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There are many pivotal moments in life. Some pass anonymously; others happen as one precariously dangles 80 feet in the air from a fishing boat crane in a basket made for burning garbage at sea, while shooting photos of cars most people will never see in person. What kind of cars? Two of the most open-to-the-elements and raw cars produced today: the KTM Xbow Superlight and the Ariel Atom. We all have seen the Top Gear episode where the Atom distorts Clarkson’s face, but what about the Xbow? This car is the unsung hero of the super light, open wheel, sports car class. Considering that we are talking about two-thirds of that class (the Caterham 7 makes up the final third)—the lack of press on the Xbow surprises me. With a body completely made of carbon fiber, this car looks like nothing you have ever seen before. The only thing I can compare it to is Frenzy, the little robot from Transformers 2.

Anyway, while I was shooting the cars from the dock I saw the deck hand repositioning the charred basket, but didn’t think much of it until, with a loud clang, he dropped it down right in front of me. Annoyed that he had ruined my vantage point, I looked over at Ben to see if he was in agreement.

“Get in,” he said. I laughed and started looking for a new spot to shoot from. “No— for real, get in the basket,” he added. First of all, I am not one to be scared of heights, but the structural integrity of a thin metal basket used for burning garbage might not be as high as I’d like it to be, considering that it would be holding me high above a concrete dock. Hesitantly, I climbed into the singed basket, and the crane began lifting it. When the basket finally stopped about 80 feet off the dock, I was a bit taken aback by my situation. There I was suspended by a boat in Seattle’s famous Fisherman’s Terminal (where the boats in Deadliest Catch depart from,) looking out over the water, taking photos of two cars most people will never even see in real life—all because of a camera my parents bought me for Christmas a few years ago.

“What are you doing?” someone yelled at me. I had been so caught up in thinking about how awesome this was that I hadn’t even taken any pictures yet. So with the basket slowly drifting back and forth in the wind, I timed my shots. It was like trying to take photos of a stationary object while sitting on a Ferris wheel. I made the most of it though, and after about 15 minutes, I was safely on solid ground with some of my favorite automotive shots to date. The day wasn’t over though; it was time for a location change.

I hopped in the Xbow, and we took off into the hills of Seattle in search of a new spot. We were quickly losing the light, and just when it seemed like we were going to have to call it a wrap, we came across a vacant construction site. Initially it seemed pretty bland, and it faced the wrong way relative to the sun.

“Come check this out,” Blake yelled from the Atom. First of all, for those of you who don’t know what Luxury4play.com is (this isn’t just being posted on The 4, you guys,) it’s an online community for people who love exotic cars and other“things”. In support of the community, its members (the three of us included) often take photos of themselves “repping the 4” by holding up four fingers while doing activities that personify the luxury lifestyle. This is what made this location so unexpectedly perfect. As we rounded the corner in the Xbow, we saw a huge hand with four extended fingers spray painted on one of the dumpsters! We knew we had found our next spot. Finally, after shooting here for a while, I jumped into the Atom, and we headed back to Northwest Auto Salon where I preceded to tackle the chore of processing the day’s photos.

I want to extend a huge thank you to Ben and Blake for bringing me along, as well as to crane operator guy for not killing me in his burn bucket. This really was the most fun I have ever had on a photo shoot, and I thank you guys for bringing me out. To the rest of you, I hope you enjoyed the story, and if you are just here for the pictures, I hope you like those too (although if you’re just here for the pics, you aren’t reading this anyway).































Have a good night :D
 

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Looks like Coop is having some fun, great pics!!!

Congrats on the new ride Ben, even though I already knew bout it..
 

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holy s**t an xbow!
 

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Which one is faster?

Cooper, this thread blew me away! Fantastic job!
 

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Great shots and nice write up!
 

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thanks for sharing!! great pics and awesome cars!!
 

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Ahahaha, awesome write up Cooper.

And wow, the Xbow is way hotter than I ever remember seeing. Amazing shots!

Ben, how does the KTM stack up to the Atom? Awesome purchase.
 

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Great Pictures Coop, I would have shat myself being in the air in that rusty cage!
 
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