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:
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…
I’m very happy that my first foray back into the show circuit with my new stereo/trunk setup snagged my Z a first place trophy! Despite torrential rains all day it was a good show, and it turns out watching drift events in the rain is quieter, less smoky and kind of nice. Also, there was a beer garden.
Strobe lights, slammed rides, spike heels and tire shine… Hot Import Nights rocked the Tacoma Dome, as close to hot Cali summer nights as it gets in Seattle.
NWMotiv put on a great show and kept the energy high all day, bouncing us between the indoor car show and outdoor drift track and filling what could have been a very long 13-hour day with music, contests and some great rides. It’s been years since a Seattle show was this well-developed, dating back to the Hot Import Nights events circa 2004, so it was really encouraging to see a great turnout and some new momentum for the PacNW car show scene.
My Z was not at this show, unfortunately, as a sensor/hesitation ghost I’ve been chasing kept it home in the garage. I underestimated how odd and excluded it feels to be an exhibitor without a car, and how frustrating and disappointing it would be to repeatedly explain why it wasn’t there. Spending all day second-guessing my decision (“Should I have just driven it anyway?”, “Should I have towed to the show?”, “I probably could have made it this far”, “This is the spot it would be parked in if it were here”, “If it didn’t start at the end people would have helped me”) just meant that I chewed on myself sufficiently all day to prevent ever really enjoying anything. I also underestimated how bored I would be without a car to attend to, despite some worthy distractions. Filling my void of purpose with photography was only partially successful, as although I snapped several thousand shots of the show, the drift event, and everything in between, I didn’t enjoy that very much, either. In the end, there are some shots in here that I’m actually quite happy with, so apparently listless melancholy is a good artistic engine for me.
The third annual show was just as well-run as the past 2, with Russell and the Bruce Titus crew pulling in great sponsors and filling the lot with choice Nissan and Mitsubishi rides. Thanks for another great day, guys!
A Hot August Nights tradition that worked something like a nighttime parade, but with more engine revving and tire smoke. Some of the best (and loudest) cars from Saturday’s event showing off the night before on the crowd-lined streets of downtown Lewiston.
A few glamour shots around Lewiston, Idaho, and then a winding drive along the Snake River.