I don’t think I even remember when was the last time I held a magazine or a newspaper in my hands, but I can’t really say if I miss any of those. I also cannot really remember the last time I browsed through a batch of printed photographs, which is a bit sad. No matter how big your computer monitor is, nothing really can compare to printed photographs. Even at relatively small size, prints, to me, are what photography is all about, the final stage, end phase, ultimate goal. Sure, photography can and should be enjoyed in many ways, be it gallery prints, small albums, computer monitors, books or, wait for it, calendars. Yes, calendars, those things people once actually used to keep track of days. It’s hard to imagine it now. There are probably kids out there who know nothing about calendars and how they work. To me, calendars never were about days or months, and fortunately when we did have them around our home, they were always a bit special, either by subject or by size. When you combine subject and size and apply this “special” prefix to them, you end up with a product which is more a work of art than it is a mere calendar. They say, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it, and after going through the package I received from McKlein I can say I fully agree. They found a winning combo of size, contents and presentation and I see no reason for any change whatsoever.
McKlein Rally Calendar 2016
I have no idea how they do it, but somehow they manage to select the best photographs to use in this calendar. The problem is, McKlein’s photographers take at least 5 to 10 calendar-worthy photos on each WRC event, multiply that by 13 events and you can see how the pool grows. I know very well why they decided to use the 25 pieces format instead of the usual 12 photos, one per each month. They simply could not agree which 12 photos to use, so they decided to expand to 25. Works for them and for sure works for us. Twenty-five magnificent photographs, captured on special stages around the world, presented in their full glory. McKlein call it “The Wider View” and this is exactly how it looks in real life – 95 by 48 centimeters is a lot for a printed photograph, so you better have a wall appropriately large and conveniently empty. I won’t even try to describe how photographs I used to admire in small format on my computer screen, look in large-format print, but I’ll just say that they look very alive, so to speak. One exceptional thing about this calendar is the attention to the mood of each photograph but also to the mood of the finished product as well. There is a perfect mix of close-up photos, like the one showing the underside of Hyundai’s i20 WRC, as it flies over the crest, and those showing the atmosphere on the stages. Each page and photo is unique in its setting and you will have a tough time deciding which image you’d like to use for each month, not just because you have two to choose from but because they’re both usually equally worthy of your wall space. Speaking of wall space, there is an issue with McKlein’s calendars. If you decide to keep them on your wall even after they expire, you may run out of room for more, literally. Not to mention you will have to employ someone to turn the pages on so many calendars.
Rally videos are great. Slow-motion footage is awesome for it reveals how cars behave and work in extreme conditions, but photographs win over any video with ease, for me at least. They capture the moments, a fraction of a second which you would otherwise miss, and when done right, each such image will indeed speak thousand words. The passion for this sport is palpable in McKlein’s work, because they are able to translate all the excitement and energy of WRC cars, crews, spectators and venues in just a handful of images, but in such a way that you cannot but admire not only this calendar but also the sport it covers.
This is how and why products and services should earn their “Official WRC” tag. I only wish same criteria was used for other “Official WRC” products as well. I’m looking at you, abominable WRC5 thing.
Motorsport Classic 2016
Whenever people do something with passion, it transcends borders and boundaries of time, in my eyes at least. This is why sports are such a great testament to human nature, and motor sports are no different, even though they rely on mechanical contraptions. No matter if we’re looking at images of a modern rally car or we switch to decades-old black and white photograph of a race car as it tackles a corner on some famous track, the mood is very similar. The pursuit of excellence in engineering and driving is complemented by pursuit of excellence in photographing and documenting those valuable moments. McKlein’s Motorsport Classic 2016 is a time machine, fully functional and effective. This agency’s portfolio includes many decades worth of photographic material and every year they dive into this immense collection to create yet another Classic calendar, in black and white. This calendar needs no wider view format (67 x 48 cm). It also does not need colours, because I for one want to be reminded of the time difference between now and when the photos in this calendar were taken. If your motor sport passion does not include only rallying, take a look at this calendar, because there is a good chance you will learn a lot about the sport you admire so much. This calendar consists of 26 pages, with two images for each month.
2016 Desktop Rally Calendar
This product is exceptional because it combines compact size with large number of images and because it covers some of the most iconic eras of rallying, modern years included. McKlein’s instructions say this is to be enjoyed by flipping the pages and images every two weeks and we have 55 pictures in total to choose from. Each time you can decide whether you want to display a modern day rally car action or you’re in the mood for some historics instead. Pages are packaged and presented in a DVD case-sized… case, so they can find a spot on every desk. Yes, I even found a spot for it on my desk and that was not an easy task at all. If everything around you must be about cars and rally and motor sports then here’s little something to put on your desk, among all those model rally and race cars, right next to a full size broken rim and the steering wheel from an old Delta HF. You do have those on your desk too, don’t you?
In the end, I’d like to apologize for not being very good at writing reviews. I mean, every review should list the good and bad sides of a product and it seems like I only listed (and probably too enthusiastically) the good ones. These simply are such products, there is not much that is wrong or bad with them. They speak to any rally and motor sport fan in a unique language and they do it perfectly. If I must post some remarks, then they’ll be directed at some of the resolutions in “The Wider View” calendar, but this argument isn’t rock solid because you are not supposed to look at those images from 10 centimeters away.
If you’re looking for a perfect gift for your favourite WRC fanatic friend, or you want to treat yourself to a real gem, then by all means visit McKlein’s web store.
P.S. If I can suggest something, a one off calendar, made just for me… can you, wonderful members of the McKlein clan, dig deep into your archives and make a Lancia themed calendar. Thank you so much in advance.
P.P.S I will try to take a few more photos soon and update this post.