Deliberate photography produces different results.
Opportunistic subjects that are happened-upon in transit are less likely to be successful. I was discussing photography with a good friend and mentor yesterday, and concluded that camera clubs are a parallel universe. Different things are important in that world. I find them fun, but they are probably less important than the court of the photographer’s own opinion about what is pleasing.
Yesterday, I went out with the intent to make images to fit this month’s specified club topic which is entitled “Wet, chrome or reflective”. It suddenly occurred to me that the greatest collection of reflective chrome in the Wellington region is the superb Southwards Car Museum at Otaihanga, to the North of Paraparaumu. First let me pay tribute to a museum that was entirely unfazed by my request to be allowed to use a tripod.
Classic cars are fun, but the cars themselves were almost incidental to my visit yesterday. What I wanted was reflections. Short of a shop selling mirrors, I can’t think of a better place to find interesting reflections.
A huge chromed headlight, in this case the one attached to a large Rolls-Royce chassis, acts as a distorting mirror for the enormous Rolls-Royce Phantom V next to it. I thought I had extracted myself from the image but there I am on the left. I was using my remote trigger, and should have got out of the line of sight.
Not all reflections were from chrome plated surfaces. The extravagant fins on a Cadillac convertible above were throwing up some interesting patterns in the glossy black paint.
This is a place to see vehicles that were once objects of desire for the very rich and famous. I think the automotive brand Hispano-Suiza disappeared after WWII, so the magnificent is a great example of the glory days of motoring. The stylized stork which was the hood ornament for these cars is contrasted nicely against the red Bugatti behind it. (All Italian cars are red, no matter what colour they are painted).
Oddly, or perhaps not so, most of the glitter came from the grand names. Several Rolls-Royces were on display, each with its “Spirit of Ecstacy” flying proudly. I have always thought the Spirit was a nicely understated piece of art, unlike some of the grotesquely mis-proportioned imitators.
The “blower Bentley” on display was also elegant in its simplicity (apart from the sheer expanse of chrome). I wonder how many of the modern fans know that this was the original car assigned to James Bond by his creator, Ian Fleming. Of course his one was gun-metal grey rather than the more popular “British Racing Green”.
My final shot for the day is not a car at all, nor does it involve chrome. It is part of a Merryweather steam fire engine. Its polished copper pressure vessel is undeniably reflective.
So am I.