‘Coal Power’… The Steamy Landy

I’m sure you’ve seen this steam engined Landrover over the past few months since its creation at the end of 2017 such has it made local and national news…

Fairly local to me on the boarder of Yorkshire and Lancashire on the tops the weather was in the balance and didn’t disappoint due to the sun, sleet and snow within a few hours.

Meeting the creator and owner Frank with his distinctive Lancashire accent, flat cap and steam engines you could have mistaken him for a Fred Dibna. ‘Mildred’ as the landrover is commonly known as was already prepped and fire well and truly underway ready for our arrival. Not so much as a turn of a key but cleaning the fire box, building the fire and getting the fire going in order to produce the steam to power this Landy into a colossal speed machine….. : )

Not the easiest vehicle to get into position so you shoot what you can where it is, plus the snow …

So off we set for a little run…. well literally for me was a run. I shot from the flat bed to try and get an opener and get the story in one shot.

The location was fairly remote but still had the passing motorist looking baffled with the site of a miniature steam engined Landrover cruising at a comfortable 5 mph…..(not sure of the exact speed but I would say thats a fair assessment : )

The image above made the final cut but not as the opener….. was hard not to have the centre of the frame cutting through a key feature such as the firebox… Still trying to get some motion in the background you can see on the wall to the right of the frame…. having to drag the shutter a lot..

No sooner had we set off we found somewhere to turn around….. you can do a lot of shots in a short space of time while your only doing walking pace!

A little oil to keep the thing running smoothly then we were off again.

Soon found out the steam from the chimney wasn’t a constant bellow of smoke but only came when setting off and increasing speed.

The images above show the incredible speed of my good self as I run along the wall, stopped and shot a few frames before running ahead of the Landy to a new position and repeat the process…..

No need for any rig for this set up but a sturdy bumper and somewhere to hold on to then shoot : ) …..

You could almost do tracking shots whilst walking along side it…. at least I got a little exercise …

Getting back to the base and another chance of getting a large plume of smoke…

Great little details of using the iconic 4WD knobs as the whistle…

Frank turned out to be a very interesting character… being the only sailer to have sailed around N & S America in a figure of 8, owns various companies… just a great time just getting to know him and what he’s achieved.

The image above was never used in the final article but just added here so you can see the original small scale steam engine he built and where the engine came from that is now in the Landy.

Very interesting and another one for the memory bank : )

Difting in a 90…

A still winters bright morning I headed back on the way to the homeland to the North East and to Teeside Autodrome to shoot an extreme ninety for Landrover Owner International.

While an open drifting session was taking place on the track we had permission to camp in an inner section of the track which wasn’t in use. Most of the shoot was done on these three corners. The sky was blue, the sun was low and seemingly more bright and intense than our fair shores see.

I shot a few images on a corner and still wasn’t happy so we moved the 90 to this small puddle which was only about 1cm deep. Knowing that this was a possible DPS we kept going .

No lights added to this shot but only polarised and the moon wasn’t added after! The image below taken on the trusty mobile shows the great vastness of the puddle 😉 …… With the D810 having a grip I could only get the lens about 2 inch off the floor… so took the grip off, covered the contacts on the base of the camera body and sat the camera directly on the floor. A simple wireless trigger as my shadow was in the frame.

Wide as possible made the puddle into ….. well a bigger puddle 😉

The interior was just as bonkers as the exterior… all custom made. Had to use a studio head to kill as much shadow caused by the harsh sun.

All about the details, showing off the creative and handy work of the owner.

fought against the sun on the image above as I didn’t;’t want the sky to be lost so a bit of fill flash and then pulling it a little more post to get some detail in there.

The article was just as much about the owner as well as the car. As well as taking the normal tight head & Shoulders shot this as an alternate portrait. With a shot below of the couple of lights used to light the side of the 90 in shadow.

The light at the back mainly to light the owner and add a key light to him and light the back wheel and arch. The light to the far right was a general one to fill his face a little more and to light the front off-side and to soften the shadows caused by the back light.

I kept the light sup for the images below where I took these images with quick succession to get a few variants for the art editor.

Using the same lights for the show below used in the final article to show the hight of the car which is hard to not appreciate unless you see it in ‘the flesh’.

