If you're a regular reader you might have picked up on my long-term interest in cars. Not the modern, shiny ones but rather those with a past. I'm actively trying to find an old Saab 900 (the original model now known as the Classic) or an earlier 96 (the first car I bought) in a bid to recapture my lost youth.
It's come to nought so far. I've looked at four or five 900s and all have been, well, rust buckets or a close approximation thereof. I let a 96 slip through my hands (I've written about my unsuccessful car-finding efforts here. If you know of anyone with a 900 or 96 available for sale in the UK then please get in touch) and I'm not likely to see another one any time soon without being prepared to travel a few hundreds miles and spend around £5000 which, quite frankly, I don't have.
In each of these photographs, I've tried to capture the "human" nature of the cars. They do, after all, have a "face" of sorts or a cute derriere in the case of the Mini. This personification might be peculiar to me or maybe it's the reason that classic car enthusiasts are so enthusiastic. I don't know but I guess it's the latter.
They date back a number of years to a time when a scruffy Mamiya Press was my constant companion almost to the exclusion of other cameras and formats. I had the 65mm, 90mm and 150mm lenses for it and found I could tackle most of the subjects I fancied with that basic outfit, a yellow filter and a handheld exposure meter. I've considered getting back to something like that level of simplicity - whether 35mm or 6x6 - but haven't yet plucked up the courage to take the plunge.
There's no denying that, as far as I'm concerned, limiting my camera options has the opposite effect on my photography. It's like that with most things, I've found. When I had one bicycle, I did a lot of cycling. When the collecting bug bit me I started adding more and more bikes/frames to my stable and spending less and less time in the saddle until I've reached the point where I have half a garage full of vintage racing machines and haven't actually cycled anywhere for about 18 months.
It's even worked out like that, to some extent, with enlargers. I've now got four in my darkroom and I'm doing far less printing than when I had just the one. Pretty stupid really but I suffer from the collector's disease which stipulates that if one of something is good then more must be better. If I won the lottery I'm sure I'd become one of those guys who buys a new house just for the huge garage or outbuildings and then fills them with classic cars.