Photographing work trucks

I spent several years photographing work trucks for Freightliner. Some assignments were more interesting than others, some more fun, and some just plain lucky. I had the good fortune to be granted access to the field side of Kennedy Airport with a small window to photograph a tank truck that was servicing an Air France Concorde.

The aircraft did not spend more than a few hours on the ground in New York and there was quite a bit of activity around it. I arrived, did some cleaning of my subject, and scoped out a location to place the truck with the Concorde. My focus (no pun) had to be the client truck, and we needed to show it in this impressive location … but, I couldn’t let the huge aircraft over power the image. Also, I was limited on-site with my camera position because of all the activity that is constantly happening on┬áthe tarmac.

tank truck a Kennedy Airport with a Concorde
As much as I’d have preferred the shot without the mobile staircase, that was out of my control. Larry Shapiro photo

As I moved the camera position slightly, I was limited both by the activity around and behind me, and the distracting elements behind the Concorde that I was blocking with the tank truck. Additionally, I did not want to make the name of the airline fully visible. This shot was created using transparency film, so a quick edit of the name was a bit more costly from the graphics people that finished the image.When the final shot was used, all the markings on the truck cab and the ‘Ogden’ name were removed.

Freightliner truck working at an airport
I didn’t have much leeway in terms of creating multiple scenes, so I settled on slight variations of the camera position and depth of field. Larry Shapiro photo

Since the plane was on such a tight schedule, I was not able to board it so that I could see the interior as I’d hoped to.