Group A Heroes Reunited

The threat of rain, unfamiliar roads, three cars… all in all a typical line up!

For this Modern Classics shoot the main point for me was to get a cover shot in the bag early doors. Knowing this was a potential cover entry it just adds a little to the day, which is good 🙂

In the North Yorkshire Moors we met in Thirsk and then headed off to a pre-determind road. A few turns through the village before the open roads through the heights of the moors we hit the signs… ‘Road Closed’ … good start to the day.

After consulting a postman and with the help of someone within our party with some local knowledge we took off to get round the closed road. That local knowledge turned out to be gold 🙂

The road in mind ran for about 6 miles but most of it now had just been freshly laid with that loose chipping. In the end there was about 2-3 miles of ‘normal’ road surface to play with.

Getting one car in position but 3 you need a little more road than normal. Anyway we took off and got a few passes in the bag for a cover. As you can see through some of these images the weather was dry but the sky & cloud kept changing every minute.

Below is the final cover and the original image.

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This run was later on in the day when the sky opened and so I asked for another run…

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Above were some other cover shots…

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Thanks to Nathan from Modern Classics you have the pleasure of this rare sight… me in front of the lens. Using a good BMW step ladder to grab another option for a cover. All the previous covers for this new title have been statics so this was another option for a cover but also another feature image fro the title page / editorial page.

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Each car got the same treatment to the images above. Engine bay, details, badges and also not shown interiors.


One of the images used in the final article… Just like the image below (not used) you try and show different angles of the cars. If you can shoot from the other cars then it just adds to the flavour of images.


All these tracking shots are taken on the same stretch of road. With the sun going in and out you’ve got to keep in your head which direction would be better for a rear shot and which would suit a front on shot. The shot above and a lot of the tracking images I do I’m not looking through the viewfinder, its trial and error some of the time but you get to know by just looking at the camera in your hand and what you want in the shot.


Again another shot without looking through the viewfinder and this one was used for the opening DPS. I must say that these tracking shots were taken from the boot of the BMW step ladder shown earlier… I never thought that I could fold myself in half and fit in the boot and able to move myself around to get the shots. Wayne (the delta owner) got the best view of when the lights suddenly went out on my from the boot lid closing shut mid run…


Another angle from the ‘ladder’ shot. This was used in the final article but was cropped into a portrait orientation.


After all the tracking shots it was time to grab some images from the road side. Another image above that didn’t make the final article.


More repeating of images this time with the journalist at the wheel of all the cars…


I shot every car the same as the GT-Four above but only this image made the final article…

Must be one of the longest shoots to date, good fun but man I was tired by the time it was to head back home but worth it for this cover.

Till next time


E-Type – The Pilgrimage

For me the E-Type holds a little more for me than just a beautiful, elegant and stylish designed British automotive icon. Back in 1996…wow 20 years ago… I was sourcing classic cars for a project whilst on my penultimate Photographic course / qualification. One of the cars being a maroon coloured E-Type. Even back then I knew I wanted to shoot cars and I think I’ve not shot another E-Type until this E-Type from CMC.

So every time I see an E-Type that image of the maroon E-Type in front of some stately home in Yorkshire whose name I’m ashamed I can’t recall!!! I have a rye smile, a little satisfaction and personal encouragement… so thank you Jaguar E-Type…

Anyway the day before was a nice blue skied, still day which as we sat (myself and Ross) that evening over a drink thinking we could be on a good n here… Short lived! The next morning it was persistent rain and a ‘nice’ flat sky…


This was a new kind of feature for Classic Cars Mag called the Pilgrimage. Mainly based around a good decent drive, so the emphasis on driving imagery was at the forefront.

Thankfully the rain held up for about an hour with just the odd few spots and with the help of a good stretch of road being over shadowed by some trees it felt dry. If the sky is flat then I try and get some trees like these so that the sky itself plays the minimal part in the shots. Plus the more objects to the side and height of the car helps to accentuate the sense of speed.

The image above was one of a number of DPS images submitted but in the end they went with the images below.

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Again I tweaked the final images but still with a little room for the mag to go one or two ways but here I’m pleased the crop was right on the ball park.

