Mk2 Jag

Another dream drive in North Yorkshire for Classic Cars Magazine and another Jag, but this time a MK2.

The new layout for this article is to have the DPS of the reader behind the wheel but as the weather was a wintery damp affair we decided to shoot the exteriors Strat away so we didn’t have to clean the car too many times.

Its the experience of the owner as they get to drive a car that they wouldn’t by any other methods. It seemed all the roads around this location were straight and so couldn’t be that extravegant with the angles.

A couple of runs on a selected road we grabbed enough to have a selection for the article…

Eventually we did find a decent corner which was on a blind bend so shoot a tracking shot was too risky so we did a couple of passes for some panning shots.

The shot above on the corner was the second corner we shot at as the first one wasn’t that good. The image above was a quick one off the cuff as I was just at the back of my car getting some kit together and I had sent the reader off with the car so after he turned around to come back I snapped this one quickly and pleased it made the final article ๐Ÿ™‚

A lot of the roads we were looking at via the maps / google earth were single tracks so took a few of these images as a possible page filler…

After the tracking and panning we took advantage of this elevated location through some trees to grab another opportunity / angle.

After these images we moved onto the opening shot which was the interior image of the reader at the wheel.

The image above was taken with the elevated treeline in the background and so the light coming into the jag was a flat light…

The final chosen image below was us travelling the opposite way so the light was direct into the lens but with direct sunlight.

The final crop and print below (original image above / full frame)


Not many details needed for these … The taillight with Jaguar in the lens had a bit of bounced light from a reflector ho help lift it a little.

With bright chrome work you need to just move little to try and make your own reflection as little as possible so if you want / need to remove post your job is made all that more easier.

Getting the journo and reader just chatting around the car which at times you need them to talk about toothpaste, sock preferences etc (well not those subjects) but anything to get a decent expression ๐Ÿ™‚


I do like the opening shot of ‘The List’ articles now … not many angles you go to straight away so always trying to see that ‘different’ shot…. one day!

A few more articles to quickly blog bought as theres 4 articles in this issue.


Difting in a 90…

A still winters bright morning I headed back on the way to the homeland to the North East and to Teeside Autodrome to shoot an extreme ninety for Landrover Owner International.

While an open drifting session was taking place on the track we had permission to camp in an inner section of the track which wasn’t in use. Most of the shoot was done on these three corners. The sky was blue, the sun was low and seemingly more bright and intense than our fair shores see.

I shot a few images on a corner and still wasn’t happy so we moved the 90 to this small puddle which was only about 1cm deep. Knowing that this was a possible DPS we kept going .

No lights added to this shot but only polarised and the moon wasn’t added after! The image below taken on the trusty mobile shows the great vastness of the puddle ๐Ÿ˜‰ …… With the D810 having a grip I could only get the lens about 2 inch off the floor… so took the grip off, covered the contacts on the base of the camera body and sat the camera directly on the floor. A simple wireless trigger as my shadow was in the frame.

Wide as possible made the puddle into ….. well a bigger puddle ๐Ÿ˜‰

The interior was just as bonkers as the exterior… all custom made. Had to use a studio head to kill as much shadow caused by the harsh sun.

All about the details, showing off the creative and handy work of the owner.

fought against the sun on the image above as I didn’t;’t want the sky to be lost so a bit of fill flash and then pulling it a little more post to get some detail in there.

The article was just as much about the owner as well as the car. As well as taking the normal tight head & Shoulders shot this as an alternate portrait. With a shot below of the couple of lights used to light the side of the 90 in shadow.

The light at the back mainly to light the owner and add a key light to him and light the back wheel and arch. The light to the far right was a general one to fill his face a little more and to light the front off-side and to soften the shadows caused by the back light.

I kept the light sup for the images below where I took these images with quick succession to get a few variants for the art editor.

Using the same lights for the show below used in the final article to show the hight of the car which is hard to not appreciate unless you see it in ‘the flesh’.

Moving swiftly on we used the remaining corner in our little oasis amongst the burner rubber and noise around us to get a few more rear statics and a few panning shots…

We had the chance of a couple of laps straight after the lunch break before the drifters came out again to grab some tracking shots.

A fairly tight track with plenty of long corners funnily enough which were good for drifting! …. hard to get your bearings with only a couple of short laps in order to get some tracking done. Again leaning towards another DPS chance and framing for that but still with enough detail to crop in for a tighter frame or possibly a vertical.

