Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Book in the Works

by Nancy DeWitt

Exciting news! So many of our visitors have asked us to produce a book about our museum that we have decided to make it happen. It's a big undertaking but we've assembled a great team that includes  Epicenter Press in Seattle and John Katz, former editor of Automobile Quarterly. Fairbanks photographer Ronn Murray has spent several days crawling over and under our cars to capture the details that make each vehicle unique. Here he is photographing the Rochester-Duesenberg engine on our 1920 Argonne.

Photographing the cars is not as easy as one might think. Reflections from the ceiling lights, our own reflections in shiny metal and lacquer, busy backgrounds, ropes and signs to be moved, and obtaining the right lighting to capture true paint colors present constant challenges. Fortunately, Ronn's expertise and the help of some wonderful docents have made it work smoothly. Here are Ronn and Rod (docent extraordinaire) wedged under our 1907 Cartercar to photograph its friction drive:

Finding a good position for a full car shot that doesn't include an emergency exit door or glare from clothing cases poses another challenge--especially when the car weighs 4,500 pounds like our 1921 Heine-Velox. Thank goodness for wheel skates!

Shooting the perfect angle of an engine, like that in our 1906 Compound, might entail removing the entire hood:

It's been a fun project so far and we're almost done photographing the cars. We plan to include several pages about our vintage fashion collection too, so Barb is selecting the pieces to be included. Photographing those will present a whole new set of challenges!

Many thanks to everyone who has helped with this project. We plan to have the book printed this summer. If you would like to be notified when copies are available, please let us know.

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