A Legend Lives On

As ever a great to have a subject thats near to home …. this one is closer than the first cover shoot we did for Street Machine. This time was the 1967 Silhouette Camaro with the same paint work from the 60s, found by the current owner down in Wimbledon and brought to Yorkshire where it resides.

With these shoots its predominately a rig shot that could be the only motion shot you get. Thankfully the owner found a great outbuilding near a local farm whose owners were typical Yorkshire folk and said carry on ๐Ÿ™‚ …… happy days. The drizzle kept coming and going but we were covered which meant we could carry on with the planned shoot.

The image above was an opener and was used as the opening DPS as apposed to a rig shot / motion shot.

Below you can see were I had 4 lights positioned to light the scene.

Lights 1-3 are battery studio lights (Phoenix – Indras) and 4 is a Nikon Speedlight. All using Phottix odin as a controller and receiver. The light on the front of the Dodge van is sunlight which was the benchmark for the rest of the lights to balance to. No2 light is hidden behind the upright post.

Keeping an eye on the spill light on the floor I think I may have used a few barn doors to eliminate the light on the floor so it wasn’t right to the edge of the frame.

Keeping the lights (No 1 & 3) in the same place we shot a few still (above) off the Camaro on its own. Simple engine shot using the same lights.

The image below I found on the internet of the same car from the 70s when it had a blower on the engine. The current owner has the same bonnet for when such an engine is fitted.

The paint is the original and yes you can see some age to it but its in fantastic condition and still gives back some shimmer when lit.

Still with some original show stickers all add to the provenance of the car and a testament to the current owners desire to keep it original.

A great location and good to get the surrounding features in on the act. The above two using a couple of lights each to light accordingly ๐Ÿ™‚

Keeping the car in the same position as a couple of shots above, just moving around to get another angle… just one light being used to light the nearside of the car against the bright sunlight which kept coming in and out.

Some detail shots that never made the final cut but all shot whilst in that same position. The reason being its easy to keep moving and shoot as much in one position and move the car as minimal as possible, some shoots you can’t help but move things but when you can keep things simple.

Only a couple of rig shots we took. One vertical and one pano. We had one area where we could have the car turn in an arc and so repeated the process and few times so we had donor sections from one frame to help clone out the rig.

Below is a video of us just test the arc so we didn’t end up jousting the upright post with the camera!

Rig test video

ย  ย  ย 

This final front cover image was made up of about 3 rig shots. The side and a bit of the background was from one shot and the rest from another.

The editor definitely wanted the Dodge van in the shoot as this is what gets the Camaro around on long trips. Always try and find places to get your lights in and simply use a wall, door or shoot from behind something to hide said lights. A couple used here to light the exterior and another speed light in the cabin to lift the interior.

A couple of speed lights to help light the vans interior…

The final article above…

A good shoot and pleased with another cover.





Hawker Harrier – Full Resto

Not the usual four wheels this one but 5… and not on an automobile. Was contemplating I should put this blog on my editorial website, but thought as its Octane Magazine its on here. ๐Ÿ™‚

The day before this shoot the sky was a deep winters blue but came the day of the shoot it was a flat damp January sky…

At around -1 it was a tad cold and pleased I had some thermals on ๐Ÿ™‚

A harrier is not a small vehicle you can just manoeuvre easily… so we had to get it into position and stick with it. All in all I think we only moved it once throughout the shoot.

Not only because of the weather but just because of the size we had to light it. Tripod out and wireless trigger and flash head at the ready.

The image above is the RAW file, untouched, flat straight from the camera. The image below is the finished image once all the various elements have been combined and levels adjusted. Think I took over 30 images for this image and used about 15-20 in the one below.

I repeated this process 6 times to give the best options for the final layout with this one above being a DPS.

Image above was never used but just as a talking point here it is. I thought I took a quick photon my phone to show how the camera was mounted on some really tall steps. Really old steps about 15 foot high and coupled with an uneven floor took a few ups and downs of the steps to get into a good position for the set up.

I had the tripod on the standing platform and with some rope strapped it as best and securely as possible to the steps. Once I started shooting frames I knew I couldn’t check the preview screen because if I moved the steps too much then the photoshopping would be all the more laborious. Again firing about 30 frames until ย I had a good idea the plane was lit enough.

