What is it that drives us to collect? Whether postage stamps, baseball cards, antique dolls, comic books, or in my case digital media, there seems to be something deep down driven in each of us to collect things, a universal human tradition that transcends culture and time. When Rob Gordon, John Cusak’s character in High Fidelity walks us into his apartment for the first time, there is this tinge of envy as we eye his walls and walls of what certainly must be one of the world’s largest record collections. My grandmother collects antiques. Her home is full of them. Thousands of little things collected over a lifetime. I’ve often wondered what truly drives us to collect.
One of the forms of digital media that I obsessively collect of course is the photograph. In a strange way I see my photographs as trophies of sorts. Like the big game hunter comes back with the giant boar head, I hope to come back with that truly amazing shot after each and every shoot. He has his elephant gun, and I have my Canon 5D. Of course my hobby doesn’t involve lots of blood and guts and removing animals off the face of the earth, but well, you get the idea.
For the truly wealthy, the collections tend to get larger and larger and become more and more expensive and elaborate, great art, wine, vacation homes, yachts, planes, trains and, yes, of course, automobiles. Which brings me to my latest photo set in progress, the 50th Annual Hillsborough Concourse d’ Elegance, an affluent fundraiser for affluent hobbyists in one of the Bay Areas most affluent communities to raise money for their schools.
“Remember, ladies and gentlemen, no matter what the car owner tells you everything here is for sale today,” reminded the announcer in his most perfect British accent,” “Every man has his price, whether you go home with a sport’s car today or insult an owner is simply a matter of price.”
None of the cars were for sale formally of course. But just a little ribbing amongst the wealthy.
I will say that I do admire the design of some of the old classic cars. The art deco flavor, the strong colors and lines and curves, Porsches, Packards, Thunderbirds, and the occasional Bentley or Rolls. And I think it makes for great photography.
I took about 500 shots of the show in total and have put together a set on Flickr called Concurse d’ Elegance. I’ve only got the first 50 or so processed so far, but will add a lot more in the weeks ahead.
Pile in the Buick kids, we’re going to a car show.