Photographers' Blog

An automotive best in show

Pebble Beach, California

By Michael Fiala

When I usually don cameras to shoot on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach it’s to cover what is considered one of the best finishing holes in golf. Stay an arm’s length within the ropes, work as silently as possible and don’t distract the golfers. Instead this past Sunday I weaved myself through this hallowed stretch of coastline and into the colorful automotive celebration that is the Concours d’Elegance. An annual charitable event, which was founded in 1950, of rare automobiles, competing in their class and for Best of Show.


The Pebble Beach Concours, which concludes a week of car-related festivities – much of it business related – attracts some of the world’s wealthiest car enthusiasts, industry leaders, and celebrities. The week consists of five auctions, eight concours and exhibitions, three days of racing, concept car unveilings and manufacturer displays, all culminating Sunday on the shores of the foggy Pacific.

I had a top priority knowing I was going to be within inches of rare, concept and production cars worth millions of dollars – do not accidentally bump into any of them. I very deliberately minded my gear, many times taking off bags and extra cameras before leaning over to shoot these ultra expensive machines. I’m happy to report I didn’t leave a single scuff or scratch.

I attended four of the week’s events, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering; the Concours d’LeMons, Gooding & Company’s auction preview and finally Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours. I photographed cars ranging from a Voisin Biscooter, to a 1926 Bugatti race car, Lamborghini’s $4 million Veneno supercar to finally the concour’s Best of Show winner, an immaculate 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria, owned by Joseph Cassini of New Jersey. Mr. Cassini was such a gracious and photogenic winner, along with his daughter Caroline and wife Margie, all dressed impeccably in period clothing.

So if you want to experience this impressive automotive gala for yourself, restore that vintage car you may have sitting in your garage or simply start planning to attend in 2014. You won’t be disappointed.

Hanging out with the top dog

By Hyungwon Kang

Having been a dog-person all my life, I thought I knew a few things about dogs. That was until a tall and skinny breed called Scottish Deerhound, represented by a five-year old named Hickory, won the  “Best in Show,” the top award at the Westminster Dog Show in 2011.  I had not seen this breed in person and I couldn’t help googling, only to find the winning breeder lived near me.

After several weeks of phone tagging and many more email exchanges, I was finally invited to the home of the Westminster Dog Show champion, located about an hour and a half west of Washington, DC, at Hickory’s Virginia Deerhound breeder’s home in Flint Hill, Virginia.

When I finally arrived there, I expected a group of loud and collectively barking dogs alerting the arrival of a visitor. There were about a dozen big dogs, but none of them even got up, let alone bark at me. “Psst, don’t let people know that these big dogs don’t bark, we want people to think that we’re protected here,” said Cecilia Dove, who bred and raised Hickory.

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