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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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…

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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…

Jona

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

Plymouth Makes Cover – ACM

It was a ‘fresh’ September morning last year and a full English breakfast ‘sarnie’… (or ‘flat cake’, ‘buttie’ etc etc) was a much welcome start to this cold day in Sheffield, that was brought by the owner of this Plymouth…so thanks Carl. I can still feel the cold now!

Finding locations is a constant search for me, especially with American Cars. Really don’t want to shoot in a car park or a layby etc etc … Suggested by Carl this old unit turned out much better than on even first arrival. Looking back I could have saved some of the location for another day and made it spread over two shoots at least.

The main hanger we had to get a few brooms to sweep broken glass, stones and other non-tyre friendly objects! Once we cleared a decent amount of space we shot plenty of statics and let the background bleach out and the roof space to get some detail…

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Having to use some lights to help balance out the shot so the sides weren’t lost….

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Ideal for a rig shot in here I grabbed a couple of orientations as a potential cover (which is what it ran with) and a double page spread to give some choice.

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Never say “can you do a burn-out?” … when what I mean and I should be saying do you mind doing a quick burn-out. Other wise you just get a look and quick often a laugh that doesn’t need to be interpreted other than knowing the answer to be “Is the Pope… !!!”

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Not sure if I’ve got my facts correct but Carl was either 1st or 2nd in a burn-out competition at a race meet and kindly produced a couple of straight lines for us…

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An everyday ride going to the shops which doesn’t draw any attention…well…possibly a little.

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The sign-writing really helped make the car standout and I did a little ‘retro’ post production to get it a little something else which I’ve not used before for ACM.

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The Plymouth was like the rest of these cars very spacious but looking at Carl here you’d be thinking it was a tight fit. I’m 6’3″ and I don’t normally look up to most people but Carl was a tall n.

Thanks again for the Breakfast Carl …

You can see the finished article in the ‘In Print’ section of the gallery.

Until next time

Jona

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! : )

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(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.

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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)

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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).

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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)

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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.

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

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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

Jona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Car Mag – Aprils Cover shoot

Well 2nd cover of the year for American Car…  This was the closest car shot for ACM to date…(although there maybe one closer coming up ; )

Location as ever for ACM I look for the factory’s, mills, derelict buildings etc etc. This one took a little time to find but worked out in the end. As we arrived to shoot the car the land owners had placed a large railway sleeper over the entrance to the track … not good.

We started to shoot the car on another background which would have been okay but was really only good from 1 angle. The land owners drove past and as it turned out were petrol heads and did a bit of racing. We got chatting and they were more than willing to get the sleeper moved so we could get round the back of their building / mill.

Within 5mins a forklift came out and we were navigating pot holes, open drains to get round the back. Happy days… we were in.

Unlike other titles I shoot for its predominately me and the owner on the shoots, hence why you see more rig shots with ACM as we don’t have the facility of shooting car to car.

Trying to get the car ‘involved’ with its surroundings is always good instead of just driving the car in and snapping away.

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This shot not used but I like to show other images as instead of just the ones printed. The Firebird was prob too small for a double page spread but its good as you get to see what the mag likes / uses and so hopefully you can tighten up on images you send and shoot for specific titles.

Anyway this car was clean and in top condition. Funnily enough this car when I got the green light to shoot was owned by another and so had to follow up with the new owner for this shoot.

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The colour is striking but in the bright sunlight it really stood out. This and with the sound of the V8 made for some head turns for sure…

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The flat surface helped with the rig shots…(easy to push the car!)

All in all a steady away shoot, needed a little light to lift the harsh shadows but better than being a flat sky.

YOu can see the final layout / article here.

Have another 3 shoots waiting to go to press with ACM and some in the pipeline to shoot. Just about to write another blog post regarding a 911… so come back soon.

Jona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Febs cover feature… (ACM)

Going back to my ‘home land’ is always welcome… so when I was asked to shoot this Mustang, even though based in the wrong footballing world it was to be back in the North East.

Further north than where I was born the ‘Geordie’ accent was thicker and stronger to the point I had to concentrate to understand the conversation…

I digress… I’ve always been a fan of the mustang but this was a beast of a one…

The location was set but last minute issues was that we couldn’t get access to the desired building. A shell of a building and a fantastic location…. so the lay-by right beside the building became the background.

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(Access denied… ah well… these things happen and you just have to get on with it and bag some shots)

This meant that you couldn’t really get a variety of angles as other street furniture and the road interfered with the images.

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Other than just turning the car we had to run with the background. Not just in this situation but every shoot I do, knowing your kit and what ‘style’ and ‘feel’ you can get in camera helps with creating diversity within the gallery of images.

Especially in magazines you need to allow for text, graphics and other elements that gives the designer the scope to play with and makes their job easier.

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Take the image on the right above. As well as supplying a tight crop on the car… in effect the same shot but leaving a lot of ‘dead’ space helps like I mention with layout. I’ve know idea how my images will be positioned so when I see the final article I’m interested in seeing how I can offer different images to further push layout design etc.

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Detailed images, or ‘cut-away’ images help fill out the article and build the story of the featured car.

I must say my lens came off worse on that gear shifter and needed to go for repair… doh!