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The few above were different options for page fillers be it a full single page or 3/4 but with the amount of pixels within the D810 image you could still crop for a DPS out of these.

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The two images above were full frame and especially the landscape image with the front of my car in the frame. I’d leave this in so the art editor could see what he has to play with. If I’d have cropped it out from the bottom then that would reduce the amount of options for this image. With leaving it in a text box, or graphic could have been placed over the bottom right hand corner to cover the bonnet.

Also there was no real point in trying to get a really low angled image due to the fact that as soon as you get your camera down there the spray from the surface water would be nicely washing the front of the lens before you could get into position.


The rain began to get heavier and so we needed to get some more panning shots in the bag before we were driven inside.


I think the light colour of the car helped against the green of the trees, again another reason for finding trees as a back drop so the car wouldn’t get lost in the flat sky.


Just like the last blog about the DKW I found myself again with another tall co-worker (Ross), but this time getting my 6’3″ folded into the boot of this E-Type. Not just to play it safe but with a camera in one hand and a flash as well I couldn’t be getting loads of angles from this position…

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Back inside now at CMC the 2nd part of the article was to see behind the scenes at this impressive automotive shop. This reminded me so much of my work over the years with Morgan dating back to 1999 and more recently the re-visit in 2014.

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Majority of work undertaken for restorations and re-builds are all in house from body work, upholstery, engine re-builds and more…

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Nick Goldthorp (above) talking through the history right through to the day to day running of CMC.

Was interesting to see the Jag MkII which was designed by Ian Callum and engineered / built by CMC which you can see here.

Really interesting to see and be in a place with such skill and dedication in keeping these cars on the road.

I must say a big thank you to CMC and the guys there who were more than willing to help get the shots needed.


DKW – The Crazy Frog…

This car was fun to shoot… It sounded like a cross between an over excited coffee percolator and the Crazy Frog. With it being the same colour it was a perfect match.

As ever getting the opener in the bag was the first port of call. Car in shed / garage and owner for the opener of a Resto shoot. Below was the final image used in the article but not for the opening DPS.


Three lights for this image. ‘Brollied’ mains head felt of shot outside; another main head on the floor behind the DKW; the final light was a speedlight tucked just behind the right hand door frame bounced off the ceiling to light the right hand side of the car to help balance the natural light in the bonnet etc.


The DPS in the end (shown above) was the tracking shot. The main road was about 10 min’s from the cars location which was really handy and also very quiet!!!! The sky was a little flat so tweaked a little post. The original image to the right was full frame.

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The little 2-stroke with a lot of noise and energy… The image on the right shows the disc brake under the engine, this was the first for me seeing a disc brake within the engine bay…


The image above was full frame but shows the amount of image I leave in for cropping. I said to the owner just give it some beans, not a lot but a little… stood far back on the junction you get a few seconds because you can hear the excited 2-stroke… I managed to fire a few frames off because a few beans were a lot of beans…. Still I’d rather have an owner whose willing to get stuck in, drive close to the tracking car and enjoy the time …

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A couple of other quick shots to fill out the extra images to give a little scope.


Really clean inside, very light and bouncy seats made for a fun ride.


Always fun riding with Nigel the writer as he’s about 6’4″ and myself being 6’3″ squeezed into some cars we’ve shot is always time for the widest lens available…

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Another interior and detailed shots…

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Plenty of detailed shots to be had with



Only today I thought that the sunroof was so underrated. The Mighty Meriva comes into its own when I can get flies caught in my teeth and stand like a royal while shooting the subject car…


The image above never made the final article but just another way to explain that its as much for me to wonder what images make the article than not!!! Tried to get the DKW posters and other relevant artifacts etc in the shot… A simple speedlight ‘wedged’ / placed carefully behind the bonnet.

A few more blogs coming in quick succession but unlike this one I’m not in the running to get a mention in the copy…. so until then.



Porsche 924 in all its guises…

This was a first for me, not the 924 …. but shooting for GT Porsche. Having a father in-law whose always had a Porsche since I’ve known him, shooting for Leeds Porsche Centre I’m getting more and more surrounded by the German brand.

