Monte Carlo Rally Heros

Its been a while since shooting for Classic Car Weekly and with this next shoot when I was told I’d be shooting a 911 and a mini my mind was a little confused as to how these images would look. I didn’t know the context of the shoot and the story until I arrived at the mini specialist.

Simple like for like comparisons with the Cooper and 911. Keeping the same angles and view point of each section… or whatever I took.

As ever a couple of Phottix Indra heads used on these early shots at the garage…

As ever theres plenty of images that didn’t make the final cut.

Great road long enough to grab the car to car images we needed.

There was a dry ski slope along this stretch of road which was a great little stop to get warmed up and have coffee and cake 🙂

The image above and below were on the same stretch of road and just liked the bleak-ness of the road, the weather conditions and despite the original confused idea of shooting a 911 and a mini…I do like some if these images.

Both the owner compete in historic rallies so were very competent in getting the car into the positions as I directed from the back of the astra. Makes life a little easier for me to have a confident driver…


Really looking at shooting more stuff behind the camera and looking at the story of the days shoot than just the images.

If theres anything you want to know in the future or any points you’d be interested in knowing / seeing then just drop me a line.

A short video of the inside the 911 as we made our way on part of the route to shoot some panning…

The final few pages …


Clever Money Cars – 944

Shot some time back on a blue sky, sunny warm day for Modern Classics. On the rare occasion that theresd only you and the journalist… no third driver to make the tracking shots easier.

Anyway it was ‘clamp’ time to rig my car and shoot while driving. A decent road was nearby the garage which made it a decent day as well.

As I wrote before in the skyline blog and many others, you align the camera as best as you can before a run and then you need to keep checking after a short run that theres a decent angle and enough around the car to crop if needs be.

As the shot above, when you can’t be in the boot you need to keep it safe and get the job in the bag. The image above along with the other front shots I’m thinking these are decent openers.

In the end they went for the shot above, shooting into the sun which is always interesting. Always try to keep the original image as I’d like to see it but always keep in mind that the image may need to be tweaked both ways … if I was to prepare it with the highlights being burnt out a lot then that doesn’t leave any room if its not to taste with the art editor…

Quick flip of the rig / mount to the front of the vehicle and repeat the process for the rear tracking. I do like the back end of the 944, has more about it than the front.

Another pass and a little closer and a more acute angle incase they want to run with a rear for the opening double pager.

Once the tracking is done and in the bag its then seems to be a lot faster doing panning and driving shots form the side of the road.

There were two corners just after each other which we shot from both sides of the corners and directions to give us different angles and options. The one above lying down on the job in the grass verge.

On the same corner as the one shot from the grass verge but just trying a different feel and atmosphere.

This corner above was a decent corner but didn’t want to stay there to long as a car coming around the corner at some speed unknowing I was there I didn’t have anywhere to go so made as little passes here as possible!

Sending the 944 back down the road for another pass gives you the opportunity to shoot a rear angle from the same spot. Getting a little car roll and action is a play withe the corner and how fast you can take it as well as getting into position with the camera and timing your pan.

Back at the garage to take the statics and details. Struggling to find a decent location out and about we chose to use the storage unit as a backdrop.

The three shots above to illustrate you can take three different angles while the car is in the same position… variety is good. Must have taken these within 20 seconds of each other.

Again shooting different images from the same set up … different lenses and angles / heights etc etc. Ideally I’d have liked the sun more around the front as I wanted the background to be flat and the car be at 90degrees to the roller door.

Instead of keep rotating the car I try and think ahead of the different shots that we need to take so we move the car as little as possible. Do you want the roller doors in the image for the interior as a backdrop through the front windscreen and so on and so forth.

Think this one one of the last shots taken as I do a last walk around the car. You miss details sometimes or I think I already had taken the image of the turbo badge before but liked the suns angle and the background of the image above so take it again.

The sun was really harsh this day and so we had to lift the interior with lights. Always finding the best angle for the light and camera so you don’t get massive hot-spots on the dash.

Both images above with fill flash to help balance out the deep shadows and think the light was in the same place for both shots…. can’t remember.

The final layout above. Good little shoot, great weather, blue sky and a bright car is always nice, well apart from a white car!!!


Porsche 924 in all its guises…

This was a first for me, not the 924 …. but shooting for GT Porsche. Having a father in-law whose always had a Porsche since I’ve known him, shooting for Leeds Porsche Centre I’m getting more and more surrounded by the German brand.

Five 924s in its various marks, from the GTS, Turbo, Carrera GT, Le Mans and a straight 924 all headed for a small runway near to Silverstone. As with ever shooting for a new title your mind works a bit extra in covering bases and then some. Not really knowing how many pages for the article but with a 5 car comparison you have a good understanding it will probably run a way down a little repetition of images to keep things clean and ‘readable’.

The first things was to get the opening image shot for the DPS. With a few windows of opportunity after permission was given from the control tower we quickly set up the cars and tried to make every run count. The weather as you can see was favorable and the angle of the sun was good for the runway shot.


Layout 1

The original image sent to the mag and the final image on the DPS. The order of cars as you can see was set up due to the colours. This incidentally was the first frame shot on the move… doesn’t always happen like that!

The simple option was the one above as you would cut the image down the middle for the centre crease, we then tried a few different positions to give some variety…


Again having the black Le Mans car cut for the crease, more road space for text. I like this one but the GTS for me was to far tucked in…


Same kind of feel but using the runway markings as a lead into the image. This yellow line was long enough to give us about 5 frames before we had to all break before over running the runway. Still think I should have gotten much lower. Which I did for another shoot which I’ll no doubt be blogging about later in the year.

