Got to be seen to be believed…

This was the 2nd LRO (landrover Owner International) magazine shoot in as many days within less than a mile from each other. Not only that but less than 30mins from me…. happy days. This one certainly ticks the box for “really!”, “That’s mental!”…. you can add your own as well.

All I was told was that it was a landrover on tracks… didn’t surprise me to hear that but to see it, you’d expect Fred Dibner behind the wheel stoking up the steam engine in order to reach its full top speed. After saying that a steam engine would probably leave this Cuthbertson for dead!

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On entering the Huddersfield Landrover Centre, (a place I’ve driven past on numerous occasions but never ventured in) you couldn’t miss the thing. I’m 6’3″ and to stand beside it the top of the tracks came just above my waist. Not only the size of it but the fact it was parked next to a City Cab, custard yellow in colour. Probably two of the rarest Landrovers parked beside each other each created for complete separate uses.

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The sun was shining which helped but the only place we could shoot this was a track beside the Hudds centre that we could drive up and down on. You can see above that the sun was directly behind me and so I was trying to hide my show in other shadows, like the tree trunk shadow above…

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Trying to get some motion in the tracks & wheels meant shooting at a ridiculously slow shutter as the speed on this thing was about 5 mph…

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The opener spread, double page before and after print…

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Dragging the shutter in order to accentuate the speed was always going to give this vehicle the impression that it went some…. alas not.

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A few trips up and down this 200 yd track was enough to get some motion shots…

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With it have a ‘steady’ speed I was able to keep running ahead or behind in order to get a different angle and make each ‘run’ as profitable for images as possible. it was forward one way and reverse the other… the turning circle on this was probably about a ‘week’.

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A full restoration so the interior and finish on this was immaculate. All standard and original spec. We managed to get this shot before this example was being sent over to the US for someones private collection.

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Just a little fill light as normal to bring the interior out as the sun was still glaring in…

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After the tracking images it was down to details and getting some more info on how this thing works and the issues when restoring. The image above had just one speedlight hidden to balance out the sunlight which was coming in top left of the frame…

Certainly a different vehicle and one of the most unusual ones I’ve photographed.

Until next time

Jona

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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)

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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.

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. : )

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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.

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

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

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

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As ever till next time.

Jona

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! : )

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

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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 …

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

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(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…

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

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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.

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

Until next time…

Jona

 

Bentley – Italian Factory Visit

Getting a call from Bentley Motors always puts a smile on my face as they produce one of my favorite cars… the Continental GT.

This time it was to document a visit from a few Italian Automotive Journalists and their tour around the Crewe based factory. Although the factory doesn’t run to full capacity on Fridays there were still plenty of activity in certain areas.

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Starting off at the factory we were taken around by our host through the history and early cars which they still use and ship around the world for events and rallies.

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(Factory tours are exclusively available to Bentley owners)

Although alot of modern technology and processes are used in creating a Bentley the craftsmanship has never left the place and is still fascinating to watch these men and women at work.

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Just for the steering wheel alone there was a large area of said craftsmen and women creating each individual wheel tailored to the customers wishes and spec.

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Ever stitch on the wheel is done all by hand. The only exception to this is the stitch you can see just above the left thumb on the darker material. This is because of the tension within the leather and so a machine is used. Above you can see the holes being punched, each one by hand before stitching.

Staying in this area there where the machinists stitching the leather seat covers.

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Again each set of covers are made for the customer, no off the shelf covers or anything else for that matter in Bentley.

I think a fairly new option (if I heard right) was the availability to have your seats cross stitched.

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Again all done by hand. The image above right shows the slack being taken out and the right tension in the stitch being applied. To give you an idea of time and attention to detail; to finished Bentley’s largest model the Mulsanne would take 70+ man hours to cross stitch.

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A massive workshop is the leather prep, where grading, preparation of the hides takes place… again attention to detail is paramount and a joy to watch.

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Never get tired of visiting the factory and seeing behind the scenes of a this true British brand. With the unavailing of the EXP 10 Speed Concept at Geneva the future looks very bright indeed. Along with the new SUV which goes into production within 12 months Bentley is looking stronger.

I mentioned earlier on that the Continental is definitely one of my favorite cars and it has had a facelift just to keep things fresh. (you can see it here)

Here are a few images of the Continental taken for the Italian journalists.

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I’ll be keeping an eye out of the various Italian magazines that some of the images will feature in and will no doubt try and post some examples.

One final image for you to look at….

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Till next time

Jona

‘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…

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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…

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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.)

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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.

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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

Jona

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

911 Restoration – Leeds Porsche Centre

This was at the time the closest automotive magazine shoot that I’ve had… only a 20min drive … happy days. Shot for Classic Car magazine the 911 Turbo won ‘Best Mechanical Restoration’ and was only a few points of being the overall winner.

If I were to shoot in a garage I’m more used to the smaller shops or mostly private garages. The Porsche Centre Leeds certainly was on another level altogether. Clean, organised and the whole place spoke ‘efficiency’.

The first port of call was to get the main DPS (Double Page Spread) shot sorted as that was the lead image into the article. This restoration shoot predominately is intended for within the magazine and not for the cover. A similar style from one resto article to the next is the aim which still leaves you enough room to compose a shot.

Arranging the vehicles and finding an angle that works in the DPS and also has interesting elements, tells the story and also has room for title and copy.

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This is one of the initial shot / testers to see what elements work, if its too busy or too empty. Also can just get some lighting in there to help focus the readers attention. The car being red and all the other cars and its surrounding all fairly neutral made this even easier.

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The car on the jack in the foreground wasn’t going anywhere and although it was red also from this angle it didn’t interfere to much with the 911.

This car and its owners had history with the centre which made it all the more interesting and tied up the story nicely.

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A few lights were also needed to get an overview shot of the interior from the drivers side.

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In the article each member of the team talks about there specialist area and what they had to do with the car. This image on the left was shot to show the interior but it never made the final article.

A couple of speedlights used in this one…one on the dash of the car and the other on the back parcel shelf.

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Getting under the car to shoot a few images to go with the engine side of the article proved a little tricky. Purely to find an angle that wasn’t too extreme and also of interest which could be lit sufficiently.

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All in all a nice shoot and was good to meet the workshop staff from Porsche Centre Leeds.

You can see the finished article and layout here.

 

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