Editing pictures is one difficult juggling act. You must balance, colours, contrast and the photos exposure in each click of the mouse and playing it safe is usually your best option for a usable image.
But remove colour out of the equation and going a bit crazy becomes more appealing.
Extremely bright or dark exposures, gradients and harsh vignetting can give the image more context, without making the image an eyesore to the viewer.
In removing colour, you’re stripping back the unnecessary aesthetic parts of the image and what is revealed is its more simpler form.
The same could be said for modified cars.
In the 50’s hot rod culture really began to take off. Engines were swapped, fenders and roof-lines were chopped, floor-pans were cut and dropped.
Stance cars and the modern builds of today have the same characteristics. When you strip back the aesthetics, it really is just a modern day hot rod, sans the 50’s vibe.
Most people would say that car culture really took off in the 1950’s, with drag racing, hot-rods and European sports cars. And they’d be right, but car culture really began back in 1895, where the first race was held. The Paris to Bordeaux and back to Paris was the seed of motorsport, a critical and essential part of our culture. This began not only the racing scene, but the modifying scene. For instance, in 1911, Ray Harroun won the Indy 500 with his Marmon Wasp, famously sporting the first rear view mirror, so he could see his competitors behind him.
Now mirrors are mandatory on every car produced.
This is a great example of how motorsport really guides not only the production of cars, but car culture itself.
Modifications like widened tires and fender flares, bucket seats, lowered suspension, turbofans, engine swaps to name a few, can be linked to motorsport and/or the hot rod culture.
So, to put it simply, ever since that first race in 1895, and the hot rod scene in the 1950’s, we haven’t really done anything different. Which makes it sound like we haven’t achieved much.
But now, let us bring some colour back into the image, the aesthetic and functional qualities of our cars back into the equation. Look at them all. The different styles, variations and purposes for our cars. Restomod, bosozoku, stance, drag, time attack, drift, classic restoration, cafe racers, choppers, donks, sleeper cars and minitrucks to name a few
The different ways we have of expressing ourselves through our cars, and how we participate in car culture. Although it’s a simple equation; swap out parts, lower and/or chop the body, copy the motorsport trends, it is one with endless possibilities, endless style. We have achieved something very few can achieve; we have expressed ourselves in ways only we could. We’ve emptied wallets, put endless blood, sweat and tears into our machines and the organisation of meets and shows so people can express themselves and meet new people. We’ve spent tired nights editing photographs, writing articles to put our culture on the map, to remember and celebrate people’s expressions and automotive fueled achievements.
When people have asked ‘Why?’, we’ve answered with ‘Why not!’ We have dared to be different in a world full of societal norms and expectations.
I challenge anyone to find a more vibrant and passionate culture. This is something we should be all proud of, regardless what the future holds.
The Monochrome Files