It is that time of year again, with the rumble of engines and smell of race fuel filling the air, the automotive extravaganza known as Monterey Car Week is almost here. I will not be attending the various racing and vintage car show events this year, but I am honouring the occasion with the release of some of my favourite automobilia images from over the years. Find more Monterey Car Week photographs in my archives, with work spanning a decade of races and Concours shows; with both prints and licensing available.
Race fans admire a 1957 Corvette at Laguna Seca during the Reunion events of Monterey Car Week
Spectators admiring vintage automobiles at the Carmel Concours on the Avenue event during Monterey car week are reflected in the windows of a classic Porsche
1912 Packard 30, descending through the corkscrew driven by Brian Blain at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion during Monterey Car Week
Looking for some artful Automotive Abstract images? I have curated a collection highlighting the details of a wide range of cars, from vintage Porsches and Ferraris to unique hot rods and restoration projects.
Detail of green paint and patina, and chrome hood ornament of a vintage Buick, seen at the Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on the Avenue event during Monterey Car Week
Dark tones and chrome reflections of a classic car, seen at the Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on the Avenue event during Monterey Car Week
A 1935 Bugatti Type 57S driven by Jim Hull at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion during Monterey Car Week
My automotive photography archives cover historic and reunion races, street car shows, and both the Pebble Beach and Carmel Concours events; if there is a particular car you are looking for, please contact me with the details and I will do my best to see if it is included in my library.
Two vintage racecars battle for position on the Laguna Seca racetrack, Monterey CA
A rear angle view of a vintage racing automobile, abstract patterns of light gleaming across the curves of the blue body.
Scenes and details of vintage and classic cars, seen at Laguna Seca during the Historic racing events of Monterey Car Week
Are you lucky enough to be attending Monterey Car Week this year? Here is my post from last year, highlighting some of the most accessible events of the season, including tips on where to catch some remarkable free shows and photographic opportunities: A Photographer’s Guide to Car Week in Monterey, California
HMSA racing participants line up on the starting grid of Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey
Racecar humor, in the paddock, a 1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTV sports eyes over headlights at Laguna Seca during the Reunion events of Monterey Car Week
A powerful racecar kicks up dust as it descends through the notorious Corkscrew section of Laguna Seca, in Monterey
The complete APK Photography Automobilia Archives are full of unique and interesting car culture photos. It has been a pleasure to explore and photograph the world of rare and notable automobiles, and I am looking forward to returning to celebrate Monterey Car Week again in the coming years.
It was on a whim one day, a short drive down the coast from Monterey, California, to see if the rumors were true. Unusual sea creatures washing up, gelatinous, some completely clear, some bright blue, with delicate translucent sails.
Arriving at the beach, at first glance the tangle of kelp appeared to hold tiny circles of tissue paper. As I walked closer to the breaking waves, I saw at my feet small groups of jelly-like forms, some with splashes of vivid color. It quickly became apparent that many of these ocean travellers had washed ashore and dried out for lack of water. Luckily, some fresher specimens remained.
Velella velella have many names, from “sea raft” to “by-the-wind sailor” and are actually colonies of hydroids; each circular cnidarian raft and sail is made up of many hydrozoa, sailing the open ocean propelled by the wind.
A stranding like this one occurs when the wind drives the Velella velella to shore. They are carnivorous, feeding on plankton caught with their dangling tentacles. In the same ocean surface community as the better known Portuguese Man o’ War, Velella velella are likewise toxic but relatively harmless to humans, though they should not be touched or handled if it can be avoided. I chose only to take photographs, crouching in the damp, pebbled beach and kelp as the tide came in, marvelling at such strange natural beauty. I had lived close to the ocean and visited these particular shores often for nearly 10 years, and had never before seen anything like these tiny ocean wanderers.
A true scenic gem of the California coast, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is a revelation in every season. The dramatic rocky cliffs offer sweeping views to the South, and on a clear January day the distant mountains of Big Sur offer an otherworldly sense of scale to hikers who wander the Point Lobos trails.
Exploring the Northern coves and cliffs of Point Lobos reveals a surreal woodland, where afternoon light filters through gnarled, wind-blown trees and strange red algae thrives in a mix of sea-salt-spray and near-constant fog. This forest frames the landscape exquisitely, and around every bend a new postcard-perfect vista is revealed.
There are historical sites here too, as Point Lobos saw significant whaling operations into the late 1800’s. From the textural rocks and trees to the whale bones on display, the details of Point Lobos are rich with stories.
Winter offers bright, crisp, sunny days in between storms, and with spring comes a rush of vibrant life; beautiful Douglas Iris fill the shady green meadows with purple wildflowers, and the quietest coves become nurseries for plump harbour seal pups, playing in the shallows and lounging on the beaches.
In the summer and fall, the evenings are often moody with mist, and the tree-line can appear ghostly above the shimmering ocean water. No matter the season of time of day, any visit to the Monterey Bay would be incomplete without a walk along one of the many Point Lobos trails. For many years I was fortunate enough to live just up the coast from this special place, and with every expedition on which I carried my camera, I would see remarkable wildlife and seasonal changes set against an incredibly dramatic and powerful landscape. I have recently gathered my Point Lobos photographs into a new gallery, with many images available for licensing and as prints.
It is an August ritual, the gleaming chrome, rumbling engines, shifting gears and crowds of automotive aficionados, all converging to transform Monterey, California into a car collector’s paradise. From vintage automobile races to open-air shows, there are endless opportunities to see examples of fine historic vehicles and rare luxury supercars up close and in beautiful detail. For more classic car photography and racing photography from Monterey Car Week, please visit the APK Photography Automobilia Archives.
I have been photographing automotive events for nearly as long as I have lived in Monterey, and it is truly remarkable to see the variety of cars and the passion of the owners and fans. From a shooting perspective, these celebrations of automotive engineering and history are always well-attended, meaning that I have no choice but to work with the crowd and explore new angles from which to capture both the details and the larger feel of any given event. Lately, I have become even more interested in capturing the interaction of the people and the cars, resulting in moments like the shot below.
Of course, there is always the simple and deeply satisfying fun of moving in closer for those more finely tuned abstract and detail images, with the added challenge of highly-variable light/shadow intensities on shiny surfaces…
On the sheltered beaches of Monterey, Carmel, and Point Lobos, one can catch a lovely glimpse into the lives of harbour seals. This time of year, the cute harbour seal pups are beginning to explore their watery homes, and their mothers keep a watchful eye as they swim through the swaying kelp forests and quiet coves. Some of the pups are particularly plump and round, and as they get brave enough to swim away from their mothers, there are moments of playful freedom in the surf. Once a pup realizes that they can no longer see their mother however, they will cry, short sad little calls that bring their mothers quickly to their side. The pups only have 3 to 4 weeks before they will be weaned, and witnessing this precious time that they have with their mothers is quite a special sight.