Rain was the main theme of the latest PistonHeads shoot, meeting journalist John in the rain we agreed that regardless what happened the car was going to get filthy. Luckily, the car in question looks good with mud and rain!
The Mitsubishi Pajero Evo is an awesome looking car, flared arches and massive mud flaps hinting at the cars real purpose, it was homologated for the Dakar Rally and it means business! Anyway I will let PistonHeads do the talking now:
410bhp. Front wheel drive. Skoda estate. 3 phrases that don’t really go together, but then along came REVO. This car is seriously quick and will give a lot of unsuspecting people a run for their money. Faster than a Golf R, faster than a E46M3 faster than a lot of cars!
Me and James spend a morning in this car blasting around the midlands giggling at the insane amount of power being put through the front wheels. Wheel spin in 3rd and 4th gear this car was a real wolf in sheeps clothing. I just can’t get over how unsuspecting it looks. Its a bizarre feeling sitting in a Skoda with that much power. Anyway - over to PistonHeads for the full story!
So as the year comes to a close, I find myself looking back at my shoots from the past year. Its been great fun and hard work and I have come away from it with some great experiences, and some even better photos! Below I will take you through my top 10 moments from the last 12 months. Enjoy!
Recently I have been spending some time with a Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works. What a great little car, punchy, rapid and great fun to drive. With short snappy gear changes, and a fantastic little engine the car buzzes, feeling constantly alive. unfortunately winter was descended on the UK so 90% of my driving time has been in the wet on greasy roads. With run flat tyres on and being front wheel drive understeer seems to be the general theme.
I’ve been in cars with a lot more power than the JCW and thats confirmed something for me. the small, nimble lightweight package with around 200hp is a great combination for UK roads and speed limits. Any more and speeds get a lot higher. Short blasts between corners before hard braking and responsive turn in give great joy. Oh and that exhaust pop as you back off the throttle in 2nd gear is addictive!
Earlier in the Summer I had a phone call asking if I could shoot a Morgan SLR for Historic Race Tech Magazine. “Whats that?” was one of my first questions.
Designed by Morgan and officially released in 1964 with only 3 ever made this is a very special car. Maintained and run by the team over at JB sports Engineering along with a fleet of other Morgan race cars.
With subtle, hints of Jaguar E type, Corvette Stingray and AC Cobra this car has taken styling cues from some truly Iconic cars. In the early September sunlight it was difficult to deny that it is a truly gorgeous car.
After shooting the car on location we headed back to the workshop to shoot a few more details and play with location lighting.
On the 24th of October I found myself trackside at Silverstone in the pouring rain preparing for the 6H relay race to commence!
As the race got underway, the rain got heavier and heavier. I began working my way around the track to find the best vantage point through the rain and mist. My camera gear was getting a soaking but it held up well all day.
Eventually settling on a spot I began shooting away, catching brake lights through the spray as the cars entered the corner.
With weather conditions not budging I got myself comfortable and prepared for the next few hours. As the time went by, concentration from some of the drivers dropped and there were a few sideways moments and a few offs!
Around the halfway point the rain began to slow. I repositioned and in the much better weather conditions managed to get some more photos.
Visiting the teams in the paddocks always allows for some interesting images of drivers preparing and teams preparing the cars for the next stint.
And finally for the last hour we were treated to a slightly damp sunset!
2 weeks ago I loaded all of my camera gear into the back of a M3CSL and we set off towards Scotland for a weekend of, gorgeous views, cars and photos! Charging up the M1 and then onto the M6 we got stuck into our 7 hour drive!
Arriving in the afternoon we dropped off the bags and checked into the hotel and then headed straight back out to chase a the sunset! It didn’t take long to find a nice location and just as the sun began to dip behind the mountains I grabbed a few photos.
The next day we headed out in groups giving me a chance to photograph some of the other cars on the trip!
The weekend flew by in a flurry of great roads, great people and some awesome cars!
Recently I upgraded my main camera body to Canons Mk3 version of the 5D. Its a whole world ahead of the MK2, needless to say I needed to put it to the test. Heading out to a favourite spot of mine earlier this week I began to put it to the test. The colours are more refined, deeper and the RAW file is more flexible. The focus is fast and very accurate!
Since that shoot I have had a chance to use it in anger (and pouring rain) while shooting a feature of Pistonheads, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
Recently I took some rig shots of a SEAT Leon. I wanted to create an urban/city style image. Shooting at night in an artificially lit location suited the car well and created the style of image I was trying to achieve. Below is the first shot taken alongside the final edited final image.
The set up was simple, 17-40mm F4 lens on my 5D mk2 mounted to the car using a Car Camera Rig.
