Right after high school my parents let me drive across the country. In eight weeks I traveled 15,000 miles in 8 weeks. I hit 26 states and two provinces in Canada. I remember thinking during the trip that in 10 years, this would feel like yeasterday. That was more than 40 years ago. And every time I see an old, white, VW bug, I remember. The people, the situations, the camping, snakes in the grass in Missouri, running out of gas in the boonies of Montana, the youth hostel in Nanaimo, BC.
All those memories are long ago in my life and far away from the different world we live in today.
Nostalgia is that feeling in your gut when you recognize something you haven't seen for awhile that elicits memories and emotions. It might be a picture or an object or a location or a song on the radio or even a smell. We learn during elementary school what it is in our brain. But it takes years of experience and an adult perspective to know nostalgia in your heart.
Nostalgia is what I am going for with my images. I want more than just a pretty picture. I want my images to make people pause, to reflect on the past, to remember. Admittedly, it takes the right vehicle.
Not many people will remember a 1937 Oldsmobile. But maybe someone will know that their grandfather had one from their father's stories.
The owner of the 1950 Ford Pickup learned to drive on that truck. Less than a month after the shoot, his wife wanted a print as a birthday gift because her husband gave the truck to his son to restore.
I shoot close to the subject at night. I want a black background so that the viewer can see concentrate on the portrait. I tend to shoot low because that is the viewpoint of a small child (besides making a better image).
The cars and trucks presented my not be your favorites, but there may be one that brings back memories and makes you pause.