I’ve been bored today and it was very sunny outside, but way too hot in my living room. It was hot outside too, but not that hot. I wanted to walk outside, and after that I wanted to visit my mother. But today I didn’t want to leave the city, I wanted to try something new in photography. I had the idea already yesterday, I thought I need to take some photos of cars because I barely have some in my library.
I thought it would be pretty easy. Just look for a car dealer in the city and take photos of the cars. And you know what? It really could be easy, but the issue is that they park their cars right next to each other, and when I noticed this, all the possibilities I had in my mind shrunk right away. I am talking about different angles, and how to frame the cars. But now I noticed the only really good photos you get are those shot of the front, unless you want to have other cars on the photo as well, to name one issue. The price labels behind the front window can be an issue too.
I’m not complaining, because I know they want to sell cars and it’s not a fashion show for cars on their parking lot. For them, it’s about quantity. Anyway, I shot a couple of photos and continues on my way. What I planned to do did not work out well. But then I visited my mother and we took her dog outside. On our way we met one of her neighbors and my mother asked him something like “How is the old guy doing?” and even after he replied I couldn’t understand what they are talking about, because I actually thought they talk about his dad or any other old person.
I continued to listen but then it became more clear. My mother knew that her neighbor was working on an old Opel Kadett, and he just calls the car “old guy”. Then he told my mother that he was on a oldtimer meeting, and that’s where my mother replied while pointing with the finger at me “That would be something for my son, he’s taking photographs but wants to try something new, like car photography”. He then looked at me and said “Yeah, sure, we can go together next time, next event would be in September!”. My mother would be interested to see old cars too, and he said he will inform us.
So, yeah, sometimes you plans don’t work out well, but in another moment you get new opportunities related to what you planned to do. Life is funny sometimes, isn’t it? But as someone who grew up in Germany, I am not shy to say that you need to curb the anticipation if you make plans with strangers. Because in reality, Germans talk much and make a lot of plans, but that doesn’t mean that they will be there if the day has come. I don’t know him well, I am just speaking about my experiences. But at the end it doesn’t matter to us if we go with him, because we can also do that alone. If he likes to do it, we’d go with him, otherwise we did at least learn from him that there are about four oldtimer meetings in our city per year. That’s something I am looking forward to.
4 thoughts on “Trying A Different Photography Niche”
I’m guessing these “Old timer meetings” must be meetings of vintage car enthusiasts? We have those here and sometimes the clubs will have a rally where members drive to a destination in their old cars. When I started to read your post I immediately thought of an auto museum if there is one near you. That would allow you to photograph all manner of cars in a better situation. As you have probably noticed my sister, Naomi, enjoys photographing cars. She just looks out for interesting ones parked on the street. I remember one day we were going to lunch at the Casino and I spotted a vintage car in the car park and pointed it out to her. She had her camera that day so we walked over there and took some pictures.
I don’t know if your privacy laws would make this a problem but if the pictures are for your private enjoyment it shouldn’t. You’d probably also find that owners of vintage and classic cars are as happy to talk about them and show them off as pet owners are their dogs.
Another place to take car photos would be at a motor racing event, not necessarilly a big F1 type event, even local car clubs have race meetings. Taking pictures of racing cars moving is tricky but you might enjoy the challenge and often you can visit ‘the paddock” where cars are parked between events. David and I did that a lot when we lived in Adelaide. He was very good at panning as a car passed us. I wasn’t so I would choose a spot and wait for a car to be perfectly in the frame. Both ways seemed to work at least some of the time.
So there are a few ideas for increasing your file of car photos.
Oh, is oldtimer not the correct term for vintage or classic cars in English? It might be that this is Anglicism then 😀 We say Oldtimers to vintage cars, it’s probably Anglicism then.
Yes, he spoke about vintage or classic cars. Yes, enthusiasts and vintage car owners meeting up.
I am not sure yet if we have a car museum here, but maybe in Hamburg, I will research about this because this is a good idea!
Talking about privacy, I could edit out the license plate. I did that in the photo above too. There was no licence plate as you can see in the picture, but below is a white bar and there was the name of car seller, but I photoshopped it out. Anyway, yesterday I read about privacy laws regarding license plates, and it seems some courts have argued that cars are “public objects”, a photographer won in a lawsuit, he shot a photo of a car including licence plate. The court argued that you need to work for the police to get access to the license plate database, to get the name of the owner, thus it can’t be privacy invasion. Like always, there are certain exceptions again.
Motosport is a great idea too, but I am not sure if this is a thing here in the north. Probably more in Middle Germany, or in the South. But I will research. I’d totally like the challenge of taking photos of moving cars!
Yes, I noticed Naomi does take some cool photos of vintage cars!
🙂 It is nice to know that the car dealer accepted your request to move the vehicle to a different location.
Grat photo, Dennis!
I wouldn’t have asked, also there was nobody there because it was a Sunday. I could take the photo because from the front you don’t see that there are cars beside it. That was the only angle that did work without showing other cars on the picture.