I would much rather sit and mess around with pictures or watch a movie than take the time to update this so here are some Jan/Feb driving shots mixed with some fixed shots from “the shore.”
I had a terrible headache the other night & didn’t feel like doing much so I decided to play with some pictures. This started off as a black & white photo. I was originally going to just paint color onto the sign. Then, I wanted to paint the car. Then, I got lost in my head & wound up with this. I wish my license plate really was a pair of lips.
My best friend & I used to play a game called “mine.” When we were driving around, we would point out the nicest cars on the road and claim them as ours by shouting “mine.” She usually opted for Mercedes & BMW while I tended to call the convertibles. The real fight was over the finer convertibles. This may have been a little over ten years ago when we were first hitting the road. We don’t drive together much anymore but even if we did, I do not think we could play this game, and not because we have outgrown it, but because America changed how it purchases automobiles. Remember when the Neon came out? The roads were flooded with them but where are they now? Today, I am intersecting my traffic shots with my commentary on what went wrong with the American auto industry.
Yes, I enhanced the dullness on today’s highways by lowering the contrast but I probably did not even have to. Pleasant shades of metallic slate, torrid taupe, blazing black, witty white… BORING! My father could tell you what kind of car was approaching just by seeing the shape of its headlights or tail lights (as long as the car was made before 1988 or so). There is such little difference in cars today and there is such a great abundance of newer cars. Like most products, cars seem to be disposable. “Our lease is up… Time to get a new one.” How many crappy looking older cars do you see on the road? Not nearly as many as there used to be. The supermarket near my boyfriend’s house is on theborder of Newark. Even those of you outside of NJ might know that Newark is not the wealthiest area. The parking lot is full of new cars though. How does the working poor afford these cars? How did America succumb to the “keeping up with the Joneses?” Is it the car makers’ fault for not making quality products or is it their fault for “No money down, no payments for a year, no interest?” I will be polite & attribute some of this to cars being manufactured in a more rust retardant manner with higher quality paints that do not flake or wear as easily. However, look at the above shot. Would you shout “mine” at any of those cars? There is one slightly older Mercedes three cars in from the left. I might call that one but even the Mercedes in front of me gets lost in a sea of sameness. When the Lincoln Navigator came out, it was the first SUV that I my have called and that was only because of the chrome-esque gill on front. The same holds true for the Dodge Ram pickup. Both had big powerful grills that have since been streamlined. Where are the creative auto makers? The futuristic cars of the 50’s were more “modern” in appearance than the ones today.
I have found a few exceptions to the yawn fest of today’s cars. (These are archived shots from various dates)
I love this PT Cruiser. It is the first “new” car my family ever purchased. Even we fell victim to the “buy new” craze, I suppose. This car has been to Florida four times, Tennessee, Texas, Canada… He gets around. He can fit an entire drumset, an amp, three guitars & two or three people. Besides his practicality, he has a retro appeal. I think my dad wanted this because it was an affordable, practical approximation of a hot rod. However, it never really caught on. I think Chrysler dropped the ball when they didn’t market this to surfers and young people. I offered them a commercial idea involving Snowball 37 but they replied by saying that the marketing was handled by an outside firm. Hmmm… big mistake, Chrysler.
Ahhh…. Big Papi. He was the second new car my family purchased. I love Big Papi but I still want to paint him pink. Also, he is a 2005 but the newer models are sleeker. I hope Mini does not continue on that trend or future models will be just as indistinguishable as the array of Toyotas & Hondas.
Oh, the Challenger. Once again, Chrysler has appealled to my love of old cars. I cannot see this car on the road and not let out a giant “GRRRRRR.” However, once again, Chrysler dropped the ball in marketing. The Challenger costs less than a Corvette & is way cooler. Where is that commercial? Also, it is not completely fuel inefficient. I bet it is fun to drive too.
The new Camaro is also cool but I do not see them anywhere (except in “Transformers”). I am also digging the new Edge. I like the wrap around window, but I have only seen the commercial. I may take that back when I see it in person.
(End of archive photos)
I have preached enough for today. Here are some more traffic shots.
Oops, that is why I cannot shoot at F22 – dust in the lens or inside. Oops.
Above & below – on our way to Brooklyn for a Snowball 37 show. Luckily, I had the “traffic” assignment to keep me from getting angry about the wait. Technically, the traffic wasn’t as bad as it could have been. PS I see a Mini in that sea of doldrums above.
My personal favorite is the one below. The “traffic” in this shot is on the left side headed south for the weekend, but it was the clouds that attracted me. Most of my driving shots are of the scenes around me and not other cars. There isn’t much on the road worth shooting.
