1953 Color

1953 Color

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David Yarrow


Edition of 12

Archival Pigment Print

To have access to this coveted 1953 Ferrari was a great opportunity, but it demanded scouting for a location that was its aesthetic equal. The more grand the ambitions with a ‘tableaux’, the more vulnerable each of the constituent parts are to a sense of dragging the end photograph lower. Location scouting is an integral part of our working year, as storytelling rarely blossoms in a contextual vacuum.

The idea of using tall snow berms to frame the Ferrari and then offering a period James Bond type narrative, was not a new addition to our conceptual idea factory. It had been knocking around the edges for some time, but we simply did not know exactly where to find narrow roads shouldered by walls of snow 10 foot high. Weather patterns do not give the filmmaker the luxury of forward planning in something so specific and we need to plan well in advance. What we did know is that these visuals tend to occur towards the end of the ski season at high altitude in both Europe and America. It is uneconomic to snowplough small private roads with further winter storms around the corner, but equally, as soon the spring thaw accelerates, the snow berms on ploughed roads lose their height and grandeur.

There was some precision required on timing and my intuition suggested that this was a shot for the third week of April, whether the location was in the Alps, the Rockies or the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. We knew we would be filming in America after Easter and our research conclude that the ski area that tends to have the most amount of spring snow in the US is the Sierras. Historically the mountains above Lake Tahoe get dumped on in March and the snow above 7000 ft can still be very deep in mid-April. To shoot in California rather than Colorado was a big call, but we felt it gave us the best chance and the best access. The snow season runs late in Lake Tahoe.

Our team based themselves out of the old railroad town of Truckee, California and with the help of some properly informed mountain men, we found our precise location and went to work. When I arrived on set, it was one of the few times in the last few years when I have been visually arrested by what was in front of me. This was an exceptional setting and an entirely secret one too. Our timing and our planning was on the money.

I would like to thank Brooks Nader for being such an excellent 1950s girl and Chip Connor for lending me his prized 250 MM, Ferrari. Meanwhile, locals Stefan Moore and Troy Caldwell were rock stars making the berms high and safe. Every constituent part of this image was first class and in reality, I had the easy job - David Yarrow


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