The strip lights of the car park would provide the lighting effects I wanted. The long exposure would draw hem out and accentuate the cars lines and features. Below is the set up image.
To round up the shoot, a rear shot was taken as well. Over exposing the background slightly to create a bright punchy urban image. Tweaking white balance in post processing and boosting the colours slightly to create the final image was all the RAW files needed. And of course the rig removal!
My all time favourite car, in my all time favourite colour. This was a brilliant shoot! Meeting the owner outside Silverstone last week and driving down the road to find this location. The gorgeous colour popping nicely against the moody sky
I have shot a few old BMW’s recently but this is one of the very best. Unfortunately I had such a small amount of time with this car. The rain began to fall cutting out shoot short. I got all of the photos I needed in the bag before the heavens opened!
The car, location and colour were all brilliant and it was a great recipe for some awesome photos.
Last month I got the chance to shoot a gorgeous pair of BMWE3’s for a magazine feature in BMW Car Club. The two cars were immaculate and the silver and black contrasted nicely along with the obvious difference: One was a very rare estate version! Shooting to accentuate the differences I went about positioning the cars in such a way to show this.
The rural location worked well and the images turned out great!
Whats more, it was also featured on the cover! below is the finished product!
Last weekend, I visited Goodwood for arguably one of the biggest automotive events in the UK. 3 days of the latest and greatest from some of the top manufacturers. With runs up the famous hill all weekend and a massive range of metal on display there was plenty to see and do!
The diverse range of cars is what makes Goodwood appeal to the masses. From 80’s F1 cars to modern hot hatches, you see them all at Goodwood.
Alongside this eclectic mix were drift cars, BJ Baldwin was there running his Chevy Custom truck up the hill and getting very sideways!
As well as runs up the hill there was some beautiful cars on display, Singer design was showcasing its latest re-imaged 911 and possibly had the cleanest engine bay i’ve ever seen.
And of course there was plenty of sideways action, burnouts and doughnuts!
And the Le Mans winning Porsche from 2 weeks ago did a run up the hill! Was very special to see it again, battle scars still in place.
Last year I shot a red Mini Cooper for a private client. I have now just found out that it has been shortlisted for one of the categories of the Hasselblad Masters competition. The winner will be decided by a public vote, you can register and vote by following the link below:
The biggest spectator event in the world, over a quarter of a million people in attendance and I was one of them! This is my story of the Le Mans 24 hour race 2015.
Thursday morning, 4AM out of bed and on the road to the Euro Tunnel. The road to Folkestone was littered with exciting metal, and the tunnel itself was crammed with every car imaginable all making the yearly pilgrimage to this small French town.
We arrived in Le Mans after a ‘gentle’ cruise down some French motorways and we arrived at our accommodation for the next few days.
That evening we headed out to the track to grab a few images of the late night practice. Then we headed to bed to get some rest for race day!
Race day came about, watching the build up from the grandstand was incredible. The 56 cars lining up on the grid and then heading out on the parade lap was a theatre of noise. Rumbles of V8 Corvettes and electric whines of the hybrids.
Lights out and 24 hours of non stop running began! Working my way round the track and picking out the best spots for spectating and photographing took most of the afternoon. The front wheel drive Nissans had an awesome shape to them and certainly made an impact on social media!
Night fell and the race heated up, drivers reaching the end of their stints and losing concentration meant there were a few spins here and there. 24 hour races are always more exciting at night, with glowing brake disks and exhausts spitting flames!
As daylight came the race continued, the end now in sight. Getting back up into the grandstands gave the best view and an incredible atmosphere to the end of the race as the winning 918 crossed the line and the spectators flooded onto the track.
Overall it was a fantastic 24 hours, the whole event was incredible and I’m looking forward to the Le Mans classic next year!
Max Protect is a detailing company based just outside of Hemel Hempstead. I have been working with them to create both video and images. Advertising the quality finish of the car after detailing from their team.
You can see some of the video clips in the end of my video portfolio below
And whilst I was there I had to grab a photo of the super clean, super minimalist interior!
Recently I was contacted and asked to shoot a front cover for Historic Racing Technology. The car, a gorgeous Alfa Romeo Giulietta TI touring car was in immaculate condition. You would struggle to find a modern race car as neat and tidy as this.
The shoot was carried out where the car was stored, so getting creative with a longer lens and isolating the car from the background was essential. The cars lines and curves looked gorgeous is the morning light.
One of my all time favorite cars, the E9CSL. The lines, curves and styling are perfect. This is such a well balanced car, not at all shouty. It is reserved and quiet whilst being incredibly elegant and giving such an incredible presence!
The image above was shot outside Stowe school in Northamptonshire. I am sure you will agree it was a great location for the car! Despite slightly damp conditions in the morning the sun broke through the clouds just in time!