Watershed Photography » Langley BC photographer Craig Roberts

The theme chosen to represent this month, Cars and Car Details, falls into an area that I have a great affinity for ~ especially for vintage automobiles. While I can never claim to be a car-guy, I do certainly admire the older vehicles from the 30’s through to the edge of the 70’s; current cars don’t generally draw me to them often, and when they do its only because they have features they’ve borrowed from those other past designs.

Respecting those great engineers and designers who were able to bring their visions & classic design elements to light, I’ve spent the past few years focusing my attention and images on the finer details that I see when looking at these cars: headlights and tail lights, chrome grills, emblems, hood ornaments, hub & gas caps and even those absolutely imposing profiles. I’ve always appreciated the amount of sweat equity folks put into restoring their vehicles but am now enjoying those survivor vehicles that retain their original paint and patina, texture and battle scars.

The great thing about vehicle photography is the car community is vast; most owners are happy to exhibit and share their vehicles (and stories) , and with your subject parked and captive you can definitely take your time making creative images.

I’ve now added a gallery of Vintage Automobile images to my site, which can be found here:

http://watershedphotography.zenfolio.com/vintagecars

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After an overwhelmingly successful first year introduction of the Fort Langley Zombie Walk last October, the organizers decided to make it an annual event with this year’s walk of the living dead happening this past weekend. It was great to see back many of those who made last year’s inaugural walk such a great event, but even more so to see so many new faces this year. I’ve included a selection of images below, please check out my gallery of the walk to see even more photos!

http://watershedphotography.zenfolio.com/ftlangleyzombiewalk2014

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In the process of learning and developing our photography skills there is an enormous amount of time and effort spent on fundamental techniques, only to sometimes throw that out the window in the name of artistic creativity and a unique photographic vision.

I shot the images below during a local bicycle race, the Fraser Valley Gran Fondo back in July with the express intent of creating compositions of ‘beautiful blur’. Whether it is athletes in motion, vehicles or even the subtle movements of a stand of maple trees moving slightly in the fall/winter, it is the deliberate nature of making these images that elevates them from poorly timed (and planned) out-of-focus pictures to an asthetic approaching “art” .

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And of course, this image made from my previous post regarding the Lynden WA fair:

Tilt-a-Whirl in motion, Northwest Washington Fair 2014

Tilt-a-Whirl in motion, Northwest Washington Fair 2014

Tilt-a-Whirl in motion, Northwest Washington Fair 2014

In my youth Vancouver’s annual late-August PNE fair seemed to be a metaphor for the end of summer, and we knew the days of sunshine and beaches, & nights of unabashed freedoms were counting down to the inevitable return to school and slide into fall.  While its been more years than I care to admit since my last PNE visit,  this year I wanted to head down just south of our own Fraser Valley and the 49th, to visit one of the many regional fairs that happen throughout Washington state during August.

Rural events such as the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden WA really are a backdrop to the celebration of the vital role agriculture plays in the entirety of these farming communities; it transcends from just being a “job” and becomes the fabric of the region – they become as much about being a showcase of the regions sustainability as they do about being a social release.  It’s this type of atmosphere I visualized growing up, perpetrated by Hollywood – and while there might be the same something-deep-fried-on-a-stick as I can find at our local PNE, the intangibles are what really sets these fairs apart.

… as well as the people.

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I happened upon Vancouver artist Ken Gerberick at a local vintage car show last fall, as he set up off the main roadway against the flow of spectators and other showcars on this day with two of his ‘art cars’ on display.  I’ve encountered a couple of these art installations at VW shows over the last decade, but this was the first time I was introduced to this as an actual medium – I just figured people liked sticking things on their cars to attract attention.

Chatting with Ken, I learned that there was a healthy interest in this form of artistic expression and in fact these were two of the five ‘art cars’ he’s completed in a varied artistic career spanning several decades.  The one I was most drawn to was known as the “Emblem car”, for completely obvious reasons. Every square inch of this 1957 Pontiac Pathfinder is adorned with chrome emblems and name badges that Ken sourced by scouring through auto wrecker yards; by his own admission the display contains nearly 6000 separate emblems and took over 2500 hours to complete back in 1990. In addition the car teems with gleaming chrome hub caps and chrome rear tail lights stuffed onto the rear window ledge – you can honestly get lost in the “Where’s Waldo” search of your favorite car maker’s emblems.

I’m glad that I had the foresight, as I was beginning to leave his area, to ask Ken if would allow me to make a portrait of him beside his car artwork.  Despite the hasty request, I really enjoy this resulting image of him, processed with a black and white treatment to celebrate the mostly monochrome “palette” he established with this art car.  An honest portrayal of the artist I had the pleasure of discussion for a brief period on that Saturday morning.

My few words here hardly do justice to Ken’s artistic history – his website has far more detail about his range of artistic endeavors.

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The artist: Ken Gerberick

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