After that we returned to the centre of the track to grab one or two rig shots. The set up shot below shows the mounting point and using the red/white corners to add into the frame to keep the story throughout the shoot.

Original RAW frame above and the finished edit below. The only landscape frame I did and again a DPS option. In one run or push I use a lot of the other frames to grab the sky and use to remove and mask the rig from the final edit.

Below one of the two vertices we shot.

I took a short video of the rig and getting the 90 into position which I hope you can see by this link.ย Green Drifter 90

The final layout of the article below.





170mph – High Speed Kicks

Down in Dunsford Aerodrome, the home of Top Gear for this cover shoot for Classic Cars. Five cars, an outer track to ourselves to get this cover shoot in the bag.

If I can I try to get the cover shot and opening DPS shot first or at least the group tracking done. Weighing up these owners I didn’t think we would have an issue and first impressions were correct. This road unlike the track at Longcross was pretty flat so couldn’t rely on an incline to see the rear row of cars better. So getting as high up as possible in the tracking vehicle….. and a long arm ; )

A couple of images below showing the order of the cars (the order is at most dictated by the mag so unless the colours of the cars can help out and balance things we run with the brief)

The final image chosen for the cover and the cover overplayed on the chosen frame. You can see the space we can play with the full frame and also the colours… I don’t go too wild on the processing and always allow the mag room to tweak.

A quick option for a DPS which turned out to be the chosen image and also a rear tracking shot as an article finishing image.

The image below was shot for the opening DPS that only saw the editors floor…

Framed and shot over 5 images…

These screen grabs from my phone show what the interface looks like for the CaseAir from Tethertools… I use as I can see a live view from the camera where the lights are positioned and so just makes things work a little faster instead of returning to the camera after every shot. Great bit of kit.

Once the group stuff done it was time for the pairings. This is where finding a slightly different angle from the last pair comes into play. Looking at the pairing first and seeing what details you can shot from and two starts the process and then shows whats left to do.

First few images below shooting from the Corvettes badges two the Aston.

Love the front of the TVR…..

All the variants and pair tracking shot, now onto details and interiors etc.

With the interior and engine shot for each done after that its one or two details as options.

The sun made an appearance now and then which kept you on your toes…

Shot each car as a pan profile again as another option for each car to mix and match in the article and these wouldn’t all be used but like I said as a back up / option for the layout.

On the day there were two cars which could be written as potential number spot…… So we shot the two as a final single car static and the Aston above got the final page of the article.

Little selfie to finish off the day with the Top Gear studios in the background… : )

The final layout…

6 Daily Drives – Modern Classics Mag Test

This blog a little late to the table…. but here it is anyway. Cover shoot for January 2018 for Modern Classics Mag.

6 cars tested as ‘Daily Drives’ from various decades which is always interesting to see and shoot.

The cover shot (at the same location as the rest of multi-car shoots)… Supplied a few cornering shots and the mag have done a good job in ‘creating’ the front cover… Just as I was getting the images ready for this blog just seen another shoot of mine in the mag…. the Rouse Sierra Cosworth. Maybe that’ll be my next task!

Anyway a similar format for this shoot in the way of statics and details of the cars then the pairings for the tracking. Below is the set of mini images I sent in so you can see the variety of details given and then you maybe able to make out which ones were used.


To keep the ball rolling the only images above with lights are the interior and engine bay. The others I used a simple reflector and when you’ve a few cars to shoot you need to keep an eye on the clock. The rear interior shot I’ve included the full frame to you can see the reflector bottom right of the frame.

The brief was for each car to have a static image / details and then driving images the static images needed to be different from the last. I knew that the mini I was shooting from the front, simply due to the wing mirrors… The three above just taken seconds apart to give the mag a choice of running the image full page or cropped.

Below are some images that didn’t;t make the final article….. again so you can see the variety…. This can get a bit tricky to shoot 6 cars and get a different angle for them all. It can be easier if you look at the cars with distinct details, like the red Trophy and its lettering so you can try and get the best details in all the shots etc.

JJ used this image in the contents page and yes he did have a smile while driving some of these : )

Really liked this image personally… simple, clean and to prove flat lighting can be of help at times ! ….. Still was pleased to get my 6’3″ frame out the back of the GTI…. especially when JJ was driving ๐Ÿ˜‰

Taking advantage of the Elan’s lack of roof ๐Ÿ˜‰

As mentioned before regarding trying to shoot from details / across details…

Onto the DPS… With time we went with this one set up… all cars positioned and lit individually with two lights. (see image below)

The light was just there before putting it into position ….. : ) …. the final DPS below.



