DB11 – Capturing the Beauty

What might be the best location to photograph a classic beauty supercar, luxury icon with a sporty soul? We asked ourselves this question when we had the opportunity to have an Aston Martin DB11 for a car magazine issue.  We immediately thought of a location that recalled the values of elegance and exclusivity, and the solution came to us genuinely – we should’ve gone to Lake Como. A gorgeous landscape also chosen by producers as a film set, like for the Casino Royale movie, when James Bond tracks down Mr White shooting him in the garden at Villa la Gaeta.
It was spring 2017, I was just passed a whole week having relations with the press office of Aston Martin Milano and Frankfurt asking for a DB11 available for comparison and shooting with its ancestor, the DB5. Together with the request of the brand new V12 built by the Gaydon brand, I asked the contact of a passionate owner of the best-known cinematic James Bond car, to join the shooting day for a comparison of the two supercars. The day the “press” DB11 arrived in Milan from Frankfurt on a transport truck, after picking it up at the old Aston Martin headquarters in via Monte Rosa, I called for the final confirmation the owner of the DB5 with whom we had agreed to meet the next day in the beautiful landscape of Lake Como.
At the first light of day I turn on the roaring V12 with direction Como; it wasn’t a sunny day but it was still early, the forecast was good and I trusted in the sky that will open and let the sunshine (which then came true). Halfway down the road I stopped for a coffee and got a phone call by the owner of the DB5: “ I’m sorry but I can’t come. It’s drizzling and I don’t feel like taking a chance and coming to Cernobbio. Bye”.  He had already made the decision and there was no way to make him think that the weather would be nice on the lake. Panic! I’ve involved a dozen or so people from the magazine’s editorial staff and the Aston press office both in Milano and Frankfurt(!) for the realization of this shooting, and now all was gone to hell because of one person.
Embarrassed, I called the editor of the magazine to give him the unhappy news, which fortunately turns out to be sympathetic and tells me to take pictures of the DB11 anyway and then evaluate how to use them. So I continue on my journey to Cernobbio, where I previously asked to the police the access to the central square (closed to traffic) for what I had in mind should have been the cover image for the issue – but now instead of two cars, there’s just one! Just before the prestigious stage of Villa d’Este, in which one of the most important cars concourses of elegance is held every year, I stop starting taking pictures of the DB11 in front of the lake.
As expected by the forecast, a few minutes after my arrival the clouds gave way to the blue sky and the sun shines on the bodywork creating reflections that mark the harmonious shapes. Take all the static images of the car and its details, it’s time to the camera-car shots, for which we closed a stretch of the old road along the lake to have the possibility to use the whole carriageway with the DB11 and the car in front of it, on which I’m in the truck with my camera. The result is some excited shots of the Aston through beautiful landscapes that unite the style of “her majesty’s car” with the classic and exclusive beauty of Lake Como. We had a great time, just a shame that the DB5 should have been there too!


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