Frazer Nash Restoration

Another shoot for Classic & Sports Car, a little nearer to home and another restoration. Your off to photograph a ‘Frazer Nash’…. My first reaction once off the phone was to Google ‘Frazer Nash’, as I’d never heard of one….

A great restoration and pleasure to photograph a real classic vehicle. After shooting the Riley as neither restoration article the format was in the same vain. We started off grabbing some statics and owner shots and found a small sailing club willing to allow us access to its location on the edge of a reservoir.

The slip ramp down to the waters edge was an ideal place to have the Nash… pity about the pylons but you can’t have everything. A couple of Photox Indra heads either side of the camera to help lift the car when the sun was in or to help lift the shadows when the sun came out as the sun was behind the car on this angle.

A vertical of the same shot as the first one above. Verticals, landscapes of the same shot to give as much possibilities as possible for the final layout.

These three images of the owner beside the car ….. the one above was just a variation of the once below with arms folded which made the final cut.

Above, this was used small on the index page.

In essence the same shot but just tighter on one than the other. The sun kept coming in and out at this stage so was juggling the flash power a little but the cloud was moving a a decent rate in order to wait for a softer light didn’t take long.

Same as the two shots at the beginning of this blog. These two above were taken one after the other, high and low again to give a different option.


Plenty of little details to capture so here a re a few of them the tI supplied to the mag. Tight details like the Bosch lenses were good but also coming slightly wider to get one or two details in a shot help with adding more content to an image and article instead of loads of really tight details.

The tracking shots were in effect for an opening DPS or if a static was used then a stand alone image in the article. In anyway you’d be only seeing 1-3 max images from the tracking images / moving images. Framing all the images below for an opening DPS but also a wider composition to add some space to the image.

The couple of images below were a chance to get a good view of the exhaust pipes coming from the nearside… sent the Nash ups and down this short stretch of road. Like I said I only really wanted shots of the nearside but captured the car travelling the opposite way to test see how slow I could drag the shutter…

The image above was used on a vertical full blended page….. sky obviously added from the ‘sky folder’ : )


The final layout….. simple shoot but really good being local and an unusual car.

Pink Espada…

Whats better than a car that is marmite to separate the automotive masses … a marmite car that is metallic dusky pink! Double marmite!

I fall on the side of marmite that thinks it should be known as ‘Devil Paste’…. (just like twigglets should be called ‘Devil Sticks’!)

So now we’ve got that sorted and out, back to the Espada. Words fail me when it comes to this Lamborghini, not in the sense of complete horror but more of a head scratch. In one sense I like it when a car comes out and bucks the trend and goes against convention and runs with impracticalness …

The day was crisp and with the low November sun the day of lens flare and shadows was to be embraced.

For me its all about the angular rear end and inconspicuous tail pipes. Not sure if the vertical back windscreen is for a purpose as the back windscreen is almost horizontal or just added because they could!

This angle helps you to see how much load capacity there is and that the Friday big shop would be nailed in this daily drive : )

The famous Lamborghini shaped scooped air intakes later sported by the Countach across its door panels…

Bit of sun glare, oh go on then. As ‘The list’ is a nice tight article of about 7 pages the images are a mix of statics and of course driving images. Once we got the driving images in the bag we moved onto the opening DPS image of the reader behind the wheel. All the images below are full frame with no cropping so you can see what the editor has to play with. Knowing the centre line can be an issue your really only can shoot from the side or over the shoulder. On the right car I’m still looking to shoot through the drivers window…. one day 🙂

A mixed bag below of the ones supplied but not chosen. Shooting when theres a treelike behind the driver so you can get the sense of motion when shooting from low down.

The chosen image for the DPS. Normally I would have left this image out if the edit due to the large amount of headlining but as this image would be for a DPS it gave plenty of space for the title and text.

Quick portrait of the reader using a pop up reflector on the soft side. Still the sun was that strong it threw a lot of light into the shadows.

Just one speed light to pop a little light (well a lot) back into the cab to counter act the shadows. If the car was say 180˚ with the sun behind you run the risk of harsh light cast across the dash. I’d prefer to get the interior in shadow and then light it so its as unified in its lighting as possible (not a hard fast rule but easier on the eye).

Just playing about with angles and really was trying to mask the background buildings as much as poss. Had the car 180 ˚ but the shadows in the engine were way to dark without lighting it massively.

The interior was original and in a real good state…

Well a double marmite right there… what do you think?

a few more blogs to wright so until next time : )


‘Coal Power’… The Steamy Landy

I’m sure you’ve seen this steam engined Landrover over the past few months since its creation at the end of 2017 such has it made local and national news…

Fairly local to me on the boarder of Yorkshire and Lancashire on the tops the weather was in the balance and didn’t disappoint due to the sun, sleet and snow within a few hours.