Little video shot by Nathan on the day….


Hereโ€™s a preview of what Wednesdayโ€™s new issue of Modern Classics magazine has in store… Which would you choose?

Gepostet von Modern Classics magazine am Montag, 4. Dezember 2017


Well we’ll see what 2018 brings ๐Ÿ™‚




Plymouth Estates

I shot this a while back which was looking like it wouldn’t see print but Street Machine took up the images and ran with them.

A couple of Plymouth Estates, one a daily runner and the other a tuned street racer.

These three images above are all taken within a few mins of each other. The lights and car have remained in the same position and so just moving around slightly and changing the focal length to try and get variants for the mag to give them options for layouts.

Same as the landscape ones but repeat the same angles for some verticals. Some mags have a fairly rigid layout for each article and others will just allocate a number of pages. So they could potentially open on a vertical or a landscape, so with dead space above, below, to the side etc for copy and an opening title are what they are looking for with some decent options to choose from.

Same setup but with both Plymouths, these three images above taken in quick succession of each other…

Two lights above for a quick side profile…

On the road into that location above was this waste ground and so we took details and more statics as we had more room to move around the cars here.

Plenty to see in this engine and to focus upon, by this time the sun had come out, so I think I used one flash head to fill in the shadows.

I processed these images with a little more contrast and tonality to give a slight different feel…

The daily drive was good to shoot as it had some great patina which lent itself nicely in contrast with the ‘cleaner’ of the two (below) : )

The interior diving shot wasn’t hard to shoot as these plymouths are massive inside and with the bench seat it feels bigger.

Pleased this got to print…

until next time, Jona


Nova Sport… resto

Back to my homeland of the North East for this one for Practical Classics.

Slightly different format to an epic restoration, this Resto Heroes was for a Nova Sport. One of my oldest friends mum used to have a Nova ‘Ski’ back in the 80s and we got a life to school from time to time in it and this took me back to those days…

The opening image for the Resto Hero is a vertical shot…. and its a good job I took this rough ‘setup shot’ in order to get a full vertical out of it as I didn’t shoot a clean one. So I had to photoshop the flashgun on the floor infant of them out… the final opener is below…

Again I like the option that the Nikon D810 gives when you can crop a vertical frame out of a landscape without having to upscale the final crop.

I shot a few more frames in the workshop with a similar setup… With the Vauxhall posters in the back and not wanting to get any other vehicles in the shot this angle was the best and so to save time (as we had over 2 hours to drive to the next shoot in the afternoon) we ran with this setup.

Using the two main studio heads, to light the two guys and a couple of speedlights to light the underside of the Nova we shot one or two slight variants….. : )

Once the workshop image done we headed out to get some tracking images and statics. As the shoot was based in Newcastle we headed on down to a location near the Tyne with the Millennium and Tyne bridge as a backdrop.

The lamp posts weren’t the best but the sky lent itself to some photoshopping if it came to that. The low angle above was to get the red distinct tail pipe in and also to hide the lamp post behind.

A rare image of me at work ….. and yes if I can help it I’ll lie down on the job.

I could have put the bonnet on its arm rest but if I have a willing volunteer they can hold it so I don’t have to worry about having the rod cutting through the engine shot.

Below I was shooting some closer details so the bonnet can go on the stand. I’m using the small speed lights just to save time and with no direct sunlight to contend with the speed light dose a decent enough job. The underside of the bonnet being white is a nice reflector : )

The engine shot below with the simple speedlight giving a little lift.

Immaculate was an understatement for the interior… using as many original and refurb parts this took me back to the late 80s and getting a lift to school…

A few simple pans and then using a quiet access road beside the river we took some tracking shots…

A few portraits and details and it was done and dusted so off to another car and story…



440BHP Defender….. just a Cover shot

A very simple shoot this one for LRO.

A shoot had already been shot and in the bag by another photographer and a good article it was : )

My assumption was that it wasn’t ear-marked by the mag as a potential cover shoot so a suitable image wasn’t captured on the day but since the shoot the mag wanted to run it as the cover vehicle.

Shot originally way down south as the vehicle was there for the shoot but as it is based in Scotland and I’m a northern based photographer it was a trip up there for me.

With just one image needed I captured a wider range of front tracking shots to give a decent range to choose from.

