Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

For the love of photographing a car show August 31, 2015

These two vintage cars staged side-by-side with the simple building back drop caught my eye.

These two vintage cars staged side-by-side with the building back drop caught my eye. I love the repetition of lines and shapes in vehicles and building. Plus the signage and USA plate add to the visual interest.

I’M NOT INTERESTED in car shows like my husband. He can spout off makes and models and years without hesitation. Rather my interest focuses on color, curves, reflections, light, art, words—the details.

I've discovered that vintage car owners possess a sense of humor, the reason I always examine the plates.

I’ve discovered that vintage car owners possess a sense of humor, the reason I always examine the plates.

The difference in our approaches rises from our professions. He is an automotive machinist. I am a photographer and a wordsmith.

What's under the hood interests Randy far more than me.

What’s under the hood interests Randy far more than me.

He can no more frame a great photo than I can do a valve job. We fail at each others’ work.

Our friend Larry with his restored

Our friend Larry with his restored Ford Econoline truck. Car shows are also about connecting with others, not just about showing off and viewing vehicles.

Still, we delight in attending car shows together. He sees what I miss. I see what he misses. We learn from each other. I wander with my Canon DSLR. He chats up cars with those who appreciate vintage vehicles for the same reasons he does. It works for us.

I love the shiny bumpers and the reflections therein. Here

I love the shiny bumpers and the reflections therein.

About a year ago I nearly hit the jackpot with my car show meandering. I was contacted by a Chicago ad agency regarding an image I’d taken of a shiny bumper. The photo was among half a dozen in the running for a national ad campaign for a major car care product. I would have been paid a significant amount of money for use of the image. In the end, another photo was selected.

I set my camera on the street and tilted it up to take this shot. That's my husband on the left, already moving onto the next vehicle.

I set my camera on the street and tilted it up to take this shot. That’s my husband on the left, already moving onto the next vehicle.

That’s how it goes. I will keep shooting car show photos as I always have, for the joy and fun of sharing that which I discover through the lens of my camera, from my unique perspective.

BONUS PHOTOS:

Spotted in a rear window.

Spotted in a rear window.

The colors, oh, the colors.

The colors, oh, the colors.

Clamped atop a VW.

A Pioneer plate denotes a collector class car.

Clamped atop a VW van.

Clamped atop a VW bus.

This VW

This 1958 VW bus Westfalia drew lots of onlookers.

There's something about vintage vehicles lined up along the curb that is so visually appealing.

There’s something about vintage vehicles lined up along the curb that is so visually appealing.

Another vintage cooler, this one in the back of a wagon.

Another vintage cooler, this one in the back of a wagon.

A work in progress.

A work in progress.

Leaving the final Car Cruise Night of the season in historic downtown Faribault.

Leaving the final Car Cruise Night of the season in historic downtown Faribault.

FYI: The photos here were shot at the last Faribault Car Cruise Night of 2015, held on a recent Friday evening.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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18 Responses to “For the love of photographing a car show”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    I always love to see car shows even if I don’t know a single thing about cars. They just are works of art and the pride that those who restore them have in their work is always inspiring. Thanks for sharing another one with us.

  2. I love your bumper shot!!! Men and women look at cars much differently.

  3. Sue Ready Says:

    Wow the black hood on that red car is like no other I have seen!
    I liked your statement …
    He sees what I miss. I see what he misses. We learn from each other.
    Sounds to me like a good partnership.

  4. Oh, I’m so sad they didn’t pick your photo! What were they thinking?!!

  5. Thread crazy Says:

    I love car shows and I so your pictures today, That VW Bus struck a cord with me plus love that red/orange convertible! Wow, that’s spiffy! The company that didn’t select your photo, well, it’s their loss. You take great photos Audrey – keep it up.

  6. Littlesundog Says:

    I grew up appreciating cars – my Dad was a mechanic. FD and I always stop at car shows. I don’t know what it is… kind of like perusing an art gallery. I always learn something. We are currently restoring FD’s granddad’s car, a 1958 Morris Minor. It should be fun to tootle around town in!

  7. They don’t make ’em like that anymore!

  8. Sweet Posy Dreams Says:

    Some gorgeous old cars. I think my husband would have been most interested in the VW bus as he had one in college.


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