Climbing into the trunk of a car is routine for a Road & Track photographer. Getting that perfect shot isn't always the glamorous process one might conjure up when they think of an automotive photographer at work. Sure we hang out of a helicopter now and then, tromp across alpine meadows and operate sophisticated contraptions made of composite arms mounted to exotic cars for that epic image. More often than not though, it's one of us hanging out the back of a late model that gets the job done. It works like this more than I'd like to admit.
Climbing into the trunk of a Ford Taurus SHO knowing legendary Lamborghini test driver Valentino Balboni would soon hurl a $450,000 2010 Lamborghini Murciélago LP670-4 SV sideways toward my camera was another story entirely. This would not be routine, not at all. Ace photographer Marc Urbano and I drew the short straws and out we went.
It took just a pass or two for the action to get good. Balboni has epic car control: he was tossing Lamborghinis into prolonged slides well before I was born. All it took was a point or a gesture and the Giallo Orion yellow SV would slide through the designated spot. For a photographer it was almost easy. Pass after pass Balboni's timing and precision were so predictable that I had time to kick the video camera into slo-mo mode for an artsy shot or two. A little deafened by wind noise and the howling Lambo, it took Urbano reaching across the trunk to get my attention: "This is awesome!" he yelled. And he was right!
The next day I got an email from Editor-at-Large John Lamm. Attached was a photo titled "lambo and insurance.jpg." Lamm, photographing from the cheap seats, had captured the whole event from the opposite angle and this is how I'll remember it. It might be routine for us to climb into a trunk at the test track, but it's not often one meets someone that lives up to their legend, and is a class act besides. In this photo I'm sitting next to one of those guys, photographing another and being photographed by a third. All while going fairly obscene speeds and having my personal space invaded by a wailing Lamborghini.
This was an awesome day in the trunk.