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Photo Opportunities at Car Shows


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Some years ago, I posted a suggestion for the benefit of all the folks strolling around car shows taking photos. My point was to have, for example, an "advertised" one hour photo-op session, say, from 9:00-10:00 a.m., with "all" vehicle hoods, trunks, and, doors closed.

Today, at the AACA Museum Expo, an observation brought this to mind, again.

There were about 7 "young folks" walking by who were there for photography. One older guy was directing the younger guys on how to take a good photo of autos. Heard him saying, "take it from an angle to capture the car's features, and, so on..." What caught my attention was this older youth saying "I wish the owner would close the hood and doors so we could really take a great photo."

These young guys were absolutely excited about seeing so many fine vehicles, especially, the late '60's Camaros, an Olds 442, and, muscle cars in general. When I overheard them stating disappointment about not being able to take a "closed car" photo, it prompted me to bring this to light, again.

To those within the management of a car show, consider a "photo op" period. There seems to be a customer base for this. It may draw better attendance if advertised in advance and create a "win-win situation" for all interested parties/audiences.

Regards, Peter J.

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Good point Pedro! I take a lot of pictures myself and have wished for a better side view with everything shut. Our N N Region's car show is in October this year. I think I'll bring up your suggestion at our next "car show planning meeting" to try out this idea. It would probably be best to have this "photo op" sometime after the judging so the owner doesn't have to be around to reopen everything. Good idea. Wayne

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Boy do I know this experience! My whole website is essentially built around photos I've taken at car shows of all stripes. Sometimes I'll be in a row of 4 or 5 folks with cameras at the ready.

A "Photo Op" hour would be terrific!

On the other hand, I've yet to meet a car owner that would not close or open a hood, trunk lid, door etc when asked politely, if they happened to be by the car when I wandered by.

Occasionaly I've even been fortunate enough to be able to locate a car owner elsewhere at a show and get them to come back to their car to accomodate a better photo by closing hoods etc. Usually that's been at the suggestion of another car owner who has indicated that the request would likely be welcomed by the owner of the car in question.

But even so, it's just not always possible to get a good photo. We could do a whole thread on how to take a good photo at a car show. (I could use the education!). The limited space at many events simply doesn't allow enough room between the cars to get a great shot. Nothing to do about that of course.

Some shows lend themselves to better photos by nature of the location. The CCCA event at the Gilmore Museum earlier this month was an example. What a nice place and what great cars!

I've actually considered offering to sponsor a "Photo Op" hour at shows, but I'm not sure how to work that out.

Now if I could just learn to take a decent picture..... sigh.

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Carry this one step forward. Prohibit all non-photographers from wandering around looking at cars. Tell all owners and others to leave the field during the photo session. I don't think so!

I understand the desire to take nice 3/4 views. But that is not necessarily the only reason that we keep cars on the field after most judging teams are through. There is still the National Awards Team need to see the cars and a lot of the attendees and guests would like to see the engine compartment and interior. This is not an easy fix for photographers. Think a little more about your approach.

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Ron;

I think you're right. the cars aren't there for the benefit of the photographers in the crowd. But if it works out well for us, that's great too.

Obviously there is a need to pay attention to what's going on around the cars at the moment. I've learned to stay away from the cars where the judges are busy. There's almost always time to get the best shot possible, given the circumstances at hand.

I really try not to impose at a show. I just walk around looking for the opportunity to present itself.

I try not to get in the way of others looking at the cars. I've got time on my side the way I see it. Sooner or later there is almost always a moment when there aren't people between me and the car. I can wait. But if the only people by a particular car at the moment are a photographer and the car owner you can usually tell after a few minutes of conversation if the car owner is likely to accomodate things like a request to close the hood. If there's a crowd of people around the car, I'm not likely to ask for special considerations.

It bothers me is when folks see me waiting with my camera and obviously alter their path to accomodate me, thereby perhaps passing up their own opportunity to look at a car. I appreciate that, but it makes me feel like I'm imposing, probably because I am. If I notice that about to happen, I ALWAYS try to drop my camera down and comment that I can wait. I may not alays notice, but I try.

If I see folks that have been kind enough to stop and wait for me to snap a shot, I always try to thank them.

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Ken, good attitude and approach for the "Kodak Moment". I tend to keep an eye open for the individuals who are taking photos and hold back for the short time it takes. It has never annoyed me and we may have met on the field since more frequently than not the photographer thanks me. If it is an unusal vehicle and I know some interesting details I sometimes talk to the photographer to make sure they understand a little more when they get the photos home.

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Ron and Steve...

I suggested this in general for "any" car shows. I never mentioned a Photo Op at AACA Meets. I am fully aware a Photo Op Hour would be nice for spectators at the majority of car shows. AACA Meets are the exeption and are the minority considering all the Lion's Club, Fire Company, Car Club shows that go on all around the country to include AACA Region & Chapter local shows. There are only AACA National Judges at AACA Meets.

Just a thought as I witnessed a desire by spectators many times and the young folks at the AACA Museum show reminded me of it. There were no National Judges at the Museum show so this could be tabled for the future if management so desires.

Peter J.

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A 1950s magazine also had a good suggestion concerning photos. When possible, part the cars at a bout a 45 degree angle, so the 3/4 shot will be only of that one car and not catch the car on either side of it. Obviously takes more parking space, but if it is available, it makes for a much better picture of the car.

Hap Tucker 1915 Ford Touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout

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Peter,

If you look, a majority of the pictures that I gave you, were taken at the end of the show when all of the cars were lined up in traffic trying to get out. It is a great way to get the pictures, and my dad and I sit tight until the traffic clears. That way the hoods are already down, the doors are closed, and the crowds are gone. A picture of a car in the show, is still a picture of a car in the show. It still captures the moment and you don't have to have the picture taken showing the cars next to it.

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Another point of view------

There are too few venues in the world where a hobbiest who is concerned with authenticity, can study a number of quality examples up close and personal. This of course dictates the vehicle is fully open or the owner is present to assist the spectator. AACA National and Grand National meets along with marque specific national meets are the two lone examples that come to mind where this type of detail study may occur.

Photo opportunites exist all over the map. No reason a photographer can't shoot pix as the cars are driven onto the field. If one really wants to sharpen his (her) automotive photo skills, find a collector car near your home and offer to provide pictures of the owners car in exchange for his modeling efforts. In my opinion, most photos taken at a car show appear to be amateur efforts with amateur results.

Most standard size cars are best photographed at 3/4 side view at a height of 6'- 8'. Unless you're Wilt Chamberlin or Kobe Bryant, your not going to get this most advantageous perspective without a ladder of some sort.

Tom D.

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Tom and Pat...

True. Photos can be taken as cars are entering or leaving. My concept was at "local" shows where the management could have a one hour photo op of closed cars. Not every spectator is waiting for cars to enter or leave. Most come and meander around during the show hours. Up to the owners who would take the time to close the car. In all cases, of which, prompted my thoughts were from many cases of people walking around. Personally, I am willing to bet I have closed up my car upwards of 20+ times from spectators who made a request.

Just a suggestion based upon spectator generated requests that could add something to a show...do with it what you want.

Regards, Peter.

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Gotta' give it to you, Bob...that's a darn good concept. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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