Capri Cover

Third cover in a row for Classic Cars Magazine marking the 50th anniversary of a British favourite….

As ever the group tracking is mainly for the cover shot, maybe a DPS and also to get a closing rear shot.

A few examples of some of the images sent to the mag for the cover.

Full frame image with final cover selection….

We shot the pairings both on the outer track and also the inner handling road…. aka ‘the snake’ The pairs were in their Mk’s pairs.

Enjoyed this shoot because it challenged you to look beyond the fact it was 6 Capri’s and top try and pick out the details and feel of each Mk.

The image below is the set up (kindly taken by the owner!) of the images above. Just a single flash head firing through the opposite door.

A decent shoot, Capri’ed out for the day…. some images taken that day that I’m happy with : )

‘Life Cycle’ – Classic Cars Editorial

Each car I’ve shot for Classic Cars Magazine has been for a different editorial piece. For example the last post was for ‘The Collector’ piece and this Laser Capri is for the ‘Life Cycle’ article.

JJP_0055Not quite back home in the North East for this one but getting there… at the North end of North Yorkshire. As ever my mind is on the opening image and the DPS. This was another one of those moments of interest when you see how the magazine has used the images you shot. Not a DPS as such but 3/4 of one.

JJP_0117Depending on the size of article and how much space the magazine has allocated will dictate on the size and number of images used. For a number of reasons I like how this image above turned out which for me would be a good shout for a DPS.

So the reasons I like this image… well firstly it was the first auto shoot with my latest camera. I had a couple of D700’s and a few months back replaced on of them with a D810. Still getting to grips with different features that the D700 doesn’t have and also the file sizes…not to be taken lightly!

The other main reason for liking this picture other than seeing the added resolution and step up from the D700 (which is still a fantastic body and one which I still use regularly) was how the post process went. The day was a dreary and with the worst sky you could have to try and photograph…flat white. So you’ve got to capture both the darks and lights in order that they aren’t too dark or to light so you can pull the details out post process. Nothing added to the sky other than effectively reducing the exposure and visa-verser for the car and shadows.

It did help that the car was red and so did add something to the flat colours and levels. As ever the use of a polarizer never goes amiss.

JJP_0146Finding a smooth road as possible, quite enough to move the tracking car in and out is another task to add to the mix….

Incidentally as I type I’m researching some kit in order to help capturing these type of tracking shots more successfully. (More details may follow)

JJP_5990The article focuses on the life of a vehicle and the owners that have owned it. This Capri started off in Essex and now runs around North Yorkshire with the new owner who alternates it with another Capri and runs them all year round.

We shot a lot of documents relating to the car and one of them was this Ford brochure from 1985 which I’m sure I had a copy from my first car show at the NEC with my dad and brother.

The double page of a Laser in the brochure (below) I had to show as it could have been taken from a photography book from the 80s with its Cokin style sun set and tobacco filter…

Those brochures were like an encyclopedia back then….



The interior was in decent shape, with its chunky gear stick and ‘retro’ analogue clock…


Not many other shots required for the ‘Life Cycle’ article but a few of the current owner and writer Nigel Boothman talking about certain aspects and details of the car.


Until next shoot / article appears be safe…


You can see the final layout and article in my portfolio ‘In Print’ section.

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.


(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.


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.

Layout 1

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.

JJP_2488 JJP_2479 JJP_2449

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!


(Original image as submitted…)

Layout 1

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.




The ‘Grumbleweed’ restoration…

Earlier this year I had an interesting shoot… Robin Colvill a petrol head & founding member of the ‘Grumbleweeds’. Having restored over 20 cars Robin has many hidden talents other than just his entertaining side…


Shot for Practical Classic… this ‘Readers Resto’ featured Robin’s Ford Anglia Super. From his home garage, with this and other projects he takes on as much work as he can…from engine rebuilds, re-sprays through to stitching new interior carpets. As well as listening to his stories of the Anglias’ re-build, one or two impersonations and stories were woven into the conversation and the days antics!


Once we got some of the opening shots done with Robin…including a few spray guns, guitar and welders helmet!… (we weren’t short of ideas or a willing owner to stand infront of the camera!) we moved onto a few interior and detail shots…

JJP_4548 JJP_4543

Really loved this interior, simple clean and the American styling influence all packaged up into a ‘hamper basket’ size car!!!




As with these shoots we look for a decent road we can do some tracking shots. Fairly straight road with good views into the distance so we can get back onto the right side of the road etc etc…

One image that never made the final article (Practical Classic 2014 Dec Issue) was a shot of Robin with a juke box (he repaired juke boxes as his first job and where he started the Grumbleweeds.) a picture of his best friend, the late Graham Walker and other elements of this restoration story.


I’ll add the layouts to the ‘In Print’ section in the near future…

This one I’ll remember for a while!

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.


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.


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.