Skyline Matsuri 2019 trailer released!

My pictures from last weekends Skyline Matsuri was used in this video! If you’re a fan of epic movie trailers, then watch this video now!

Special thanks to Todd Lappin of Telstar Logistics!

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[Opinion] Hypercars don’t excite me anymore

It’s been a while! I took a little hiatus while I was setting up the site’s new store, but now I’m back! The new print store will be up this week!

-W

The gorgeous Pininfarina Battista. Image © Autotimesnews.com

The Geneva International Auto Show is underway…

…And already there are some poster-ready sports cars and concept cars that could adorn the walls of teenagers who aren’t really into Fortnite. The most notable car for me is the Pininfarina Battista; a technical tour-de-force from one of Italy’s most well known car design studios, famous for penning the sultry bodies of Ferraris for decades. The Battista itself is a push forward towards the limits of electric drivetrain technology, with a motor in each wheel making a combined 1,874 horsepower and 2300 Newton meters of torque. And of course, its very good-looking.

So, why is it that I’m not very impressed with it?

Don’t get me wrong; I think the Battista is an absolutely gorgeous car, with plenty of references to one of my favorite concept cars of all time; the Maserati Pininfarina Birdcage 75th Anniversary Concept. It’s just that with all of the super sports cars and hypercars that have come out in the last couple of years, I might be a little jaded hearing about another sports car for the uber-rich. It just seems kind of pointless, doesn’t it?

The Pininfarina Battista and the Maserati Birdcage 7th Anniversary Concept car. Definitely a family resemblance.

On one hand, of course a car like the Battista is going to be ridiculously expensive; it’s essentially a concept car for the road. I should be glad that a car like this even exists as it represents the cutting edge of automotive technology. On the other however, I’ll likely never get to own or even drive something like this as fast as I want, because I live in a country with an average maximum speed limit of 55mph.

It could be a multitude of things that are making me feel this way about this car. Could it be that I’m now more cognizant of the current issues of our society, such as poverty and income inequality? When viewed through that particular lens, the Batista becomes another tool of which billionaires can use to flaunt their wealth to the lower classes. Maybe it’s the practicality of it, or lack thereof. I’m certainly someone that believes a car is meant to be driven and enjoyed, especially with a standard transmission and a short throw shifter. A car like this is likely going to take up space in a climate-controlled garage filled with other pieces of beautiful automotive engineering, only to be brought out for special events and gatherings; not that I don’t appreciate it. Certainly there will be people who would drive the Battista, but then we run into the first issue again.

Mostly, I think it’s my own preferences evolving as I get older. As I said before, I’m not interested in things that I have little to no chance even owning, let alone driving. Instead, I’ve noticed a trend toward interesting, quirky cars that don’t break the bank for owning and maintaining. In fact, I’m more impressed with cars that tick all the right boxes and still reside in the land of feasible ownership. A Lotus Esprit or an 90’s Acura NSX fall within this realm for me, and lord knows how much I’ve drooled over something like the Mazda Autozam AZ-1. Even new cars like the Alfa Romeo 4C interest me more than the Battista, because there’s a slight chance that I’ll be able to own or drive it.

I used Alfa Romeo’s Configurator to spec out a 4C. Base models go for around $66K

I suppose this is just the thoughts of someone shedding their teenage desires for owning an exotic car and settling with something more in my socio-economic standing. How many of us grew up with a Jaguar XJ220, McLaren F1, Lamborghini Diablo, or a Ferrari F50 taped to their bedroom walls, and are currently driving those around? I personally can’t answer that. But I can say that I could get a 90’s Lotus Esprit for around $25k and still feel like a million bucks.

The Pininfarina Battista is still a good-looking car though.

Almost done!

A few things are still missing, but I’m almost at the end of the race!

I started the New Year with a plan…

…and I’m nearly at the end of the finish line!

In my “Big Changes are on the Horizon” Post, I outlined a detailed plan for what I was changing in the new year, and what I wanted to accomplish with this blog. First, I was getting rid of some services that I either didn’t need anymore or was changing to the point where using them was no longer viable. Case in point: Flickr had changed it’s Free User photo limit to 1,000 photos, and Visual Society simply wasn’t working for me anymore. So I backed up my Flickr account and finally closed it down after 2 years. Then, I closed down my Visual Society account.

