Ultimate Skylines

Another shoot for Modern Classics Mag. Since shooting the first cover for this mag almost 17 months ago its been a pleasure to see the mag grow in interest from a bi-monthly publication to now this year every month. Also I’ve mentioned before its my era, growing up with a passion for cars and this was the period I indulged myself watching Top Gear, reading Auto Express and other titles.

This was my first visit to Rockingham and as I arrived first I made my way to the paddocks whilst being bathed in the morning sun. It was looking to be a good day. Before the owners and journalist (Chris Chilton) arrived I wandered over to the inside track where there was a supercar day and almost 100 folk queuing up for a few laps in an array of cars. Funny to see girlfriends / wife’s of these blokes trying to look interested and be ‘apart’ of this big day πŸ™‚

Photography comes in play in loads of different set-ups and seeing a trailer offering a print of you and one of these supercars out on track for a bargain Β£25… makes me happy my photographic career has stayed away form ‘bulk’ repetitive work.

Moving onto the shoot… If you’ve ever played Gran Turismo, Need for Speed, GTA there’s no doubt you got behind of the cars we shot here. We got an GT-R R34 R-Tune, one of only 5 in the UK and a GT-R R33 400R and this is only 1 of 3 in the UK. We had exclusive use of the outer circuit to get the shots we needed.

As the weather was good and the sun still showing his face we decided to get on with the tracking to get the best light as we could have always gone in one of the paddock pit garages if the weather turned to get the statics and details done.

The starting grid and line were the interesting features I wanted to concentrate on and plus the fact the suns direction couldn’t suit it any better. The only issue was the boot door to the tracking vehicle…. you can see it above on the full frame image. Normally I’d leave these things in and if the mag want to run with it I’d offer to shop out the defect.

It was easy enough to just sit back and make a few laps to get the feel of it and I think after that we began to just repeat the last corner and straight to really get the shots we wanted.

The final opening chosen image above and you can see the weather was unpredictable…. clouds one minute then harsh sun the next.

Quite like this shot… always helps when the road surface is not full of bumps and potholes!

Here’s a set up shot for the images above and below. I’ve recently got hold of a live-view trigger using me phone as a trigger but also giving me a live view. The reason this is a massive help is because of this kind of set-up. As you can see the car is rigged to the tracking car and so I would align the camera by eye and then do a run and keep adjusting the camera and the car positions after each run. Where as this new bit of kit I can see straight away and get the driver to move where I need the camera to me and then I can fire remotely. Here is the old school way …. and the way I would have to shoot if technology fails as it does from time to time.

Taking advantage of the wide track we were able to get the cars parallel and shoot low. It helped also as the fewer spokes you have on wheels then the faster you need to driver or slower your shutter needs to be to get some motion in them wheels. Again the smooth road and being able to drive faster in this controlled environmentΒ  all helped getting some motion in those R34’s white wheels. The shot above was cropped and turned into a vertical which looked nice.

The issue with us only having the outer track is that its just an oval for want of a better word and only had these corners on the end of the straight as a chicane which I presume they use for certain race series. Anyway the shot above we made the pass and got a few shots with me laying across the back seat and whilst holding on getting the camera in position and shooting one-handed. We had to play a little with the speed to get a compromise.

Using the tracking car again I wanted to get the corner in with these colours adding to the frame. The R33 (Silver) had to be way off the racing line as you wouldn’t see the car from this angle as it would be tucked behind the rear nearside of the leading Skyline. In the end we drove close to the track wall the wrong way then take a hard right to swing the cars round this corner… Once I got a decent shot we moved on.

Once the double car tracking images were done we quickly moved onto the individual cars and shot both rear and front of each of them. The three images above were in order of being shot and again having the track was great as you could move the tracking car around the subject car whenever you got the shot needed without stopping each pass.

Still sitting in the boot on the shot above you can get the camera around the rear of the tracking car and shoot low to get the rear shot. You can see the reflection in the bumper.

Once the track fun had been done we quickly moved onto the statics. Using the straight again we shot towards the stand and then moved the cars to get as much sky in the frame…. plus the sun kept coming in and out of the clouds which kept me on me toes.

The two images above using a couple of lights to pop some light on the front of each car. The top one you can see the small stand just peeking out under the offside wheel of the R33… quickly tuck it behind the wheel more and off we go again. Same shot in effect but just a little lower and bringing in the finishing line a little further from the last shot to give just another frame for consideration.