To get these few images direct nose on we spun the harrier a little so the background wasn’t cluttered with other aircraft and related paraphernalia.

Again while in the same position a few more angles and those un-even steps ๐Ÿ™‚

Once the full aircraft was shot I took a few more images with flash in the same way.


Two images combined to make the image above of the iconic jets.

Took three images of the cockpit all with the camera mounted on top of the seat. This one above had to have a small button pressed in order for some of the cockpit lights to be illuminated.

Even with a 17mm it was a tight squeeze to fit everything in so this one above to get some of the canopy in.

The shot used in the final article which the harness was better dressed that the other two.

Another cockpit from a different angle.

For me the cockpit was just too much to take in… too many buttons that wanted me to become acquainted with them ๐Ÿ™‚

I must say I was waiting for this moment for me to get in that pilot seat and start taking some details… However my 6’3″ frame was never meant to be put in a Harrier cockpit. When I did eventually get sat in the seat my knees were wedged and I quickly realised that there was no way my head would fit in that canopy even without a helmet!

Anyway I had then had to prise myself back out of the seat and then crack on with the details.

Labels, dials, anything that looks good, fire buttons, chaffs and flares…. all good to shoot ๐Ÿ™‚

My ‘Sure-Shot’ wasn’t this sophisticated but it reminded me so much of playing some Commodore 64 games. Bet it didn’t have four suction cups to keep it in place!

600 Knots sounds fast….. nuff said.

Don’t ask me…. its bright yellow, looks important and dangerous…


Final Layout and all in all even it if was minus degrees, the weather wasn’t all that good this was a good change and great subject.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any behind the scene stuff but I was just trying to keep going to keep warm.

Below is a video of this Harriers engines being started up for the first time in 25 years.

Also this Harrier is up for sale… so grab yourself a running Harrier ๐Ÿ™‚

Another video of it below.


v8 TR7

A little Life Cycle shoot for Classic Cars Magazine and this time its about a TR7 with some history…

Nice sounding rover v8, as it rolls off the trailer. A couple of tracking images front and rear in the bag early doors.

Short track with some trees to give it a forrest rally feel / look?!

Like the image above but would have been better with the lights off!

Only seven pages and about half are taken up with images and other documents from its past life. having the owner showing the reader around the car is the style for these images above.

Liked the rough and ready interior of the TR7 and the ‘soft’ dash covering helped in cutting down sunlight and flash flare… the only panel I needed to watch out for was the panel with the starter switch – just in front of the gear stick.

The engine would feature heavily on this article and so shooting vertical and landscape in order the option was there for a full pager as well as half page.

Liked the grill and the decals so had a little play with them…

Simple 3/4 shot just in case. As a side note the bonnet looks like its not shut but thats deliberate so the engine gets more ventilation.

A couple of pans to see the profile of the car before we head back to the owners base so we can shoot some of the historical documents of the car.

Of of the documents that weren’t used in the final article is this flyer for the rally car… The best title ‘Control Capsule’ … love it, plus the Leyland ‘Lego’ helmet ๐Ÿ™‚


The final layouts…

Until next batch of blogs …


70s Grand Tourers – Classic Cars Magazine

Another cover shoot at Longcross, Surrey, ย another long day of shooting 5+ cars… the day was baking and the sun was high and relentless… still it beats working for a living ๐Ÿ™‚

Started the day off with getting the statics and details done for each of the cars, as some the cars naturally come staggered a little. It just means you can get started straight away to use as much time as possible.

I try and get the car to drive around me while I look at how the shadows appear in the cabin from the sun and choose as best as angle thats as sympathetic as possible.

Still black interior on a bright sunny day needs the most ‘lifting’…

Don’t mind the door being opened on this Capri as I think the light is coming over my last shoulder and so the pedals are light by daylight…

Tried this 911 through the door as shown above and also through the sunroof but the angle was too acute.

The Citroรซn SM was just as intriguing to look at under the hood than the rest of it!

The cover shot…. below the original shot and then overlaid.


I’ll let you have a look and see what post work was carried out from the image I supplied to the finished cover ๐Ÿ™‚

Once the statics and the cover group tracking was done we moved onto the head to head shoots. I must say we did the Jag and Aston above just before the group tracking as we were still waiting for cars to turn up. It was a good job as just after the group tracking was done the Jag decided it had had enough for the day… but we had one more shot to do with it… we’ll come to that later on.