These are just a few that we shot for the possible cover. After getting a good selection I had enough time just to do one rig shot as the wind was picking up a lot.

Below is the original shot.

Taken on a gravel car park this angle was the best in order to have as least cars in the background as possible. Below is the same image after a little retouching …

And it was this one rig shot that made the final cover…

As well as the main shot the Launch Disco1 at the bottom right was another one of my shoots…. I may get round to blogging this one.

Anyway that was that shoot and the defender was a ย bit mental!


288 GTO

The day was crisp and still in the stunning Scottish boarders… With a 288 GTO looking good against moorland backdrop the day was set up to be a good one ๐Ÿ™‚

The first call was a single track snaking up above a remote reservoir to get some statics for a possible opener. It turned out none of these images we shot up there made the final article so here are a few more images from the early stages of the day.

Trying a few different angles and compositions to see what fit best on a DPS. With the light been so flat it helped to balance out the light sky and the midnight black colour of the GTO!

Tried a few more wider shots to get the scenery in…… one thing became apparent was the purchase of some radios which I had in mind to do before this shoot but confirmed my decision to go ahead and get some when I got back home that evening! On the image above sent them way down the valley and when I tried to wave them up as I had no phone signal whatsoever to get them to come up it proved an issue!

Again just trying a few more wider shots as I knew we would be getting tighter tracking shots later on in the day.

Run back to the car after the shot above to follow them then onto another location to start the tracking shots …

Found a decent section of road about 1 mile long with a few bends to have a few runs up and down to get some low shots. The double white lines in gives you another option for a focal element in the shot.

These two images above on the same short run to show that you try and get slightly different angles / height of the camera to get different feels to the shot.

Couple of pans from the same stretch of road from each side to use the advantage of the height of the banking and three the barrier on the other side.

The full framed image above and the final crop of the DPS below…

Once we had the main tracking in the bag we then started on the interiors and detail shots. Three shots above from the same position, just different focal lengths and angles…

With the light being nice and flat helped with the dark interior…

A few other details, taking in the striking yellow decals and Ferrari badges.

Another journalist I’ve worked with many times is a few inches taller than me and as I’m 6’3″ its a tight squeeze into the cabin even with the seat as far back… not much room with both of us in there !

With just getting a clear rear shot in the bag this would see the shoot concluded. Two shots up you can see the tracking vehicle in the bottom right hand corner. I normally leave that in so the mag / art editor can see the full frame and if it needs removing it can be done if chosen for the final edit.

The image above was used in the final edit but I took out the telegraph poles and tidied it up a little…. see the edit below.


The final layout above… was a few months back now but it ended with a bit of drama. A little further up that road on the final rear shot shown we pulled over to finish off. As the car with the journalist set off I suddenly remembered he had my mobile phone as I had lent it to him as I had a better signal… ah well. I had no way of contacting him until I got home some 5 hours later.

My phone landed through my door a few days later…. Happy days : )

Chimaera – 25th Anniversary

Back in July shot for Classic Cars Magazine, plenty of miles and not a lot of shooting. From West Yorkshire (home), up to Hexham to pick up the two Chimaera’s, head back down to Lancashire, shoot the feature then onto Blackpool. After all that I had to head back to Yorkshire to drop off my good friend who gave us a hand that day then plough on down to Bicester for a Modern Classic shoot the day after. (the blog before this one ๐Ÿ™‚

So it was a full on day. Due to the weather and travelling we didn’t start shooting until about 2pm, not the best start but we were in the hands of the weather.

Started out at the Parkers arms (you’ll have to pick up a copy to read about the significance of this place.

The first one above was used small in the final layout… the others to show different angles which are among another 10 images I sent for a possible opening DPS.

Just up the road from the ‘Arms’ we had this stretch of road on a hill which had enough visibility to run a few passes for a front cover which I genuinely thought they’d run with. Again I supplied about 10 variants of this set up for the front cover.

This image above became the final cover shot but not in this state which I supplied.below is the cover overlaid to show the difference.

We have a blue sky ๐Ÿ™‚ … those rain clouds were dumping some serious rain about 30mins prior to this shot. I keep th images on the soft side in regards to contrast so theres plenty of room for the mag to adjust accordingly to their wishes.

