Tag Archive: cars


Yesterday, I went to the Lia Car Show in Schenectady.  I was pleasantly surprised at the number of cars that were on display there.  Not only were there some amazing classics, but there were also a couple high-end sports cars.  Here are some of the pictures I took at the show.

See ya soon!

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McLarenF1

Back in 1992, Gordon Murray and McLaren Automotive made the fast production car in the world.  The McLaren F1 was, and still is the fastest normally aspirated production car in the world.

I remember it like it was just yesterday.  I was in London in March of 1998 and the news channels were buzzing with the story –  The McLaren F1 became the fastest production car with a top speed of 240 miles per hour.  That was straight from the factory with no mods.

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to see a few of these cars in person.  The picture here is one that Turner Motorsports brought every year.  There was also another one that came to Lime Rock that had raced in the 24 Hours at Le Mans.  That was a serious privilege.  Not many people get to see a car with that kind of history.

One day at the track, I saw a lucky reporter get a ride in the McLaren.  It was every car lover’s dream.  If you’re not familiar with the McLaren, the driver seat is actually in the middle.  There are two seats that are set back on either side of the driver’s seat.  The three seats sort of look like a triangle.  That reported climbed in, got buckled, and probably got the ride of his life.  I was very envious that day.

I wanted to write this story because Gordon Murray has just released his T25 concept “city car“.  It is smaller than a Smart ForTwo and has the same seating setup as the McLaren F1.  It is a 51hp car that is said to get 61.9 miles per gallon.  That is impressive!  One of his main purposes for designing this car was to cut down on congestion and being able to park 2 T25s in a single parking space.

Their new MP4-12C looks like it has a Ferrari front end and roofline, paired with a Lamborghini lower half and vents on the side.  Not an original design if you ask me.  But with 600hp, I bet it’s a blast to drive.

Yesterday, I got the July issue of Motor Trend in the mail.  As I look at the cover, a topic pops into my head…

Did they run out of ideas for new muscle cars  and have to re-make the muscle cars of years past?  Is it a nostalgia thing, or are they just not coming up with new styles that the gearheads will like?  It seems like every couple issues, they test the same models.

Chevy made a new version of the late 60s Camaro.  I like that it looks quite a bit like (what I consider their best body style) the ’68 Camaro.  What I don’t like is that it looks a little ‘small’.  It doesn’t seem as beefy as the old Camaros.  I did not care for the Camaro after the late ’60s.  The new ones are the first I kind of like since then.

Ford did the same thing with the Mustang.  After the movie Gone in 60 Seconds, the love affair with the old ’67 Shelby GT500 was re-ignited.  Ford jumped on it and tried to make a modern day version of a breathtakingly beautiful car.  In my opinion, they failed horribly.  I was never a Mustang fan before I saw the movie, and I still am not.  I do, however, really like the ’67 Shelby GT500.  There are a lot of kit cars running around now replicating “Eleanor“.  The new Mustangs just don’t have a good look like the old ones did.

Another car that has been reincarnated is the Dodge Challenger.  I like the look of this car quite a bit.  I think Dodge did a great job at replicating the car and keeping it proportionate to it’s predecessor.  I wish they had done the same thing with the Charger.  I am a huge “Dukes of Hazzard” fan and love that orange car with the 01 on the side of it.  What did they come out with?  Some big, ugly, four door tank.  Fail.

Everyone has a favorite muscle car, like the Chevelle, Charger or the GTO.  Does that mean that we can expect to see these cars again in the future?  Are they going to bring back the Gremlin, or the Pacer?  Why can’t they come up with new cars that appeal to the gearheads?  Or is the Prowler a sign of what happens when they try that?  What car would you like to see redone?

On the road again

Sorry to give you a short post, but I am out in the Berkshires and my access to internet was very limited.  I have to take my mother to Boston in a few hours for a small eye surgery procedure.  It’s around midnight now, and I have to be up at 3am, so I am gonna run off to bed.  I promise a couple good posts to make up for it next week. 

Hopefully I can snag a few pictures while she is in surgery or on the ride down or back.  I think we might hit rush hour traffic, so I am leaving extra early to make sure we are there by her appointment at 8am.  See ya soon!

Image courtesy of Hub Pages

Please read this one.  And then share it with everyone you know.

