Words: Jay Villa | Photos: Fred Enke
Take a look at these old lowrider photos. Trippy sh*t, right?
I can stare at ‘em all day. Oddly enough, I can almost smell them too – something only those in the know could appreciate. Old photographs have a character that many won’t get to experience in this digital age. We live in a world of instant gratification. Digital cameras allow you to snap a pic and preview them on the spot. But not back in the day. Back then, we’d have to pull back the film advance lever to get to the next frame and reset the shutter; then, we’d manually focus, frame the pic, and press the shutter button, hoping and praying we get the kill shot. We were limited to how many shots were left on the roll, and then we had to rewind the film in the canister, remove it, then drop them off to get developed.
These photos were saved from being tossed in the trash.
Today we can snap and preview hundreds of shots with ease. But hey, I’m not complaining. It’s convenient – albeit at the cost of lost traditions. But film photography isn’t gone forever. There are plenty of people who still shoot film, and I think it’s great, but I’ll admit that I’m not one of them. I’m used to the speed of digital, so seeing photos like these is special.
Famed photographer Fred Enke took the photos on this post. The back story of these photos is pretty interesting too. According to Pat Ganahl, the original negatives of these photos were going to get tossed in the trash (after Mr. Enke passed with no known heirs or contacts), and that’s when he got a hold of them and shared them with the world on his blog, a blog you should cruise by because he’s got some good stuff on it. According to Mr. Ganahl, these photos were the original article’s outtakes that appeared in either Car Craft or Hot Rod back in the day. Pretty cool when you consider a lowrider would have a tough chance landing the pages of those same mags today.
Now, if you don’t know who Pat Ganahl is, he’s a legend in the automotive publishing world. He’s published some excellent books and served as editor for Hot Rod – but his inability to play corporate politics made him the shortest-serving editor in the history of the Hot Rod magazine – an accomplishment which has been noted by the magazine itself, and a title he should be proud of.