See other SAPCCers who got stuck in traffic:
I dropped off my 1.8 lens at Canon Friday for repair. Despite receiving the wrong directions when I clicked “directions to” from their website, I had a very nice drive. I was able to see some of the farmland area where my dad grew up. It was quite sad to see how little was still there and how much more was in the process of becoming a part of one of the next great out of business shopping meccas. In addition to being able to put Big Papi’s top down, the E Street Radio signal was coming in clear… all the makings of a perfect day, especially when they played “Growin’ Up,” “My Hometown” and “The Last Carnival” back to back to back. I will admit that I may have had some blurry eyes when I took these.
The first two are Route 33, the third is Periner?? Road. They are all west of Freehold & south of Jamesburg.
An hour away (in distance, not necessarily my actual time), is the famous Pizzaland from “The Sopranos” opening sequence. I may have stopped there once a few years ago but I think the sign is more famous than the pizza.
Proceeding on Route 7 into Jersey City, there is this bridge that I captured in last week’s SAPCC blanketed by a sunset. Recent discussion of how much photoshop is too much led me to wonder if I had tweaked the levels too much. However, once I caught a glimpse of this bridge in my rear view, I think I need to adjust the colors to create an even more beautiful representation of what I saw.
Curses on that brown eyesore sign. Maybe I should burn it out.
I just loved the bold colors of this Rims, Tires & DVDS store. It fit with the hard lines & big contrast of the city mouse pictures.
Phobias… My first thought was to look up phobias and find a few funny ones to capture. However, I was internet-less this weekend so I was forced to find my own phobias.
I don’t really fear anything in this picture. I just wanted to know what an “imaginary remodeling corp.” does. In a way, the fear could be that the economy will get so bad that we will all have to rely on imaginary things to bring us a sense of wealth and fulfillment.
I do have a fear of mediocrity so what better way to express it than to take a subpar photo of a store that sells “o.k” fruits & vegetables?
I do not have a fear of bridges but I know it is a real phobia for some. I didn’t get a good shot but I liked that in this smaller version, it appears as if the car in front of me is headed towards me. That would make me scared.
I also do not have a fear of black cats but, since I was too lazy to take a picture of a calendar highlighting a Friday the 13th and, since I was visiting my brother and his black cat, I thought I would further creep Pat out with this shot of a black cat.
Another phobia I do not have is the fear of electrical lines. This one is quite intimidating though.
I am now moving on to some of my phobias. I did not look up the true definition of “phobia,” but I equate it with irrational fears or weird fears… I am afraid of fire, dying & being maimed by a drunk driver but I think these are rational fears… maybe not that last one. The following, however, are some of my more irrational fears.
I am often afraid that a construction crane will drop something on me. This one is not too scary.
Ever since I saw the preview for the movie “Daylight,” I am afraid that whilst driving through a tunnel a massive gush of water will engulf me or there willbe a big fireball or accident & I will be forced to choose between running forward or turning around. I try to pay attention to which side I am closest to. I liked this shot because it was dirty and there is a weird reflection of that cab.
I HATE walking over subway grates like this. Even taking the picture scared me. I think I am going to fall through.
I am not afraid of the dark per se but I am afraid that someone will jump out of the darkness and kill me so I shot several different versions of myself as a shadow in the walkway. I couldn’t get the arms scary enough to make this my entry and I was afraid to bring a knife or fake gun outside because I hate the upstairs neighbors.
Ok, so heights are not a fear of mine, but I really liked this shot & did not want to put it in the beginning. This was a Citi building in Queens. I have a few other shots but this week’s need for an assistant was my inability to remember to adjust the white balance setting and change back to auto-focus. Just after taking this picture, the security guard shooed me away. Clearly I was not casing the joint. Dick. I really liked the reflections and symmetry.
Ok, my most irrational fear is that Big Papi will be hit by another car or shopping carts in a parking lot. I intentionally park away from other cars & remove all carts that may be near him. I am increasingly annoyed by the lazy people who do not return their carts to the proper receptacles. My last car was ruined by careless door opening and my mom’s car was attacked by carts on several occasions. There have been a few times when I felt the carts were after me so I thought it would be funny to set up a shot in which Big Papi was surrounded by mean shopping carts SOOOOO imagine my surprise when I went out to my car and saw this:
I was parked in a residential, suburban neighborhood that is about 18 blocks from the grocery store. I have never seen a shopping cart on our street before and I did not reposition the cart to be staring down Big Papi. To make matters worse, when we got back from the store, the cart had been moved into my parking spot! They are totally out to get me. I wished the light were better so this could have been my entry.
After all of that, my entry is really my ladder phobia. While it does not shout “phobia,” it is a reminder to me that if I had gotten over my fear of ladders like this one, I could have climbed onto the roof at my boyfriend’s job and taken some really cool pictures. I think the shadow in the walkway better expresses phobia but this is a better picture. Hmmmm… That always gets me. The better shot or the better representation of the theme? I like themes like this one.
I will link to everyone after work!