Making a Hail Mary Shot: 1958 Edsel Bermuda

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Hail Mary shot: “That’s when the photographer holds the camera high over his or her head, sometimes to ‘see’ over the heads and shoulders of a crowd, sometimes just for the hell of it, in hopes that the subject of the picture is, in fact, in the frame and recorded on film or pixels.”—Frank Van Riper

OK, riddle me this. When was the last time you saw an Edsel Woodie Station Wagon? Never? Me too.

Edsel is an automobile marque that was planned, developed and manufactured by the Ford Motor Company from 1958–1960. The Bermuda Woodie was only produced and sold in 1958. Like the Edsel Villager and Roundup station wagons, the Bermuda was built on a 116-inch wheelbase shared with Ford’s other station wagons, along with its core body stampings. The total Bermuda station wagon output was 2,235 units of which 1,456 were six-passenger models that had a base price of $3,155 and 779 were nine-passenger versions priced at $3,212. This made the nine-passenger Bermuda the rarest 1958 Edsel model.

The Hail Mary technique is especially useful at crowded car shows, like The First Saturday show where I photographed this Edsel Bermuda. To get high angle Hail Mary shots in the past I would hold the camera over my head and make a guess at where it was pointing, then I made a lot of shots chimping until I got something close to what I wanted. Instead of guessing, the Olympus E-M5 Mark I that I used for this shot has a tilting screen that lets me hold the camera over my head and I could see exactly what I was getting. An Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R lens (at 14mm) was used along with an Program mode exposure of 1/320 sec at f/7.1 and ISO 320. The final image was tweaked in Vivenza.