Rusting Relics – Narratives of Habit

Farm Trucks - Manning, Alberta 1
Farm Trucks – Manning, Alberta 1
Farm Trucks - Manning, Alberta 2
Farm Trucks – Manning, Alberta 2
Farm Trucks - Manning, Alberta 3
Farm Trucks – Manning, Alberta 3

In the past few days I’ve wondered if the attracting element to vehicle photography is the coherence of a vehicle’s design, functionality and comfort. Beyond this, is it the style and form of the vehicle that attracts the eye and the impulse to drive the vehicle? Perhaps it is our ability to imagine both how someone will look driving the vehicle or merely the anticipation of how it will handle that attracts the photographer to a vehicle.

For drivers, habit leads us in our vehicle use, our driving. We tend not to consider the system or systems of steps that allow us to drive a vehicle. Unlocking the door, opening the door, sitting in the seat, putting the key into the ignition, starting the car with or without throttle use, shifting from park to reverse and then to drive, steering, adjusting speed with throttle (gas pedal) – these steps get the car moving and rolling. A system of steps ensures safety of self and others, a system of steps allows us not only to propel the vehicle forward, but to navigate while doing so and a system of steps allows us to park and leave the vehicle. For the driver such a system of steps is more habit than an individually considered set of actions that takes driver and passengers from point of origin to destination and back again.

So, is it design, function, form, colour or comfort that attracts the photographer’s eye to a vehicle? Or is it the photographer’s ability to imagine, see and confirm the narrative of habit associated with a vehicle that pulls the eye – the future narrative of a new vehicle; or, the past narrative of a vehicle from another era? Perhaps these questions are starting points for vehicle advertisers. Still I like looking at each dent, chip and window crack in old, rusting relics; vehicle interiors convey much about driver and passengers – much narrative of habit is found in these vehicles. Here, rusting relics are set out in a farmer’s field near Manning, Alberta. In my drive past the site last weekend it was a surprise to see the old La Crete, REO Speedwagon cab and chassis gone; hopefully it’s found a good home and has had the good fortune to become a project for rehabilitation.

Quote to Inspire – “Photography is for me simply a creative passion, the ability to use light and form to capture in a single image – what I see in my own imagination….” – Tim Wallace, car photographer in interview with Topaz Labs.

Listening to – Jesse Cook’s ‘The Blue Guitar Sessions;’ one song standing out is ‘Ocean Blue.’

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