Must say not was a really funny view from the boot of the mighty Zafira boot seeing these cars head to head.

Its a great private location this and I wouldn’t really think this would be possible else where. I don’t like to get of manual but was tempted he as you come in and out of very harsh sunlight every second…. just the very few occasions I do let the camera do some of the work.

This SM and 911 just for me looked funny ๐Ÿ™‚

The last shot we had to shoot with all the cars was the opening group static shots… but with the Jag a non runner now.

We had an idea of the layout and so put the jag in first… by hand and so the other owners all piled in and we got it in and just let it then pulled the remaining cars around it. You can see the various street furniture thats been shopped out for the final DPS (below).

Last but not least, taking a few images of the cars individually. This is where we can take the cars that need to get off first and then release them one by one…

here are the layouts of the final article…

Another cover shoot and its always a good feeling to get a cover on the shelf.

until next time


Street Machine is back…

When one mag unfortunately closes its pages for the last time another opportunity opens new pages…

I was asked to shoot the cover for a re-launch. Some 30+ years ago Street Machine was launched and had a distinct Ford Consul on its cover and that vehicle is called ‘High Rise Henry’. The magazine publishers wanted to replicate the original cover from the 70’s. Without seeing that cover I was in on the project…

Straight into this blog here are the two 1st issues side by side. Without a brief as such it was, “were shooting the same cover car from issue 1”.

When I saw the cover I knew we wouldn’t be doing a studio shot but I still wanted to have my own sympathetic ‘homage’ to the original.

Not coming up with any locations, the likes I shot many American car against we settled for this private access road which was very steep up to this junction on a quiet country road. Liking the idea of the plain sky which I felt reflected the original in not having anything to distract the readers viewing. The shot above left was a quick first image to see what I could achieve when I was trying to get rid of the stone wall in the background.

Knowing I needed to get this thing lit as the range of highlights and shadows was to extreme for even photoshop form a single frame, we started to get the lights out.

This image taken when we moved the car around but is the same lighting setup as when shooting the front. As you can see we used x3 studio heads with just simple spill reflectors on the front as the sun was very intense and I wanted to at least match the sun for exposure if not go over.

The front two lights were about 8 inch from the ground so a couple of individual barn door type shaders, reflectors (whatever you want to call them) were used to stop the lights lighting up the tarmac too much. As the rear light was higher you can get away with it a little…

One light, a speedlight was placed in the air intake as far back as poss out of view in order to highlight the red interior of the intake. The final speedlight was placed inside the car to help give a little detail to the roll cage etc.








The image above was just taken after the setup shot and lying flat on the floor just managed to get low enough to not get the dry stone wall to the right

A few interiors shot with just one of the strobe’s again trying to balance the harsh sunlight and getting the light to fill the shadows in.

As the cover was jus blue sky I wanted to run with that so it limited my angles which I could use but shooting some details helped out with a higher view point.

Did come around the car a bit and had to get some of the background in some of the shots.

Just shooting around the car and I think they may have used the above shot as the final cover shot?….

Shot this one after we turned the car around… already shot the dash from the drivers side but the light this way was different so grab few more images while you can.

The owner has a few cars and the editor wanted to get the 55 Chevy in as a support vehicle. Keeping things simple with the shot above the only thing different was that I used a speedlight behind the offside rear tyre to light the front grill of the Chevy as much as to lift it out of the shadows.

Getting a few driving shots in with some simple panning.

Lastly a few burnouts and 11’s to round things off. Not knowing if things would be smokey or not you can only try… Soon as that backend drifted out I was wondering being so close and in front of it was the best option!

It did make some nice 11s.

A couple more of the in-take as I liked the simple bold colours… plus these were found on the editors floor.

We shall see what cars this mag will bring along…

Until next time


4 Group A classics & Yorkshires B roads

It wasn’t long ago I shot another red Integrale on North Yorkshires B roads with a Cosworth and GT-Four… for Modern Classics mag (You can see that blog here).

This time for Classic Cars Mag the line up is a Quattro, Sapphire RS Cosworth and an Impreza Turbo. The day was forecast for a little light drizzle and cloud and uphill the day and the morning of the shoot the weather kept changing and different forecasts saying different things. We just hoped for it to be dry at least.