Next, I decided to create three-pronged social media strategy leveraging my already up-and-coming Instagram account, a Twitter account, and a Facebook page. I’m happy to say that I have both Twitter and Facebook up and running and interconnected with each other! If I make a post (like this one) here on Corkscrew’d, then WordPress will automatically push a notification to both Twitter and Facebook with a link to a post. My Instagram account is now also set up the same way.

Lastly, the final phase of the New Year plan is to upgrade the Corkscrew’d site to a Business plan, and then build an internal print shop where you could buy prints or downloaded copies of my best shots. Today, I’m absolutely thrilled to say that Corkscrew’d is officially on a Business plan! The final thing to do now is to find a suitable plugin for selling prints and downloads of photos.

The finish line is in sight! Now for the final push!

Saying goodbye to Flickr

What my Flickr Albums looked like on New Year’s Day, 2019.

The hardest part of making a positive change…

…is having to make sacrifices. In my last post, I outlined my new plan for Corkscrew’d moving forward through 2019. Because of changes in the services I use to share and backup my photos, I’m now planning to consolidate everything I do on this website and utilize a few select social media services. Unfortunately, this also meant cutting services I’ve used for years; Flickr being one of them.

As of this writing my Flickr account has around 10,000 photos dating back to 2016, when I first started borrowing a camera from work to pursue photography as a hobby. In a way, my Flickr albums work like a sort of time capsule where I could instantly travel back to when the photo was taken, and what my life was like then. It’s frankly amazing how far I’ve come in just two years! Alas, things change and I simply need more from my social media.

Why Flickr?

Back in 2016 when I started my Flickr account, I needed a cheap and easy storage solution for backing up photos. This was a hard lesson to learn, as the catalyst for me looking for this solution was the death of a massive three terabyte hard drive filled with a few hundred photos, including ones I took at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion V in 2015. After getting another hard drive and rebuilding my lost files from random portable storage drives, I began looking for an online solution that doubled as a way to showcase my photos.

At the time, Flickr was owned by Yahoo, and by creating a Yahoo account you would be able to get one terabyte(!) of free storage. Combined with Flickr’s powerful photo organization tools and sharing options, it was a no-brainer. I began uploading photos after my latest excursion to Laguna Seca for the 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

9,199 photos later, and my Flickr account had become an impressive repository of images of automotive culture in the Bay Area. Not only that; you can see my evolution from a hobbyist photographer borrowing a camera on the weekends, to a professional with an obsession for capturing panning shots. Additionally, Flickr made it very easy to share photos from my Flickr account to other social media sites like Instagram. Flickr essentially became the storage solution for my needs, without breaking the bank.

Why leave now?

As I said in my last post, Flickr was acquired Smugmug and is now limiting its free accounts to 1000 photos. In order to keep my current collection of photos, I would need to cough up an extra $50 a year for the Pro account and get unlimited storage. Honestly, it seems like a good deal for what Flickr Pro can offer, but I think cutting that cost and refocusing on my blog is a better use for the cash. This is especially true since that money could go toward upgrading my WordPress account to a Business plan and creating my own “in-house” print store, which was also something I was toying with in my last post. Also, My Instagram is far more effective at bringing new readers to my blog, as I’ve set it up to cross post to Facebook, and I have plans to integrate it with more social media accounts. And since Instagram also works as image storage, Flickr is more or less redundant for me.

Should I leave Flickr too?

Here’s the thing: if I were using only Flickr, I think that $50 a year is actually a very good deal for what’s offered. With the Pro account, you get Unlimited Storage, Analytics, Ad-free browsing, and discounts for other services like Smugmug. You could even advertise your business on Flickr and link directly to a shopping cart for your own online store. Lastly, Flickr has the advantage of having an established community of longtime users, so your uploaded work could potentially get some exposure.

In the end, I think the decision to leave Flickr or to keep using it is purely based on what your budget is and what you’ll primarily use it for. Since I’m only using it for image storage and basic sharing, I find it hard to justify the new costs. However, if you’re looking for a way to get started into photography and join an already established community, $4 a month isn’t that bad.

So, farewell Flickr. It’s been enlightening.


UPDATE: My Flickr has officially closed down on Jan. 4th 2019. If you want to see my photos, check out my Instagram at www.instagram.com/corkscrewd, or just check out my Portfolio!