Now it was just getting details and single statics shot. Having the cars beside each other (with enough distance between them to frame them) in the same angle we could just hop from one to another capturing the same images as a comparison.

(I’ve not checked if these images are correct for each car or if they are in order πŸ˜‰

A quick image of Chris driving each car then its off home πŸ™‚

Below are the final spreads of the article.

Thanks for reading…



Another Classic Cars mag shoot, and this time its ‘The List’. Where they put a reader in one of their dream cars. Up in North Yorkshire it was a cold start with low fog and mist…

Off we set from the cars garage location and found a decent lay-by area where we could get some static shots while we waited for the fog and mist to lift.

The above image was the final chosen image but like ever you try and get a different angle, view point to mix things up again. You can only do so much with two people and an engine!

The shot below was taken with the idea it would be cropped top and bottom for a long wide image…

Sometimes you can get the very first reaction for the owner while sat in the car but you end up setting up the shot and getting the reader to talk through things in the drivers seat or wherever with some animation and enjoyment πŸ™‚

The fog started to lit so we headed off to trya nd get some driving images in the bag.

The three images above were taken around the same 90 degree corner. We passed this corner as we drove a few miles to a few roads to find a decent one. While passing this corner i quickly saved it in the sat-nav so we could return if needed. Indeed we did. It was a decent corner as you could see a fair way ahead so you could go wide around each way.

Think this one above was one of the first few frames while I got a feel of the car and speed…

The opening shot above… We found this really straight road with decent trees close to the roadside which helps.

The reader was fantastic being in a classic car, never driven it before and got into positions which I asked which always makes the job that much easier.

The colours were flat that day but pleased we had some background to off-set the car which could have easily been lost against white shapeless clouds.

Stuck myself in some ditches for some panning shots but it was finding some trees which I could get amongst (below) which were used.

Trying different focal lengths and physical distances in order to get different speed patterns, lengths and definitions…. Really helped getting to the side of this curvaceous Jag.

After we got the tracking in the bag and happy with them with enough variety we then just needed to get some interiors. We headed back to the lay-by we started off in… With the natural light being nice and soft just 1 diffused head was needed to just lift the interior. Once we got the angle right so it didn’t get massive hot-spots from the highly polished wood paneling we were rolling.

I’m trying to show the interior off but in the same way shooting as if you want to get into the car and drive, having some images that show a lot while others just giving a teaser of what it would be like to be behind the wheel…

Not the finished one above but close enough in order to show a slightly different angle.

Only a few images for these articles but some nice ones which I was pleased with.

Until next time

Jona : )

In the Dales Green-laning

Its always nice to get into the Dales and mix business with pleasure. The 2nd green lane shoot for Landrover Owner International. Decided to get up there the night before so we could get going with out issue first thing in the morning.

I’m really liking these jobs in the sense as its just using the bare minimum of kit. I take over the top really as you never know but really its just a wide, telephoto and the old 50mm and away you go.

3 defenders for the day and three dogs πŸ™‚

The reason why I like these types of jobs is that although there’s a brief you don’t really know you’ve got the best image until really near the end of the day. You need to show the variety of tracks and surfaces, the landscapes, terrain, obstacles etc etc Also individual shots of the vehicles used both front and rear but really the main shot is the opening DPS. The big vista shot that hopefully is inspiring.

The shot above was taken in mind for the ford element but also a possible double page spread.

To get the final shot is wasn’t until 4 hours into the trip that we came to the above location. As the title for the article, ‘Four Seasons in one day’ depicts, it was a real mixed bag with every thing from heavy rain and snow. We had real dense fog, low sunshine with which the landscape kept changing rapidly. The above shot was a few shot before the final opener below. We’d all stopped just for a brief moment as the low cloud just lifted to reveal Pen-y-ghent which had been engulfed all day until then…

I then took off on foot, as ever when your jumping in and out of the Defender to run ahead or stay behind to get the shots needed. Going past the wall you can just see to the left of the picture I got into position for the chosen image and then waved the three defenders onwards.

Think I took about three frames of this set up with the defenders at various points along the track but keeping them left of shot so they wouldn’t be lost in the gutter of the page. About 100 yds in front of the three defenders you can see a slight left then right bend in the track.