We met near Dalby Forest and draw some plans. The cars came far and wide so the first issue was to shoot the cars that needed to get off the first…sometimes owners come and say I need to be away by 12…that proves interesting especially with a multi-car shoot.

Anyway we needed a group opener for the DPS. Having a couple of options we kept it quick and swift in order to get out on the roads to get the tracking done.


The two group shots taken above and the final DPS. The landscape one shot for the DPS… I shot the vertical one as a cover as at the time it was in the balance if it was a cover shoot. In the end the vertical was used for the DPS… don’t know why I didn’t take a landscape of that group shot? Just goes again to show the amount of pixels in the D810 to get a full DPS out of half a frame.

Details and statics for each pairing…usual stuff.

The sky had nothing in it, that sky where its just flat white and no definition… least it was dry!

Front, rear tracking while giving each car ‘limelight’.

The shot above would be one of my favourites from the day, just like the height, angle, road and sufficient blur from the hedging.

Wanted to be further back with these side pans, a little bit more through the trees but just needed to repeat this for each car for the group review and cover bases in order a variety of shots. Not ever one of these would have been used but if there was a strong tracking shot for a particular car or for that matter a weak contender then a side pan might be a better option for the overall article and layout.

Simple clean shot, nothing fancy…

The Quattro and the Integrale was in fantastic condition. The shot above with the 80s mobile phone was never used but taken as it was just bit different with the matching Airport bag and ‘brick’ 80s phone ๐Ÿ™‚


Back again to details for the second pair before getting some tracking.

Plenty of clean details in these two cars to shoot. The image below on returning to the Mac I didn’t like the shadow cast by the gear shift… live and learn.

After the details we used another access road to keep the two pairings different from each other or at least to have a bit of variance. I thought in the trees, although sparse thought it was a little more rally feel than the open roads. You can just see the shadow from the tracking car and also the camera lens just on the bottom of the frame…the sun was just about to peek out. You might think that would be good but didn’t want there to be to much change in the images as if you shot on a few days. Just me but you need to crack on.

Pleased with the turn out of these image above and below… the red obviously helps and the high, close trees to help blur the image.

Prefer the image above to the one below as you can see all the Integrale’s front end…but the lower angle is better in my mind. After saying that its not what I think or feel in the end its the eye of the art editor which still to this day interests me.

Same shot below but reverse the order and shoot from each car, again they both won’t be used but to give a wide option for the final layout.

The final few images of each of the Integrale and Quattro and we were done… The sun just beginning to burn the cloud away on this last shot of the Quattro.

Not forgetting the driving shot here of Sam, taken on the same corner from the Subaru shot above.

The first page of the contents with the group shot again and also the thumbnails at the bottom of the front cover.

Pleased with the result despite the limited time restricted on us…

Until next time …

Jona : )

Clever Money Cars – Modern Classics

A fairly local job for me in this months issue of Modern Classics. The shoot location based in Harrogate and near Bolton Abbey on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. The day was damp but we got our head down and cracked on with some details and in the bag while the interview started.

A few detail shots that never made the final edit…

Like all the images I post on my blog I use the full frame so you can see whats been supplied to the mags and how they’ve used them. These first details were shot at a little industrial / business park with various units… so the issue was to eliminate as much of the surrounding buildings and cars in the BMW’s panel reflections, you can see on the image of the wheel I ran with what reflections occurred as the wheel we put into position to get the BMW logo level.

This is were I would dive into some usual waffle of how we got the tracking images done. However before that I must mention this was the best fopuax for me to date whilst on a shoot.

After taking the details in H’gate we traveled some 45 mins through town and out to the road you see above. After pulling into a cafe car park and having a little chat about what we’ll do to get the shots etc I then opened my boot to get my camera gear sorted to be faced with my kit but minus my think tank trolley camera case….doh!

Well that was going to be 1h 30mins delay to the proceedings. Thankfully JJ the editor of Modern Classics and the cars owner were very gracious in their reaction! While I hot footed back to retrieve my kit (which was still there by the way…hence I have these images) JJ had plenty of time to take the car around some great roads to get a good feel of the car for his copy.