Five 924s in its various marks, from the GTS, Turbo, Carrera GT, Le Mans and a straight 924 all headed for a small runway near to Silverstone. As with ever shooting for a new title your mind works a bit extra in covering bases and then some. Not really knowing how many pages for the article but with a 5 car comparison you have a good understanding it will probably run a way down a little repetition of images to keep things clean and ‘readable’.

The first things was to get the opening image shot for the DPS. With a few windows of opportunity after permission was given from the control tower we quickly set up the cars and tried to make every run count. The weather as you can see was favorable and the angle of the sun was good for the runway shot.


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The original image sent to the mag and the final image on the DPS. The order of cars as you can see was set up due to the colours. This incidentally was the first frame shot on the move… doesn’t always happen like that!

The simple option was the one above as you would cut the image down the middle for the centre crease, we then tried a few different positions to give some variety…


Again having the black Le Mans car cut for the crease, more road space for text. I like this one but the GTS for me was to far tucked in…


Same kind of feel but using the runway markings as a lead into the image. This yellow line was long enough to give us about 5 frames before we had to all break before over running the runway. Still think I should have gotten much lower. Which I did for another shoot which I’ll no doubt be blogging about later in the year.

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To cover the rear aspect of the cars a simple return down the runway… you keep forgetting little stones hurt you in the face when your this close tracking to a load of cars…. never mind putting your camera in the line of stone fire!!!

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As this was a comparison we replicated a few of the same shots for each of the cars and also other details to help fill in as another option for the layout as you can see above. Simple use of a hanger wall as a background. The sun kept going in and out so getting the images looking fairly consistent took a little long in time.

The two red ones were pulled out as an extreme difference within the 924 range. Having a moment before planes were getting moved we used the front of the hanger with a little more interest as a background. Positioning the two cars with the Sun as the main light source, getting them in a pleasing angle, making sure the car at the rear wasn’t clipped by the front cars shadow. We also put the GTS at the rear because that was positioned at the front of the pack for another shot. (below)

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You can see the final chosen image above for the final page. We had to move the GTS as the shadow from the adjacent building was covering the bonnet by the time we came to the landscape image. If possible you try and give both orientations with these type of shots again so the final designer has plenty of options.


The image above was replicated for each car, again to keep things moving straight after this shot it was then to get an engine bay shot as the sun was in a good position.



To finish off here’s an image that wasn’t used in the final article… again its as much of interest to me as to what images are used and the reasons why…

Until next time.


RAF Series 1 Resto

I’ve just written another quick blog on the x5 928s and mentioned that I’m seeing a lot of Porsche recently…. Well Land Rover is the other make I seem to have had a lot of to capture lately.

Shot earlier this year with a few days of the Cuthbertson Shoot. Again this was shot for Land Rover International Magazine.

An ex RAF landrover restored from the ground up. As ever the first task was to find a decent road to get some tracking shots taken…


The weather was majority of the time fairly flat so had to make something of the sky and punch the whole image a little. Kept low for this as the axle as you can see was an eye catching red so that helped a little to give the shot something else.

The final DPS was the shot (below) and you can see the final layout and crop as well.


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I must say this sounded really nice, especially when I was about 2 meters from it and the lane we were on was narrow and when going through the walled section just amplified the sweet sound even more.

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Again giving various orientations for the tracking shots (above right) as I wasn’t sure how many pages and how many images were needed.

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Plenty of detail shots as there was many things to write about without knowing at the time what would be mentioned. Not really that hard as the little details were around every nook and cranny.

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By the time it came to shoot a few of the incidentals the sun had gone in and the grey clouds and rain came rolling in so a simple speedlight came into its own on the shot above to fill the faces…

Until next time…



Modern Classic – M3

This was a quick shoot of the ‘quick’ type…. The deadline for the images was the day after the shoot. The location was Cambridgeshire. We had a car but no location. We sat in the car after the first location idea was a no go, as expected but as they say at home ‘Shy Bairns Get Nowt!’…

As ever for my work Goggle earth comes in a treat. Looking in the area for a car-park, urban industrial site. We made a call to a car park but cut a long story short….. ‘No’.

