That Car with the Manual Transmission

Thanks to Niklas Garnholz for sharing his work on Unsplash.

Did you have one? When you were younger? Or did you start out in Drive?

The sound, feel and thrill of driving are to be relished, not relegated to the trash heap and memories along with carburetors, fender skirts, steel wheels and hubcaps. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway in a sports car with a manual transmission and you too will become a believer.

David L. Scott writing in the Wall St. Journal, September 12, 2020
Cars Lightroom Photography Photography - Nikon D600 Photoshop San Francisco/California Street Photography

Classic 1947 Chevrolet in San Francisco’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

Chevrolet - San Francisco - 2013 by Scott Loftesness

I felt a bit like I was back in Havana watching some of the classic cars that turned out yesterday to carry dignitaries in the annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade in San Francisco. This 1947 Chevrolet was one of the beauties!

I had fun processing this image in Photoshop – tweaking the background a bit to bring the car out more and adjusting the luminosity a bit. I love the angle of the car – the beauty of the chrome on the front grill – and that tail flying off of the radio antenna!

Cars Cuba Photography Photography - Nikon D600 Street Photography Travel

Look Through My Window in Havana

On the Street - Havana - 2013

Here’s another “window shot” – this time looking out my hotel room window at the street corner below.

On my last day in Havana, I woke up really early, finished packing for the trip home and then looked out my window at the street corner intersection below. Loved the light – and took this shot! I processed it as a square image to better focus on the car lights, etc.

Only thing I wish had been different is that the car had been one of the older classic cars seen almost all the time in Havana!

Cars Cuba Photography Photography - Nikon D600 Travel

Jump Starting the Cuban Green Machine

Rock and Roll - Havana - 2013

Last Sunday, we had an amazing walk around the neighborhood in Central Havana with Raúl Cañibano. Along the way, we came across this beautiful green Chevy (at least that’s what I think it is!) which had a dead battery. The owner quickly recruited three guys to help with a classic jump start – while we photographers were standing on the sidewalk directly across the street.

Talk about a perfect photographic opportunity! This image will always bring me back to that moment – just a week ago – in Havana, Cuba – walking with old and new friends in a special neighborhood in Havana.

Cars iPad Photographers

That Ford Again!


Up early and having fun playing with various iPad photo editing apps. This is that Ford pickup truck shot from yesterday but tweaked a bit in Painteresque and Photoshop Touch.

A lot more interesting with this treatment!

Cars Honda Civic Hybrid

New IMA Battery, Like New Car!

2006 Honda Civic Hybrid WindmillsThe IMA battery (Integrated Motor Assist) in my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid started acting up a few months back – suddenly having a very low charge and then, a few minutes, saying it was fully charged. Finally, the Check Engine and IMA fault lights showed up – and the verdict was in. I needed to have the IMA battery replaced.

Fortunately for me, in California the IMA battery is warranted for 10 years or 150,000 miles – so Honda replaced it at no cost to me.

The difference in performance of the car – no surprise – is significant. That electric motor boost from standing stops is back and things feel almost like new!

Cars Honda Civic Hybrid

The Bane of Batteries – My 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid

I’m back from our local Honda dealer where I got the news that my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid needs a new IMA battery. That’s the big battery (behind the seat in my Civic) the helps boost acceleration in concert with the small gasoline engine in this car. It’s a core component of the hybrid technology.

Earlier this week, the Check Engine and IMA lights popped on on my dashboard – although, curiously, when I headed out to the dealer this morning both lights were off! But the codes were still set – which the dealer readout – and pronounced the verdict. The battery needs to be ordered and then installed – a half-day downtime.

I shouldn’t complain too much about this – it’s covered under warranty and the car really has been trouble-free to this point. I ride it hard and put it away wet – so it’s proven its worth. I’ll be interested to see how it performs after the new IMA battery is installed.

Cars HDR Photography Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II Photomatix Pro Stanford

Back to Concours d’Elegance at Stanford!

I got going early this morning to head over to the Palo Alto Concours d’Elegance sponsored as an annual event by the Palo Alto Lions Club. It’s pretty amazing to get there early and watch the cars arrive – often with their owners in period costume!

Today, like last year, was going to be a hot one. I finally faded about 10 AM – just before Brian Douglas took to the air on KSFO with his auto show.

Here’s a set on Flickr of the post-processed shots from my time at the Concours. These were shot using my Canon 5D Mark II – in Aperture priority. They were post-processed using Adobe Lightroom 3 and Photomatix Pro as single image HDR’s.

A bit abstract perhaps, but I enjoyed how they turned out – and I certainly didn’t feel like lugging a tripod around to shoot multi-image HDR’s!


Cars HDR Photography Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II Stanford

Concours d’Elegance at Stanford – Sunday, June 27, 2010

I was reminded by Chris Gulker’s ’56 Chevy post on our blog that this Sunday is the annual Concours d’Elegance at Stanford – a benefit for the Palo Alto Lions Club. I attended for the first time last year – and had a great time shooting some great classic cars! Here’s a link to my photo set on Flickr from last year’s event.

Below is another great shot – taken in the classic campground area – of a Teardrop camping trailer. This is an enhanced image – transformed the original Raw file from the 5D into a high dynamic range (HDR) image using Photomatix Pro and cropped to a 16:9 form factor.

Teardrop Trailer (Single Image HDR)

Cars Living Saab

Goodbye Saab! Thanks for the Memories…

Sad to read this week that we’re at the end of the line for Sweden’s Saab – as GM failed to find a suitable buyer and decided to shut the company down.

1968-saab-96-v4-brochure-cover.jpgMy first new car was a RED (!) 1968 Saab 96 V4 Deluxe – which my folks helped me buy new from Leif Lindzen Motors in Berkeley. I’ve still got one of the brochures for Summerflight (1969 edition) – which bundled in a trip to the factory in Sweden to actually pick up the car, drive it around that country and then leave it behind for shipment back to San Francisco. Cost (car + trip): $2,770.

Lots of fond memories of that trip – and, I suppose, I must have photos from it somewhere (!). I remember the flight over – it was mid-June, we took off in daylight, landed in daylight, the sun never set the whole way over. I went to sleep and woke up with the sun outside, didn’t know what time it was, look out the window at a clock tower across from the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, saw it was 3:45 and thought I’d missed a whole day of events. Turned out it was 3:45 AM, not PM!