Anyway soon as I got back they were well refreshed in the cafe and it was time to get straight on with the tracking shots.

This little stretch of road we used about just shy of a mile and we were able to repeat the drive in order to get a good selection of views as the road was a little twisty but with great visibility of the road ahead.

Happy days as a couple of passes along this road we got the front sorted with relative ease.

The full frame above (left) and the final opening DPS, straightened and cropped tighter… do like that level of view of the front grill…

I need to a little blog on a new bit of kit I’ve had for a while now from TetherTools… a live view and triggering system you can use your phone / pad of choice to fully control your camera. Nothing new technology but I used to use a wireless trigger but was shooting completely blind and had to check after each pass and readjust. Now we can see a live feed so at least were not wasting frames as such…and time!

back to the original morning location to get some statics as there wasn’t any decent locations while out and about plus the light was fading fast…hence the heavy flashed image above. Not my favorite but again trying to avoid other cars and vans in the background.


The final layout above… this could have been a lot smoother but leaving your kit behind somewhere would always have repercussions! … lesson learned indeed.

Until next time…


Interview – John Cleland

One magazine that I’ve always enjoyed looking through is Octane. You could say that Evo is a pictorially heavy with images which is great but Octane is also heavy on the images but the content is another aspect that I really admire. Articles that aren’t just about cars and cars alone. They cover off the wall editorial stories that have a wider subject matter but still loosely linked with the ‘gentleman’s interest’ at heart.

This is the third shoot I’ve shot for Octane and I hope for more to come. Just as far for me to travel to London is Edinburgh… well just south of the Scottish capital is where you find John Cleland’s Volvo dealership. There and back in a day with a 8 hour round trip…

The main thrust of this is to capture the interview with the emphasis on his DB6… and anything else that maybe of interest.

Back at his home / garage we started off with the car in the garage and then moved the car out… capturing as the interview rolled on. Interjecting only when needed and as little as possible. The opening image was a suprise to me as with any new article / magazine you work for and how the Art Editors select the images and how they lay them out.

A few of the images not selected but to show the gestures, facial expressions I tend to try and capture. Your waiting for a gap in the conversation or for a funny comment from either party and then you can grab a few frames…

This image above featured in the final editorial… almost a throw away image but shot it because of the Opel roof in the foreground with John’s dealership details on it… Also his original touring car which he tracked down and purchased. His son I think maintains it and John races this at various meets including Goodwood and other historic race series.

Not just facial expressions but also hands and other details that add weight to the other images. Another reason I like Octane and its approach to photography and photo journalism…

Once the formal interview was done and we had enough images in the bag we took off with the DB6 to grab some car shots.

These images never made the final article but shot in-case… I would have preferred not to have so much light spill on the tar-mac but the barn-doors couldn’t be used as the wind was fairly strong up there and didn’t want my lights flying all over!

A few interiors for capturing sake and in the bag in-case needed.

Out on the road the weather and light was a bit flat so a bit of post to bring some details out and stuff.

If any owner of a car I shot would be good at tracking for photography John was not a disappointment. Wherever I ushered him he was there straight away and kept constant… which really helps.

The few images above I think a few frames apart just showing a little angle change and it just gives a little different feel.

Again from under the passengers door (above)… liked this one and probably my favorite from the shoot but never made the final cut.

A few from the cramped rear!

A decent long day but happy with the final outcome.

Jona : )


All in the detail…

When you work for yourself you work when the work comes in… sounds daft but is true, with me shooting a lot of automotive work I tend to find in the depths of winter my work quietens off due to the weather. So when a job comes in for late December it makes a good change.

Shot this defender on New Years Eve only about 10 miles from home…

To say it was chilly would be an understatement, up on the tops of the moors the wind is relentless and unobstructed. We had some sun which was fortunate and only the lightest of drizzle.

First off to get some statics in the bag and get an opening DPS as an option. The sun was in and out of the clouds and with it being low it was harsh, so we covered each image with and without the lights on to cover options. Had the Def in two positions, straight on as above and then just a 3/4 angle. The reason for the nearside of the Def was because the sun was that side and being a black vehicle it needed a light more light to lift it. Also if I had one side in shadow that would to be far too black to pull back with just shooting available light.

