Wednesday, May 26

McLaren F1 vs Toyota Camry

Jay Leno once told a story on his show about his crazy exploits in his Mclaren F1 Super Car (A car capable of 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 240 MPH). According to Jay he took a random guy from a car show in his McLaren F1 (who unbeknownst to him turned out to be an off-duty undercover cop) for a drive into the Malibu Canyons where they subsequently got pulled over for doing 120 mph through one of the Tunnels......

Not quite sure how they came out of that rather sticky situation, but I have a feeling they made out just fine. Anyhow ever since hearing the said story I've been sort of thinking of rehashing his exploits, but without anyone riding shotgun and hopefully no cops waiting outside the tunnels. And so today I get an email/text from one of my favorite Landscape Photographers who invited me to Malibu saying the clouds were looking pretty good for a Sunset Shoot . Now i'm not really a huge advocate of shooting Landscapes in the Summer particularly in Malibu because everything seems to be in the wrong place. Sure sunsets are longer in the summer but in Malibu the sun tucks itself away behind the Canyons, whereas over the fall and throughout winter it sets over the ocean horizon. Not as romantic right?

However, it's never really a bad idea to hang with these guys because one can learn so much just by watching them work. That and Jay Leno's tantalizing 120 mile an hour story through the canyons. I couldn't get my gear ready fast enough for this Landscape shoot!

Fast forward to the tunnels. Well, okay, maybe a little bit of a short back story? Cool... Because I am a photographer who shoots models at the beach and some Landscapes, I've been through these Malibu Canyons more than I can recall. I've learned that on these canyon roads (and for most canyons) a sort of rule of thumb for the spirited driver is just a bit of math really. On corners multiply the speed limit by 2.5 and be sure to make it stick (So, say for a 40 mph turn you could do about 95 mph with the proper tires without skidding or worse crashing). The first Tunnel south bound is the longest of three and is the only one with two lanes (and I think it's Jays Tunnel). And I knew that if I didn't carry enough speed on the long sweeping bend before the approach there was no way I could attain three digits on the speedometer....

So there I was on the penultimate lap of my dream Tunnel doing about 95 mph and fast approaching 120 miles per hour... But as fast as I was going things took a turn for the worst even faster. A dream crusher if you will... Nope not a cop. In fact I rather it was a cop (Would make for a better story)... As I approach the tunnel at 95 mph there was a Toyota Camry riding my tail as if to say "Wanna play?". But I wasn't in the mood to play.... I just wanted to run through the tunnel at McLaren F1 speeds and I gotta tell ya that kid in the Toyota (intrepid as he is) ruined the romance for me because there was no way I was going into that narrow tunnel in those kinds of speeds with a kid driving Mom's Camry on my tail. There was just a myriad of things that could have gone wrong in there.... And so I let off the gas and cruised at 75 as the Camry sling shoots right past me....


Here are some photos from the Beach:


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