Photographing cars for a magazine feature in a big city is never straightforward and if you want to shoot action it takes the level of difficulty to a higher plane. But that’s what Classic and Sports Car magazine required in February of 2020 on a week long feature visit to Los Angeles to collect some sunny stories for the winter pages of the next issue.
Local knowledge is key when finding locations, and although I know LA pretty well, I wasn’t familiar with the area where our cars were so we had to trust the owners and they came up trumps choosing a section of road around the Palos Verde headland south of the city with the glittering Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands in the background.
Shooting action with two cars ,three if you count the camera car on public roads can be a traumatic experience for classic car owners who aren’t used to close formation driving but our guys did really well even managing a smile as we coaxed them closer and closer to get the pictures.
We found a piece of safe two lane highway with turn arounds about mile apart,an elevated bank for panning and a short mountain section for a chase sequence.I just wish we’d been shooting video and sound as the noise was glorious.
When shooting action it really helps to have good communication with the subject drivers so I gave the lead car a walkie-talkie and described each set up to both of them so they knew where they were meant to be in relation to each other and the road positioning for the different shots explaining the safety risks along the way.
We did about 3 or 4 runs of each type of shot to achieve the right placements…I could have gone on all day such were the great cars, locations and weather but owners tend to get a bit gnarly if you push them too long so when I knew I had enough we wrapped it up and went for lunch…not a bad day in the office.