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A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving

A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog

It all really started last weekend at the monthly Cars and Coffee at which I take pictures and upload them to the facebook group that we have. But last time was a little different as I have started my own photography, not exactly business, but a hobby that might earn me a little money over time (although for now that is not the goal). And with this photography endeavour, I decided to try a shot at getting a private shoot for the owner of a car of my choosing. Being the Mercedes owner and fan that I am, it had to be the silver convertible Mercedes SLS AMG that i’d take a shot at getting a private shoot with (this car was in my last CT post). Since I arrive at around 6:00 AM for these events to get pictures for all of the cars, and it had turned 9:00, I was just about to leave until an older gentleman walked up to the SLS and turned on that handbuilt 6.2L V8. I quickly jumped out of my SL (it’s a SL55 AMG to be clear) and walked up to him, started by telling him how much I admire that car and then proceeded to ask if he was interested in a photoshoot. It got a lot better than a private photoshoot. The SLS owner invited me to come to a Golf Course and take pictures of his car, as well as around 25 other classics, sportscars, and supercars. I very quickly accepted the offer and thanked him many times and only realized on my way home what this whole thing meant and it really almost seemed too good to be true.

Like all things that seem too good to be true, they unfortunately often are but I nevertheless got in my SL and headed out for the Golf course, not really knowing what to expect. As I pulled through the posh white gates, I could in the distant parking lot see those mentioned 25 cars all in exotic colors and shapes. As I entered the parking lot, I placed my SL at a respectful distance from the rather pricier cars that are part of the club.

I walked in with slight disbelief but also a major urge to swing the camera around from my back and start taking some pictures of these crazy cars. I approached the SLS owner once again and he told me to go ahead and take as many pictures as I wanted. As you can see in the picture, deciding where to start with a line-up of cars like this isn’t an easy decision but a nicely specced Ferrari 458 Spider was the first. The light was good, and my inner Ted Gushue (look him up on IG) was unleashed, to at least a little extent.

A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog

Another, more professional looking, photographer was also there and he seemed rather good at what he was doing so I asked for a few tips and he was extremely helpful and friendly. He asked me if I was going to follow the convoy over to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and I didn’t see why not so I walked over to the event organizers and asked for a place in the convoy. I was placed as the very tail end, yet it wouldn’t stay like that for long.

The little Alfa was an absolute joy to observe and follow on the twisty roads at which it seemed very at home. It even managed to hold its own out on the highway and I never got the chance to catch up with the pack of Italian exotics that were leading the convoy.
The little Alfa was an absolute joy to observe and follow on the twisty roads at which it seemed very at home. It even managed to hold its own out on the highway and I never got the chance to catch up with the pack of Italian exotics that were leading the convoy.
The big Italian V12 Ferrari was one of the stars of the pack and I had the pleasure of hearing it at full chat on a few occasions. Like the little 4C, the Italians led the pack.
The big Italian V12 Ferrari was one of the stars of the pack and I had the pleasure of hearing it at full chat on a few occasions. Like the little 4C, the Italians led the pack.
The Ferrari F430 has been an all-time favorite of mine and seeing a low-mileage and in super condition one never disappoints. The naturally aspirated V8 never fails to produce some fantastic noises.
The Ferrari F430 has been an all-time favorite of mine and seeing a low-mileage and in super condition one never disappoints. The naturally aspirated V8 never fails to produce some fantastic noises.
The yellow Huracan was as flamboyant as any Lamborghini and it did not fail to impress on this particular day either. This one had a Mansory wing and possibly a custom exhaust as well.
The yellow Huracan was as flamboyant as any Lamborghini and it did not fail to impress on this particular day either. This one had a Mansory wing and possibly a custom exhaust as well.

I ended up behind an old Porsche 356, a car not quite in a similar category when it comes to speed as my SL so I quickly overtook it but got stuck in a red light with it and a black Ferrari 360. Since most of the cars had left us behind, I decided to stay with the Ferrari as we crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Tunnel is really the essential word in that sentence because anyone that’s ever had the pleasure of hearing a Ferrari 360 pass by would know just how great it sounds. Now I was just behind one and around a mile of tunnel ahead, it did not disappoint.

