Auto Museum

A few weeks ago, I joined a field trip with the Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Sacramento to the California Automobile Museum, also in Sacramento.  Their large space is filled with over 150 cars ranging from some of the earliest to some fairly recent. It’s a great place for a stroll through automotive history.

Photographically, though, it was a bit of a challenge for me.  I’m not a “car guy” and I’m looking for more than just pictures of vintage cars, so what to focus on here? The vehicles are all so close together that you can’t photograph a large portion of one without having several others in the background, so how to make an uncluttered image?  Most of the vehicles have highly polished surfaces that reflect all the ceiling lights as big, hard-edged specular highlights, so how to minimize those distracting hot spots?

I finally found two old cars, a beige 1935 Chrysler Airflow Sedan and a green 1940 Hudson Deluxe Six, that gave me what I was looking for. Both had less-polished surfaces that reflected a much smoother, softer light, and both had beautiful curving shapes that were interesting in tightly cropped views.





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About Tim Messick

Photographer, cartographer, and botanist/naturalist. Home is in Davis, California. Home-away-from-home is the eastern Sierra Nevada. Compiling a flora of the Bodie Hills.
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4 Responses to Auto Museum

  1. Kathy Eyster says:

    Great job, Tim! Always enjoy seeing your work. I especially like your description of the problems you encountered in your environment with your subject and how you found a solution. I plan to share this post with my photo students!

  2. Tim Messick says:

    Thanks Kathy! Feel free to share.

  3. I photograph cars a lot….It’s nice to hear your challenges, mine as well. I really like your photos on this subject.

  4. Rick York says:

    Well done Tim. Simple and elegant. Thanks for sharing. Rick

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