Thursday, March 20, 2014

Instamatic Karma

Instamatic Karma by William 74
Instamatic Karma, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

I've got loads of racing shots from this same vantage point (the pedestrian bridge over the main straight at Road America), and most of them highlight my terrible panning technique. The best way to save them, I think, is to make them look like vintage prints taken on old cheap cameras.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Central Camera

I'm pretty sure we've visited Central Camera's classic vintage sign, but it's such a nice one it's worth revisiting. I took this one just last October, and it was such a grab shot that it's turned out far nicer than it had any business being. I don't often go for selective color, but in this instance I think it worked out very nicely.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


RT by William 74
RT, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Back in ye olden days, you could buy your family sedan in a number of configurations, from mild to wild. Usually the manufacturer had a special designation for the top and bottom of the lines - the base models would have some sort of fancy name (if anything), and the racy ones would get, racy. GM had it's SS models, Ford the GT, AMC liked to use SST, and Plymouth used R/T, which meant, of course, Road and Track. This one's a '67 or so Belvedere.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Stripes by William 74
Stripes, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
I've always been a fan of the pinstriper's art, and this example, on an Oldsmobile, is so far one of my faves. The skull motif just makes it.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Out Of State Plates

Ted's Imports by William 74
Ted's Imports, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
California "yellow plate" on a vintage Porsche. I don't know if Ted's Imports was a dealer back in the fifties or not, but it's a nice retro touch.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Winter Fog

Winter Fog by William 74
Winter Fog, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
We had an excellent fog day earlier this week. Well, excellent for photographic purposes, if not much else (driving, flying, not bumping into things or falling into ditches).

Anyway, I was driving around and saw this stand of trees just off the road. It's a road I've driven down hundreds of times, as it's close to work, and I'd never really paid much attention to the trees and surroundings - mostly it's new buildings tied in to a shopping center and hospital complex. But on a deeply foggy afternoon, they just floated out of the mist. I pulled a sharp Uey and parked illegally just to get this shot - pretty minor in the grand scheme of photographic things.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Porsche by William 74
Porsche, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
I have no story about this photo. I just think it turned out well. Taken on the Porsche stand at the Chicago Auto Show.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ploetz Furniture

Ploetz Furniture by William 74
Ploetz Furniture, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
I guess I should've posted this yesterday and brought a glorious return to Neon Friday, but I was busy. Sorry.

Anyway, this excellent neon sign is for a long-standing furniture store in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Baraboo is a neat town in itself, with a charming downtown and an wonderful vintage movie theater. But this beauty was a complete surprise to me. I imagine it dates from the late fifties, maybe the early sixties.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo by William 74
Wells Fargo, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
Originally formed in 1852 to provide express and banking services to California, Wells Fargo is one of the best-known banking companies in the United States. It's well known stagecoach logo stems from the company's operations in the mail forwarding business, and Wells Fargo was also involved in the legendary Pony Express during the Express' last few months of operation.

This beautiful stained glass clock is at a Wells Fargo branch in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Ashland by William 74
Ashland, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
The view of the Chicago skyline, as seen from the pedestrian bridge at the Ashland Avenue train station. Built in 1892 for the Lake Street Elevated Railroad, the Ashland stop is one of the oldest station buildings still in use in the Chicago rail system.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tivoli Lanes

Tivoli Lanes by William 74
Tivoli Lanes, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
This is the bowling alley next door to the Tivoli Theater. I like this sign, but I really like the glow on the side of the building.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Tivoli by William 74
Tivoli, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
I believe we've visited Downers Grove's historic Tivoli Theater before. It's a nice old building, but it's marquee is kind of hard to shoot. It's only one-sided, and sticks out at a weird angle from the building. Plus you have to stand in the middle of the street to get a clear shot at it. Fortunately, even on a Saturday night, traffic's fairly light.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Grain Belt

Grain Belt by William 74
Grain Belt, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
The iconic Grain Belt Beer sign in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Erected in 1941, the sign originally sat atop a downtown club until 1950, when it was moved to it's current location on Nicollet Island. Featuring the early, pre-WW2 logo, the sign has 800 feet of neon tubing and 1400 incandescent bulbs in the lettering, which lights up sequentially. It looks great, but sadly, despite being restored in the 80's, the sign no longer works. Hopefully it'll be restored again someday.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Field by William 74
Field, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
I took this on Christmas Day, somewhere out in the countryside west of town. We'd had some snow the previous days, and a cold snap had finally caused the trees to shed the last of their leaves. The skies were a solid overcast, almost exactly the same shade of white as the snow that covered the now bare fields. It was stark, almost monochromatic, a typical Midwestern winter scene.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Ranstead by William 74
Ranstead, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
I have taken to looking at rooflines more and more of late, finally realizing that there's often a name and date inscribed at the peak, sometimes some interesting decoration or brickwork, some bright colors, or in this case all three.

I have plenty of shots like this but haven't really ever published them. I'm starting to realize what I missed.

Taken in Elgin, IL, in december of 2013.