Almost every car person is a carspotter.
I mean, isn’t that what most car events really are? Sure, we go to concours, cruise-ins and cars & coffee to talk with friends, but seeing cool cars is really the goal.
It’s easy to spot car people in the wild. These are the people on the sidewalk who look around when a car fires up — or downshifts before a stop. I once saw a woman in Los Angeles get up from a sidewalk table at a very nice restaurant and walk away from her date to get a better look at a Porsche 356A Carrera Speedster that was idling at a nearby stoplight.
Her date — or maybe her husband — just kept on eating. He’d seen all this before.
The only thing that is better than car spotting is getting a great photo of the special car you’ve just found on the street or in a parking space.
Some of these photos can go a step beyond a car portrait.
In the summer of 2020, I spotted a gorgeous, early 1960s 4-door Lincoln Continental convertible — all black — under a tree in Portland, OR. As I got closer, I spotted a huge, green katydid perched on the glossy, black slab of a rear fender. This bug was about two inches long, and it looked like a space alien.
Luckily, I had a good camera in my backpack — a Canon DSLR that just happened to have a macro lens attached to the body. I crouched in the street and took some photos of this giant bug perched on the fender.
That green bug glows in the photo, and you also see just how dusty and dirty a car can be — if you look really closely. When I was just standing by the car, it looked pristine! I guess this is why people are always spraying and wiping down cars at car shows, concours and car auctions.
I took one of my favorite shots last summer. It’s of a guy putting the cover back on the blower on his drag-racing Corvette. The engine is jutting out of the engine compartment, and the guy has this joyous grin on his face. You just KNOW that he’s already visualizing lighting up that beast and roaring down the track. Does this count as a carspotting shot? Sure it does. It’s a car out there in the wild.
Other times, I’ve found sublime cars parked in the street or showing off while parked in the prime spots at the front of nice hotels, but I didn’t have a camera.
So, I always try to have a camera on me — or in the car — when I’m out of the house. Cell phone cameras are okay — and sometimes they take great photos — but you’ll probably be happier with shots from a digital camera. A lot of the small, point-and-shoot cameras you see in the local photo shop can take AMAZING photos.
I’m curious to see what photos my fellow carspotters get this spring and summer. Here’s the deal: If you get a shot you think is just fabulous, send me a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll pick out my two favorites and share them in Linkage 009, which comes out in early November. The carspotters who take the two best shots will also get a free Linkage ballcap. Make sure to send in your shots by October 10, 2022.
We’ll also make a photo album to share other great shots on this very website, www.linkagemag.com.
So, let’s make this a great spring and summer of carspotting photos! I cannot wait to see what you all find out there — in the wild.