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Shooting the Audrain Museum’s Porsche 911

See how I shot a classic Porsche 911 with a beautiful fall backdrop for the Audrain Automotive Museum in conjunction with AMMO NYC.

Porsche 911

The natural progression of automotive enthusiasm seems to be something like this. Cheap sport compact > BMW M car > Porsche 911. Among sports cars, they are a dime a dozen (and the engine is in the wrong place), but what about an older one…?

Audrain Automobile Museum

The story for this actually starts back in 2016. While on a family trip to Rhode Island, I randomly came across a small building in Newport that had many exotics inside. Unaware of what was on display, I ventured in to find anything from a Bugatti Veyron and Ferrari Enzo, to gems like this Porsche 911. I had no idea I’d one day be shooting it.

If you’ve never been and are in the area, it’s definitely worth a visit. 

Audrian's automotive
A visit a few years back was unexpected fun! The interior is filled with quotes and of course, plenty of exotic cars.

Small world

Fast forward to 2020, and Larry from AMMO NYC informs me of the amazing work he’s done on a classic 911 in Electric Green. Upon arriving, I noticed the license plate said Audrain – small world.

Now what made this so special is that I actually got to drive the car. I make it a point to usually never drive client cars, mostly for fear of the unknown. But this one needed to be shot outside of the garage, and I knew the fall foliage would make the perfect back drop.

Porsche 911
Larry detailed the owner’s car to perfection.
Porsche 911
This shade is Electric Green. BMW’s new Isle of Man Green Metallic on the G80 M3 is similar.
Porsche 911
Yellow headlights are refreshing to see. To capture them, the exposure has to be a lot higher than LED ones.
Porsche 911
The effect a good detail has on a car is so profound. There are no swirls to dull the light.
Porsche 911
Another close up.
Porsche 911
Classic dials that swung with less than pin point accuracy added to this car’s charm.

What it’s like driving this Porsche 911

I’m not a big fan of the preoccupation with big horsepower figures. High-powered cars are much to fast to truly enjoy on the road. But this 911 doesn’t have that problem.

It smells like gasoline and it’s loud. The 5-speed manual is notchy, especially when cold. And there was no power steering or brakes.

I loved it.

It’s so cliche to talk about things you can’t measure in a car. Steering feel. Engine response. Clutch take-up. But this 911 had it all, and it was the perfect sports car on a beautiful fall day. Compared to a modern one, it was so analog and tactile, and you really do have to drive the car.

Porsche 911
The smell of gasoline was intoxicating.
Porsche 911
It wasn’t the fastest or sharpest, but really was much more enjoyable compared to a modern car.
Porsche 911
A backdrop of falling leaves adds some drama.
Porsche 911
A nearby park provided a great spot to shoot the car, with clean horizon lines.

Shooting tip – matching colors

The Electric Green of this 911 was the perfect contrast to fall colors. But it might surprise you to find that the original photo has some surprises…

Porsche 911
The original photo.

Look less fall, right? The Green does not pop like it should, and there is a blue hue to the entire image. This isn’t the camera’s fault – that’s simply what it looked like that day.

When adjusting saturation and hue in Photoshop, it’s important to remember not to overdo it. Adjustments in small increments are usually best, otherwise an HDR effect could occur.

Camera Raw
The saturation panel for this image in Camera Raw.
Camera Raw
The hue panel for this image in Camera Raw.
Porsche 911
The signature shot.

Special thanks to AMMO NYC for making the garage available, and Turn 7 Auto Care for prepping the vehicle.

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I use Nikon camera bodies and lenses, a Westcott Ice Light 2, Manfrotto tripod, B + W filters and an iMac Pro to make the art you see here.

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