Intimidation. That’s what this image is about; the monster, black and hulking, looming large over the tiny obstruction blocking its path, a scowl on its chromed face. Carnage, it implies, may ensue.
Actually, it was a lot more lighthearted than all that when I put this image together 30 years ago at the 1986 Porsche Parade. I had about finished shooting the autocross for Panorama and saw the possibility of setting this shot up with the sponsor’s truck and the 910 of one of the contestants. Color film would have been too distracting for this subject, but I had only one last exposure left in my black and white camera. It needed to be done right in one take.
Several conditions were required; the car needed to be very close to the truck, with a long telephoto to give the sort of compression to make them look even closer together. That required a high numerical f-stop to produce the desired depth of field from the 300 mm lens, which meant using a slow shutter speed and a tripod. Since I had no remote shutter release with me, the mechanical self-timer on the camera would have to be used to make the exposure.
The owner of the beautiful little Porsche 910, Bill Ferran, positioned his car for me, lining it up perfectly with the big, expensive Ford rig. I had to set up the camera with the long lens a considerable distance away to get the entire scene, and stayed with the camera to trigger the self-timer.
All good—until a lady needing to get to the other side began walking, unawares, straight into my one-chance shot. Too far away to do anything to stop the disaster, I watched in frustration as the timer whirred downward. At the last moment, my photographic co-conspirator daughter vectored in on the innocent interloper, screaming at the confused and justifiably miffed woman, and saved the shot.
Ferran’s 910 was the fastest car in competition that day. Thirty years on, it is probably worth a lot more than the menacing and now-old truck, too.