6 Wheels to Recovery…

Still in the middle of the summer sun we had this great 6 wheeler to shoot. The location of this shoot was on the land of the owners friend…. and a great location it was. Big enough and varied where we could get all shots done without leaving the private land…. happy days 🙂

Beside a giant shed / warehouse with a car lift the owner liked all things automotive and had another shed with some nice details….. below.

The final DPS below of the image above. Just lifted a little of the levels but the removal of the pylon which was needed 🙂

Was pleased with the location and had just enough space to get the rather large 6 wheeler in front of the ‘garage’ and just wide enough to make a DPS.

Only one real angle to shoot from due to other buildings and a kids trampoline (which I did look at moving, but it was secured to the floor). So shoot above and below. The images above and below aren’t to bad but as we couldn’t see the lifting arm it doesn’t really warrant or have the same impact as the rear shot.

Just one light below used to lift the owner and Mikes faces and the engine bay…

The first shots we did was to get it on the ramp so we can see the main the engineering mods underneath.

If theres one thing I wish I was is that I knew more mechanically …  but I’m not. So when it comes to shooting technical stuff like this I need to know what I’m shooting so I need a quick explanation there and then and a complete pointing out of what I need to show in the image. As far as I can remember on the image above is that the shaft in the centre has been off-centred on purpose….. other than that I can’t remember but just needed to show that. 😉

Getting a couple of lights under there to light people and vehicle is a lot of moving and testing to get a decent even lighting.

Once outside the sheds I mentioned a vertical shot would be good … just in passing without really thinking about it….. probably was thinking out aloud!

No sooner I said that a large extendable digger truck came round with a large bucket…. harness on and up I went. Think the only boring angle on this vehicle is directly from the top 🙂 ….. still worth getting variety when you can.

Getting the tow Landrover to tow something and shoot the complete story was the aim. What else would be good to tow other than a series 1 Land Rover which the land owner had ….. again happy days 🙂

The images below are of the process of hooking up a vehicle to tow.

I almost just sit back and watch the process before re-doing the process with shooting the key bits to show the story. Just one speed light to help lift the shadows and balance the levels out.

The image above and below has a speed light just stood on the near side corner of the Series 1 wing again just to light the harsh shadow of the owners face.

Shooting a few driving images was a little bumpy due to the rough tracks and so had to shoot a far few frames to a get a couple of acceptable images.

A few cornering, panning shots to finish off a decent day.

Like the shot above… just the angle, the fact the speed light stayed propped up and didn’t fall. Also there was just one big bush on that stretch we could capture when driving past to give a bit of motion.

Really enjoyed this day. There was about 4 friends there who were all lovers of automotive and were more than happy to get involved and help out. As well as plenty of coffee and home made bakes to keep us going through the day….

The only downside of the day was that I forgot some insect repellant as bugs just munch on me! With some well grown Horse-flies that a I couldn’t avoid I still have the scars from the bites months down the line. Still beats working …. 🙂

A Disco 2 modified for purpose…

Well a return visit to a private disused quarry used now for fun with 4x4s. First shot here for Bentley Motors back a few years back.

This shoot was not to my mind a potential cover shoot so to see it on the shelf (below) was a canny surprise 🙂

The story was to show what was changed on the Disco and also seeing it in action on some rough ground. Started to get the car into position for the opening shot of the article whilst it was nice and clean.

 

As well as the natural light images above I wanted to light the vehicle to add some texture to the image. before that we shot some images as it was going over this mound to get some movement at least into the wheels…

Shooting fairly wide in order to get a DPS out of the frame.

Started with a couple of lights either side of the camera… with the light to the right slightly lower than the camera in order to see whats going on underneath.

I did shoot a few verticals …. this one ended up being the cover…

The final image above with the cover overlaid so you can see what section of the frame was used.

After getting the front shot then we repeated the same process and as the Disco went over the mount we shot the rear…

On the rear I needed to get a bit more light under the Disco so had to get a speed light on the floor under the back end (green arrow) … Then dig a little recess with me boot to get the speed light laid down, then make sure the camera angle was lower than the flash and any flare.

The Blue and red arrows are showing the rough angle of the two Phottix Indra Heads…

After the initial shots for the opening DPS we moved into the middle of the quarry which is very open and flat. Also the water wasn’t as full as I remember the last time due to the very long hot summer this year.

Got the simple engine and interior images plus a few more… The engine bay was very very clean.

The lighting on the day was really good as the cloud cover was light and even so the sunlight was bright and consistent. The light grey colour reacted well to the light and so I didn’t use any artificial lights to help the scene.

Mike (news editor for LRO) had another idea for an alt DPS to show the story a bit more.

Moving the Disco to a place that you couldn’t get to any other way was on a decent incline. The issue was to try and shoot it in a way that showed that but there wasn’t anything within the frame that you could orientate and get scale or angle from. Again a couple of Indra heads either side of the left and right frame then a speed light in the boot of the Disco. The couple of cases near the tripod were some of my kit so we could fill the frame a little more as it looked a bit empty…

Once the staged shots were done we then moved to the lower part of the quarry again and sent the Disco around to get some water, mud to at least show that it could get to remote places.

No particular order the final layout and article.

A final image of a driving shot…. well a took a few frames whilst back at the top of the quarry as we were packing down again to have a working feel of how the Disco is a working vehicle.

