Monday, April 6, 2009

Confessions of a Car Nut.....

Today was an awesome day!!! Sorry I just had to say ‘awesome.’ This was one of those days when ‘awesome’ is required!

It had been so long since I picked up the camera and shot something other than my children. I love my kids, but, sorry guys, “Car Nut” junk yard, my subject for this day, was eye candy. Mommy needed to lose herself in something. Spring finally arrived. It had been a long, long winter. The lot I went to houses around 200 vintage cars. All around me there were Chevs, Fords, Plymouths, and 1950s school buses. There was a taxi from the 50’s that still had the drivers cap inside. There was a beautiful black and red Fury that the owner sometimes drives. His younger brother owns the red Viscount that I had photographed a few years earlier. Gorgeous cars! You can really see the love that went into them.

As soon as I pulled up I could feel the excitement build. I could barely contain myself from jumping out right away and getting lost in the junkyard. Relax, Breathe. (I love, LOVE old cars.)

The owner greeted us and showed us around. (My oldest daughter and her friend tagged along with their cameras.) He has a shed behind the house where he had spent many long winter hours constructing a miniature town with a train the goes around town. Beautiful sight!! The detail he put into was incredible. He had a couple of accidents in the town, a police car ready to give a speeding ticket, passengers waiting at the rail station to board, even a drive-in theatre.

On the walls he had vintage memorabilia. Pictures from way-back-when, license plates from the 60’s, articles from old newspapers, and hubcaps from different models of cars. On the bottom of his miniature town lay headlights and taillights from various years and cars. I was overwhelmed with all the visual stimulation. At times I wondered if I had enough memory cards on me, because I knew I wanted to get some shots of the collections in his shed.

It was incredible to see all of this. I felt very honoured to be allowed to photograph and have his wife and him share stories of their lives. He also showed us the tin train he had won in a coloring contest when he was eight years old. It was so much to take in, I knew that I would have to return to the junkyard and go beyond the cars. There’s so much more to see there than cars.

I really enjoyed hearing his stories of when he was a boy growing up in the house that stands in the yard. (He lives there still.) The kids would play hide-and-seek in the hallways, where it was so dark that someone could walk right past you without notice. The smile on his face as he told his stories was beautiful. I truly felt privileged that he shared his wonderful stories with us.

I finally unloaded the camera gear from my car and was reassured to see that I brought my tripod. Note to self: Tripod is good, use the tripod. Great for pans and HDR photography. But the excitement of the day clouded my judgement and I forgot to use it! Well, I don’t know if it was forgetfulness so much as that I was too busy to spare a moment for fear I might miss something. Off I went clicking away. All you could hear were the birds and my camera. At different times I was sitting on the ground, lying on my back, and climbing. I was gone. I think, no I know, I embarrassed my daughter.

You should have seen the smile on my face. In my mind I was jumping up and down. What’s the expression? – “Giddy like a school girl?” There you go. That was me! I swear I saw the expression on my daughter’s face that said, “Mom get a life.” The hamster in me was running that wheel. I was busy planning each shot. Honestly, my neck is now sore from the effort—self-induced whiplash. Where do I look now, I kept asking myself? Sometimes my daughter and her friend egged me on: “Mom look at this. Paola you gotta see this.”

What I really enjoyed about today, aside from the stories, was just looking at the cars and seeing their faces and expressions. I know it may sound silly, but if you look deep enough the cars from yesteryear have so much character and the stories they could tell you. In fact the owner told me “Some of these cars would rat out teenagers.” I really wanted to be able to capture the individual character of each car, to try to get the viewer to wonder where that car had been, what it had heard over the years, and how it ended up at the yard.

I took over 700 shots (and would have taken more if I had more memory.) I took my time. I could not wait to get home and work on them. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. I even got a chance to put my lens baby to work. I am really happy with the results and I plan on going out there a couple more times. I would love to get more information on the cars and listen to some more stories.
For a free screensaver of my trip to the Junkyard go to Aperture Aside Photographers Web Hub click here.

1 comment:

  1. this place is awesome! where exactly is it?