Looking back on my photo archives – I’ve attended the Portland International Auto Show since 2004. And if my memory serves me correctly, I went a time or two before that. Either way, when it’s that auto show time of year, I try to leave the cube for a day and scoot on up to Portland with a few other guys. We try to go on the first day of the show, Thursday, as it’s far less crowded than on the weekend. In years past – we’ve also made a bit of a tradition to eat at Campbell’s BBQ on Powell (though we didn’t make it over there this year). Good stuff.
2009’s show was visibly scaled back over previous years and I don’t recall a single concept car. This show is not the size of the Detroit, New York, or Los Angeles auto shows – but typically there’s at least one or two concept cars.
So, why have I made it an unofficial annual trek? Twofold, really.
First, I’m not really a “car guy” – but it’s a great reason to take the day off from work with friends with the side benefit of crawling through new cars – just to kick the tires – as they say. Second, cars on the floor of an auto show are really difficult to photograph.
Most folks have seen good car photography – it’s everywhere in advertising. Now, imagine the challenge to grab a reasonable image of a car sitting on a convention center floor, with crazy lighting, people everywhere, and someone behind the wheel making vroom-vroom sounds.
Typically, my favorite lens for this venue is the Canon 24mm f/2.8. It’s wide, fast, sharp, and I just zoom with my feet. And, again, that lens was in my bag. But this year, I added the Lensbaby – just for fun. And after a lot of sputtering – there were a few reasonable images from the day. I don’t think Car & Driver will be calling anytime soon – but they’re OK to share with friends.
This year, there was an exhibit with a few cars representing each decade – going back 100 years. Very cool. We didn’t find the exhibit until after lunch – but that’s where I took the most images.
And the cars? In order: Nissan, Maserati (if I remember correctly), 1946 Dodge, 1913 Case, 1953 Ferrari, and Dodge Viper.