The next location and one we ended up shooting at was a small storage complex with shipping containers. In I walk with some North East charm and ask the owner if we can use the site for the next few hours or so.

Were in…

Knowing all along with only two of us I’d have to rig the car for some tracking shots to make sure we can get an opener. This was also an interesting shoot as unfortunately original shoot (hence the 9th hour re-shoot) the high res images were on a damaged hard drive which the photographer at the time couldn’t retrieve. Something as yet I’ve not had the misfortune to deal with and my heart went out to the photographer… : (


The image above was the final DPS opener.


You can see the final rendered image and the removing of the top boxes and building with the lightened tonality which I like.

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As the layout of the article was already prepped with the original shots it really was only for me to replicate certain shots and see what other images I could take to replace them with the location we had to work with.

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As we had to have these turned around quickly the only time we labored on was the opening rig shot and the rest we worked through at a quicker rate.

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The image below I had thought would be good for within the article but wasn’t used but was used on the content page which was a bonus : )




Although I said that we didn’t have the man power to really do tracking shots we did attempt a few passes down this part of the unit. With the camera rigged on my Mighty Meriva we had about 150 yds to get a few shots in the bag. A couple of sharp ones …. we moved on!

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Here’s the final 8 page article so you can see how the images were used and below the cover of the issue its in so you can get yourself a copy : ) … again another image cut out for the cover.


MONO’s new carbon composite wheel

Only a few months back I went to BAC (Briggs Automotive Company Ltd) to capture the life in the factory, this to follow on my work at Morgan Motor Company and fuel my photo-journalistic style and passion. You can see some of those images on my editorial website here.

I was asked back this week to shoot BAC’s new Carbon Composite Option Wheel for the Mono. You can read their press release and more details here.

In the middle of getting a few cars and staff ready for the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend we were juggling a customers car and these new wheels in order to get these images for a quick press release.

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A few images within the display / showroom area of the BAC set-up, this is the same location and area I shot another Mono as one of my portraits (you can see via this link).


Trying to work fairly quick with 4 lights to capture the carbon element of the wheel as well as creating an aesthetic image.


Once shooting the car from a couple of angles as well as the wheels in this environment we moved into the factory to almost carry on from my visit a few weeks back but looking to capture these wheels on the car and in prep.

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You can see all the factory ones in my portfolio and I’ll add these images to the other factory images taken earlier this year.

After have fun… I took some more product type images to get some more detailed images. You can see from this quick images off my phone of the simple set-up due to the time scale we had in needing to get these shot and edited asap.



Simple white background roll, using available light (making sure we turned off all the sodium / incandescent lights so it was just the daylight through the skylights that filled the factory. After that I used black cloth (you can see on the floor of the phone image above) to hold up to stop unwanted colour reflections on the inside of the wheel. Being black and shiny it is like a mirror. There was a bright green carbon body to the right of us and that cast a green highlight on the wheel so with the black cloth held up we can mask the unwanted reflections.


If I was to use a white cloth instead of a black one then that also would have been too much and would have shown a different reflection in the wheel.





We really only could have got away with this set up due to the wheel being predominately black and so on a white background you can over expose more than a light wheel, or more highly reflective.


Great to see these images being put to use the day after and thanks to BAC again.

Until next time



Leeds Porsche – Classics

Since shooting at Leeds Porsche Centre last year for Classic Car Mag  I’ve kept in touch and its now developed that we are starting to photograph their increasing Classic Porsche development of the business.

Being one of three I think official Porsche UK center’s the increase of Classic Car restorations, servicing, sourcing and selling is exciting to see.

The first car I was asked to shoot was a GT2… so the range of ‘classics’ is fairly wide!

Within the showroom near the workshop there’s an area that has a low ceiling and is almost blank on 3 sides. So we cover the back wall in background paper for the backdrop.


This is from a previous visit / shoot but just to show you the area and the back wall which we cover; the two alcoves and the garage door.


Turning all the lights off, rolling down the shutters on the back wall and the one on the right to get a clean area. You can see the white tape on the floor which just helps us get the lights and car in the rough same position so the set of images per car is as unified as possible.

For each car we shot a front 3/4 , side on and a rear 3/4. Only 3 lights, one each side with strip soft-boxes and one open light for the background.