This was taken at that point…. this was used but as a vertical crop again the reason I shoot with the D810 as the rather large file sizes allow a lot of crop without loosing definition. (see below for final spreads)

This one above was one of the last images shot for the day and just tried to get another DPS or page filler…

As well as the opening big shot they like to use a small tight images of all the vehicles for the front cover as a taster… This one above taken fairly early on in the day to get some in the bag.

This one made the cover and again a tight crop which turned out a decent little image.

Just to show the extreme fog we had on the tops, framing in my mind for text to drop over the sky.

Also remembering to capture verticals and individual images of the vehicles. Seeing this little ford its a case of just stopping everyone and jumping out, getting into position and shooting a few frames. I took some landscape and vertical as above, ones where the water is frozen and then with a little more motion as above.

Once you get some shots in the bag and settle into the day you tend to only get out if the shot your about to take is going to give you something different that you’ve already got. The above shot was simple enough to get onto the footbridge and get each defender coming through the water. The gground coming down the slight incline there was slippy and so its not a rushed or frenzied approach.

Trying to get a little bit of story telling as well, locations and things to see along the way.

Another opportunity to get all three close to each other with another angle.

You can be forever running up hills and trying to find another interesting angle to keep things interesting for the reader but also for me πŸ™‚

Took this image as we ended up turning the engines off as the guy on his horse had a lot to say…. didn’t mind as this was nearing the end of the day and the low sun just came out of the clouds and had a great tone to it… beats working πŸ˜‰

The image above … well its only happened 3 times for me over 20 years while on a job and a rainbow comes out. I’m really loathed in shooting them as its just so twee’ … especially for a photographer but how they used one of the shots was good. Plus were talking in the Defender on how the day is panning and how the article could be written. The title was already set dew to the weather we had so on that basis I took the images as it was weather related πŸ˜‰

Final impromptu stop above for a final leg stretch before we all went our separate ways. A great day and was really pleased with some of the images.

Only 6 pages but liked the images chosen for this one πŸ™‚


Evo v Impreza

Shot this end of last year and to say it was wet would be an understatement….. Damp, cold, misty all the elements you need for a shoot πŸ˜‰

This was the first time that I’d be on a shoot with another photographer. Needing statics of each car and then tracking shots on top it was a good call and we needed every bit of time to get through them all. Stuart concentrated on the stills and I was tasked with the tracking / motion shots.


As far as I remember we got the big group shot done and a few variants for the cover. Stuart did a great job on the cover with the layout of the cars…. After the group static was in the bag we then split off and started on the statics and the tracking images respectfully.

The first challenge was the spray from the road surface… you could manage about 10 frames before the lens got too wet to take an exceptable image. We had three pairs and one single car to shoot. Getting front and rear of each car so we had to repeat a lot of images which in one sense kept the same feel through this multi-car test but kept us on track to get through all the cars.

The Bruntingthorpe air-stip is about 2 miles long then a service road back around to the top of the runway. Not all of the length of the runway is viable to shoot on due to other vehicles and buildings running alongside the run-way.

Like the image above we tried to get some key features of one car while shooting the other.

With a few of these they had decent spoilers and this one above was the biggest which we could frame the other car with…

Bonnet scoops and air intakes were the only other way to show features and get the rear shot.

The top one of the three images above was easier as it was a 3 door so you could reach to get the lens beside the back wheel easier then the others as you had to reach nearly a full door…. all without the risk of falling out. The middle image as well shows the spray starting to influence the final image and for me was a reasonable acceptable amount.

When we finished with the three pairs it was a sigh of relief when we came to the P1… back in the Mighty Meriva (the late tracking car that has been past onto pastures new)… easier to shoot the one car and get some decent angles.

You can clearly see the side of the Meriva between the tail lights and the rear wheel in the body work above. Staying in the boot to try and make this one trip down the runway count and get both rear and front tracking in the bag.

When having the camera within a foot from the road surface I forgot a few times to stay away from the spray being kicked up from the rear wheels…

Once all the track stuff done we sent all the cars around one after the other and did some quick side pans…

We got there in the end… and tried to shoot the cars in preference of letting them depending on distance they traveled. A decent job and one that we needed to just keep on going through the day. Would have been better for all if it wasn’t wet but that’s what you get sometimes.

