Hi there! It’s been a while….

…and I’ve been really, really busy!

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been attending and event or two almost every weekend! Imagine how many photos I have to sort through! Aside from that, I’ve been making a few changes too. Here’s a short list of updates for you!:

  1. I started becoming much more active on Instagram since it’s pretty easy to use and update. In addition to being able to share my photos from my Flickr account directly into Instagram, I could also use my phone to snap pictures and share them whenever I feel like it. Especially since I have a decent camera and access to photo editing software on my phone!
  2. I’ve just updated the Events Calendar with some of this year’s gatherings. It used to be much easier to just follow events from my personal Facebook page and then export everything to an .ical file,  but now I have to copy events from the Facebook events feed manually into the Corkscrew’d Calendar in order for the site’s calendar to update. At least now I’ll be a little more active on the Event’s Calendar!
  3. I’ve reapplied with the Western Automotive Journalists as an associate member! I did this last year in order to get press access to the Spring Classic at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I’m hoping that I’ll get press access again for a lot more events this year!

Also, I’ve been adding more projects in the portfolio since I last made a blog post:

  1. In February I attended the February 18th Orinda Cars and Coffee and shot some awesome pictures using one of the vintage lenses in my arsenal. I should probably see about getting that stuck aperture fixed at some point!
  2. On March 4th I attended the Season Premiere of Blackhawk Cars and Coffee and was blown away by the sheer number of people attending! I had a blast taking pictures of some of the most unique cars I have ever seen!
  3. On March 10th, I high-tailed it down to Laguna Seca to check out the Monterey Cars and Coffee happening right on the lake bed! It was something to be walking around and taking pictures of some cool machines while a practice session was happening at the same time! I’ll definitely be going back!
  4. This past Wednesday I attended the 26th Annual WAJ Media Days and even got my photos published! On top of that, I got several chances to ride in a car around the track! It was literally my first time out on the racetrack, so it is definitely something I’m not going to forget! Especially considering that my first time out, I was riding in a Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-R!

That’s about it for now. I’m planning on having a much busier season this year, so stay tuned for more of my adventures!

-W

Hanging out on Hecker Pass Highway

Though the Bay Area is known for it’s combination of rich history and the constant process of technological innovation thanks to Silicon Valley, it’s almost unsurprising that automotive culture here has flourished for decades. I say this, because one would not be surprised due to the amount of incredible driving roads nearby.

Thanks to the Santa Cruz Mountain range separating the coast from the Santa Clara Valley, there are plenty of roads where motorcyclists and automotive enthusiasts can take out their vehicles and enjoy cresting straights, banked curves, and switchbacks. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see sports cars with decals showing outlines of some of these famous driving roads; not unlike surfers having decals of their favorite beaches stuck onto the rear windows of their vans.

I consider myself very lucky that I get to drive one of these roads on a regular basis!

Hecker Pass Highway is part of California State Route 152, which goes from the Coastal Highway entrance in Watsonville to State Route 99 near Chowchilla. The highway is a low mountain pass which goes through the Santa Cruz mountains and over Mount Madonna, terminating in downtown Gilroy. Featuring banked curves, quick switchbacks, and incredible views of the Watsonville farmlands and the Pacific Coast, the most notable landmarks on the pass are the Mt. Madonna State Park, and the old Mt. Madonna Inn, which has unfortunately been closed since the early 90’s. Having not taken out my camera for a while, I felt that the old Inn might be a great place to practice some long-exposure photography of passing cars.

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A detailed Map of California State Route 152 courtesy of Wikipedia. Hecker Pass makes up the western-most part of the route starting in Watsonville and ending in Gilroy.

I managed to convince a friend to come with me and check out the view from the fenced-in hotel at the top of the mountain before we went on to do something else that night, and both of us stood and watched as darkness fell over the mountain the the bright lights of passing cars left trails in the camera’s viewfinder.

Though we didn’t stay for long, I did manage to get a few arresting images of passing cars just as they came around the final corner toward the Inn and started descending the mountain. Though we could have stayed there a little bit longer, the combination of the cold and a previous engagement meant we had to high-tail it back down the mountain and into Santa Cruz. Just as well; apparently the old Inn is supposed to be haunted, and I didn’t want to stick around for too long and find out.

There are other spots that I would love to set up a camera and take some pictures of the lush trees and the winding road. I’ll just have to figure out where I could do that safely away from the daily traffic.

In the meantime, enjoy these long-exposure shots of passing traffic at the old Inn.

Note: I wanted to try something different since the automotive season is a little slow thanks to the winter months. I actually thought about writing posts about some of my favorite driving roads for a while now, so I figured I’d give it a shot with one my regular routes. Maybe this will become a regular series as I explore a little bit more. Stay tuned!

-W

Busy Weeks, Busier Weekends!

These last couple of weeks have been absolutely hectic!

