The 2009 Orlando Festival of Speed
Recently two of my trusted fellow photographers and I covered the Orlando Festival of Speed. For those of you who are fans of Exotic automobiles this event is like a weekend trip to heaven. This was my fourth time covering the festival so I had a pretty good idea what I was getting into but it was still a wonderful photography learning experience.
Friday night was the opening ceremony at the jet port reception. This is a very elegant party where guests were treated to music, art, amazing food, tours of private jets, luxury tour buses and of course the worlds most amazing exotic cars. Upon entering the venue I was greeted by the sight of two Bugatti Veyrons, including the new Grand Spot (the topless version of the 253 MPH supercar). My goal was to capture the wonderful theatrical style lighting of the venue but also highlight the Veyron. Rather than setting up an elaborate studio lighting rig (that I did have with me) I opted to light paint with a 3 million candle power spotlight as taught to me by photo artist Ivonne Bonett. It worked like a charm with exposures in the 10-15 second range.
As the guests started to come into the event I was finding myself with less and less space to set up long exposure shots. I was shooting with Canon’s newest pro camera the 7D that night and opted to try out its higher iso abilities, which to my surprise handled visual noise remarkably well.
My fellow photographers Ivonne and Dave focused on different aspects of the venue such as the guests themselves, some stunning models and the displays the sponsors had set up. Both offered creative composition and wonderful perspectives on the party.
Saturday I showed up for the ride and drive event but was expecting a Bugatti Veyron. The Veyron was parked along other exotics but the vehicle being shown was the newest Lamborghini LP 670 SV. The 670 SV is an amazing vehicle, perhaps the most beautiful edition of the Murcielago theme. Against the fountain backdrop of the Ritz Carlton entrance I was able to capture some wonderful shots.
Sunday was the main automotive event showcasing a huge variety of exotic automobiles from around the world. Some of the standouts for me were the Veilside RX7, Mosler MT900, Jaguar XJR-15, the ultra rare Bugatti Sang Noir and a white Ferrari FXX evolution.
The event for me was pure automotive bliss. Despite the heat I worked my way through the show and found myself in a field of supercars by the end of the show as people left. I got a chance to spend some alone time with my favorite exotic the Saleen S7 as well as the legendary Ferrari 288 GTO…the exotic that sparked my interest in sports cars so long ago.
My fellow photographers also covered the venue acquiring some wonderful aspects of the show. Dave Calabrese even got some photo time with a Maxim Magazine model and a Ferrari 430.
Three wonderful days of automobiles, models, fine products on the grounds of the world class Ritz Carlton equaled three days of high fun behind the lens.
View the large image gallery from The 2009 Orlando Festival of Speed