Until next time.

x5 Β£1k cars – One Track – Modern Classics

Febs Cover for Modern Classics shot back in Oct / Nov time if I remember …

A showdown for 5 cars you can get for around Β£1k. Its really good shooting on a track as you have complete control and don’t have to worry about other cars. Blyton was the place, great smooth surface but its very flat and so has a limit on the variety of images and angles you can achieve.

As with these shoots you try and plan the day out so the owners can leave as soon as possible… So this shoot I think we got straight on with the tracking images of the cars be it in pairs or individual shots. Then onto the group tracking and group static. Which leaves then the individual images last and so you can shoot the car which need to get off first etc etc so you are left at the end with just yourself and the writer…

The day was dry, quite fresh and strong sun which at times is good but going round a track limits you….. (I’ll explain later…)

We needed to get a ‘motion’ shot of each car from the front and then from the rear. As the Alfa and Fiat were paired for the shoot (as they share the same tech and built this came through the copy….) You try and see what features each car has to capture… so the above shot tried to show the red calipers and the distinct line down the front wing then onto the Alfa. This corner we used alot as it had ‘corners / kerbs’ as such to help give some interest…

Shot below shows the position we got into to get the rear shot of the Alfa.

This is the next frame as we went through the corner.

Then onto the front of the car… only feature you could get in was the filler cap of the Fiat, plus it had a sunroof to shoot from.

The above shot (thanks to the Mazda owner πŸ™‚ shows me bracing myself and trying to get some motion in the image whilst on the move…

As we had 5 cars to shoot i decided on the angle we would shoot the front and rear of each car and stuck with that without trying all positions for each car. Due to time and theres no need to repeat each exact angle for each car unless briefed.

On the same corner again (above) this time getting the Pinifarina badge in of the Alfa. This image was used for the Fiat and was cropped portrait. Again giving me reassurance that shooting with the D810 lets the art editiors easily crop and landscape into a full portrait page.

Moving onto the Clio and Mazda as the next pair. The above shot picking up the rear spoiler and filler cap on the Mazda then the Clio.

Below capturing the flared arches of the Mazda and taking advantage of the rear back hindged doors of the Mazda.

The image above showing the rear door opening which was reasonably comfy to get in the small rear seat and keep the front door closed while shooting the clio.

The image above took a couple of runs to get ourselves in the correct position to shoot the white line…. think we had about 50ft of this yellow run-off patch and so whilst traveling we could get about 5 frames fired off.

This is where the sun can cause an issue especially if you’ve found a road and the best background is away from the sun and so you have to shoot with the sun behind you. Here is not too bad as you have a circular track so you need to pick the best spot. Still I shot a few as this may have been another option for the Editor and so the shadow could have been taken out.

A note as well to say that all the images in this blog (apart from set-up images) are full frame and are what I send the mag. You can see in some of the corners some vignetting is present…. again I’d leave this in and if needs be it can be sorted out if its a problem but I normally shoot slightly wider to get some area for cropping.

Again shooting into the sun is always an option as a different feel and of course some lensflare (which some people like) You just have to post the image a little more to bring out the shadow details.

Above the same type of shot as the Clio rear one but on another area of the track. This took a couple of goes as its hard to follow a car close enough to get the shot but we had to get both cars to leave the racing line at a certain point.

After the two pairs it was the Mondeo for the single car…. at times its easier to have just the one car to sort out.

Both of these images taken from my ‘Mighty Meriva’….. and this was the last job I did from it as it has now been upgraded πŸ™‚ …. but it was a fantastic car for these tracking shots.

This shot shows the white line and the yellow area is just off camera to the left. Not always that good as you’ve got to be careful of the stones off the track getting kicked up and possibly damaging the car. Of course getting the car close enough to the tracking vehicle which is always too close for comfort and not normal at all. Again why being on a track is ideal.

After the tracking we moved onto the panning shots of each of the pairs and then individual panning of each car.

The above image was used again cropped to portrait. To keep things moving along I positioned myself here and then got the cars to follow one another with enough gap for me to re-position. This is where radios come in a treat! and the first time I used a set of four I got…

After all the motion shots it was a quick break and thankfully there was a track day on another area of the track and so the afe was in full swing so a decent buttie was enjoyed by all before we cracked on.

It took a little positioning at first but once you get the first few cars in the right place things move along better.