Meeting the creator and owner Frank with his distinctive Lancashire accent, flat cap and steam engines you could have mistaken him for a Fred Dibna. ‘Mildred’ as the landrover is commonly known as was already prepped and fire well and truly underway ready for our arrival. Not so much as a turn of a key but cleaning the fire box, building the fire and getting the fire going in order to produce the steam to power this Landy into a colossal speed machine….. : )

Not the easiest vehicle to get into position so you shoot what you can where it is, plus the snow …

So off we set for a little run…. well literally for me was a run. I shot from the flat bed to try and get an opener and get the story in one shot.

The location was fairly remote but still had the passing motorist looking baffled with the site of a miniature steam engined Landrover cruising at a comfortable 5 mph…..(not sure of the exact speed but I would say thats a fair assessment : )

The image above made the final cut but not as the opener….. was hard not to have the centre of the frame cutting through a key feature such as the firebox… Still trying to get some motion in the background you can see on the wall to the right of the frame…. having to drag the shutter a lot..

No sooner had we set off we found somewhere to turn around….. you can do a lot of shots in a short space of time while your only doing walking pace!

A little oil to keep the thing running smoothly then we were off again.

Soon found out the steam from the chimney wasn’t a constant bellow of smoke but only came when setting off and increasing speed.

The images above show the incredible speed of my good self as I run along the wall, stopped and shot a few frames before running ahead of the Landy to a new position and repeat the process…..

No need for any rig for this set up but a sturdy bumper and somewhere to hold on to then shoot : ) …..

You could almost do tracking shots whilst walking along side it…. at least I got a little exercise …

Getting back to the base and another chance of getting a large plume of smoke…

Great little details of using the iconic 4WD knobs as the whistle…

Frank turned out to be a very interesting character… being the only sailer to have sailed around N & S America in a figure of 8, owns various companies… just a great time just getting to know him and what he’s achieved.

The image above was never used in the final article but just added here so you can see the original small scale steam engine he built and where the engine came from that is now in the Landy.

Very interesting and another one for the memory bank : )

A Couple of Rowan Atkinson’s rides…

Before you all think I spent a day driving around in a green mini with Mr Bean unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. Although that would be a shoot worth waiting for this was to shoot a couple of cars from the private collection from Mr Atkinson for Classic Cars.

The day started of crisp and clear which boded well… However the weather had other ideas. I remember calling the mag office and they said they had clear blue skies where as we had patches of thick fog… nice :/

We set to with the details as the cars had just come out of storage and were given a quick wipe down. As soon as we hit the roads that would last long.

As this was a comparison of some sorts I looked for details that could be paired up on both cars. The Merc below with the bonnet overhang made it easy to get a bit of depth to the shot.


The Lancia above was a visual chocolate feast for the eyes… If a car needed to be sponsored by Cadburys then this is the one.

The hope was the fog to lift and brighten up but once the details were done we headed off to find some roads to shoot the tracking.

Variants of each car leading for an opening DPS…

Full frame image above and then the final image below as the DPS.

Getting these shots were okay but soon as your out there the road spray was coating the camera and lens in a lovely water, misty layer over the lens.

Only a few frames apart these two images and getting a few different angles with different distances between the cars.

With a use of a speed light inside just to bring out some details a couple of shots here to try and get a different angle for a rear shot of the Thema.

By this stage the light was dropping due to it being late winter time and the extra blanket of fog we started to wrap things up.


Monte Carlo Rally Heros

Its been a while since shooting for Classic Car Weekly and with this next shoot when I was told I’d be shooting a 911 and a mini my mind was a little confused as to how these images would look. I didn’t know the context of the shoot and the story until I arrived at the mini specialist.

Simple like for like comparisons with the Cooper and 911. Keeping the same angles and view point of each section… or whatever I took.

As ever a couple of Phottix Indra heads used on these early shots at the garage…

As ever theres plenty of images that didn’t make the final cut.

Great road long enough to grab the car to car images we needed.

There was a dry ski slope along this stretch of road which was a great little stop to get warmed up and have coffee and cake 🙂

The image above and below were on the same stretch of road and just liked the bleak-ness of the road, the weather conditions and despite the original confused idea of shooting a 911 and a mini…I do like some if these images.

Both the owner compete in historic rallies so were very competent in getting the car into the positions as I directed from the back of the astra. Makes life a little easier for me to have a confident driver…


Really looking at shooting more stuff behind the camera and looking at the story of the days shoot than just the images.

If theres anything you want to know in the future or any points you’d be interested in knowing / seeing then just drop me a line.