Layout 1

To cover the rear aspect of the cars a simple return down the runway… you keep forgetting little stones hurt you in the face when your this close tracking to a load of cars…. never mind putting your camera in the line of stone fire!!!

Layout 1   Layout 1

As this was a comparison we replicated a few of the same shots for each of the cars and also other details to help fill in as another option for the layout as you can see above. Simple use of a hanger wall as a background. The sun kept going in and out so getting the images looking fairly consistent took a little long in time.

The two red ones were pulled out as an extreme difference within the 924 range. Having a moment before planes were getting moved we used the front of the hanger with a little more interest as a background. Positioning the two cars with the Sun as the main light source, getting them in a pleasing angle, making sure the car at the rear wasn’t clipped by the front cars shadow. We also put the GTS at the rear because that was positioned at the front of the pack for another shot. (below)

Layout 1 JJP_6806 JJP_6789

You can see the final chosen image above for the final page. We had to move the GTS as the shadow from the adjacent building was covering the bonnet by the time we came to the landscape image. If possible you try and give both orientations with these type of shots again so the final designer has plenty of options.


The image above was replicated for each car, again to keep things moving straight after this shot it was then to get an engine bay shot as the sun was in a good position.



To finish off here’s an image that wasn’t used in the final article… again its as much of interest to me as to what images are used and the reasons why…

Until next time.


Leeds Porsche – Classics

Since shooting at Leeds Porsche Centre last year for Classic Car Mag  I’ve kept in touch and its now developed that we are starting to photograph their increasing Classic Porsche development of the business.

Being one of three I think official Porsche UK center’s the increase of Classic Car restorations, servicing, sourcing and selling is exciting to see.

The first car I was asked to shoot was a GT2… so the range of ‘classics’ is fairly wide!

Within the showroom near the workshop there’s an area that has a low ceiling and is almost blank on 3 sides. So we cover the back wall in background paper for the backdrop.


This is from a previous visit / shoot but just to show you the area and the back wall which we cover; the two alcoves and the garage door.


Turning all the lights off, rolling down the shutters on the back wall and the one on the right to get a clean area. You can see the white tape on the floor which just helps us get the lights and car in the rough same position so the set of images per car is as unified as possible.

For each car we shot a front 3/4 , side on and a rear 3/4. Only 3 lights, one each side with strip soft-boxes and one open light for the background.

JJP_2938 JJP_2955 JJP_3012

We then captured a few details of the exterior and interior.

JJP_3018 JJP_2968 JJP_2979


And an engine shot…. not that you can see much in the 911.

JJP_2863 JJP_2849 JJP_2840 JJP_2833 JJP_2802 JJP_2795 JJP_2793

We shot 3 cars with a small gallery of images each… above is a GT3RS.

JJP_2920 JJP_2911 JJP_2908 JJP_2904 JJP_2895 JJP_2883

These images are for the advertising of these very clean and tidy examples of some great classic Porsche’s.

Below is one advert I saw in a mag with the typical Porsche layout and design with the GT2 we shot in Leeds.


Until next time



This 911 wasn’t ‘Rough’…

I’d never been to the ‘dogs’ until this shoot came up…

The location was Sheffield Dog Track, in the evening. We had a little discussion with the management as to where we could position the car within the stadium. Initially it was going to be on the grass in the centre of the stadium… not good.

We managed to get permission to drive onto the inside track which was perfect. No flashes could be used while dogs were on the track but to be honest I wasn’t going to because the stadium floodlights provided enough even lighting all around that it wasn’t necessary.

JJP_5898 JJP_5905 JJP_5904

You can see from the images above I’m getting a few different angles for the DPS and trying to get the floodlights in a good position.

Ruf 911 gs (Low-res PDF)-1   JJP_5909

The final opener and original image… I send the full frame and don’t crop any image and leave enough to allow cropping and aligning.


Only for the interiors did we add sppedlights with gels to balance out the colours and lift the dark black interior. The red dials helped as they were something to contrast with.

JJP_5916       JJP_5982

A bit of lens flare for something different…


After the stadium was in the bag we headed out into Sheffield centre trying to get some light for some tracking shots. They asked for gritty images and they got gritty! The image above was some of the brightest and ‘cleanest’ lights.


Two very ends of the colour spectrum here… really old sodium orange lights and then the headlamps… knowing which way to balance is a juggling act.


We had a little drive in the 911 to look for some locations for about 20 mins and this thing was savage. Massive 5-harness in hard bucket low seats. A smooth ride was not in order, an engine noise that sounded like you were on a flight deck waiting for a Typhoon to take off. The car always wanting to get the revs up… anyway was good fun : )

Good change having a night shoot …


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.



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.


‘Behind the Camera’ – Porsche Boxster

If your like me with an inquisitive mind then my ‘Behind the Camera’ posts may be of interest…

Especially with my ‘JJP in motion’ shots I try and capture a few images with my phone showing the set up of the rig and camera. Just for the record I use a Carbon Fibre boom from (Car Camera Rig) as shown in these images.

Not just for the rig shots but anything that’s of interest while I’m on location I’ll post a few images…

The resulting image from the set up shown in the title image is below…. a cheeky Boxster at sunset…

Boxster rig

I’ll post a few more of these ‘Behind the Camera’ shots when I’m out and about or when embargoed images from editorial shoots have been published.

Have a good weekend 🙂