Being 6’3″ just some small steps can be enough for the height needed. (the only hat I had in the car was me bobble hat!)

You can see from this image that we started with the Alfa facing from right to left before we flipped it and things then fell into place.

Even though shooting plenty of verticals this one was the final image for the cover…. taking the sky from one of the other frames.

This shot I framed as an option for the opening DPS. Think is one of the very few times my choice is what has been used…

A few other group shots and a few of the tracking group shot…(which always takes a few goes!)

Sometimes you need to get on the floor for work…..!

For each of the cars we took the same front 3/4 shot from a few angles and then an interior, owners shot and then some details for each car. Bit of a production line but you soon get through them…

A few more ….. and a few that were included in the article.

Some thumbnails of the final spreads, two pages per car then a few pages for details and verdict.

A good day out with some great owners who seemed to enjoy the day and got stuck in… This is febs cover shoot and the first of the monthly editions.

I shot the first front cover back in 2014 and then it was a by-monthly magazine, so to see it take off and in one year go monthly I’m looking forward to the future of the mag.

(A shout out and thanks to the owners for some of the background images included in the blog πŸ™‚

Till next time.

DBS at 50

This was a good shoot for me in the sense that it was my first cover for Classic Cars. Happy with any covers but shoot a lot for Classic Cars over the past few years it was nice to get the opportunity to shoot a cover shoot.

Down in Surrey its a decent distance for me and being a cover shoot with 7 cars all arranged with owners to come together in one place the emphasis is on you to get the job in the bag. This upped the anti a little for me and I found myself building up the pressure as well.


This article is 19 pages long and so being my first cover shoot for CC I was eager to see the final spreads and which images were used and how…..the usual stuff as I keep mentioning on my blog.

The image above was the first hint of the article which was a full page ad in the Decembers issue showing whats coming up in the Jan’s issue. Happy days…


The original image above un-cropped / full frame… and you can see the slight tweak with the car spacing.

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Well here it is…(if you’ve not see it before! or not seen my Instagram feed)… From left to right, the final image as submitted to the mag, Then an overlay of the final cover to show the crop and then the full front cover.

Really happy with this and a few pointers to learn for next time … I shoot on a D810 for magazine work due to it giving me 35mb+ per image so that you can crop heavy into an image and still have plenty of resolution to print with (something I’ll mention later on)

From camera to the first car it may look not that close but it’ll be no more than 2 meters away.


Image above was in fact capturing a run for a cover alternative but in the end was the opening DPS cropped to a landscape, again showing why the nikon D810 is useful as it packs plenty of pixels into the frame and allows for some serious cropping if needed.

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The first order of the day was to start on the individual images of the cars as we were waiting for the last car to turn up. As there was 7 cars and plenty to shoot we needed to get started soon as. A little production line, a front 3/4 shot, engine bay and interior plus and details that were interesting or unique for that particular DBS.

All was going well until about 4 cars in when the clouds came over and decided to dump a lot of rain! Owners seeking refuge in their cars or diving into the trees for about 40 mins while it past. Thankfully my sunroof was open for only 10 mins until it was pointed out to me!!!!

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Eventually when all the details were done (apart from the last car which turned up) we needed to get on and capture the other images. Pairing off the cars we made a few passes along whats know as the ‘Snake’ at the private location. All these are un-cropped so when you get your copy of the mag you can see how they’ve cropped into them.

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Having three pairs and a single car predetermined you need to keep a variety of images so when printed a good selection of images and atmosphere is achieved… I’ll leave that for you to decide on how I did…

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A few more images that were shot for the cover and one for a possible DPS.


The Aston Works 4 door Lagonda was the easiest choice for being the single car… Here are a few more images that didn’t make the final edit….

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Took more side on shots for this to try and show the four door configuration… Again always little a bit of sunlight πŸ™‚

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This one above was the one that made the article… sunlight as it was and not added.

Since this shoot I’ve shot another cover shoot at the came location and I do like it but you can go from heavy shadow to harsh sunlight within a split second so it does keep you on your toes!


Once all the tracking shots were done the last thing was to shoot each car and do some panning shots…


Just sending the cars back and forth, running to a new location each time to keep things varied. Getting both wide shots and tight shots of different cars.



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The overall winner of the bunch…. this image taken early doors in the shoot… before all the rain!!!!

