Within this past week I have photographed two Mercury Trucks, the first, an early fifties three ton grain truck, part of a display celebrating the agricultural heritage of Manning, Alberta; the second was a vehicle that is as old as I am, a 1961 Mercury 100 pickup truck located in Brock Enterprises’ industrial lot in High Level, Alberta.
As one who returned to University to complete two degrees, one job I enjoyed for an interim year in October of 1981 was that of working with Ford Motor Company (FOMOCO) in Edmonton, Alberta at Waterloo Mercury, first as a used-car car jockey, then as showroom car jockey and later as pre-delivery inspector. Not quite a gear head, I know a good deal about how a car or truck can be driven and how a vehicle should ride; and, I am someone who enjoys BBC America’s Top Gear. Back then, in 1981, detailing vehicles was my side-business, something allowing me to put money in the bank for University and it’s something I continue to take great pride in. I value a well-turned out vehicle and my preferences for waxes include the McGuiar’s waxes as well as the Autoglym waxes that have received Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II (this is the schtuff used on Aston Martins).
On Thursday, following a long day at school, I drove through High Level’s industrial area, saw a crew vehicle parked in front of Brock Enterprises and went in to ask permission to photograph the 1961 Mercury 100 Pickup stored on this property by the Brock Enterprises owner. It was a never-done experience, that of providing my name, information about where I work and about my teaching photography at our local high school. Later that evening, the matter was one moving me from our couch outdoors to seize the opportunity of photographing the Mercury 100 pickup up close. That night I got out to the Brock Enterprises Industrial Lot and spent perhaps forty-five minutes photographing this metallic green truck and another vehicle, likely a 1950’s Greyhound bus. Photography with long exposures provided me time for looking beyond the truck around at its environment. I was working with Automatic Exposure Bracketing to create High Dynamic Range (HDR) images; so, each HDR image was taking about two minutes to create at 100 ISO. I was dressed in ski pants, ski jacket and warm head-gear; warm comfort is a part of capturing good images in winter or colder temperatures. As I looked around me I saw deer in a neighboring industrial lot moving along a path taking them to the Viterra Grain Elevator where they could feast on grain spillage.
Listening to an iTunes genius generated playlist originating from Mercury Blues by David Lindley from the El Rayo-X album; others songs in the playlist include Get Right with God by Lucinda Williams from Essence, Sweet Fire of Love by Robbie Robertson from his album entitled Robbie Robertson; Bang a Gong [Get It On] by T. Rex from Electric Warrior, Elvis Presley Blues by Gillian Welch from her Time – the Revelator album and Bob Dylan’s Dignity from Bob Dylan: The Collection – MTV Unplugged have also surfaced as song interests. I’ve also been inspired to purchase through iTunes Fly Like An Eagle, Rock’n Me and Take the Money and Run in addition to Mercury Blues by the Steve Miller Band (good old songs from a grade 11 year … all those years ago).
Quotes to Inspire (1) “The goal is not to change your subjects, but for the subject to change the photographer.” – Anonymous; and, (2) “Actually, I’m not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the picture is in the box, I’m not all that interested in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren’t cooks.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
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