View Full Version : Stars and Cars!

Mike Phillips
Jan 21st, 2006, 09:54 PM
Long day...

So many high caliber cars going over the blocks today, it's going to take some time to go through all of the photos, choose the best ones and then crop, resize, upload and insert...

The Stars were out today also! In no particular order here's some of the personalties I captured from the stage today... please excuse the picture quality, it's pretty crowded and frantic on stage whenever a star is in the house!

Boyd Coddington


Carrol Shelby with Edsel Ford!


Chip Foose!


Michael Anthony!


Sammy Hagar!


That's all for tonight, it's late and I have to be back early in the morning to wrap this thing up...

Superior Shine
Jan 22nd, 2006, 02:44 PM
On TV you can see Mike scurring around the cars taking pics as the come up.

We better get to see some nice pics Mike!!!

Jan 23rd, 2006, 02:09 AM
good job mike!!!!

Mike Phillips
Jan 23rd, 2006, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by Superior Shine
On TV you can see Mike scurrying around the cars taking pics as the come up.

We better get to see some nice pics Mike!!!

Hi Joe,

What a scene being on stage at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona! :bigups

Everything moves pretty fast up on the stage during the auction; pretty much all you're allowed to do is get-in, get your shot and get out of the way... What I tried to do on stage was get two shots,

* Framing Shot - Get a shot of the entire car to give our forum members a reference to start with.
* Swirl Shot - If the finish was all swirled-out, I would do my best to capture the swirls from somewhere, anywhere on the body I could get next to.
I had two things working against me,

* First the Cannon Digital Rebel takes great photos, but it doesn't show swirls the way the human eye sees them. Typically, it captures the paint itself, and shows the mechanics of the swirls and scratches. My old Sony Mavica, (which I didn't take and in hindsight regret), is much better at capturing swirls the way the human eye sees them in real-time.

* Second, for the most part, the Staff, (the guys ushering in and out the cars), pretty much don't care about anything except for getting the car on stage, getting them in the right place, and then getting them off the stage, everything else is inconsiquential...
So you have to work around the Bidders and the Staff, (and sometime Security), and then get your shot and get out of the way. The only photographer with any power is the Barrett-Jackson magazine photographer and even he, like Rodney Dangerfield, doesn't get any respect.

Last night I went through my photos at the airport while waiting for my plane to depart and a lot of them are out of focus or a little on the washed-out side as the lights are very bright on stage. I don't have a background in photography and for the most part I'm just doing the best I can to frame-up the picture, hold still and fire-off the shot.

If I had to give you a percentage of what the paint on the cars going over the blocks looked like regardless of what you see on TV and what I was able to capture on film, I would guess about 90% of the cars had finishes that were filled with swirls, either cobweb-effect or holograms instilled through the misuse of the rotary buffer. 10% of the cars looked very good and the majority of these would be the very high-end custom-built street rods.

Often times someone on stage would ask me what I taking a picture of as they could see I wasn't taking a picture of the entire car but rather just portions of the car. When I told them I was photographing the swirls in the paint it would completely catch them off guard. I could tell that the majority of the people in this circle were oblivious about the quality of finish as it applied to the paint; the focus was entirely on the big picture, that is the focus was on the car itself, not the appearance condition of the paint.

This was not surprising to me, as I deal with this all the time with the people that attend our Saturday classes, that is until a person is educated on proper paint care techniques and how a quality finish should look, as well as how to inspect and evaluate a car's finish to start with, for the most part, most people look at the car in its entirety, that is they have a big picture point of view, the car is what the car is, it's the sum of all of it's components.

Now to someone that's educated on proper paint care procedures and knows how to inspect and evaluate a car's finish, a car is no longer the sum of it's components, but is the sum of its component plus the appearance level of the paintwork, and specifically, whether the finish is Show Car Quality or Swirl City.

Here's an example of what I mean, when this Black, Blown Willys came onto the the stage, everyone within hearing distance was blown away, (no pun intended), as the driver revved the engine and the big block Ford filled the auction arena with thunder. The look of the Willys, like all hotrodded Willys Coupes, captured everyone's attention, especially with the blower sticking out of the hood. The big picture for everyone with eyes to see simply said... Hot Rod, or Muscle Machine!




After the car was rolled off the center stage and onto the ramps, I scurried over and did my best to snag some shots of the finish quality of the paint which was absolutely horrendous.

The entire finish was filled with gross swirls, specifically cobweb-effect as I couldn't detect any holograms or the zig-zag lines often instilled from the misuse of a rotary buffer.

While the below photos are not in perfect focus, (sorry about that, there just isn't enough time on stage to stand around and set-up shots), it does reflect, (no pun intended), the appearance quality of paint, or better said, the lack of appearance quality of the paint. In person, the car was overwhelmingly k0oL, but the finish was horrible.


Every rounded-inch of the body of this Willys Coupe was filled with swirls just like you see here under the lights on stage at the Barrett-Jackson auction.


I can guarantee you, any one of the hundreds of people that have attended one of our Saturday Detailing Classes here at Meguiar's could have removed the swirls and created a show car quality finish on this Willys Coupe with M80 Speed Glaze applied using our G100 Dual Action Polisher and a coat of any of one of Meguiar's waxes and the investment of the human elements of care and passion... including this 10-year old little girl... It's just not that hard of thing to do once you have a little head knowledge backed-up with hands-on training in the art of polishing paint.


Now you have to keep in mind, the folks at this auction, both sellers and buyers are hard core car guys, but just because you can turn a wrench, pull the trigger on a spray gun or sign a check, doesn't mean you know how to polish paint to perfection as demonstrated one car after another at the Barrett-Jackson auction last weekend.

It hurt my eyes and my heart to look at all these cool cars in the condition they were in and to be helpless to do anything about it except document with digital pixels. Again, I'll apologize ahead of time for the quality of some of the photos I took and will be posting to the Barrett-Jackson threads, but the fast-paced nature of the auction just doesn't lend itself to capturing perfect pictures.

Jan 24th, 2006, 05:31 AM
Nice work on taking pictures in a chaotic environment. I look forward to seeing your work from the auction. The Willy's is one fast looking car and engine probably sounded incrediable.

Have you looked into an external flash such as the Canon EX speedlite line or a macro light flash? There probably is a lens filters which help capture surface defects.


Jan 24th, 2006, 01:55 PM
I hope the Meguiars truck was busy with the new car owners purchasing products!