Only took nearly 5 hours to drive back from this shoot!!!

Until next time…




Mirage Countach

There are kit cars and then there are kit cars…

Another shoot for Modern Classics which by the way has gone monthly now…. of a classic. Well there will be people out there who won’t give this one the time of day due to it being a kit / replica.

I’ll leave that one for you to take on-board. What you can say is that this is a really, ……. really good kit car. It doesn’t give you any impression that its been thrown together in a shed and held together with cable ties!!!

Its a head turner. This was evident when meeting the owner in a car park and within 10mins there were 20+ folk snapping phone images and gathering around.


Onto the first location for some statics. Loved this first building but it was shooting in the wrong way, or at least would need some post work as the building would be in heavy shadow. This for me was not my first choice while shooting that it would be a strong contender for the opening DPS….but in the end it was chosen.


Not the landscape image but the vertical shot coupled with an interior detail.

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The two original images that were used for the opening DPS.


The above image would probably be the more ‘safer’ or predictable DPS… still happy with the post work on this as it needed some serious tweaking to pull the shadows and drop the highlights. Being a white car didn’t help as you could have blown that car right out of the water!

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The second location was helped with some local knowledge from Sam the journalist from Mod Classics from his Uni days… πŸ™‚


We wanted a slight angular contrast with the building / background and the Mirage, some 80’s / block building to have the car in some kind of ‘period’ background.


The sun was strong that day and every background that was pre planned ended up in shadow at that time of day… still was a nice day to shoot a supercar classic…. (be it a replica or not!)


Don’t mind lying on the floor when its not wet ! πŸ˜‰


Above image was another framed image for a DPS option… not a strong one but another one as an option.


There were some art sculptures (Not sure who from but Henry Moore ‘esk’)…. Shot a couple of ideas just because I liked the juxtaposition… only made the editors cutting floor πŸ˜‰

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Couldn’t find any safe place to shoot the car in amongst some fitting buildings to carry on the theme. Found a few lanes in order to get a few motion shots in the bag. A couple were used in the end with the one above of the rear being cropped as a single vertical page.

One funny thing on this shoot was at the end we needed to shoot the owner at the wheel while driving. I said just drive down this lane and I’ll grab a few images, he said “how fast “, I said (knowing full well the reaction I would get….) “however you drive normally”. His eyebrow lifted and said “seriously?!”, with a smile I said “Of Course!”

I knew that I couldn’t get a sharp image of him driving going that fast down a bumpy country road and getting a blurred background out of the window. I just wanted to enjoy a little ride!

That was until we turned the corner on a single lane track and was faced head on with a giant John Deere tractor… locking up a little stopping a cars length away…. “well that was fun” I said better let me grab a few images whilst trundling along for a few 100 yards.

Until next time…


Miura SV v Countach

Well I’ve been waiting to pen this blog since returning from Italy and sending these images off to Classic Cars magazine

Another European magazine shoot and this one will be hard to top for me… To set the background to the two cars and indeed my blog title for this one here is the sub heading from this months article…

“Italian industrialist heir Gianfranco Innocenti bought himself the last Miura SV Lamborghini made, then replaced it with one of the first Countachs. We drive them in their Modenese homeland”

This was the second day of a two day shoot. We already had shot the Countach for an epic restoration article (see my blog here) and the final day we had to shootΒ  both the cars before flying back to the UK that early evening.

Also to give you some back ground to these extraordinary cars please view the video found on Simon Kidstons site which introduces the original owner and the then Lamborghini’s test driver. Really is worth a watch as this is all tied in. Click here to view the video.

The temperature was rising and both myself and Sam were waiting at the garage which had worked on the Miura so we could take it and join the Countach before the shoot. Eventually we hit the road about 10 am, four of us (including Valentino Balboni – if you’ve not watched the video link above then watch it !) the Miura, Countach and an Audi A3 hire car!

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The first port of call….. filling them up as we had about 45mins drive to get to the ear-marked location for the shoot. This image on the right was how in Italy its perfectly normal to make a single carriage way into two lanes especially when driving Lamborghini’s.


After driving we arrive at the foot of some hills and so it was time to swap drivers around and to get the show on the road…no pun intended!


