Toy Cars And Real People

Welcome again to any members of Diecast Collector’s Forum who have followed the yellow Kodak van to this second weblog column. It’s rather like a treasure hunt or Hansel and Gretel following a trail of breadcrumbs. I promise not to be a wicked witch…

Model photography is as simple as pointing a camera at a toy car or as complex as constructing a diorama scene and giving over an entire studio to the production of one shot. I have done both and had a lot of fun with it. There are a number of posts back in my other column about the mechanics of layering pictures and forcing perspective that I won’t repeat here – they are all archived somewhere there under the Hot Rod Honeys theme. The joyous thing that can report is that the work is ongoing and manufacturers of camera goods and lenses are always coming out with new additions that make it more successful. Plus I have the most important advantage of all – I am retired and don’t have a lot of spare cash to throw about.

This may seem an odd thing to say for a person who has always liked to spend big on photo gear and hobby items. I can’t deny that it would be a comfort to have a big win at the casino or succeed in tunnelling into the safe deposit boxes of the billionaires, but I don’t think it would increase my enjoyment of my hobbies:

For one – it would put me back on the treadmill of newer-better-more complex when it comes to the photographic apparatus. This was an inevitable consequence of working for the last 8 years in the retail photo trade. The trade pressured us, we pressured the customers, and the customers pressured the trade – a never-ending circle of discontent. I mow have to use what I have…or to put it in other hobby terms, I have to shoot with one rifle. And that makes for the best shot.

Secondly – the flood of ever-new and ever-more eventually stifles all sense of ingenuity in the photographer…and probably also in the diecast modeller. The thing becomes buy rather than make and get rather than think. Now I really do think how I can use what I have effectively. And I have been astounded at what can be done with the stuff in the scrap bins, stock racks, and gadget bag. It’s been there all along but I haven’t looked until now.

Thirdly – time is now an ally, rather than an enemy. I have more of it, and can make use of the light for photography, the heat for spray painting, and the internet of research. If you’re stuck in a job for 8-9 hours per day plus the 2-hour commute it means you have little concentration once you get home. You eat, drink, and surf the net until you clip yourself into the rack to prepare for the next day. It’s rare that you get to do the right photographic or modelling thing at the right time. Your hobbies suffer and the results show it.

Funnily enough, I’ll bet there is someone right now sitting there worried about what they are going to do in retirement…looking ahead to a long sad day of pointlessness. That is really awful to contemplate, and to avoid having to do so I am going to dive into the computer after I post this and research Australian billboard advertisements of the 1930’s. The Kodak van wasn’t the only thing that got done this week – I am preparing 4 new old petrol bowsers and a PMG Model T delivery van for the new Australian diorama.

Where the heck am I going to put all these dioramas?




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