NSX – A Modern Classic

A fresh morning in North Yorkshire for this Modern Classic Magazine shoot… The first action was to find a location for some tracking / motion images. I’d seen a potential road after looking on google maps near to Dalby Forrest. We headed off there and the road was ideal. Quiet, very smooth and with a few bends and straights.


The sky was the awful flat white one that has no definition or ‘character’ about it. Most trees were bare with a lack lustre colour so coupled with the flat lighting the saving factor was the colour of the car.

A couple of passes up and down the road got us some various shots…

NSX Driving gs (Low-res PDF)-1 JJP_5158

I keep saying this buts its true, I’m just as curious as to what the art editor picks for the DPS image and you try and pick up on things to help you next time to produce more choice for the opening image.

With using a Nikon D810 I’m a little more confident to allow a decent amount of crop space due to the massive file sizes you can get without loosing too much detail in the image.

After getting enough front shots we then rigged up the trusty meriva for some rear action shots.

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Both of these rear shots were taken with the rig in the position shown with just the camera re-positioned to get a slightly different view.


Couple of runs up and down then all was well…

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The three images above show the set up for a drivers shot. Wanted to get the face of the driver in the wing mirror and also the road with I was hoping a bit of lens flare. The image on the far left was taken on me phone through the view finder…


The resulting image above. Only needed a short stretch of road facing into the sun, with a wireless trigger we followed behind. You’ve no idea really what the background will be but can only guess from seeing it from behind.

A rough video to give you an idea of the speed we traveled for the shot above. The Meriva had to work hard to get up to speed and so the wireless trigger and receiver could ‘talk’!


Needed to get another angle for another driver shot, so this time rigged the camera to shoot through the passenger window. The video below just shows the positioning of the rig. I could have sat in the passenger seat but would have had to be a contortionist in order to get the camera in the best position and not to get myself in the shot.

Same technique as before with us following behind triggering the shutter via the wireless transmitter. If I recall I’ve put a speedlight in the cabin to add a little fill lighting as well.


Once the fun and rig games were done we needed to get some statics… The low sun came out and so just ran with it which helped.


Speedlights are great for filling the interior with some light…


A similar shot as the 2nd drivers shot with a speedlight just to the right of my head wedged behind the headrest.


Leaving the speedlight in the headrest I quickly grabbed this owner shot. You can just see my jacket on the far right of the image… but just liked the angle which is a guess as your shooting blind and just angling the camera by eye. Love the centre console in the NSX with the shallow drop helps frame the image.


Few drive bys for a pan shot…


Picking off the few detail shots needed for fillers in the article…


The lighting at the end getting a little flat again but grabbed a few rear statics before close of play…

I tried to get more behind the camera footage for this one…. need to do more of this as I remember.





No ‘Mini’ Shoot…Practical Classics Cover Shoot

This was the 2nd day back in the North East of shooting a few automotive articles. The sky was clear, the sun was bright, the wind was just a gentle breeze… this was a great shoot.

Already marked as a strong contender for a cover we just needed to pick out the locations for the tracking images to make the most of the weather and car.


document171303670255513909.inddThe cover shot was taken along with other static filler shots near to Souter Lighthouse. We had about 100 yds to geta few frames fired off per pass to get the front shot in the bag. Knowing we needed to be either side of a dead on shot to reveal the estate side of the mini; if we shot dead on it would look like ‘another mini’. With the sun in its position the front offside was chosen (as well it sits better on a page with us in the west / reading from L to R)

We did about 3 passes on this short stretch of road. The road further up beside the trees in the background we used to get the car into position quickly so when we came out of the tree shadows we could fire off about 5 frames per pass.

You can see that a little work was done from the file I sent. The shadows within the car and the clarity on the grill are a few areas you can see whats been done.

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A few detail shots that weren’t used in the final edit.

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The images about were shot for the opening DPS. The one on the right which was chosen above the left one. The sun was really intense but the issue was the shadows especially the one coming from the left which was cast by a caravan, so full power from a flash to help lift it.


We had a bit of time and a quiet road with a good turning point at either end so we could do a  rear tracking shot. The images below shows the set up how we got the image. Using the carbon boom attached to the tracking / donor car you can get the camera as low as you feel its safe before your camera becomes one with the road!

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Simply follow the car and click away via remote, check results repeat if needs be… Takes a little while to set up but worth it in the end.


Grabbing some fish n chips on Rover pier…getting a few images thrown in with the gulls, good times. (you can see Roker lighthouse in the bottom right of the image; thi idea was to get closer down the actual pier but couldn’t get down there)


Another image not used in the final edit…simple interior shot.

Great weather, great location (slightly biased), great restoration.

Until next time


To see more from Practical Classics click here. To see the final article click here.

Eat my dust ‘Wile E. Coyote’ !

Keep saying this but this one tops the chart for the closet to my home…. some 1.8 miles!

Shot for American Car Magazine this Plymouth Road-Runner was no slouch when it came to sound, looks and appearance. One of the cleanest American muscle cars I’ve shot. The location was Black Dyke Mills in Queensbury, W. Yorks.

The sun was bright as ever and so the use of lights to lift the shadows was definitely needed.


The red didn’t need any work in the sense it was already popping too much. Just controlling the reflections mainly on the sides to eliminate unwanted background features being reflected onto the bodywork.


The engine bay was very clean with plenty of angles to choose from for details. Again the shadow from the hood / bonnet was so dark full power was required to lift them to an acceptable level.