(again excuse the poor copy of the mag…you need to get your own copy and enjoy the images in print πŸ™‚

The opening DPS was shot well into the day and I didn’t think they’d use this static as an opener but I kind of like it… laying flat on the floor in 35+ degrees heat … hard life πŸ˜‰



The original image above and another from slightly different angle…


I tend not to post process images too much if I don’t need too but I did add a little of my own filters to this job as I felt it just added a little flavour to the images and I’m pleased the magazine ran with it…

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Just seeing these quick images (taken on my phone!) of the article …. man thats shocking but you know what I liked this job so much I don’t care πŸ˜‰

The one image for me that quickly became my choice of an opener was this one below which never made the article…


There was many images that didn’t make it which I’ll show a few on this blog but for me I just liked the solid white line and the smooth roads which helped keep the Countach pin sharp.


This one they did run with and cropped it down to almost a square… As I right this I can still feel how the small Audi boot felt but just the sound coming from the two cars, the sun etc etc …. great memories…. but it got better…


Again another shot that never made it… As we only had a small window to shoot the cars we didn’t really have loads of time to shoot from different angles ….. which stopping for an hour for lunch as that was the Italian thing to do didn’t help but when in ‘Rome’ … well nearer Modena and all that. (By the way the food was pretty good πŸ˜‰


This one above soon became on e of my favorite images from the shoot and pleased that it made it. I’m leaning out of the Miura and we were giving it a few beans I didn’t want to as ever drop my camera but also as this Miura is valued between Β£2mil – Β£2.5mil I didn’t want to let my camera make contact with the body work…. could you imagine!!!!!

I mentioned before that I do as little Photoshop work post as possible and that’s needed. Well this image I felt needed a little tidy up! Below is the original one which shows telegraph poles and a bloke with a bright orange top in the distance… I felt this needed to be as clean as possible in order to keep your eyes on the cars and the road.


Both images were sent to the mag but again pleased that they ran with this one πŸ™‚

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A couple of images again that didn’t make the final article but again I’m just trying to get different angles to show off both cars whilst being in one of the subject cars.

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The two images that are used of the side profiles. These are un-cropped and full frame and just goes to show the file sizes you can get from the D810.


Same run as the one above but just as we were going through some towns.


This was the very first frame as I’m sat soaking in the suns rays whilst sitting in the boot, feet out almost touching the road. Never used again but just like the buildings and atmosphere of the location.


Sam’s driving shot that was used and me below grabbing a selfie πŸ™‚ on me phone…. (with double chin….nice πŸ™‚



This picture was honestly taken as a quick snap crossing the road from the restaurant which we stopped at for lunch. Never took it in mind for submission for the article but just goes to show….

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Just a few details of the two cars…. some used and some that were not included.

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This for me was the best bit of the day… I needed to get a picture of Valentino Balboni at the wheel of the Countach. This was the last shot we needed for the article and so I got my 6’3″ frame into the some what small 70’s cockpit. I snapped away as we headed back on the 45min journey to the garage befiore heading to the airport.

I’d done my work, all finished and so I then got a quick selfie with Balboni….as you do πŸ™‚


The I sat back and enjoyed the ride and sound in what is one of my earliest dream cars as a young lad of the late 70’s / 80’s …

Here is a short video of the drive whilst my camera was wedged between my feet. Must say as well I couldn’t find the seat belts but later found them behind the seat and you couldn’t get to them….

Anyway turn you volume up as much as possible and enjoy 30 seconds of V12… (ignore my face… I was just a giddy little kipper)


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Just a few more images of the Miura…

One more image that didn’t make the final cut…


Well for me this was two days of fun, yes it was ‘work’ and when the work is getting to meet people like Balboni, getting a ride with Lamborghini’s chief test driver of 45 years, well that doesn’t happen that often does it!

Great experience, pleased with the images, a few stories to tell…

One happy lad…. until next time and the next adventure


Lamborghini Countach – Epic Restoration

Its not everyday you turn up to a garage which has 4 Miura’s, 2 Countach and a few other original Lamborghini’s around the shop…. well we are only a few miles from the Lamborghini factory….

In the current issue of Classic Cars Magazine, this was another European quick trip to grab images then back again. The guy who owned the shop was the son of an ex Lamborghini employee of some 30 years. You quickly feel the passion of the people around here that it was almost a family ‘business’, not this shop as it was but working in the factory were generations from the same family.

The level of detail and restoration was incredible.