Also its using half the frame which again I keep saying that the D810’s frame size is the reason I shoot so big… as you can get a landscape from a vertical shot without pushing it to its extreme. So much pixels in there ๐Ÿ™‚

The three images above are sequential frames… at times you just keep that shutter going as the road sweeps round, and the road surface was decent but we didn’t have too much clear visibility to keep this formation so tried to get the most out of every run.Like both the first ones where you can see the road in the background but also like this last one with the road going on the horizon. These shot for the opening DPS.

The frame above was a little further in the sequence of frames above and used as the final opening DPS.

Getting the camera over and down beside the doors was a little contouring to say the least, well when your 6’3″ and the seats are really low and the doors seemed to be fairly high…. Still the body sculpturing lines on the doors helped with some interest looking along the side panel.

The images above are a few more selected images from the set which some were used and some were not…

The final static shot at what is left of the factory in Blackpool. Really not much here to go on, loads of street furniture, other vans and cars all around so had only one angle to shoot from. Time was really ticking at this moment so we had to get through the shots and cover all other ‘angles’ of the brief.

A few more detail shots again some which were used and some not. All shot in front of the last remaining red brick building from the factory, trying to avoid the houses, lampposts and the cars in the reflections and background as best as.

Final layout of the cover feature…. very long day, (think it was a 5:30 am start and then I landed at the hotel in Bicester about 10pm) but still pleased with the outcome despite the short window of photographic time we had.

Until next time or until the next shoot gets printed ๐Ÿ™‚

Below is a video my good friend produced of what he could shoot when he wasn’t being my driver : )


Ultimate Golfs – Modern Classics

Shot back in July the day after the TVR shoot (not yet blogged) for Modern Classics.

3 Golfs and for a cover shoot at Bicester Heritage centre. A really good location especially for statics with old hangers and out-buildings with plenty of character.ย 

Got there early and we already had the VR6 owner with us so I went off to find a location within the grounds to start shooting the individuals until the other 2 golfs turned up. The image above was a giant hanger door which was going to have the sunlight that side of it for the duration we needed to keep things on an even keel as far as having the background light for all the individual images.

I shot the VR6 then we concentrated on the cover image. The first main idea was the one above which never got used… One image was wide and the other more standard focal length. My theory why this didn’t get used is that the month previous cover had a single car cover which was in the same position as the VR6 in these ones and would be too similar to have them one after the other …

Anyway … on the image below, what do you get with x2 car owners, a car dealer, an art editor and mag editor? …… your own personal valet machine ๐Ÿ™‚

This was car prep for the cover… and I didn’t have to do anything ๐Ÿ˜‰

This image above was the final cover shot used but you can see that the VR6 has been cut and moved up to fit in the cover. Final cover below ๐Ÿ™‚

The only other group static would be the opening DPS…. (below)

This was made up of three images in the end. I could have done it in two shots but to save time in getting more lights set up I shot it in three frames as I knew I had to shop this image anyway so it was easier to shoot three… Below I’ll explain ๐Ÿ™‚

This was the first shot, framed for the DPS and this was purely for the VR6 light cluster. The reason I needed at least two frames was because you cannot get the whole frame in focus from foreground to the black golf in one frame. So only the VRG was used from this frame. (Notice the other two cars out of focus.)

This image above with the blue R32 light was the base image as I could drop the VR6 and the black golf on top of this image. Just two lights, one just off frame to the right and one just hidden behind the VR6. (also notice the VR6 out of focus)

You can see from the image above I had a glorified remote controlled light where it would go where I commanded…. voice controlled if you will … i.e the art editor ๐Ÿ˜‰

Same lights from the blue R32 and just light the same way as the previous frame.

So with just the black R32 and the lit bit of ground around it and the light cluster of the VR6 dropped onto the Blue R32 frame you have the final image.

Each car had its own static which needed to be different from the last and complement each other but the engine and interior image the same… above the three car interiors.

Again same image for each car ….


The statics for each of the golfs for their respective double pagers.

Some details which some were used and some that made the editors floor ๐Ÿ™‚

Full frames of the four images above with the VR6 which got a few more pages to its self. We used the Black R32 as a tracking car which I enjoyed the soundtrack as we made one or two laps to get these shots.



The image left is the full framed one which had the passengers door in the top right hand of the frame which I left in ย and the final image on the right used with some clouds magically covering the door ๐Ÿ™‚ …. also the few barriers left on the horizon also taken out.

ย ย ย ย ย ย ย 

The final layout …

13 pages is a decent article length and as ever always good to get a cover ๐Ÿ™‚