directions, nor had I Mapquested the trip, but instead, blindly followed the directions of my GPS, which led me to a number of left-field, non-existant destinations at the height of Long Island Hamptons traffic on the Labor Day Weekend. (Are you all taking notes?)
I arrived late of course, and having caused havoc with the Fire Department's holiday weekend schedule, was given only a few minutes to take my photos and get the heck out of there. (Why do these Emergency Services guys take things so darn seriously?)
Now, having had only dead batteries in my good flash equipment and empty camera, and not having the half-a-brain it takes to think of taking care of all that stuff the day before, I had borrowed my teenage daughter's little digi-camera with built-in flash, had thrown in a quick, 10-minute charge, and that's the professional equipment I brought to bear at this rare opportunity of a photo session, which, as it turned out, happened to take place inside a dimly-lit garage. Of course, all of this was in keeping with my intent to demonstrate the wrong way of doing things.
Well, the photos you see here speak for themselves and I hope you'll gain some new insights from the advanced lesson in photography I'm presenting at this time.
Those are truly horrible pictures. Well done. My pictures often don't turn out much better. Nice T though!
You done good, Kid. Hell, I'll sign up for your Photog class?
And I assume that's their modern, everyday fleet behind it?
Southampton, NY is in a low rent district. Could only afford those other rigs on a payment plan.
Note the oil stained floor......... Need donations for cases of oil to make more stains.
Heck, I wish my local Fire Dept. was so fortunate !!
That A.L.F. firetruck is 50 feet long. I almost got the job of replacing the clutch in it, too bad it didn't need a new one yet. That would have been fun to test drive.
I thought you did a great job with the photos. If I had known you were heading there I would have called the guys that brought it here. I'm sure they would have given you more time to drool and maybe a ride in it. It's a BLAST to drive. Like driving a clown car, you just can't be all serious business - you end up smiling ear to ear, ringing the bell, and waving to everyone.
Tim, the trip to Southampton was very much a spur-of-the-moment thing. I had originally planned a trip to the Model T Museum in Indiana for the Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, last week, I injured my knee to the point where it would need surgery and so, figured it wouldn't be wise to take it on a 14-hour cross-country drive to the Midwest.
Yes, it would have been a blast to spend more time with the fire chief car and yes, I'd have loved a chance to actually DRIVE it! Dang, I really goofed everything up!
Well guys, I appreciate your kind words of camaraderie. Next time I go out on an antique car hunt, I promise to take along a camera that doesn't have a "Hello Kitty" decal on it.