Red sports cars are almost cliché, but I’ve been told that, when on the cover, they sell more magazines on the newsstand. They do draw the eye in a way that more muted colors find difficult. Part of the craft of shooting for a publication was to be on good terms with the hosts at a new car introduction in aid of getting dibs on a red example to photograph, or if not that, at least one of the more striking colors that were available. Yellow, maybe, or one of the brighter blues or even a green sometimes. Silver, not so much, and grey or black, thanks, but no. Nothing personal you understand—I drove a black Carrera for 30 years—this was just business.
That said, there are some things that can be done with shapes and reflections, say of autumn leaves, Christmas lights, or fireworks. In this particular image, from a 2005 press trip to introduce the 997 Cabriolet, we had spent the day in a blue example, having earlier found some time to do a number of first morning light shots with a gorgeous gold car, visiting it again in the afternoon for some more set shots in a formal location. We even scored a short stint for some overhead views with the desirable red beast that someone else had beaten us to.
The day’s shoot, in fact, seemed to hold good promise for a colorful layout in the magazine, but when you are as addicted to the process as has been my fate, it’s hard to quit shooting as long as there is usable light. Sometimes even when there isn’t. Late in the afternoon, with pretty much everything done, this lonely black car sitting in the courtyard of a vividly painted hotel under a striking Spanish sky almost cried out to have this detail photographed.
It didn’t make the magazine; didn’t really tell the story of the car. The blue car was on the cover, and the yellow and the red were the opening spread. But somehow this is the image that became a personal favorite and a screensaver.