Moving swiftly on we used the remaining corner in our little oasis amongst the burner rubber and noise around us to get a few more rear statics and a few panning shots…

We had the chance of a couple of laps straight after the lunch break before the drifters came out again to grab some tracking shots.

A fairly tight track with plenty of long corners funnily enough which were good for drifting! …. hard to get your bearings with only a couple of short laps in order to get some tracking done. Again leaning towards another DPS chance and framing for that but still with enough detail to crop in for a tighter frame or possibly a vertical.

After that we returned to the centre of the track to grab one or two rig shots. The set up shot below shows the mounting point and using the red/white corners to add into the frame to keep the story throughout the shoot.

Original RAW frame above and the finished edit below. The only landscape frame I did and again a DPS option. In one run or push I use a lot of the other frames to grab the sky and use to remove and mask the rig from the final edit.

Below one of the two vertices we shot.

I took a short video of the rig and getting the 90 into position which I hope you can see by this link. Green Drifter 90

The final layout of the article below.





Which would you pick???

This shoot was for Land Rover Owner International Magazine. This shoot will ever been ingrained in my head, not for the side wind and rain atop the Yorkshire Dales which proved interesting but for the fact that I was just getting over two days of a sick bug and was still a little green…

The joys of working for yourself ; )

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We started off with some statics and getting a few detailed images to go with this specific article… Not a green-lane article or an individual piece but this was asking the question which of these two would you choose for a weekend ‘toy’ if you will…


Not knowing if this was a potential cover shoot I looked for opportunities to get a few cover angles in the day. This above was a track we stopped on because of a nice puddle of water just out of shot at the bottom but also lent itself to a decent long scenic view. Of course coupled with rolling fog!

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These two images were obviously at the same location but were taken about 1 min apart. The one on the left was the first run and again looking for a potential cover or a full page image. The clouds were moving fast and I asked for another run and sure enough just as the ‘defenders’ (easier to call them both defenders even if technically they aren’t!!) were gone over the crest of the hill for the second run the clouds suddenly cleared for the second pass…. on the right.

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The final DPS above and the original image. Having the D810 as I mentioned in a previous blog, is really helpful as you have soo much detail and file size that if you crop a good third of the image out you can still very easily use that for a full double page spread.


We carried on a few green-lanes and kept hoping out at certain points to set up a few drive-byes. On a foggy day you can get some pleasing muted colours which just suit the ‘defenders’ and a scene that for me epitomises the make and model.


Stood in a heavy rain coat and over trousers I was fairly comfortable (apart from being sick!) but the rain I couldn’t do anything about. I was soon running out of clean lens cloths to try and dry the front element as a fare few of the images had rain circles on them…


Sometimes its easy to forget about a rear shot so when an opportunity stares you in the face you grab it and say thank you : ) … again the flat sky had a little definition in the clouds so without over doing it making it a little dramatic helps along the way.

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The image above was at the highest point of the day and the wind was fairly sideways! …. The portrait shot on the right I was definitely thinking of a cover shot.


This was never used in the article but was taken shortly after we set off… For me the Series 1 was fun but the 90 would be my choice, a little more creature comforts and a far more comfy!



Series 1 Landrover Resto

A quick article for Landrover Owner International which we documented that saw a 1st time restoration project. This was at the time I shot it the nearest magazine shoot to me…which was a nice change.

We ended up doing the tracking shots about 2 miles from my house, as that was the only roads I knew well enough that would be quiet enough to hopefully get some images.JJP_0941

For me I was happy with the results from these tracking shots. A bit of post work to give them something as the day was damp, foggy and really flat. I can’t really imagine shooting this defender in a nice sunny scene for some reason….I think that day suited it.


This one on a 90 degree bend was the closet I’d like to have got… but still made a decent shot.


The only rear shot we got…complete with telegraph antenna. I could quite easily take out the post but leave the image as a good starting point for the art editor to have a little room to move on.


The interior is what it is and this being an everyday ride did its job well.


We did a few panning shots with some puddles to splash through… I’ve posted this one as yes I knew I was going to get a little spray but it turned out to be a tad more!!

Once I get the layouts I’ll post in the ‘In Print’ Section.

until next time…