A Night In Buckhead

The Cannonball Run makes a stop in Atlanta

I work nights, often leaving work after 11pm. It’s great because I’m usually up well into the early morning (it’s 2am as I write this), and I can sleep until like noon and be totally fine. It’s a schedule that works for me for the most part.

Now, this Tuesday was a little different. I worked a little earlier so that I could clock out at around 6pm, because I was planning on going to a concert, but after being in Atlanta all weekend long and experiencing how abysmal the traffic around the Downtown Connector was, I really had no interest to immerse myself into that again, especially now that it was a Tuesday. That is, until I checked my Instagram feed.

Under my solo.auto account, I follow around forty of the best automotive photographers in the Atlanta area, and I’m constantly looking through my feed for new pictures that they post, complimenting and discussing whatever it is they take pictures of. So on that Tuesday night, I was delighted to see pictures of a certain Huayra on Stories from @atl.cars and @jx.xh, along with video from @ispycars, and I knew I had to check it out for myself.

I finally saw @sparky18888's incredible Pagani Huayra. This is a dream come true!

The Huayra is one of the few cars that can make a Ferrari look like a Toyota Camry. It makes the Lamborghini that was sitting next to it look like widebody Lotus Elise. If a McLaren 650S, in its Skittles-like colors, is the iPod nano, then the Huayra is the wildly expensive, 256GB, jet black iPhone 7 Plus. Every inch of this car exudes pure bravado, turning every head even on a street filled with other exotic cars. And when you call yourself “the king” and literally own a castle, what other car would be suited towards you?

The Huayra sits in this perfect spot in car culture, untouched by anything negative, and praised by nearly everyone. It’s famous enough that you might know something about it, but rare enough to remember the one time you saw one. It’s fast and ridiculously expensive like the big three, but exclusive enough to avoid most comparisons. You could put it next to a Veyron maybe, but does anyone actually like the Veyron?

Maybe, just maybe, you could say the aesthetics on this particular Huayra aren’t as nice as the simple red and carbon spec on Pagani’s press shots. Or maybe you’re not a fan of the slightly ostentatious interior. But does any of that matter when you’re one of just 100 people to own this car? Not likely.

The Huayra doesn’t have a single unflattering angle.

Unfortunately, I don’t have many nice pictures of the other cars at the get-together. Night photos are tough to do! Honestly, I could have brought my tripod for some steady shots, but part of my goal with photography is to take the best pictures I can with as little kit as possible. (I’ll make a post about my gear in the future.) I did bring my tiny tabletop tripod though, which acts as a left-hand grip for video more often than not. I also forgot my flash, but I literally have never used it since I bought the camera. Plus I’m really not a fan of how pictures come out with flash anyways.

The biggest threat to the quality of these photos is built into my daily life: my hands. Every time I see something that I’m really excited about, there go my hands, shaking rather uncontrollably. Combine that with a bit of dehydration and a mild obsession with coffee, and there’s your answer to why I take four or five of the same picture sometimes. Luckily, I’m lately working with a 50mm f/1.8 lens with OIS that lets in plenty light and keeps the picture almost 100% steady.

That tiny tripod really came in handy for this shot of the Aventador SV’s pipes!
Left to right: Taillights of an F430, the front wheel vents on a 458 Speciale, and Bryan Salamone’s gold-chrome Aventador SV.

I wish more events like these would happen in Atlanta. Or, at the very least, I’d like to see this city become a car-spotting dream like the streets of London seem to be. The sense of community at these events is pretty cool. I’m typically a very shy and socially awkward dude, but there was something about how chill and impromptu this event was that had me talking with @ispycars for a bit and thanking him for the reposts he’s put up on his page. There were a few other people there that I almost approached but they always seemed too busy trying to take the perfect shot, and I have to respect that! Still though, even with the season finale of Caffeine and Exotics happening last Sunday, maybe there won’t be a shortage of exotic cars in Atlanta after all.

(For more images of cars, feel free to check out solo.auto, my dedicated Instagram page for automotive photography)