Great working vehicle and very clean, that is until we had it round the quarry. 🙂

A 101 home from home…

A very rare sunny still day in the North Yorkshire moors. Just over the horizon on this first image is the location for a few groups tests I’ve shot for Classic Cars…. and typically its been very….. very windy. For some reason this day was as still as anything with a clear blue sky and the temperature was just right.

The story was of this 101 Forward Control converted into a camper so that its owner Andrew can carry out his Drystone Walling (thats the technical term ; ) while still being on site as much as possible. Only working within a short distance from home he bases himself in the camper and can be on a job easily for up to 4-5 days at a time.

This first image was the opening DPS. This location was on a farm where he has been working regularly for a few years repairing the walls. There was a couple of locations in this field but this location is where he’s got uptown so far. Just positioning the 101 up this steep hill to create the story in one shot. Had to use one Phottix Indra head fired straight at the front of the 101 to light it up as it was really dark in colour and in shadow.

After shooting this opener we needed to see and shoot what else this 101 can do. How Andrew has modified it in order that it can accommodate his working lifestyle.

These images are not in the order we shot so I’ll just pick up on one or two things to give you some background 🙂

The winch at the front, fairly standard but an essential kit in moving some serious stone around.

Didn’t need too many motion images but just wanted to get the environment that it is used in… unlike the day we shot it the weather up there can be a bit bleak!

Peter (Automotive Journalist and encyclopaedia of thinks Classic Landrover) took behind the wheel on a tight single track and amongst the faces or trepidation theres was this one ‘happy’ face but think it was more so nervous panic.

Its not pretty the 101 but functional, so any side pans are effectively just a box on wheels…

As well as tools and power from the 101 it carries everything Andrew needs to carry out all sorts of work he takes on.

Inside the vehicle was always going to be a massive part of the shoot. Ss just showing where he spends his evenings away whilst on location and how that feels.

The cabin is spacious and with plenty of power there are some creature comforts in there. Just one studio head bounced of the ceiling to light the cabin and rear living quarters.

The normal gearstick is a long and comes from the back of the engine and so you almost reaching behind you to change gear. Here this shot below is to show Andrews modification to install a ‘normal’ gearshift and you can see the square tube length that attaches the original stick to the new one.

Running hot and cold water for washing up, cleaning tools and even a shower…. plus a waste bucket : )

Also installed is an air-compressor…. can’t remember for what specific reason. Just had a small speed light tucked in the storage compartment to light the connector pipe and Andrews face.

A shot from the rear doors into the living space…. everything in its place and a place for everything 🙂

Andrews home made awning which is used for some shelter for eating alfresco but also is used to shelter from the rain whilst working. Drive the 101 along side the wall and then you can create a shelter so work can continue.

A decent day and vehicle that has been adapted for a specific use …. Great to see it in action and thankful for some decent weather up there. : )

 

Super Saloons Cover Shoot

Its taken me too long to write a few lines about this cover shoot down in Longcross…..

Back in July it was in the middle of the fantastic summer we had and we had 5 classic saloons to shoot for a cover for Classic Cars. The brief was fairly specific for the cover… it was going to run with the Merc as a single cover but with a small group of the other cars as an inset on the cover.

The image below is the small group of 4 for the cut out…. Tried a few different angles and focal lengths. you can see the stray car in the right of frame…. knew this would be only used as a cut out so no need min moving it.

We added the Merc within the group and shifted the cars around so we could get a final group shot.

Details, Interiors, engine images for each car before we set off on getting the cover and tracking shots.

This Audi was in mint condition and for me would be my choice out if this lot. 🙂

The Jag had plenty of nice details to be able to get some interesting angles.

Like I said the cover was always going to be the mere as a single tracking shot. Below are a few options that made the cutting floor …

The final cover and layout above with the group shot from above inset.

The original image below and then the over lay of the final cover to show you what was used and added.

Really do like the D810 as you can used half a frame and still get more than enough detail for a full page image. Again you can see I leave the images with enough in them so they can be tweaked more by the art editor.

You’ll be surprised just how much gets filmed at Longcross with its test circuit. Theres a scene from Transformers I spotted a while back but the most recent one I’ve seen is a Vauxhall advert which is currently on TV now shot here.

Running with the sun and shooting all around the track to give a bit of different flavour. However the cover image I mainly shot on the straight as the sun was directly on the from of the blue merc.

Along with the owners of the cars we had another photographer …. Racheal (you can check her instagram out… @rpautomotivephotography) who took a few images of me out the boot of the Andrews (journalists) car….. (thats Racheal 🙂

The image below was taken on the run whilst Racheal took these images. I do have a harness as you can see and used it as the rear seatbelts in the car were too long at full extension. Just find that seat belts can be easier to use than the harness. Don’t worry I’m never not strapped in somehow.

The image above looks like I’ve got my finger over the lens….. just turning the polariser to see whats giving me the best look for the merc and BMW.

With the shoot rounding up and some cars already left we had to get a driving shot of Andrew and so the Merc was a great choice with its light interior and giant sun-roof.

In no particular order the final layout below…

 

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 : )

Jona

All in the detail…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The opening DPS and the original full frame.

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

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

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

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

The final article above…

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

Until next time.

Jona : )

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 😉

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 😉

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 🙂

Jona

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…

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

Jona

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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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

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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

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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…

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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.

Jona

 

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… : (

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The image above was the final DPS opener.

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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 : )

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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.

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