Hidden in plain view: the small details overlooked…

Lately, I’ve found myself taking a slightly different approach in photographing the multitude of vehicles present at each weeks Cars&Coffee / Irvine event. With the clear, sunny springtime weather, there has been an abundance of interesting lighting conditions to work with, as well as some amazing, highly polished, curvaceous and reflective vehicle surfaces to study. I’m frequently stopped by vehicle owners or passerbys and asked  “what are you looking at” or “what are you shooting”?  When I show them my captured imagery, the common response is “how did you see that” or” I’ve never would have noticed that”. My response is that it’s just a function of how we look at objects in general, and that when you slow down and take your time to really study an object, the end result can often be very surprising and rewarding.

And now with summer rapidly approaching, there have been a number of winter automotive projects finally seeing the light of day, making their debut under warm, sunny skies.

So with the sun on the rise, I headed off in search of a new batch of photographic subjects.  As I walked down Porsche row, the lighting across the hood of a 1967 911R tribute caught my eye. The combination of the highlights and shadows not only defined the shape and detail lines of the hood, but added further interest in the form of the shadow cast by the centrally located fuel filler cap, with its blood orange stripe providing just the right amount of accent color…

White 1967 Porsche 911R tribute_oblique front hood light & shadows_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_ May 11, 2013

Even shooting a close – up of the amber-colored euro lens covering the Cibie biode headlight internals, revealed an unexpected surprise; the captured reflection of the owner and a fellow Porsche 911 owner discussing the merits of these new headlights.

White 1967 Porsche 911R tribute_amber headlight lens & reflections, fender and hood detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_ May 11, 2013

The early morning light also created the perfect accent across the rear decklid, highlighting its stripe and 911R graphic, and offering a glimpse of the custom fiberglass intakes and water shields residing behind the grill…

White 1967 Porsche 911R tribute_rear decklid_stripe, badge and lighting detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_ May 11, 2013

One of my mornings reflective studies, using a black 2013 Porsche type 991, 911 Carrera S coupe as the subject, showcasing the latest in headlight technology and the by-product of a flawless paint finish.

Black 2013 Porsche 991 Carrera S_headlight, fender and hood reflections_Cars&Coffee/irvine_April 27, 2013

Another graphic display of how shadow, light and foliage effects, when combined can visually enhance the profile and contours as those found on an early 70’s Porsche 911 front hood and fenders (as seen below).

Green 1971 Porsche 911E_front hood and fender lighting, shadows and highlights_ Cars&Coffee/irvine_April 20, 2013

Porsche 914-6 GT reflection captured in the front fender of a black Porsche 993 coupe…

Black Porsche 993_ front fender reflection_Cars&Coffee/irvine_April 20, 2013

A beautifully restored, vintage Chrysler Town & Country convertible, complete with wood cladding on its sides and trunk area as shown. Even the woodwork was finished and polished to a high level matching that of the paint job.

Green vintage Chrysler Town & Country "woody" convertible_wood trimmed rear trunk_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 20, 2013

And looking closer, these reflective properties were carried over to the vehicles rear fender, which offered up a clue to its surroundings.

Green vintage Chrysler Town & Country "woody" convertible_rear fender reflections facing forward_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 20, 2013

Up front was another surprise, hiding beneath the opened hood; an immaculate Dodge Viper V-10 motor, transplanted into the engine bay and appearing as if it had been original to this model, as delivered by Chrysler.

Green vintage Chrysler Town & Country "woody" convertible_Viper V-10 motor_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 20, 2013

Over in the main parking area, I discovered another example of a beautifully restored engine compartment and motor, as found on this 1970’s vintage Chevrolet Camaro…

Yellow 1970's vintage Chevrolet Camaro_engine compartment detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 20, 2013

and a close – up shot, revealing some very cool reflections captured in the chrome valve cover and breather.

Yellow 1970's vintage Chevrolet Camaro_valve cover reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 20, 2013

Nothing screams hot rod like highly polished chrome injectors and brightly colored accents, in this case the go fast accessories found within the engine compartment on this black 1962 Corvette (below).

Black 1962 Chevrolet Corvette_ engine details _Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 20, 2013

A Mercedes – Benz Sedan and a side mirror with a secret…

Mercedes -Benz  sedan_side  mirror reflection_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

A pristine chrome grill and hood emblem, as observed on a beautifully restored,1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL coupe…

White 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL_ front grill and hood emblem detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_May 11, 2013

including some equally impressive grill and trim reflections.

White 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL_front grill reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_May 11, 2013

And a full shot of the beautifully restored 280SL, the source of hidden detail.

White 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_May 11, 2013

(Below), amazing detail awaiting discovery in this contemporary version of the Bentley hood ornament…

Bentley hood emblem_close up_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 20, 2013Rear window reflections, when viewed from the proper angle…

Red VW panel van with Porsche graphic_side view and reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_May 11, 2013

Reflecting on several early Porsche 911s…

Black Porsche 911S with white 911R reflection_side view  reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_May 11, 2013

and an upside reflection, as seen in the hood of a 1987 black Porsche 930 turbo.

Black Porsche 930 turbo with white 911S  targa reflection_upside down reflection in front hood_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_May 11, 2013

A 1930’s vintage Ford Tudor coupe, capturing its surroundings, via its headlight, paint finish…

1930's vintage Ford Tudor__headlight reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_May 11, 2013

and its classic, chrome plated Ford radiator /grill surround.

1930's vintage Ford Tudor__chrome grill  reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_May 11, 2013

The latest iteration of Jaguar badging…

Green 2014 Jaguar F Type V8 S roadster_rear badging_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_May 11, 2013

as displayed on the back of this brand new, dark green metallic 2014 Jaguar F-type V8 S Roadster.