A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog
A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog

Our first stop, and chance to catch up, came right after the end of the 4 mile tunnel at a big parking lot in which the cars parked in a row and prepared to leave with our police escort. Now, I know some people here at CT have a lot of money, but even if they do, having a police escort is something you would think the president has and not many others. But we had police escort and essentially no speed limit as long as we did not pass the front police car which was going completely at it with lights on and the whole deal. I followed the other 31 year older SL driven by a gentleman not afraid of taking advantage of our police escort speeds along with a great looking 90’s Porsche 911.

A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog
A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog
A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog

As the convoy moved from the highway onto Seaside Road at what the police considers reckless speeds (15 mp/h or more than the indicated speed limit here in VA), the 911 overtook me and shortly after the older SL which I had stayed behind and I decided to try and keep up.

A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog

For the daily drive in the SL, I usually set it in comfort and automatic mode and blast whatever music I enjoy currently but today was different. I went full out and set it in manual (paddle shift mode), sports mode, and for the first time in a very long time, decided to drive without traction control. The 911 was on its absolute limit, backfiring, and small powerslides were cleanly executed out of the slower corners and I was right behind. I for the first time could legally push my car to the limit on public roads and it was genuinely one of best moments of my life.

A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog

As we got onto the highway, I got the chance to show off what the SL is really made for and overtook all of the classics and made my way up to an all new 911 Turbo S with a Martini livery, and a white convertible Mercedes SLS which I followed into the yacht club. The police escort stopped the traffic on our side of the highway and since I’m not sure who will read this, all I will say is that we hit triple figures. The cars lined up and I joined them, but my luck ran out and one of the unfortunately lesser nice members of the car club told me to move my car since I’m not an official member of their club, but rather some kid that got the opportunity of a lifetime to take pictures.

A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog
Now i’m not a Porsche fan but they’ve grown on me over time and when I saw this 993 roll in, I was pretty sold. Along with the slightly more professional photographer at the event, I took pictures of it in a few different light situations and i’ll let you judge whether you like them or not. This was also the Porsche that i kept up with most of the way and the guy driving it absolutely nailed every corner. It was a joy to see a 911 driven at its limit by an allegedly former racing driver, and I kept up and overtook the 993 on a straight.
Now i’m not a Porsche fan but they’ve grown on me over time and when I saw this 993 roll in, I was pretty sold. Along with the slightly more professional photographer at the event, I took pictures of it in a few different light situations and i’ll let you judge whether you like them or not. This was also the Porsche that i kept up with most of the way and the guy driving it absolutely nailed every corner. It was a joy to see a 911 driven at its limit by an allegedly former racing driver, and I kept up and overtook the 993 on a straight.

But really, there was nothing to complain about at this point. If you had told 10 year old me that 18 year old me would be driving an AMG in a convoy of cars that I could ever only dream of just seeing, let alone drive with them. As I finished up the last shots, I got back in the SL and decided to find some food since I had expected to come back home for breakfast. I turned my phone off and decided to see what I could find but I ended up on a beach and even hungrier than earlier.

A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog
A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog
A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog
The Ferrari 365 GT was in my opinion, the best looking car in this group by far and I could not stop taking pictures of it. It’s such a simple yet beautiful machine that I think most people could fall in love with pretty easily.
The Ferrari 365 GT was in my opinion, the best looking car in this group by far and I could not stop taking pictures of it. It’s such a simple yet beautiful machine that I think most people could fall in love with pretty easily.
A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog
A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog

As I proceeded back up north, at a slightly slower pace than with the escorted convoy, I found a small gas station and bought some very american strawberry chocolate frosted donuts and a gatorade. I continued driving without GPS and went roughly the way my gut told me to go and ended up on some fantastic small roads that finally led me back to the bridge. I was accompanied home by an Aventador, Huracan with a mansory kit, and a Porsche 911 GT2RS until I pulled off and placed the SL in the cool garage as she deserved after the day.

A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog

A day like this had always seemed liked an unrealistic impossibility that would only happen if I somehow won the lottery or some other weird way of getting a lot of money easily. I had at least never expected to do something like this before I was an old man with lots of money saved up and some late-mid-life crisis supercar/s in my garage. But no, I did this a month after I turned 18 in a car that I could only expect to drive in my wildest dreams as a kid. I remember driving the SL55 in Gran Turismo 5 and just loved every part of it and now I was in a real one with no limits, throwing it through twisty corners and blasting it down straights.

A Day In Heaven; A story of Photography and Driving - Blog

Thank you for reading this far! I think we can conclude that the lesson of the day is that you shouldn’t hold back, just jump into it and take the chances because the worst thing that can happen is a no. And this day, it was all yesses and it was more than worth it.