McLaren F1 at The Boston Cup
Not every shoot goes as planned. Tuesday evening, I received an email from the Boston Cup team saying that there was an opportunity for me to photograph the McLaren F1, and that WBZ-TV will be doing a commercial at one of Herb Chamber’s dealerships in two days. The McLaren F1 has been my childhood dream car and I have dreamed about photographing one ever since I picked up my first real camera, a Nikon. Unfortunately, I was only given one day to prepare and the tools and planning needed to make this shoot ideal, was tainted by time. I knew that parts were going to be challenging but I wanted to think positively about being around this beauty. I called the dealership to get more info on the location and where we would be so I could begin to sketch out the shoot. After hearing the dreaded news, I started to become discouraged. The shoot I have been waiting for was going to be taken indoors in the showroom. Inside photos are not necessarily a bad thing…unless you are photographing a car…which I was. Reflections of other cars, desks, chairs, and windows. The background noise of all the unwanted visuals made my heart sank and I started to panic. My mind kept racing as I was trying to imagine what it looked like inside. I grew more frustrated and disheartened. I eventually went to sleep and was haunted with reflections off cars brighter than the sun and random chairs strewn upon the showroom.I was up early with the lack of sleep and the anxiousness of getting to the showroom to assess what I had to work with. I always like to show up an hour or two early so I can check out the environment and plan accordingly. Though the suggestion to not show up early was offered, I knew that in order to make anything work, I would need to be knowledgeable of my surroundings, both positive and negative.However, upon arrival my heart sank even more (could it get any lower?). An awful setting to photograph such an amazing car.The ceiling lay low with recessed lighting as desks and chairs were strewn in and out of offices all around the room (the nightmare was true). There were a half dozen or so Mercedes sprawled around the room. There were reflections all over the car from the walls windows that encompassed the car. Glares from the lights made it difficult to find an angle, as everywhere I planned had too much glare. Complete chaos, in the sense of light and glare. After the shoot, I was able to research and determine how to reduce the glare and other strategies to make a situation like this be less frustrating.Peter, Herb’s maintenance guy (who also takes care of the property), was a very nice fellow. He showed me underneath every opening panel and gave me some fun facts about the car. He stayed with me and positioned the car the way I wanted.The car was beautiful and had a glow to it (possibly the lighting). My childhood dream was awaken and I was able to look past the visual mess of light. This car is unique due to the center cockpit that afforded it the ability to have passengers on either side of the drive. The driver’s seat sits just a tad more forward than the two passenger seats. The car was engineered to be as light as possible. Even the tools are made of magnesium and are the weight of a Qtip! They used gold to dissipate the heat from the exhaust. It is evident by design and performance that there was no cutting cost when building this car. When the car was released in 1992, it was just over one million dollars. It was built to be like a rocket ship and could achieve a speed of 231 mph with a rev limiter. Only 106 cars were made and had different versions such as the GT(Long tail), LM (tuned), GTR(racecar), and a few prototypes(XP).I pulled it altogether and came out with a great product for the situation I was in. I would love to thank the staff at The Boston Cup for giving me the opportunity to photograph this amazing vehicle. Even though the location wasn't ideal, it still brought a smile to be able to have one on one time with the car that sat on my bedroom wall throughout my childhood.Keeping it to the Details!