SEMA Las Vegas – November 2014

I like big trucks and I cannot lie… which is why so many of my photos this year feature giant lifted trucks, but there are also stunning Italian cars, trick Japanese rides and immaculate hot rods in the mix. The largest gathering of small businesses in the US was even bigger this year – I heard 160,000+ attendees, up from 135,000 in 2013 – an encouraging trend for our economy, for small businesses and for the auto aftermarket. As always the amount of time, money, creativity and skill on display at the SEMA show boggle the mind.

If you are hoping for accurate, realistic photographs of the products and projects at SEMA move along elsewhere because this show and it’s over-the-top, bigger-than-life, can’t-believe-they-pulled-that-off custom cars are my excuse to be as seizure-inducingly aggressive with the photos as I care to be. Nothing about this event is subdued and I take all kinds of liberties with the images to highlight the parts I find interesting and stylize them to my whim. One of my Lightroom presets is literally named “CSI Miami”. Now that I have set your expectations correctly, you are clear to proceed:

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

SEMA Las Vegas – November 2013

My third year at this epic show and I’m still overwhelmed by the depth of creativity represented in aluminum, carbon fiber, rubber, paint and steel. Between David, Tyler, Sean, Dave and I think we saw about one fifth of what was there. Next year I’ll bring a bigger entourage…

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

Blackhawk Automotive Museum – Danville CA – October 2013

Two firsts for me on this one: my first high-quality collection from an automotive museum – the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, CA – and the first time I’ve gone to the extra effort captioning every single photo with the year/make of each car. Since it was a museum everything was perfectly labeled, making the second job at least doable, and these cars just felt too special and unique to be captured in anonymity. Also, there are least a few custom coach-built machines here that wouldn’t have been recognizable otherwise, amidst an already timeless grouping of vintage Cadillac, Packard, Mercedes Benz, Duesenberg, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar, Maserati, Auburn, Ford, Dodge, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and even Isotta vehicles. There are some real treasures in here – enjoy!

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

SEMA Las Vegas – November 2012

My second year and another incredible week in Las Vegas. I’m amazed at how creative and innovative these car builders are, and at the resources – time, money, aluminum milling machines – they have at their disposal. To save you the trouble this time, I put my favorite shots first, so the first 4 pages of the gallery are filled with those.

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

Seattle Auto Show – November 2011

I felt like an auto industry photographer this week, as the morning after my return flight from SEMA in Las Vegas I was behind the lens again shooting the Seattle Auto Show. Lance joined me in pushing buttons and critiquing design choices. I most impressed this year by Buick – impressive interiors and competitive cars for the price – and Hyundai – unique designs with a distinctive California studio flavor, really coming into their own rather than just shadowing trends. Click through to critique the 2012 models for yourself.

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

SEMA Las Vegas – November 2011

More insanely custom rides, meticulous detailing, original machine work, and incredible cars than I’ve ever seen in one place. There are over 1300 photos because I saw so many things that I wanted to remember, but if you’re just looking for a quick review, click here for my top 40 favorites.

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

Greenwood Car Show – June 2011

Christie accompanied me to the annual Greenwood show today, wherein 15 blocks of Greenwood Ave are closed and lined with amazing classic cars of all types in one of the biggest public car shows I’ve ever been to (700+ cars this year). We wore ourselves out looking at pristine restorations, highly-creative custom work and a few really strange cars that made us wonder what the owners were thinking. Quality-wise, I think this is the best show in Seattle and this is the second year in a row I have been amazed at the number of truly excellent project cars that come out of the Western Washington woodwork to park on a tree-lined street among the kettle corn booths and beer gardens to help kick off the first weekend of Seafair.

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

Kirkland Concours d’ Elegance – September 2010

Cara accompanied me down the red carpet and back in time to experience 20th century motoring opulence at Kirkland’s Concours d’ Elegance, our local branch of the prestigious show series. Carillon Point was filled with classic beauties – Packards and Cords from the late 30’s, post-war Alfa Romeo’s and Austin Healey’s, 50’s Cadillacs – as well as more modern gems – Ferrari Testarossa’s, Porsche GT3’s, Ford GT’s. Most surprising for me were the technical innovations in some of these luxury cars which seemed so far ahead of their time; for example, a light sensor on the dash of a Cadillac that detected oncoming headlights and dimmed its own, built entirely out of relays in an age before integrated circuits. It was also a thrill to shoot such perfectly-restored, meticulously-polished cars, and ones so artfully designed and beautifully ornamental as these. There’s also quite a few shots where your intrepid photographer is reflected in the chrome; so many mirror-finish surfaces in such close quarters made a few of those unavoidable, and I left more of them in the gallery than I normally would because I just enjoyed the subject matter.

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

Griot’s Garage Grand Opening – June 2010

Matt heard that Griot’s was rolling out the red carpet for the grand opening of their new facility in Tacoma and that it was likely to turn into an informal car show, so we rolled down there to stock up on Speed Shine and see what showed up. I caught some really beautiful classics in the parking lot, and (perhaps due to the peer pressure for such things in the parking lot of a detailing specialty shop) most of them were spotless and gorgeous. There were also some rare specimen from racing history inside Griot’s on display, which were – of course – cleaner than any water glass in any restaurant in America and I leaned as far over the ropes as I felt I could get away with and grabbed some shots of them, too. I also bought a really fancy car wash wagon/bucket contraption that is totally unnecessary and really awesome.

Gallery slideshow is here

Nice day for a drive

I accepted the local NSX club’s invite (extended via Eric) to attend their annual fun run sunday, which this year was a drive to the Mount Baker Ski Area lodge. They made special arrangements to have the lodge opened for us in the off-season, and the narrow, winding road up was a blast in dry weather.

I was still tweaking with some fuel settings on my car that had it running a little rich and not quite like I wanted, so I opted to ride along with Eric rather than take my car on an aggressive drive involving a drastic altitude change (which directly affects air/fuel mix) and risk a problem. Hopefully next time around I’ll be able to drive along, as it was a great road and a lot of fun, even as a passenger.

I’ve got pictures of the whole crew, about 40 strong between the NSX and S2000 groups, and a couple stray Ferrari’s – a pristine 12-cylinder Testarossa and a rare, gorgeous 575M Superamerica driven by an unfortunately-obnoxious barefoot guy. The only images, however, that I have processed already are the ones we took of Eric’s sweet NSX amidst the amazing scenery: