Reunited with the Vauxhall Firenza

Another one of 6 articles in four car magazines in November… This one was shot for Classic & Sports Car a few months back in the middle of the summer sun.

As I write this I’ve just discovered that Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams passed away in early September, so these images are a little more poignant and have little more weight to them.

The story and reason for the shoot was to re-unite Barrie with his 1974 race winning Vauxhall Firenza reg UHO 288M.

“The last time I saw it was on the day of the race itself in 1974”  B Williams

Barrie was 79 at the time of this shot and only just retired from racing in Jan this year was in no real rush to get the shoot done but I found myself taking images as the interview was taking place in and around the car. Trying to capture the feel and natural atmosphere of Barrie’s interaction with the car and also his expressions whilst talking to Ross (Automotive Journalist)

The sun was intense and light really harsh. The first few frames of Barrie was to get as natural a pose / portrait as I could with just available light inside the car.

The image below was one of the first set of these portraits…

The decals of ‘EJ Baker Motors Ltd’ was another original aspect to this race winning Vauxhall so this portrait below was used in the final article possibly because I included some of the decals in the image. This was one of the earliest images of Barrie after just getting into the car… again just using available light and letting the outside light expose out…

I knew the main story was the car and Barrie’s affiliation with it so knew I wanted to get a good selection of portraits as possible. While Ross was pulling stories and details from Barrie I set up one Phottix Indra head to light Barrie from the front through the windscreen and just wandered around getting a shot with ross in the image as well. Again not knowing of they would run with an image of Ross and Barrie together but just trying to give a variety of options for the layout and feel of the article.

I don’t know why but envisaged that the portrait could be a full page bled image so shot portrait for most of the posed lit images.

For me the portrait above was one of my favourite, for the lighting combination of just one head shooting over the roof of the car and the sunlight acting as a back fill. Just looking now at Barrie’s history before I blogged one of these images was used as an obituary on the Classic & Sports Cars website. Just reminds me just how photographs capture a particular moment, event, emotion and that over time can become more poignant and ‘weighty’.

The current owner and responsible for the restoration brought various documents and photos just to add to the already rich provenance that the car holds.

Really wanted to keep the images unposed as possible, well the ones including Barrie, Ross and the current owner. yes the posed images of Barrie were orchestrated but that was completely warranted …. it was the other little details like viewing images and documents above I wanted to capture naturally as they just unfolded in front of me.

After the talking was done and we had enough I let the three of them go inside for a quick drink and shade from the sun while I got some details and statics.

The restoration was really good and to a sympathetic level without tearing out the original character of the car.

Once that was done it was just the driving images needed. Barrie took to the wheel and we did a short circuit near to his home where we grabbed a few different angles of him at the wheel. The image above was just one of those ones you shoot to give a different angle. The owner was in the rear and made a good light stand for me holding the speed light to fill the interior.

Really pleased with the image above which was used as the opening DPS (below)… the trees in the background close to the car helped give the sense of speed and the lighting just worked as we were in and out of the shadows so the lighting was dancing all over whilst out and about. Also good to see that the framing was almost bang on and the whole frame was used.

After returning back to Barrie’s we left our cars there and took the owner and friend out on a run to get some more tracking images.

The two images below were the last ones we shot …. only just beside the cornering shot this monument was an interesting back drop so asked them just to make a short run while I lay flat on the warm tarmac and fired off a few frames as they came towards me.

We found a decent straight bit of road we could us for some panning and rear tracking. The light metallic silver paintwork was great under the bright sunlight…

Leaning out of my car you can just see I’ve clipped my front wing in the frame…. I normally leave these in and send them to the mag as they can then see the full un-cropped frame and so if they needed to ‘shop’ out my car then they could.

The final article above.

Was a pleasure to be asked to shoot this particular story and all the more made poignant with the recent passing away of Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams.

I’m pleased with this set of images and thankful that the reuniting of Barrie and his winning car was captured.


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 …


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



Want one! ……the ultimate 101

Shot this for Land Rover Owner International last October I think back in the North East… I’m still lost for words when writing this to express what I felt when I first saw this 101. Didn’t know much about the 101 until this shoot, but remember seeing them in their native MOD format when growing up. This started out and was deployed in various conflicts for the Army as an ambulance.


I think just the size of it, quality of engineering, attention to detail etc etc… so much to look at, so much thought went into it… you could just walk around it for ages picking out details.

Anyway back to the shoot… a field nearby was available for us to get all the shots we needed. The weather was varied from bright sunshine one minute to dark rain clouds the next then back again to harsh sunlight. This all coupled with winds that took three of us to anchor down the awning.


Due to the wind not playing ball we didn’t have long to shoot these images of the awning and the stove in place. I had a couple of Bowens heads to try and lift out the heavy shadow under the tarp. Knowing full well I’d have to help it along the way post production. On this wide shot above I’ve got the lights as close into the frame as possible and then tried not to have the light over power the sunlight to much… bit of juggling and a bit of post then we got there.


Always nice to get some blue sky but I had about 10 mins before we were over shadowed by some dark clouds.

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The owner was an engineer by profession and 101’s being just a passion… (this particular one was his third I think) The images above show a ‘home-made’ rig that was remote controlled which lowered the spare wheel in such a way that once down and unbolted the wheel could be rolled to wherever needed.



The inside was comfortable and well kitted out… and fairly well sound proof.


I think the cabin was fairly standard but with power steering added for ease and comfort 🙂

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Plenty of details and decals around to make this a total one off.


The field was big enough for some tracking and also panning shots. The tracking shots were fun because this think not only look fantastic the V8 3.5 Rover engine just sounded …. well I’ve added a short video clip for your enjoyment of the sound. (straight from the camera unedited)


Disco SelfieThis was an unusual vehicle to shoot and one that I won’t forget in a very long while. The tracking opening shot would be one of my favorites from 2015.

Loved this one so much I even took a selfie while still in the boot of LRO’s Discovery which I found to be a great tracking vehicle…. especially in the rough.

This might be the first image I put as my background on me mac… now that’s saying something.

As ever you can see the final layout and article here.

No ‘Mini’ Shoot…Practical Classics Cover Shoot

This was the 2nd day back in the North East of shooting a few automotive articles. The sky was clear, the sun was bright, the wind was just a gentle breeze… this was a great shoot.

Already marked as a strong contender for a cover we just needed to pick out the locations for the tracking images to make the most of the weather and car.


document171303670255513909.inddThe cover shot was taken along with other static filler shots near to Souter Lighthouse. We had about 100 yds to geta few frames fired off per pass to get the front shot in the bag. Knowing we needed to be either side of a dead on shot to reveal the estate side of the mini; if we shot dead on it would look like ‘another mini’. With the sun in its position the front offside was chosen (as well it sits better on a page with us in the west / reading from L to R)

We did about 3 passes on this short stretch of road. The road further up beside the trees in the background we used to get the car into position quickly so when we came out of the tree shadows we could fire off about 5 frames per pass.

You can see that a little work was done from the file I sent. The shadows within the car and the clarity on the grill are a few areas you can see whats been done.

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A few detail shots that weren’t used in the final edit.

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The images about were shot for the opening DPS. The one on the right which was chosen above the left one. The sun was really intense but the issue was the shadows especially the one coming from the left which was cast by a caravan, so full power from a flash to help lift it.


We had a bit of time and a quiet road with a good turning point at either end so we could do a  rear tracking shot. The images below shows the set up how we got the image. Using the carbon boom attached to the tracking / donor car you can get the camera as low as you feel its safe before your camera becomes one with the road!

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Simply follow the car and click away via remote, check results repeat if needs be… Takes a little while to set up but worth it in the end.


Grabbing some fish n chips on Rover pier…getting a few images thrown in with the gulls, good times. (you can see Roker lighthouse in the bottom right of the image; thi idea was to get closer down the actual pier but couldn’t get down there)


Another image not used in the final edit…simple interior shot.

Great weather, great location (slightly biased), great restoration.

Until next time


To see more from Practical Classics click here. To see the final article click here.

Eat my dust ‘Wile E. Coyote’ !

Keep saying this but this one tops the chart for the closet to my home…. some 1.8 miles!

Shot for American Car Magazine this Plymouth Road-Runner was no slouch when it came to sound, looks and appearance. One of the cleanest American muscle cars I’ve shot. The location was Black Dyke Mills in Queensbury, W. Yorks.

The sun was bright as ever and so the use of lights to lift the shadows was definitely needed.


The red didn’t need any work in the sense it was already popping too much. Just controlling the reflections mainly on the sides to eliminate unwanted background features being reflected onto the bodywork.


The engine bay was very clean with plenty of angles to choose from for details. Again the shadow from the hood / bonnet was so dark full power was required to lift them to an acceptable level.


Another image which was used full bleed over the DPS. The final use of the foreground was one reason I shot with my chin on the ground. The final image being darkened in order to accommodate a few filler images and the text boxes…

Layout 1


The rig shot was shot for a quick cover option…. Not my favorite rig results, well pleased with the composition but technically could have been better but that’s just me…


You can’t beat blue sky and a vibrant coloured car which I’ve be fortunate lately with recent shoots with the weather.

Till next time…


You can see the finished article in the In Print section.

This Stag Estate is no weekend runner…

Well its been too long since I blogged last as I’ve been too busy and I’m sure while I’m sat on the train now there’ll be more posts coming…

This one is for last months cover shoot for Practical Classic mag. A great restored Triumph Stag estate… Even though as I’ve mentioned before each mag and article has its own feel and standard shots.

After saying that each location is different and brings its own challenges to capture some interesting images. I try and capture the opening DPS or the owner shot which takes the most time in general to create.


This was a double garage but the contents weren’t interesting enough to shoot inside. The sun that day was intense and blue sky. With the sun hitting the garage doors we had the sun to contend with. 2 lights used here, the green one was shooting through the fence on the right which a panel was able to be removed… (Happy days!) the one indicated by the blue was just to the right of me with a snoot. The areas circled is where the light was aimed.

Shooting at full power here to balance out the sun. The white line that I’ve drawn in the centre is what ‘m looking at as well for the centre crease of the mag. Not wanting to get any ‘important’ info lost in the crease.


This is the same set up but including the owner. Usually give 3-4 variants with the owner. Be it working on the car, stood, sat… again leaving enough space for titles, text boxes etc…


Using the sun while its there is the best form of lighting…


Don’t think I added any light to this as the Stag had a sun roof and so had enough illumination without any harsh sunlight (as we parked it under some trees which gave some nice dabbled light)


This was a little tricky as we kept going under trees, in and out of shadows…. still had to work it post to pull it out. Not the best but still acceptable for a fill shot.


The car in the same place as the shot shown first. One light brought in just over my right shoulder and another just out of shot hidden by the bonnet which was aimed at the owners left shoulder to give a key light with a snoot.


Plenty of detail shots to be had on the Stag but this was a decent one. Not yet wired in and connected but sat there with the same 8-track when the car was bought before restoration…..


This was a vertical shot that was eventually used for the cover and opening DPS. We were using a Triumph 2000 for the tracking car which seemed to sit quite low so with me long arms could hold the camera about a foot of the road surface.

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This is the full framed image with minimal top and bottom crop… and one which I’m happy with.

You can see the final layouts in the In Print section of my gallery.

More posts to come in the hour!!!


LRM – May Cover

(Little late in posting this one…. but here goes)

Trip down to the Norfolk north coast was in order to shoot the 3 soft top Land Rovers to mark the start of summer…

The sky was blue, the sun was out but…. while waiting for the vehicles to arrive the clouds came in slowly which was not the best to try and show the start of summer.

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To catch what was let of the sun and blue sky we got straight on to shoot the cover. The first bay we got moved on which didn’t help the cause. We eventually got to bay 2 and got a couple of covers shot and a couple of set ups before heading off to get some other shots.


This was the final image for the cover were you can see some sky work was done to help the ‘Summer’ feel. There are some things you can control….the weather is not one of them.


The set up image above shows the couple of lights we used… The long wheel based Land Rover which is on the cover is a very dark black with a hint of purple so the lights just help lift the paintwork and help with the lack of sun…

Although the sun kept coming in and out cracked on and got the covers shot.


Out of all three, the one that had me was ‘Tembo’. The most utilitarian of the three. An ex army model from Canada. The own had converted and made this Land Rover into …. well it was great. So much so I even got a mention in the copy…

“Our photographer Jonathan Jacob quickly fell in love with Tembo and when we moved from the beach to one of the nearby greenlanes he managed to sneak a ride in Tembo.”