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We then captured a few details of the exterior and interior.

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And an engine shot…. not that you can see much in the 911.

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We shot 3 cars with a small gallery of images each… above is a GT3RS.

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These images are for the advertising of these very clean and tidy examples of some great classic Porsche’s.

Below is one advert I saw in a mag with the typical Porsche layout and design with the GT2 we shot in Leeds.


Until next time



If Bowler made a Series 1….

This shoot was for LRO and it seems I’ve shot quite a number of Land Rovers recently. All of them being of some uniqueness and this one was no different. A series 1 that went a lot deeper than skin deep… Bowler Motorsport are the creators of this unique Series 1.

The same people that created the Wildcat that turned Richard Hammond into a ‘Driving god’…(video here) have created a gem.


Before I write just a few things about the car specifically…. the location was pretty good as well. A test track of about 1mile around a lake that was private : ) …..  open the gate, close the gate and then go and play…. This made tracking a whole lot easier and ‘cleaner’.


This for all intent and purposes looks like a Series 1… but its what lies underneath the skin that makes this interesting… Basically you’ll have to get the current issues of LRO and have a read of it as I’m not that mechanically minded.


But what I do know it has a Jag 3 Ltr V6 and just sounded well good. Not a savage in your face like say the wildcat but a reassuring burble.


While I was shooting the driving shots (above) I was in the back on the benches and whenever we set off or accelerated I had to grab onto the cage before I slid to the back door… this thing had some torque.


The interior was really sympathetic to series 1’s, clean and well finished.


These vents above were the air con for the cabin.


Vented disk brakes, suspension upgrade and chassis. Like I said I’m no mechanic but alot of mechanical thinking and engineering went into this to make it look like a Series 1 but that you could easily drive daily.

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The final image for the opener.



The whole shoot was made all the more easier due to the location and the ability to grab the shots needed with relative ease.


A good day out, great location, the sun kept coming in and out which proved a little annoying at times but that’s life! … still beats working for a living.



Got to be seen to be believed…

This was the 2nd LRO (landrover Owner International) magazine shoot in as many days within less than a mile from each other. Not only that but less than 30mins from me…. happy days. This one certainly ticks the box for “really!”, “That’s mental!”…. you can add your own as well.

All I was told was that it was a landrover on tracks… didn’t surprise me to hear that but to see it, you’d expect Fred Dibner behind the wheel stoking up the steam engine in order to reach its full top speed. After saying that a steam engine would probably leave this Cuthbertson for dead!


On entering the Huddersfield Landrover Centre, (a place I’ve driven past on numerous occasions but never ventured in) you couldn’t miss the thing. I’m 6’3″ and to stand beside it the top of the tracks came just above my waist. Not only the size of it but the fact it was parked next to a City Cab, custard yellow in colour. Probably two of the rarest Landrovers parked beside each other each created for complete separate uses.


The sun was shining which helped but the only place we could shoot this was a track beside the Hudds centre that we could drive up and down on. You can see above that the sun was directly behind me and so I was trying to hide my show in other shadows, like the tree trunk shadow above…


Trying to get some motion in the tracks & wheels meant shooting at a ridiculously slow shutter as the speed on this thing was about 5 mph…

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The opener spread, double page before and after print…


Dragging the shutter in order to accentuate the speed was always going to give this vehicle the impression that it went some…. alas not.


A few trips up and down this 200 yd track was enough to get some motion shots…


With it have a ‘steady’ speed I was able to keep running ahead or behind in order to get a different angle and make each ‘run’ as profitable for images as possible. it was forward one way and reverse the other… the turning circle on this was probably about a ‘week’.


A full restoration so the interior and finish on this was immaculate. All standard and original spec. We managed to get this shot before this example was being sent over to the US for someones private collection.


Just a little fill light as normal to bring the interior out as the sun was still glaring in…


After the tracking images it was down to details and getting some more info on how this thing works and the issues when restoring. The image above had just one speedlight hidden to balance out the sunlight which was coming in top left of the frame…

Certainly a different vehicle and one of the most unusual ones I’ve photographed.

Until next time