While lying on the floor its easier just to shoot a few more frames to give a few options especially with this Def 90 being bold then the images could have a little more bold as well…

Moving onto the details which this 90 had more than enough! …

Always taking advantage of various angles and especially with this having a soft top.

When the sun came out it was low and harsh… best thing was that it really helped light the black body but made shooting the tracking shots a little bit of shadow dodging time.

Using the surrounding topography to help get a view into the cabin while the roof is off… sending it to and from this location to get a variety of images both vertical and landscape.

This one above must have been one of the first images here before we took the roof off to show off the interior.

The opening DPS and the original full frame.

Last order of the day for the driving images was an interior driving image…with the roof still off.

Standing in the back and a large roll cage to steady myself on was in order as this thing had a decent amount of pull off the mark.

This shot above I wanted to get more of the road in to or at least to see the horizon. The issue was the roll cage you can see, as if I came behind and below that then I wouldn’t see that much of the cabin due to the bucket front seats and I wanted to see more of the cabin in this shot.

At the end of the shoot the sun was blazing in the sky and so I went around and shot a few more details with the red front sun-visor being the main one I wanted to get the light through it to emphasis the vivid colour.

The final article above…

This was a good change to the normal quiet winter and pleased I wore thermals and water-proof trousers as there was plenty of lying down in heather and moorland!

Until next time.

Jona : )

Clever Money Cars – 944

Shot some time back on a blue sky, sunny warm day for Modern Classics. On the rare occasion that theresd only you and the journalist… no third driver to make the tracking shots easier.

Anyway it was ‘clamp’ time to rig my car and shoot while driving. A decent road was nearby the garage which made it a decent day as well.

As I wrote before in the skyline blog and many others, you align the camera as best as you can before a run and then you need to keep checking after a short run that theres a decent angle and enough around the car to crop if needs be.

As the shot above, when you can’t be in the boot you need to keep it safe and get the job in the bag. The image above along with the other front shots I’m thinking these are decent openers.

In the end they went for the shot above, shooting into the sun which is always interesting. Always try to keep the original image as I’d like to see it but always keep in mind that the image may need to be tweaked both ways … if I was to prepare it with the highlights being burnt out a lot then that doesn’t leave any room if its not to taste with the art editor…

Quick flip of the rig / mount to the front of the vehicle and repeat the process for the rear tracking. I do like the back end of the 944, has more about it than the front.

Another pass and a little closer and a more acute angle incase they want to run with a rear for the opening double pager.

Once the tracking is done and in the bag its then seems to be a lot faster doing panning and driving shots form the side of the road.

There were two corners just after each other which we shot from both sides of the corners and directions to give us different angles and options. The one above lying down on the job in the grass verge.

On the same corner as the one shot from the grass verge but just trying a different feel and atmosphere.

This corner above was a decent corner but didn’t want to stay there to long as a car coming around the corner at some speed unknowing I was there I didn’t have anywhere to go so made as little passes here as possible!

Sending the 944 back down the road for another pass gives you the opportunity to shoot a rear angle from the same spot. Getting a little car roll and action is a play withe the corner and how fast you can take it as well as getting into position with the camera and timing your pan.

Back at the garage to take the statics and details. Struggling to find a decent location out and about we chose to use the storage unit as a backdrop.

The three shots above to illustrate you can take three different angles while the car is in the same position… variety is good. Must have taken these within 20 seconds of each other.

Again shooting different images from the same set up … different lenses and angles / heights etc etc. Ideally I’d have liked the sun more around the front as I wanted the background to be flat and the car be at 90degrees to the roller door.

Instead of keep rotating the car I try and think ahead of the different shots that we need to take so we move the car as little as possible. Do you want the roller doors in the image for the interior as a backdrop through the front windscreen and so on and so forth.

Think this one one of the last shots taken as I do a last walk around the car. You miss details sometimes or I think I already had taken the image of the turbo badge before but liked the suns angle and the background of the image above so take it again.

The sun was really harsh this day and so we had to lift the interior with lights. Always finding the best angle for the light and camera so you don’t get massive hot-spots on the dash.

Both images above with fill flash to help balance out the deep shadows and think the light was in the same place for both shots…. can’t remember.

The final layout above. Good little shoot, great weather, blue sky and a bright car is always nice, well apart from a white car!!!