Even if that ride was only 10 mins it was great. The temperature was dropping and got a bit brass but the cock-pit in Tembo was really warm and for me a great way to travel down that there greenlane. : )


Has to be said this was my first shoot with 3 cars… To get the angle of the story, what if any will be the main vehicle, the lead story. The owners were all accommodating and willing for us to try a few things out.


With the first two Land Rovers shot we had the last one… a short wheel, tuned up by ‘Tune My Defender’.


Again lit from both sides at the front to lift the dark body work and to help the failing sun.


Was a pleasure to work with LRM on this shoot and look forward to the next opportunity.


As ever till next time.


You can see the final layouts in my portfolio here.

Camaro – ACM July Cover Shoot

Shot back in Sept 2014, I’m pleased it has made it to a cover. Looking for a suitable location in the middle of North Yorkshire was as ever the first stage for an ACM shoot.

This particular location was an old Army camp with those buildings that can be described as oil barrels cut in half length ways and on its side.

The air-field has long since gone and these buildings are the last remaining visual evidence of army activity within the area. Currently the buildings are used as pigsties…interesting to say the least. The owner was very accommodating but just asked us to stay near the top end of the buildings due to, I think new piglets were in certain buildings and didn’t really like too much noise.

Well lets try and keep a V8 640bhp quiet then! We only really had a small area that we could work with as terms of backgrounds and noise level distance! : )


(This corner and the path/road directly behind the Camaro, image above, was the area that we had to play with)

This Camaro was to say the least understated. Black as can be with very little bright work / chrome. The sky was clear and so the sun was harsh so had to dump a lot of flash onto the car to pull the shadows up a little.


I tend to use a polarizer a lot for my auto work especially with darker paintwork. Simply being as the bodywork can be like a mirror and so just to knock off unwanted reflections. (do use it for other reasons which I will blog about when they come into play)


A lot of these American cars I’ve shot are used every day but some are literally for racing….(Orange Mustang – Feb Cover ACM, Bootleg Camaro) … this was no exception. ‘Comfy’, once you navigated the roll cage and got the right limbs through the 5-point harness. All while contorting yourself to get a driving image…(below).


Still puts a smile on my face even if we only go less than a mile in order to get a few shots inside. This car certainly felt like it would ‘take ya face off’…. and I’m told it does low 10s. I’ve got to put my hands up and admit I’m not clued up with this racing series and seen. Threatened Dave the editor of ACM a few times that I will make a race meet… (I just need to get sorted)


Hearing from Dave and what he knows about this Camaro it can deliver and has the potential to break the 10 and get into the 9s.


The rig worked well as ever… a little post work was needed to pull the dark shadows caused by the sun.


We had a small ‘window’ where the whole car was in the shadow and so we did 1 or 2 more runs than I would normally have done. Did do a vertical image as well but the landscape had more interest in the background so I can see why that was chosen for the cover over the vertical.

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Its always interesting to see how magazines tweak your images be it a lot or just a little. Increasing the vivid / saturation to make the red tower behind the car to stand out a bit. If it wasn’t for that colour in the background then the image would have a different feeling. that dash of colour helps the image. With it being a black car and the buildings (apart from the red tower) flat in colour this certainly helps.

You can see the final layout in my portfolio here.

Until next time.

Be safe
















The List – Lotus Carlton (Classic Car Magazine)

‘The List’ is an article done by Classic Cars Mag and puts a reader in one of their chosen dream drives. The reader this time was a guy called Tim and one of his dream rides is the Lotus Carlton…


For me this is a classic icon from my youth and was great to see this car in the flesh. A mint example with sub 14k miles on the clock. No 95 of I think 950 cars completed.

Around the North Yorkshire moors we took off to find some roads that were suitable for some tracking shots.

The opening cover shot was on a main very straight drag …


The interior was as immaculate as you’d expect from such an example as this…



(As the road says…. Slow…. its not the way for this Carlton)

Car to car we were about 25-30mph and at times it was hard to keep the Carlton on a steady course at that speed as the turbos were on the edge of kicking in…


Like all around this car the presentation was immaculate and was the same for under the bonnet.


Some of the roads were…. lets say a little uneven and so proved a little challenging but we got there in the end.Once we finished gathering the images we both needed fuel and so off we took to find the nearest station. I was well past the petrol light on mine and then it started to flash… all was well. Re-fueled and then it was back to return the car.


I’ll post the final layouts here when I can them.

Until next time…