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…



Another Classic Cars mag shoot, and this time its ‘The List’. Where they put a reader in one of their dream cars. Up in North Yorkshire it was a cold start with low fog and mist…

Off we set from the cars garage location and found a decent lay-by area where we could get some static shots while we waited for the fog and mist to lift.

The above image was the final chosen image but like ever you try and get a different angle, view point to mix things up again. You can only do so much with two people and an engine!

The shot below was taken with the idea it would be cropped top and bottom for a long wide image…

Sometimes you can get the very first reaction for the owner while sat in the car but you end up setting up the shot and getting the reader to talk through things in the drivers seat or wherever with some animation and enjoyment 🙂

The fog started to lit so we headed off to trya nd get some driving images in the bag.

The three images above were taken around the same 90 degree corner. We passed this corner as we drove a few miles to a few roads to find a decent one. While passing this corner i quickly saved it in the sat-nav so we could return if needed. Indeed we did. It was a decent corner as you could see a fair way ahead so you could go wide around each way.

Think this one above was one of the first few frames while I got a feel of the car and speed…

The opening shot above… We found this really straight road with decent trees close to the roadside which helps.

The reader was fantastic being in a classic car, never driven it before and got into positions which I asked which always makes the job that much easier.

The colours were flat that day but pleased we had some background to off-set the car which could have easily been lost against white shapeless clouds.

Stuck myself in some ditches for some panning shots but it was finding some trees which I could get amongst (below) which were used.

Trying different focal lengths and physical distances in order to get different speed patterns, lengths and definitions…. Really helped getting to the side of this curvaceous Jag.

After we got the tracking in the bag and happy with them with enough variety we then just needed to get some interiors. We headed back to the lay-by we started off in… With the natural light being nice and soft just 1 diffused head was needed to just lift the interior. Once we got the angle right so it didn’t get massive hot-spots from the highly polished wood paneling we were rolling.

I’m trying to show the interior off but in the same way shooting as if you want to get into the car and drive, having some images that show a lot while others just giving a teaser of what it would be like to be behind the wheel…

Not the finished one above but close enough in order to show a slightly different angle.

Only a few images for these articles but some nice ones which I was pleased with.

Until next time

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…


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.

E Type pilgrimage-1   JJP_1184

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.

JJP_1311   JJP_1197

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.

JJP_1518   JJP_1491

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.


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


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.


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…

JJP_4813   JJP_4824

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.

JJP_4887   JJP_4829   JJP_4868

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.


From crash testing to 800bhp

Knowing I had an epic restoration shoot I set off with the type of images / ideas and kit I needed. Not knowing what car the subject was I was in for a shock. Once I eventually found the right building as I drove past it as there was no signage, or give away clues to it being anything to do with the automotive world. I was told that it had some special cars…

The first glimpse of anything out of the ordinary was two silver front nose’s of a couple of XJ220’s. Seeing one is always a good sight to behold but two!

I thought …yeah I’m in the right place! Finding a small door as the entrance I walked in to a workshop which I think I counted about 20 XJ220’s. As you can see by the colour I had a good idea which of these extraordinary cars was the main subject for the shoot. A stunning deep metallic blue which grew on me very quickly.

This XJ220 was the original MIRA crash test car which has had an epic restoration by Don Law Racing.


The opening DPS image above is the main image to open the story. After turning the car around in the fairly small amount of space (when you have a car that’s just shy of 5 meters and 2 meters wide). In the end we used 4 lights to get the car to lift.

JJP_3625info JJP_3588set up

This darker image shows just available light … I’m just taking images here as quick snaps so I can work out whats going to be the better angle and alignment for the centre of the magazine and where the crease will lay.

Moving onto the final image with green and red lines.

The red lines show the angle and rough spread of a couple of Speedlights (small flashguns) Hidden just of camer right for No4 and behind the nearside of the Silver XJ220.

No.s 2 & 3 are a couple of studio heads fitted with barn-doors to clip the light so it doesn’t spill everywhere in the frame… mainly concentrating on the car.

Like I said with the car being so wide and long a couple of lights were needed to cover evenly. The Speedlight  No.4 was just added purely for the black Speedline black wheels as you can see from the darker image the wheels can be lost in shadow.

Happy with the result….


On this one above only used one studio head high right out of shot and one Speedlight with narrow angle to highlight the Jaguar badge on the front grill… just to give the front a little light.


A couple of Speedlights ….. One tucked behind my head to the right and one obviously in the drivers foot well to light the subject.

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Just a couple of images of the Engine which with the LeMans spec added gives this road legal XJ220 800 bhp….. nice!


The final closing shot with e one studio head off to the left and one Speedlight off to the right…

A great pleasure to see such a workshop in high demand from XJ220 owners from around the globe who need their beloved cars serviced and repaired.

Until nest time


‘The Collectors’ – Classic Cars Magazine

With just over half of the Hughes collection to shoot there was still enough to feast your eyes upon with 9, covered, stored vehicles ranging from the 1940s through to the 90s.

Using the words from the article (credit – Ben Field) John Hughes …”left that morning as an owner but came back a collector”.

This shoot for Classic Car mag was to capture images for the next installment of ‘The Collectors’ editorial. Looking at those with a passion to find and collect cars with real intent and purpose.

John Hughes is no different. With the help of is two sons they have high standards in looking for the right car. With an immaculate, full and detailed history the car has to have low miles and be the best example available.

With ‘Classic Cars’ each editorial and story has its own style and angle for the images which for me keeps things interesting. For this as you can guess it majors on the cars and owners. So when you walk in to this collection the first thing I’m looking for is the DPS and finding the opening image.

We shot a wide range of images in the main storage unit with the three guys…


Each car had its own specific cover as you would expect. The Blue cover for the Bentley was a bit dark so had to light that separately to try and bring some detail and the logo out.

Fairly tight for space in there and with only one angle to really shoot a DPS and get some lights in without getting in the frame.

The shot which did make the opening spread was the garage that housed the 1967 E-type, 1990 F40 & 1941 Jaguar SS100. Having two iconic super cars of their own age in the E-Type and F40 side by side joined with the elegant lines of the SS100 was a sight to behold…


With one strip light in the space we weren’t going to get far with that so we used 3 Bowens studio heads to light this space. One on the floor between the E-type and F40. Another shooting through the side window of the garage in-line with the wing-mirror of the E-Type. The final head was directly behind me tucked in the corner as far as possible.

Shooting with the 17mm I had about 40cms between the SS100 and the wall to get me and the light in….a little cramped.

JJP_0777 Coming through the door into the garage you couldn’t help but see a key design feature between each of these cars… Each had louvers and from that angle they all were so evident. (see image above)… This shot never made the final editorial but was something that linked all these cars together other than occupying this tight space.

JJP_0840 The SS100 like all the Hughes’ cars was in immaculate condition. (You can see the window which we used to angle the flash through as there was no room to have the light in the garage beside the E-Type.)


The Willys Jeep for me was just another twist in the collection. Stored in a modified shed (doors widened) this was just another example of how the Hughes will only buy the best example possible.


It was like the Jeep was lifted from active duty and brought into the modern age. All tools / accessories present and accounted for. So much to look at and take in, a place for everything and a purpose for its inclusion.

JJP_0803 Certainly a Ferrari flavour running through this collection and was a real pleasure meeting John Hughes and his family.

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Richard again, all be it as I had left my tripod on location…

Till next time


You can see the final article via my portfolio ‘In Print’ section.