Italian Car Festival, Grapevine, TX Monday, Sep 10 2012 

Ferrari 575M Maranello

Ferrari 575M Maranello

Italian Car Festival is one of my favorite events in the Dallas area, but I’ve had the worst luck photographing it. In 2006, I only had my point-and-shoot Canon and the pictures were okay. In 2007, I was looking forward to shooting with my new DSLR, but it got stolen just weeks before the event, so I used my point-and-shoot again. Then, in 2008, when I was ready again, the event got canceled. Finally, in 2009, when I thought nothing can go wrong, we got quite a lot of rain, which reduced the number of entrants and made photography a bit difficult.

1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

This year the weather was perfect – it was the first cool day after a scorching summer. The crowd came out in droves to see dozens of cars with Italian heritage. The top photo is one of many Ferraris in the field – the 575M Maranello, a magnificently beautiful machine, built to celebrate Ferrari’s 2001 Formula One Constructor Championship title.

Lamborghini Diablo

Lamborghini Diablo

Because it is nearly impossible to get people out of a photograph in an event like this, I focused mostly on details. Pictured are: the beautiful chrome grill of the stunner also known as 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, “scissor” doors of a Lamborghini Diablo reaching for the trees, and finally raised headlamps of a DeTomaso Pantera which look a little like Wall-E.

DeTomaso Pantera

DeTomaso Pantera

For the end, another gorgeous Alfa Romeo, this one a 1975 Montreal, pictured here with a trophy it won for Best in Class (Alfa Romeo). This thing looks mean, and is one of my favorites of the show. Leave a comment below with what your favorite would have been.

1975 Alfa Romeo Montreal

1975 Alfa Romeo Montreal

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Point of Inspiration: Alan Ross Wednesday, Jan 26 2011 

This past Saturday, I met Alan Ross, a master photographer, who spent some time in the 70s as the assistant to Ansel Adams. An exhibit of his work opened at the Sun To Moon Gallery in Dallas and he was on hand to schmooze with the Dallas socialites, which, for an hour or so, included yours truly.

Alan Ross

Alan Ross, inspiration

On display was about 20 of his quite exquisite silver gelatin prints, in formats up to 24×30. My favorite by far was Bridalveil Fall in Storm, obviously an homage to Ansel’s Clearing Winter Storm. The touch of genius was a river at the bottom of the frame, which miraculously picked up some great light from the clouds. Then there was Farm and Clouds, New Mexico, layers upon layers of rich details and flowing lines, truly a magnificent work of art.

Then I saw a few others and realized something. I’ve been fortunate to visit some really amazing places the last few years with friends Scott, John, Tyler. All those places were on the walls of the gallery – Bryce Canyon hoodoos, Monument Valley rock formations, and scenes from Yosemite that nearly retraced my own steps.

Which is telling me I’m on the right track. Sure, those are places of world-wide known beauty, visited by million people every year, but my friends and I have done some amazing work there. I have little doubt that we’re getting to where we’d be able to post our own work in galleries. The way we see things, the way we make decisions about what to shoot, it’s all leading somewhere. A lot of the shots I’ve seen at this exhibit are of fragments of nature; a group of aspens here, a pile of rocks there. There was always something outstanding though, and it was usually the weather – the clouds or the fog. So, not always the golden light (it’s black-and-white, after all), but often something to enhance the subject and transform it from ordinary to extraordinary.

Alan signed my copy of Ansel’s Autobiography and we talked shop a little, which inspired me to establish my 2011 resolution – start developing my own black and white film. This was taken with my Canon Elan 7 camera with 85mm lens on great Ilford HP5 Plus film. The only thing that could have made it more exciting would have been to develop it myself.

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