A short video of the inside the 911 as we made our way on part of the route to shoot some panning…

The final few pages …


60 Years – DB4

End of November on the tops just South West of Huddersfield…a tad brass! At the home of the late David Brown, former owner of Aston Martin and the shoot to commemorate 60 years of the DB4 for Classic Cars.

At the airstrip/field that was owned by David Brown where he flew his De Havilland Dove and after a days business / pleasure then back in the hanger. One key feature at the hanger which is still there are the tyre tracks so that the Dove aircraft could be lined up perfectly for the hanger. You can just see the three lighter tracks on the image below with the nose wheel track running directly centre of frame.

This DB4 on the day was used all year round by the owner and as we found out only got a clean once a year. So the first 30mins were spent giving it the best quick wash/wax we could with the products and cloths I had. I wish I took a quick image on my phone of before but was concerned as we had a decent schedule to shoot to with light fading fast around 3:30-4pm.

The same shot above and below but with the hanger doors opened (below; also you can see the aircraft alignment tracks clearer on these shots.

Just added these two images as they are both shot with polarisers but with the above shot you could say it was ‘dialled’ in more to cut the reflections from the roof and tops of the side panels as the background was light this helps just highlight the car. The image below was the opposite with it dialled out so the light reflections on the roof and side panels revealed to help the car stand out from the background.

Both images have a couple of studio lights just off to the left and right almost parallel to the car just to give it a little lift and help the brightwork come out more.

With the car being dark and the background, neutral and flat there wasn’t anything really to help the car stand out.A few lights and the sun just coming out now and then just to add to the mix we moved on to getting the car out and about.

I can’t recall if we went straight to the old tractor factory in Meltham straight away or did the driving images first? Anyway the story was we trace a little of the past of David Brown and his empire. Nothing left really at the factory other than a few signs and this was the best angle to get a clean shot as there was a. whole row of parked cars on the road behind the BD4 above.

Quick swing of the car around then a rear shot of the same above then we headed off on to some of the roads that David Brown would have taken to test and develop these iconic cars.

Before that a few detail shots of the car were taken at the airfield.

Near Slaithwaite but as in the article Sam Dawson correctly adds that this is pronounced (Sla’wit)…. the light was brightening up a little and so there was a little texture on the clouds.

The images above just getting a few different angles for DPS as well as straight on tracking.

With the area being as much a part of the story tried to get one or two location / driving images as well.

With the light fading we headed off to our final destination which was the family home which is now a hotel / venue establishment.

Shooting a DB4 which would have graced this place on a fair few occasions to finish off this story before the final appointment which was to interview David Browns grandson.

Sitting in his former lounge and the place were he grew up the light was dark and every light seemed to have a different colour temperature… So with that in mind I added a little light to help give some shape to Adam Brown but with it dialled right down so its wasn’t too distracting for the interview. Waiting for a momentary hand-gesture or factual expression so I wasn’t taking hundreds of frames when I only needed a good selected handful.

An interesting day, great to see how close I live to the automotive history that is the DB era.

…still pleased I had plenty of layers on thought!

70s refreshed designs heading for the 80s

If there ever was a shoot that nearly got abandoned it was this one… Shot end of last year for Classic Cars Magazine in the Peak District. Three cars that were tweaked as a last swan song as they headed into the 80’s and the hot hatch era…

Opel Manta… (which I kept saying ‘Mantra’ through the day to Ross the journalist much to his amusement 😉 ….. think I’ll put that down to the freezing fog and the sharp ‘breeze’ whistling over the moors.

It started off pretty clear at 8am sat in a carpark waiting for the owners and cars, then as the time approached the temp was about 0 / -1 and the snow/fog/sleet started coming in fast. Visibility was non-existent on the tops but we found a winding road that descended below the fog so we started with the first two cars that were there. The Rover SDi and the Brooklands Capri. Shooting from car to car for all three cars we had to run with the road found and hoped the fog would lift.

The route we took was about 2 miles long with a carpark in the bottom village as a turning point to take the road back up to the tops. A few runs we had to ditch as it was a fairly busy trunk route.

Using the few corners (image below) to shoot the capri so any following cars would be hidden behind the banking.

Again on the straight you could bring the capri in closer to hide any following cars.

The sky had to be worked a little in order to make something of it instead of just a flat white expanse…

The Capri owner had a dash cam and took. few images off there of his view of me shooting the shots above. Well the image below was coming up the hill where as the image above was travelling in the opposite direct but the view would have been the same with me hanging out of the passenger window getting the camera low to the rear wheel.

The image above was a lay-by near the top of the road where it was safe to leave the other cars as we carried on with the shots. Also the Manta owner had just turned up.