Green 2014 Jaguar F Type V8 S roadster_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_May 11, 2013

A trio of the brand new 2014 F-Type models on display, courtesy of Jaguar.

A trio of 2014 Jaguar F Type roadsters_rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_May 11, 2013

So the next time you find yourself looking at a car, take an extra moment to stop and look a little closer, as you may be surprised by the hidden details previously overlooked, but now revealed…

(All photos by the author)


Atlas staged, plus a colorful collection of eclectic cars…

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word eclectic as “selecting what appears to be the best in various doctrines, methods or styles”: “composed of elements drawn from various sources”. Both of these definitions were equally appropriate in describing the vehicles that turned out for the Saturday April 27th gathering of Cars & Coffee / Irvine.

On this particular morning, courtesy of the Ford Motor Company, participants were greeted by a concept vehicle on display, staged over in the featured lot. However, instead of a car, the vehicle in question was a concept truck. In this case, a silver Ford “Atlas Concept” crew cab pick up, with an abundance of custom features, including active wheel shutters (shown in their closed position), as visible on the driver’s side wheels…

Silver Ford Atlas Concept_3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Silver Ford Atlas Concept_presentation board_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Silver Ford Atlas Concept_front grill detail with reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Wheel shutters in their open position, as seen on the passenger side wheels (below).

Silver Ford Atlas Concept_passenger side wheel with open shutters_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Parked over at the opposite end of the featured lot, the Mercedes-Benz Classics Center was showing several rare, beautifully restored, vintage treasures from their museum…

Mercedes Benz  rear engined coupes_ Classics Center Display_ 3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Mercedes Benz, cream and green  rear engined cabriolet_ Classics Center display_ engine detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

I overheard (while shooting the red model below), that this particular vehicle is a one of one; the only example of this vintage beauty in existence.

Mercedes Benz, red rear engined coupe_ Classics Center display_ rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Mercedes Benz, red rear engined coupe_ Classics Center display_headlight reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Parked just to the right of these two Mercedes, was one very cool and beautifully restored two toned DKW (Auto Union) Schnellaster panel van (aka DKW F89 L), produced from 1949 to 1962 as seen below. These vehicles were initially powered by a 700 cc, two-cylinder, two-stroke motor. Then in 1955, the Schnellaster received an upgrade to three cylinders, increasing the displacement up to 900 cc, good for 32 horsepower!

Two toned green DKW Schnellaster panel van_Rear door badging_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Who copied who? This two toned color palette appeared very similar to color schemes observed on several early 1950’s Volkswagen Type II transporters.

Two toned green DKW Schnellaster panel van_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Over on Porsche row, it was one of those rare mornings that saw 100% occupancy by Porsche models only.  And due to the clear, sunny springtime weather, a truly colorful collection of eclectic Porsches turned out in force…

Porsche row color_stacked side view down entire row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Porsche row color _3/4 rear view shot down entire row_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Porsche row  _993 turbo wheel detail & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Porsche row  _Jeff Zwart's  Valvoline Porsche 964 turbo rally car_ 3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Porsche row _Jeff Zwart's  Valvoline Porsche 964 turbo rally car_ front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Porsche row _Jeff Zwart's  Valvoline Porsche 964 turbo rally car_ driving lights and front hood details_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Porsche row color_914-6 and early 911 front ends long shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Porsche row color_early  911 front ends & reflections long shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Porsche row color_long shot of row, front ends & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Porsche row color_Tangerine 1970 Porsche 914- 6 _3/4 rear view & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Porsche row color_long shot of rear ends, side view _Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Porsche row color_white 993 Carrera 4S and 2013 Type 991, 911 Carrera S, side view _Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Situated just opposite of Porsche row, was this spectacular 1970s vintage Datsun 510…

White & blue Datsun 510 coupe _3/4 side view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

with an equally impressive turbocharged motor lurking under the hood, ready to shame any unsuspecting rival.

White & blue Datsun 510 coupe _turbo motor detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

As I continued on my trek through the parking lot, I came across several other Porsches that obviously arrived too late to park along Porsche row…

Irish Green Porsche 911S with amber lensed headlights _ front hood, fender and light detail & reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Irish Green Porsche 911S with amber lensed headlights _ driving light reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Sumner's 1983 India red Porsche 911SC_ rear decklid badge detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Sumner's 1983 red Porsche 911SC_ Mercedes-Benz grill shadowing on door_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

And just two rows over was a collection of Dodge Vipers, three in the blue with white stripe combination. A closer look revealed the center blue viper as one of the brand new 2013 SRT models.

Viper Row_ trio of blue with white striped Dodge viper coupes__2013 SRT in middle_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Representing Ford’s endurance racing efforts from the 1960’s, were these two Ford GT 40 tributes…

Red Ford GT 40 tribute with Gurney/Weslake motor_Rear deck raised_3/4 rear view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Red Ford GT 40 tribute_ Gurney/Weslake motor detail_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Ford GT 40 tribute_ raised rear decklid reflections_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Black Ford GT 40 tribute_ 3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Also encountered and scattered throughout the parking lot, were several beautiful examples representing another of the German marques, in this case BMW…

Red 1973 BMW 3.0 CS coupe_BMW rondel detail _Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Red 1973 BMW 3.0 CS coupe_angled 3/4 rear view _Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

Early silver BMW M3 coupe_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April27, 2013

Representing the Italian manufacturers was a line up of jellybean colored Lamborghini,  parked together out on the very back row.

Lamborghini Row_ jelly bean colors_3/4 front view_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_April 27, 2013

So with summer just around the corner, one can only speculate regarding the possibility of  a Stingray sighting, or when the next Saturday mornings colorful collection of eclectic cars will occur…

(All photos by the author)