View Full Version : Look at that car!

10-31-2013, 06:17 PM
Because most of my photographs will eventually be from 'a long time ago' I sometimes find myself intentionally trying to anchor the image in its time. Nothing seems to do this (in America) as well as an automobile. Regularly altered, ubiquitous, non-threatening, usually motionless; they make a pretty good visual timestamp. Does anybody else do this? If so what do you use?

10-31-2013, 07:36 PM
cars and clothes are excellent -- nothing i hate more than old pictures that just show scenery -- could be anytime. Hair styles help too.

10-31-2013, 07:41 PM
ive used cars and clothes as well

great way to date a photo honestly, or make it appear as if in an earlier time (look for the Nova in my Gallery and you will see what I mean)

another good method to date a photo is architecture

10-31-2013, 07:46 PM
Exif data.. haha...

Actually a sharpy written date atop the printfile page. Otherwise, it'd be tough for many of my photos. Nature shots looking like the 70's. Antique cars and planes. 30's pictorialist stuff, retro bands with retro instruments.

10-31-2013, 08:00 PM
hi s-a

i am guilty of being sort of sometimes from the other camp.
often times i don't really pay attention to whether there is a "date stamp"
but cars, clothes, ephemera, "material-culture" all work for me

10-31-2013, 11:56 PM
Hmmm, I actually try and keep modern cars, etc out of my B&W pictures, just so they can't be dated. I never thought about why, it's just something I've always done.

11-01-2013, 03:26 AM
Hmmm, I actually try and keep modern cars, etc out of my B&W pictures, just so they can't be dated. I never thought about why, it's just something I've always done.

Well, me too :)

I made this photo couple of weeks ago :)


11-01-2013, 04:43 AM
Darco, I guess the bagpack and that hoodie would reveal its correct setting to me. If I would be scrupiously looking.
I was wondering about those white soles, but I remember having sport shoes with withe sole-trimmining back then. That cable of that player would most probably be seen as a scratch.

I have to admit I never thought of giving my photographs a time stamp. Interesting idea.

11-01-2013, 05:38 AM
I often try to catch elements that will date a photo; especially in "street photography. So many photographs from the past which would otherwise seem ordinary improve with age (for me) because of a dated detail. Hair styles, clothing, cars and especially advertisements. Walker Evans left lots of shots that are interesting to me only because of their advertisements.

11-01-2013, 09:48 AM
I'm definitely one of those who often tries to avoid time stamping in my photos. It took me awhile to figure out, but I think I know why in many cases. I often take a specific picture because I see something in a scene that strikes a nostalgic note within me. In a sense, I am not so much taking a picture of the scene as it is, but as it was. (or may have been) To be sure, I would say that this is not an exclusive consideration which defines me as a photographer, but it does have an impact on how I may compose, shoot and print a scene, particularly when I am visiting a city which may be several hundred years old.

I may shoot a scene with the intention of juxtaposing the old with the new, perhaps some crumbling plaster or intricate vintage roof-line, shot against a shiny new skyscraper in the background. Juxtaposition is fodder for a great many wonderful photographs, but for me the stronger emotional impact might be to compose the shot so that the new does not intrude on the historic impact in the scene.


Chris Lange
11-01-2013, 10:30 AM
I wouldn't mind them so much if modern cars weren't so damn generic and ugly, but I deliberately try to avoid them taking prominence in any of my pictures, often preferring to omit them altogether.

Although I feel the same way about advertisements for big-box stores, big-box stores proper, and big-box store parking lots. In my personal work I really am not attracted to making pictures of things that describe a certain time period, more interpretations of what I feel in a visual medium.