I’ve started a new job, traveled to a few new places, and I’ve even made some progress on a side project I’ve been working on! But, I’m still dedicated to capturing automotive culture in the Bay Area, which is why I’m happy to announce two new photo collections!

Recently, The Blackhawk Museum hosted it’s Cars and Coffee Season Finale in Danville. This show was to be a very last show of it’s kind, with the Museum starting a new format next year in the hopes that the show can be saved. The new format will include paid entrance fees, and a strong push to sign on new members for the Museum, with many different perks being offered.

Last weekend also ended up being a pleasant adventure, as the Mini Owners Club of America and The Blackhawk Museum sponsored the All British Motor Show, a smaller car show featuring beautiful examples of British Motor Cars. It also ended up being the very first time I had ever seen a Marcos in person, let alone three at once!

Enjoy!

-W


 

Photos added from the September 3rd Blackhawk Cars and Coffee…and some bad news.

On Sunday September 3rd, I did a quick trip to check out the monthly Blackhawk Cars and Coffee meet in Danville CA. It was a lot of fun, despite me arriving late to the event!

You can check out the photos by clicking the link to the gallery at the bottom of this post!

And now for the bad news:

Rumors are spreading about the City of Danville no longer wanting the Blackhawk Museum to host the monthly Cars and Coffee event. Although speculation is all over the place regarding the exact reasons why, it is widely believed that the reason for this is because of safety concerns from the local police department regarding exhibitionists bombing through residential neighborhoods at excessive speeds and creating unacceptable noise pollution.

After asking around a bit, I managed to find out a little bit more about the situation: In addition to the Police Department’s concern, the Danville City Council is also citing concerns regarding lost revenue for Blackhawk Plaza when the event is in full swing and regular customers cannot find parking. Pressure from both the City Council and the City’s Police Department could mean that, unless a resolution could be reached (such as mandatory noise restrictions, stronger police presence, and even relocating the event behind the Plaza), Blackhawk Cars and Coffee’s days may be numbered.

Let’s hope that the City of Danville and the Blackhawk Museum could work something out. If not, it will be a sad day for enthusiasts not just in the Bay Area, but nationwide.

-W


 

Monterey Car Week Galleries Added!

Sorry for the long wait between posts; I was too busy editing and publishing photos!

Monterey Car week came, went, and provided some unbelievable opportunities for capturing the most valuable and incredible pieces of automotive history on camera! Thanks to a few friends as well, I was able to get closer to the action than ever before!

First, I was able to secure press access to the 2017 Mecum Monterey Auctions in Monterey California. For the first two days of the auction, I was in the middle of all the action as some very desirable cars and motorcycles crossed the auction block in front of me! Imagine being mere feet away from a beautiful 1957 MV Agusta while some very wealthy people bid on it!

After I finished at Mecum, I made my way toward the automotive event of the year: The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion! Thanks to a few friends and a lot of luck, I was able to not only camp out at the racetrack above Turns 10 and 11, but I was able to get a photo vest for shooting inside the racetrack! This was the first time I was able to get this close to the action at RMMR 2017, and as a result, I managed to capture some incredible shots of vintage race cars in their natural element! Imagine being close to a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testarossa as it crested the Corkscrew, or having to cover your ears as a four-rotor Mazda RX-7 GTO screamed by!

Finally, because of happenstance I was able to get a small preview of the Concorso Italiano 2017. I more or less crashed the Concorso to get up-close and personal with some incredible vintage Italian machinery, including the Fiat-Abarth 750 Zagato, and the beautiful Lamborghini Miura!

This year’s Monterey Car Week was one I’ll never forget. Come check out the new galleries, and see what it was like being right in the thick of it!

-W


New Gallery Added + Getting Ready for Mecum and the Reunion!

IMG_0595-2Hello again!

This week is going to be another one for the history books, as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is getting ready for the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion! This year’s Reunion will be special, as the racetrack will be celebrating its 60th Anniversary, and will feature the race cars that first raced at the track in 1957!

In addition, the Mecum Auctions will be in Monterey starting tomorrow at 1pm, until Sunday, Aug 20th. The Mecum Auctions provide another excellent chance to see some incredible machinery! This weekend will be so chock full of automotive events that it will be difficult for someone to split their time between them for fear of missing out on anything!

Lastly, I managed to once again attend the monthly Blackhawk Cars and Coffee on August 6th, and came face to face with not one, but two Ford GT40 Replicas! Blackhawk seems to be getting bigger and bigger every time I attend!

Come see the new gallery!

-W


Another gallery added!

It was another busy weekend here in the Bay Area, as Canepa opened their garage doors once again to host their monthly Cars and Coffee! I figured that since there was always a fine collection of vintage automobiles, I would shoot with a vintage lens I rescued from a thrift store; a Spiratone Plura-Coat 20mm F/2.8.

This time around I managed to explore nearly every inch of the facility, and I even met Mr. Canepa himself!

Come check out the gallery!

-W


Canepa Cars and Coffee – June 10th 2017