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(Original image as submitted…)

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For the opening shot to an article (doesn’t have to be automotive…) you try and capture a stand-alone image or a visually captive shot but keeping in mind layout…

Here the shot above for the DPS, the car could have been over to the left a bit more to help with cropping… like I say, always learning & trying to improve.

Until next time…

At the time of writing this article I have another 3 American Car shoots already sat waiting to be used, so as and when they appear I’ll be posting stuff out.

Jona

 

 

No horsing around with this Grand National…

A shoot earlier this summer found me photographing a car which can be described as the car Darth Vadar would drive if not in his Tie Fighter…

This car had a recent revival thanks to the movie ‘Fast & Furious 4’… you can see a clip from the scene here… Its one of those cars that … well it sounds funny but you either know it or you don’t. While we were there it caused a little bet with some of the workers at an adjacent factory to guess what it was… One of them came to find out and thought it was a Pontiac and soon found out that his wallet was £20 lighter!!!

This was a good car to shoot for details as the repeated Grand national logo of the V6 was splashed inside and outside…

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As ever the owners of American muscle car’s can’t turn up easily the opportunity of a burnout…..or two!

Resulting in leaving a few marks ….. and some rubber…

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Out in Septembers issue of American Car Magazine

Since this shoot I’ve already shot a few more cars for ACM and have a few more further cars to shoot…to date.

More later…

Jona

Torino makes cover…

As I write this blog I’m in the middle of shooting 6 cars for American Car Mag … As with pretty much all these American cars the 68 Torino GT was great to look at and had a great shape. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but for me the location can make or break the shoot / final images. I’m always looking for ‘urban’, ‘industrial’, ‘gritty’ backdrops for these cars.

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This location was based about 30 miles from the car but thanks to the owner he was really willing to travel and make the best possible use of this opportunity. Like with the location back in the beginning of the year for the Plymouth & Demon shoot, the location was a good location and was available at just the right time. This old RAF hanger was just in the process of being cleared out and used for a storage company. Thanks to them we were given the empty hanger for the best part of a day… #HappyDays.

On arrival I had a good chance of planning the areas I wanted to concentrate on to shoot some ‘hero’ shots, detail shots and some rig shots. For me the use of such a large space which was perfectly level, indoors (no wind!) was the most ideal conditions for some rig shots.

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As the owner was in no rush and we had a great location we took the liberty of gathering more images than was needed….

You can see the final article here. I’ll add a ‘Behind the Camera’ post in due course of this shoot.

In the mean time…. have a good weekend.

Jona

Camaro makes Cover

This was one of the most insane cars I’ve been in… up to 1000bhp…. and we went out in what Top Gear would describe as ‘VVW’ …Very Very Wet!!!

The original location for this shoot (you can read about it here) was rained off on the day so Plan B came into play…

We had to get something in the bag for this car as it was the 4th location that through one thing and another that we tried.

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Not the most inspiring of 60’s car parks but was the best of a bad situation. Getting the standard shots for this magazine was why we needed cover from the rain. Once we did a few rig shots and detailed shots we headed out to try and get another shot from inside.

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Once I clamped a flash gun on the roll cage to give me a controlled light source inside the car I was strapped in by the 5point harness which the buckle was the size of a side plate!! Realizing I needed to change a setting on the flashgun I had no slack on the harness so I almost put my shoulder out twisting round to get to the flashgun. Once sorted we fired off a few frames to show the cockpit with its array of technicolor switches.

This was not the type of car you would go for a pint of milk… obviously road legal and insane when its dry but in the wet … ?! Once we did a few miles to get the shot we headed back to do a few burnouts to round the shoot off.

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Once the camaro started to smoke it didn’t take long to engulf itself in smoke… Needless to say another burnout was needed 😉 … this also drew a small crowd of passers by as it really is a normal site to see in a town centre!!!

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Pleased it was used in the mag but more happy it made the cover despite the location, rain and sodium lights!

You can see the full article here ‘JJP In Print’

Have a good week

Jona

The Dodge & Plymouth make it to the cover…

Enjoyed shooting this for American Car magazine back in the end of last summer, mainly cos the location made it for me. An old unit that was previously used as a garage which was sat vacant while the new tenants moved in….happy days. (below are a few rece photos I took before the shoot)

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(Reflections…a great way of making a subject ‘belong’ in its surroundings. It dried out before the shoot so that idea went by the wayside)

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(couldn’t ask for a better ‘urban’ location)

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I suppose a major part of my style comes from my first job in a press agency after finishing my degree in photography. Very much so an editorial, photo-journalistic  style. Always trying to tell a story in my images be it stand alone or in a body of work.

So I try and give as much thought to the location as I do to capture the subject….which here, were the Dodge and Plymouth. So to have an indoor as well as the outdoor area all in the same location behind some big red shutter doors was a great find.

Having two cars to shoot, funnily enough nearly doubles the amount of images you capture. We only had a short amount of time on this one and just managed to get a rig shot in…. It could have made the cover shot but who knows next time.

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If you want to see the article follow this link or you can follow this one to see the images and a few more that weren’t printed.

Hope you have a good weekend.

Jona