The three images above were using the road again and due to the amount of traffic only a couple of angles were suitable and with etc weather still not the best up top and time against us we cracked on to get images in the bag. The Manta was good for the external decals which gives something for the eye to run off into the rest of the image.

Once a couple of pairs were shot we decided to get somewhere we could shoot the details / interior shots and to garb some lunch for the owners. Very rare on a shoot that I stop for lunch, its easier to carry on through. We found a decent sized pub car park and with an hour before opening they were happy for us to use the carpark. Plus there was a convenience store just over the road which hid hot sandwiches. So leaving the owners in there I’d get one car at a time and replicate the engine / interior shots and then details.

Below are a few images from the Manta…

With it being a three car shoot there won’t be that much space for loads of statics so simple front 3/4 shot for each one…

One light used as it was massively windy so weighted down just one light as I didn’t want to risk two lights blowing over… Helped a bit with no direct sunlight so no major shadows to contend with.

You get used to shooting a landscape & portrait version of certain shots to give the Art editor a choice and not to constraint the layout as much as possible.

The dials I shot again for each one to replicate the comparison flow… The silver surround above wasn’t standard but was sprayed by the current owner as well as the Irmscher logo in the recess behind the gearstick (below)… Some purists would be marking down on points but for me it was tastefully done and not to nasty.

The Manta had a few decals externally as mentioned before so were obvious choices to shoot and which another point which sets this Manta apart from the Capri & SDi.

Joked with the owner when he opened the bonnet and said “Could have cleaned it!”…. after he realised my dry humour and facial expressions to go with it we had a good chat about the era and cars. For me this a great point to shoots, meeting other car owners with varying degrees of passion / obsession for all this 4 wheels.

Once all the cars were shot individually we quickly shot this three car group shot for the cover cutout. I always try and find a location which allows me to shoot just clouds / sky through all the windows which makes the A-editors life a lot easier to cut out for the cover.

You can see the finished cover above with the three car cut out on top. Incidentally all the shoots on the cover of this issue are my shoots. If the main yellow DB was one of my images (which this is not) I’d have had a full house of the cover… don’t think that’ll ever happen again 🙂

Will be blogging about Rowan Atkinson’s Theme and 500 shortly so keep coming back to this blog.

Anyway getting back to the Peak District…

The fog and ‘weather’ lifted after lunch and these statics so we took the opportunity to grab the opener three car tracking shot. A road that must be about 1 mile dead straight was very welcome to keep this shoot on track. Below a re three shots from a few runs, with the opener being the third one…

Not really surprised but the opener wouldn’t be my first choice but then again I’m the one who just presses a button… The final opening DPS below.

Seeing the final image and the one I sent the mag you can see that I don’t over process and leave plenty of room for the mag to tweak in order for the printing process etc… Also I do prefer the blue tint to the sky on the final DPS and all why I like the sky with some definition instead of the flat white sky we had at the beginning of the shoot.

The final pair was the next to get in the bag… and a great road which I’m sure I’d be going back again to…

The image above was using the same straight DPS road which gave us plenty of room and visibility ahead to get these shots in a safe manner.

Getting some side pans of each car as I knelt down in some wet peat / moss. Thermals, two layers on before two winter coats plus decent waterproof trousers. Due to the cold the layers were essential but with the trousers you can just get yourself anywhere and not worry about getting two cold/ wet for the rest of the shoot.

The Capri owner shot a copy more stills off ….

You can’t see on this shot but another essential bit of kit are gloves… especially when you tracking etc as you need some dexterity in your fingers to help you keep a hold of your camera and change the settings whilst on the hoof… The gloves I’ve found to be great for these are Karrimor running gloves you can get from Sports Direct stores for about £5. No need to cut holes for your thumb and finger tips to spin the dials etc as these are fairly thin and have thin rubber gripped palms and fingers. If you look for ‘photographic gloves’ you could be paying upwards of £30… on my second pair of these karrimor as they are just fantastic…. little tip there 🙂

A rear tracking of the three again on the straight road … unfortunately my radios had given up due to over use and the cold weather and once I got back got a couple of fulls charges ready for the next shoot.

All in all this shoot turned out better than it started… still for me plenty of room for improvement and was a little disappointed with the days shoot….

Still found some more great roads for shooting and hope to return again… maybe I’ll just take myself off with my weekend toy once the weather picks up and shoot myself 😉

The final layout article above….

If you have any thoughts on this blog, what you want me to write about more then please drop me a line 🙂




Mk2 Jag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


Difting in a 90…

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

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

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

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

Wide as possible made the puddle into ….. well a bigger puddle 😉

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below one of the two vertices we shot.

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

The final layout of the article below.





170mph – High Speed Kicks

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

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

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

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

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

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

Framed and shot over 5 images…

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

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

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

Love the front of the TVR…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

The final layout…