Classic Mini Cooper in Mae Sot Thailand

A Classic Mini in Mae Sot

 

Some weeks back I wrote a blog entry poking fun at "Thai Individualism" in the area of customizing cars.  Blinky blink lights, lighted steering wheels, comical exhaust tips, and other such 'improvements' which are more likely to invoke laughter than they are an increase in performance or utility.  This week's feature photograph shows a different and far more serious side to Thailand's car culture.

How many wonderfully restored Minis and other collectables have you seen running around Thailand?  I've seen a bunch!  Minis are popular, but not as popular as the Volkswagen Beatle.  I've seen hundreds of proud Thai owners behind the huge steering wheels of their nicely restored Beatles.  There are thousands of such cars in Thailand from many different countries.

This image is significant for two reasons.  It shows a really fine example of a restored Mini, and it also shows proper perspective.  Perspective?  Yes.  My 16 year old son took this image at my urging.  We were in Mae Sot and the rain was coming down hard and we both spied this eye-catching Mini at the same time.  Since I was driving I handed him the camera and pushed him out of the car into the rain to make the capture.

Minutes later my now soaking wet son was sitting next to me as we reviewed the captures on the LCD.  Something was missing and we both knew it.  My son and I are gear heads, especially where it concerns fine muscle cars for me and tuner imports for him.  We've seen and taken plenty of quality car captures.  He glared at me in that special way that conveys that timeless "thanks a hell of a lot dad" unspoken message and climbed back out into the rain to make a proper capture.

 

Mini in Mae Sot Thailand.  Bangkok Images

Same Mini, different perspective

 

As you can see above the first capture was taken with little thought and shows a perspective looking straight down on the Mini.  We tend to use this perspective for almost every picture because we're mostly standing on our two feet for almost every picture.  In a very strong way by using this perspective so often, it results in many of our pictures looking the same even if the subjects are different! 

In order to capture the Mini with the most appropriate and desirable perspective my son had to do two things while standing out in the rain.  He needed to set the lens to a wider angle and move closer to the car, and to squat down on his heels so the angle was looking up rather than down.

We need to remember this when making most any capture.  Can we make the perspective more interesting by merely changing the angle and perhaps the focal length?  We should think about these two things when taking any image.  You can compare the two images and see for yourself.