This was the first shot we took from a mezzanine floor…. didn’t really lack any colours! The lighting was funny in this place, plenty of daylight from the main shutter doors but it had florescent strip lights behind tinged perspex panels then on top of that there were skylights which had the same perspex over…. Plus the vibrant colours of the motors had to try and get the colour temp right in camera as much as possible.



You can see the final DPS and the original image I submitted, full frame without cropping. There was plenty of floor for the text / title. wanted to use the yellow Countach in the foreground to give a bit more depth.

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My Italian is about 0.001%…. and these guys English about the same… so thankfully we had someone with us to act as an interpreter. Well I just needed to find the shots and shoot !


These three images of them chatting didn’t make the final article but lets you capture and show the process whilst on these jobs.


Not knowing where the facial expression will come as you can’t understand the language was interesting but got enough….

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As I said this car was clean and immaculate which was good as I think the article touched upon it that well over Β£2m was spent on this project.


This was one of the main cars as a lad you had on your wall. Even now it still is beyond its time, the extreme design can still hold itself now and will continue into the future…

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After a few hand gestures, nods and such they got to know what ‘tinkering’ was to capture this shot…. just tinker with the engine etc etc…


I’ve shot a few “whats you favorite, or whats the most invaluable tool you have?”…. normally its like a really old funny sized spanners that is specifically designed for one nut on a re-build etc etc…. not knowing what would come out of the depths of a back room. This giant radiator key!!!!!! once shown I was upto speed…..doh!

A fantastic experience, we saw more places but didn’t make the final article.

I got to ride in this Lamborghini with a special driver at the wheel ; ) …… will blog about that when that one comes out : )



GTI Mk1 – In its native homeland

If there was ever an ideal job for me it would be these ‘Pilgrimage’ articles from Classic Cars Magazine. Why I hear you ask? ….. well theres two elements….. visiting a place of automotive interest and capture a ‘look around’ with the journalist and a ‘guru’ from the destination. I love capturing an event, location, venue, photojournalisticly (know idea how to spell that or if indeed it is a word!!!!)

Anyway you know what I mean, to capture whats in front of me and shoot in a way that the viewer is there but silent. Not only does this Pilgrimage article have this element but also it includes taking out a specific car of historical interest for a drive and capture that aspect.

This is the 2nd one I’ve shot for Classic Cars and I must say I do like them…



The opening DPS is great when they bleed fully to the edge of the page…

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As I’ve just mentioned I love just capturing whats in front of me. Waiting for that expression, gesture, interaction that enhances the story, brings to light the experience and I hope gives the viewer the feeling of being there.

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There maybe one occasion that you need to get a composed image in the bag which may need just setting up with the people there and then but I prefer to shoot as much off the cuff as possible, just let it to be spontaneous.


This herbie image made the final article and to be honest I just ‘snapped’ this one and later found out that this was one of the original 7 (I think) Herbies used for the movies.


This warehouse used to be part of the original assembly line for VW but is now one of several huge warehouses full of original VWs from all eras.

Apart from this one Karma the rest were all Beetles and all its derivatives… amazing to see.

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This image above I shot because I like the colours and I loved the Scirocco when I was younger….. plus the 1976 plate caught my eye for obvious reasons.


Moving onto the driving part…. took the opportunity to grab a few driving shots whilst we made our way to find the route to get them in the bag early doors. As we had a plane to catch later that day back to the UK you need to make time count.


The day was really hot and sunny but with some nice hazy cloud covering which helps keep the light soft. Must say the German roads were amazingly smooth, not surprising!!!! Made my life a whole lot easier.


Some of these images never made the final article but just want to show that theres plenty of images that are left on the editors floor.


This interior was the final selected image…. Loved the soft bouncy seats with the red and orange stripes. Think there was a cassette still in one of the storage racks… can’t remember what it was!


Another image left on the editors floor…


After we got the shots we needed it was time to return to Autostadt…. I’ll let you visit the website and find out a little bit more of this intriguing public attraction.


Another image not making the final article showing the two towers that take the finished VWs from the assembly line and then into these record breaking automated car parks…

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A couple of images taken on me phone whilst having a quick trip up one of the towers. It was a privilege to have access to the enormous collection and be one of the few that get access….

Here’s hoping for another ‘Pilgrimage’ article to shoot…