It had been a busy few days, and I woke up tired yesterday morning.  Yes, I woke up tired.  So, when a friend sent me a text asking if we wanted to go out on the motorcycle for the day, I turned him down.  I wasn’t feeling alert, and being alert is a huge must when riding.  We went about our day and did some things around the house.  Later on, we went out to get some stuff for the garden.  We were walking around the nursery I hear a text alert from Rose‘s phone.  Rose then said to me “Oh my God, (friend’s name) has been in a motorcycle accident.

We hopped in the car and headed for the hospital to see him and comfort his girlfriend.  We got there and were allowed to go in and see him.  He was in a lot of pain but his injuries were not life threatening.  Here’s what he told me:

He was riding by the lake just past The Mill and a lady in a minivan was sitting on the side of the road by the lake.  She apparently decided to do a u-turn across the road without looking in her mirrors.  He locked up the brakes and laid the bike down and hoped for the best.    He said he hit the bumper of the car.  He was pretty heavily medicated by this point, so I don’t know if it was the front or the rear bumper.

The accident left a him with a huge gash across his knee, a compound fracture and a chunk of bone out of his foot.  He went into surgery and we waited around for him to be out, so we could make sure he was in the clear.  He was, but they had to amputate all of his toes (on the right foot) and part of his foot (right).  I am both saddened and angered as I type this.  Someone couldn’t be bothered to look in their mirrors, and now he has to live with this for the rest of his life. The road by the lake is a major highway with four lanes and a turn lane in the middle.  Why would you do a u-turn across that road?

And then there are the what-ifs…

  • What if we had gone with him?  Would we have been in the same accident?
  • If I was on the Harley, would they have heard us?
  • What if he just stopped for five minutes, even to get gas?
  • What if his girlfriend had been on the bike with him?
  • What if he was going just a little bit faster?  Would he have made it past her?

But, all the what-ifs in the world wont change what has happened.  The only good thing I can say is that he is still alive.  And for that, we are very grateful.  Please, please, please – Look twice and save a life.  Motorcycles are everywhere.  This didn’t have to happen.

See ya soon.

I am going to go out on a limb with today’s blog and do something a little different.  I am going to tell you about pictures that I took that just weren’t quite good enough.  Everyone makes mistakes.  I am no different.  That is the best part about shooting digital.  If you make a mistake, you can see it, and correct for it.  Then you can shoot it again with the correct settings and Voila!

I picked out a few pictures that I have taken within the last week that didn’t pass the test for one reason or another.  I will post up the picture and tell you why I didn’t think it was good enough.  I know this may be frowned upon by many, but I think it needs to be said.  None of us picked up a camera on day one and were automatically perfect.  I have deleted more than my fair share of pictures because they didn’t make my cut.  I will add this though – most serious photographers (myself included) are horribly over-critical of their own work.  People tell me every day that my work is amazing, and while I appreciate the compliments, I can usually see things that I think aren’t quite good enough.  I don’t know why it happens, but it does.

Because of this, I am sure I have thrown away perfectly acceptable pictures many times.  They just didn’t seem quite good enough for me.  I do get a lot of positive feedback and constructive criticism from my peers over at the Movie Photo Forums.  They definitely motivate and challenge me to be a better photographer.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

Here’s the first picture I have to talk about.  I was driving around on Saturday during a storm way up on top of a mountain and I saw this house.  This shot was taken in the car, through the windshield.  I was driving, so I pulled over and took the shot.  The UV glass in the car gives it a greenish hue.  It also wasn’t composed very well.  Using the rule of thirds in composition, this picture is not composed well at all.  The image shouldn’t be in the middle.  It should be in the bottom or top third of this shot.

In this picture, the most obvious problem is the A-pillar of the car and reflection from the windshield in the bottom right.  I had the 70-300mm lens on the camera and wasn’t far enough away to get the whole house in the shot without changing lenses.  I didn’t want to change to a wider lens in case I saw something in the distance I wanted to shoot.  Also, the green hue from the windshield exists in this one.  The light was great against the almost pitch black background.  If I had switched lenses, and rolled forward a few hundred feet, I could have put the window down and gotten a clear shot.  Maybe next time…

I really like this picture for the most part.  Sometimes as a photographer, you get smacked in the face with reality.  You take a picture and step back and say to yourself, “I did that.  I took that picture”.  This was one of those times.  But not with this exact image.  I took four or five more after this and had one I loved a little more.  This one to me is way too dark.  The top of the flower is chopped off and should have more background above it.  The dew on the flower is not sharp enough either.  I do really love the bokeh (or blurry, out of focus) background.

