The Classics on the Common is an annual event local to me.
I’ve visited a few times to check out the handsome quantity of cars that drive all over the local green and generally cause a sizeable commotion.
It’s well worth the visit if you are into your vehicles; the selection on display is always varied, well informed and with some spectacular and rare examples brought along by collectors and enthusiasts from all over.
Coming from a person that isn’t really a petrol head, nor a classic lover, that’s some high praise.
Whaattt? You don’t like cars?
Yeah sure I like them, but I don’t nerd out over the intricacies of Porsche models or the differences of a late ’78 MG and the early ’79.
All that just doesn’t pump my nads.
If it looks good, I’m into it. I’m all about the pictures.
Classics on the Common is a perfect opportunity to get amongst a wide variety of cars and take a few frames. I can walk to it for a start, and weather permitting, you can usually get some decent images of some rarities.
But, the main reason why I go, is to challenge myself, as I’m rubbish at taking aesthetically pleasing images of static subjects. For me Classics on the Common is all about the details; seeking out those photogenic parts of the car and making more of them – rather than images of steering wheels or hubcaps.
There are photographers out there who are well versed in the finesse of capturing the interior of a car and making it look the bomb; I’m a long Sunday walk away from that standard, but that challenge of stepping out of the race track scenario is good fun.
Panning images in a car park packed with punters is nigh on impossible.
So I go for depth, colour and details. I experiment with angles and acquire several funny looks off the casual observer as I focus on my subjects only 3 inches away with my chin on the grass.
Some find it intriguing and spark up a conversation. Others apologise for getting in the way, when I’m actually using them as part of the image.
It is a bit of a melee as people are free to walk about between the cars and get involved. Thousands of them too. Patience is a massive virtue.
Like all automotive gatherings, Classics on the Common is such a better event to photograph when the sun is shining, and just like on the race track, the lack of light and contrast only makes the imaging even harder.
Chrome and dark grey clouds isn’t an eye catcher.
I also notice that due to the unreliable British summer, most owners have locked up those classics tight, which is a real shame. A few brave show offs are standing guard over open chromed engine bays or fine refurbished carpets, but the majority of motors are shut up.
A real shame when so many lovely details are hidden behind glass or tonneau.
Still it’s situations like this that provide you with a sterner test and to get better, you have to make the most of them.
I hope you enjoy my images.