Another image which was used full bleed over the DPS. The final use of the foreground was one reason I shot with my chin on the ground. The final image being darkened in order to accommodate a few filler images and the text boxes…

Layout 1


The rig shot was shot for a quick cover option…. Not my favorite rig results, well pleased with the composition but technically could have been better but that’s just me…


You can’t beat blue sky and a vibrant coloured car which I’ve be fortunate lately with recent shoots with the weather.

Till next time…


You can see the finished article in the In Print section.

Rare Ginetta – going strong

A ‘Life Cycle’ shoot for Classic Car Magazine…

The G23 was an early prototype for Ginetta, this particular chassis number is No.2. Its been owned by the same owners since they bought it from Ginetta. Recently undergoing a full re-build with alot of the work undertaken by the owners…

Not so much to shoot here, alot of old 6×4’s and old car magazines it has appeared in previously. A few rig shots for an opener and a few statics to give a flavor of the car now.


Not one of the images used but the engine bay was tidy with its nose end hinged bonnet.


Not keen on shooting cars on driveways but this could have been a lot worse, plus the life cycle is heavily involved with the owners and so it fits more into the article than a ‘normal’ driving car specific one.


At least the background was ‘clean’ and plenty of area to work around and position the car.


A major feature is the little ‘port-hole’ windows, (forgot their proper title!) which I captured from a few different angles… capturing the Ginetta logo where possible…



The other rig shot that wasn’t used. Did take this for a DPS, or aat least as an option. I may blog a quick ‘Behind the lens’ piece as I took a quick shot of the set-up and surrounding road.

Nice little shoot and article and this was the first rig shot taken on a D810 which was nice to use the full resolution on the rig. You can see the short article in the ‘In Print’ section of my portfolio.

Until next time… which may be a blog on the next cover shoot… : )


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…


Having to use some lights to help balance out the shot so the sides weren’t lost….


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.



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… !!!”


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…


An everyday ride going to the shops which doesn’t draw any attention…well…possibly a little.


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.


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


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! : )


(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.


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)


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).


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)


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.


The rig worked well as ever… a little post work was needed to pull the dark shadows caused by the sun.


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
















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.


Behind the Lens – MG Midget

On the shoot for Practical Classic magazine, as well as the owner and myself we had Neil with us (senior writer for PC who came to interview the owner and also to keep an eye on me 😉

I asked him to grab a few shots of me in action so I can include some more ‘Behind the Lens’ articles.

BTL Midget 1

You don’t see many images of me…but at least this one has my best side!!! The resulting image of that set up is below… Straight forward shot.

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Another shot of the set up… I mainly use a couple of Speedlights with Phottix triggers which I can work with at a good pace.

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Simple set up with a few speedlights just to bring a bit of definition to the engine bay…

MG Midget

The roll bar helped with attaching the rig and also to capture a driving shot. I would normally sit in the car to shoot a driving shot (see the camaro shoot blog) but as the Midget is…well small… it would be too crammed to get a shot without my feet or knees in it. Thank you roll bar!

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As I ran beside the car (thankfully not traveling that fast!) on a wireless remote I fired off a few frames…


Till next time for some more behind the lens blogs…

Its been fun



Camaro makes Cover

This was one of the most insane cars I’ve been in… up to 1000bhp…. and we went out in what Top Gear would describe as ‘VVW’ …Very Very Wet!!!

The original location for this shoot (you can read about it here) was rained off on the day so Plan B came into play…

We had to get something in the bag for this car as it was the 4th location that through one thing and another that we tried.

JJP_6502 Camaro

Not the most inspiring of 60’s car parks but was the best of a bad situation. Getting the standard shots for this magazine was why we needed cover from the rain. Once we did a few rig shots and detailed shots we headed out to try and get another shot from inside.

JJP_6549 Camaro

Once I clamped a flash gun on the roll cage to give me a controlled light source inside the car I was strapped in by the 5point harness which the buckle was the size of a side plate!! Realizing I needed to change a setting on the flashgun I had no slack on the harness so I almost put my shoulder out twisting round to get to the flashgun. Once sorted we fired off a few frames to show the cockpit with its array of technicolor switches.

This was not the type of car you would go for a pint of milk… obviously road legal and insane when its dry but in the wet … ?! Once we did a few miles to get the shot we headed back to do a few burnouts to round the shoot off.

JJP_6577 Camaro Burn out

Once the camaro started to smoke it didn’t take long to engulf itself in smoke… Needless to say another burnout was needed 😉 … this also drew a small crowd of passers by as it really is a normal site to see in a town centre!!!

JJP_6556 Camaro

Pleased it was used in the mag but more happy it made the cover despite the location, rain and sodium lights!

You can see the full article here ‘JJP In Print’

Have a good week


‘Behind the Camera’ – Dodge Charger

This one was a fun one… I tried to find a location that placed the General Lee in a fitting place similar to that of Hazard County. Google maps played a huge part again for me in looking for a suitable private road where we could shoot a rig shot. This was a private forest owned by a forestry company who were willing for us to use the drive to recreate Hazzard County.

General Lee Rig set up

With a lot of cars you can use both the front windscreen and rear window to attached the rig…but as this car is about 18 foot long the resulting image would make the car too distorted for my liking.

We opted to use the bonnet to come off from. The road surface was gravel and uneven, so choosing a few meters of half decent level ground was in order. Using this kit and technique the vehicle can either shot in either a forward or reverse direction and still give the effect of ‘forward motion’. The gradient of the road meant there was no way of pushing the Dodge in a forward motion, so some gentle brake action

Dodge Charger - The General Lee

Dodge Charger – The General Lee

As ever always learning different ways of using the kit and getting the best from it.

Still every time I get to go out in the General Lee it always puts a smile on my face…

Have a good week…