So, what do you think?  Am I crazy, or does this make sense to you?  I know that I am way to critical.  There’s nothing I can do to change that.  It’s instilled in my brain.  I’d like to know how critical you are, and do you look at your pictures with the same crazy over critical attitude I have?  Do you just take pictures and post them, because they are good enough?  I am curious to know.  See ya soon!

“I wish I was a little bit taller, wish I was a baller…”- Skee Lo

Earlier in the week, I heard that Keeler Smart Center Latham was hosting a Smart Car test drive at Crossgates yesterday and today.  I found out about it through Keeler’s tweets encouraging people to stop down.  So yesterday, Rose and I stopped down to check it out.  I had always wanted to drive one of the Smart cars, but never had the chance.

I had seen them for years before they came to the states a few years ago.  In my travels to Europe, and at Lime Rock in Connecticut.  The car at Lime Rock was most likely brought to the states and converted to US EPA standards.  That was way back in the late 90s or early 2000s, long before they began importing them for sale here.

Recently, I had seen them on the road here and there in the Capital District, and even see one up the street at a neighbor’s house every day.  It is bright yellow.  You can’t miss it.

Two of the people at the event were marketing reps for Smart USA, and I also met John Sterrett from the Latham Smart Center.  He went with me on my test drive.  Great guy!  We discussed the Smart car as well as sports cars and motorcycles.  Who could ask for a better co-pilot?  I got to drive the Smart ForTwo Passion Cabriolet in Blue Metallic and Rose drove the Smart ForTwo Passion Coupe in Red.

Here is the common misconception about these cars – they are incredibly roomy inside.  The car had lots of legroom and quite a bit of headroom.  There was even a decent amount of storage behind the seats for luggage or groceries, whichever you may be hauling.  They come equipped with a 1.0 L, 71 HP, 3 cylinder engine.  It’s not the fastest car you will ever drive, but it will pay off at the gas pump, as they get 41 miles per gallon according to the Smart USA website.  With gas now back to over $3 a gallon, that plays a huge factor in many people’s decision of which new car to buy.

The other question a lot of people ask is about the safety of such a small car.  The Smart ForTwo cars have a very high 5-star safety rating per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  That is pretty impressive in itself.  I would feel very safe in this car.  heck, it can’t be any worse that being on a motorcycle in traffic.  At least people might see you in the car.

The event is going on tomorrow as well.  Make sure you stop down and check them out. Sorry about the crappy pics.  All I had with me was my cell and was shooting into the sun.  I tweaked them a touch in Photoshop to make them  little better.   See ya soon!

As some of you may know, I am a huge car freak. I love high end sports cars. Ferrari is my favorite exotic car marque of all.  I even have the tattoo to prove it! Whenever there is a car show that may have high end sports cars in the area, I grab the camera and head off to get some pictures and see some works of art.

Two summers ago, the Saratoga Automobile Museum hosted the Fall Ferrari Festival on their grounds. The weather was not ideal for Ferraris, so i did not expect a great turnout. It was a gloomy, overcast day in the Saratoga area. The rain was threatening to dampen our spirits, and our souls. A few brave souls came out despite the showers and showed us their amazing automobiles. All in all, I would say there were about 10 Ferraris that made an appearance. Mostly F430s and 360s, but a few older cars came as well. A special treat was the Ferrari SuperAmerica. I hadn’t seen one of these in person, so I was quite happy.

Ferrari SuperAmerica

There was even a Ferrari Testarossa there.  In Italian, Testarossa means ‘Red Head’.  In Ferrari’s case, it refers to the red-painted cam covers on the engine.   As I wandered around the show, taking in all of the sights and got this shot with an F430 in the foreground and a Testarossa in the background.  Both of them are shown in front of the Saratoga Auto Museum.

It may have been raining that day, but in my mind it was beautiful out.  Any day that you get to spend in the presence of Ferraris is a great day in my book.  Here are a couple more I took that day.  Enjoy!

See ya soon!