You have thought that by living in Ireland all my life, at some stage I would have gotten used to the rain. As it turns out I haven’t and I probably never will. However, I’ve always been of the opinion that if it’s going to rain on a shoot day, then it has to rain. I guess I should have been careful what I wished for… When I picked up the new Fabia from the amazing crew at Automotive Team, the skies were threatening but I thought we might just get away with it. As it turned out, I was quite wrong. Exceptionally strong winds brought rain shortly after collection and in turn, completely changed the dynamic of the shoot. Luckily though, I think it actually worked in my favour. When the weather can’t make its mind up and you get showers followed by brief sunshine followed by more showers, you end up with inconsistency in your backgrounds and more often than not, dirty and grungy looking roads with random dry spots. But when the rain comes and decides to stay, it brings out a whole new colour palette from the city’s streets. You get reflections and shine that you don’t get on a dry day. You have consistent soft lighting throughout the day and the benefit of water droplets beading off the paint work. The only issue on this shoot was the strong wind, which kept rocking the tripod and made the task of getting sharp exposures quite difficult, particular when trying to drag the shutter out just a little longer to blur those passers-by. The car itself? Well, pretty much like the rest of the VAG cars, you know it’s going to be a good one before you even drive it. I really liked it. This particular car featured a 1.2 […]
Every now and again, a job pops up that you literally have no choice but to drop everything and go do it. When Volkswagen Ireland contacted me at short notice to ask me to come to Dublin for the day to shoot something ‘special’, my interest piqued. When I was told that they planned on driving the ultra-rare XL1 on Dublin’s streets, I knew I had no choice but to drop everything haul myself up the M9. The XL1 is a limited run production car, which showcases Volkswagen’s abilities in one neat and very futuristic package. It’s powered by a small diesel engine and an electric motor, allowing it to achieve almost unbelievable levels of fuel efficiency. Pictured below is the car’s OBC after driving around Dublin city all morning, 0.8L/100KM which equates to approximately 353.1MPG. You didn’t read that wrong. The most impressive thing about the XL1 for me, is not the efficiency, but rather just how incredibly striking it is. I’ve had the pleasure of shooting lots of cars but I honestly can’t think of another which could spark such universal attention. And all of it positive, where your typical supercar may polarise people. People wanted to know more about the car and weren’t afraid to approach and chat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many camera phones brandished so quickly either. This is the sort of car I was promised as a kid, raised on a diet of Back to the Future and The Jetsons. Please manufacturers, can we have more of this sort of thing? Photographed exclusively for Volkswagen Ireland
Whilst I’ve been shooting a lot of manufacturer PR & commercial work as of late, I still get the biggest thrill whilst shooting editorial commissions. Because budgets are low, everything is nearly always shot in a run and gun sort of manner. It’s exciting though and ensures that no two shoots are alike. After being – literally – run out of the first location, we took to the streets to try and recover the time lost. It’s always tricky in these situations as you need to find a suitable location but also one that’s quiet enough to shoot in comfort and without background distractions. When your dealing with the streets in a capital city, these two requirements are quite often mutually exclusive. Through the sheer brilliance of social media, we were able to get suggestions from people within the locality. Within maybe half an hour of being ejected from the first location, we were back shooting on a street less than kilometre away. For me, one location is rarely enough and I’ll always try to get another in if at all possible. This time though, instead of social media, we relied upon the local knowledge of a taxi driver who advised us of not only another location, but where there was also a break in the bollards where we could get the S2000 through. You just cannot beat local knowledge. Photographed for Japanese Performance Magazine (UK)
With the official launch of the 2014 Kia Soul having taken place earlier this week in Dublin, I can finally share some of the images from the shoot earlier this month. Working closely with Kia Motors Ireland has been great. They’re a company with energy, vibrance and they know what they want. These images were to be used for the press packets at the official launch so the brief was simple, clean imagery. Kia had sorted the primary location for the shoot in advance, the main courtyard at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. We would start by shooting two cars together before I took one of the cars into the heart of Dublin for extra locations. I needed to focus primarily on the exterior of the car but also captured some details, inside and out. Once I was shooting in the city centre, I needed to run and gun to a certain extent. To remove the distraction of passers-by, I used an ND filter so as to drag the shutter speed out to around ten seconds or so. The Soul itself is further evidence of how far Kia’s cars have come. It’s both comfortable, easy to drive and even the base model is very well specced. It’ll be a left field choice for a lot of conservative car buyers, but I promise you that it’s worth test driving one if you’re in the market. Kia Motors Ireland Read the review on CompleteCar.ie
If you only ever do one thing in your automotive life – make sure you experience the sight and sounds of a contemporary Formula One car. Nothing can prepare you for the feeling that hits you when that 2.4 litre V8 revs to 18,000RPM for the first time. Despite comical organization and an almost impossible lack of access, I managed to grab a handful of images when Jenson Button unleashed his MP4-26 on the streets of Dublin last weekend …
The Irish modified car scene is a strange one. On one hand, you have lots of people who only follow the pack, scared to move outside of their comfort zones. On the other hand, you have people like Keith Wheldon who prefers to go his own way. You can check out the full and in-depth feature on Speedhunters but I’ll summarize Keith’s 180SX in one sentence – this is the best built and most considered RPS13 ever built in Ireland. Oh, and it’s his daily driver too …
With the start of my 2012 season rapidly approaching, I needed to get to an event to setup two new cameras and blow some cobwebs off my own skills. The Monster Energy Masters of Dirt show, which took place in City West this weekend gone, proved to be the perfect event for this task. Subjects which were fast and could change direction quickly, low light, mixed light sources and rapid action provided the perfect challenge of ‘bedding in’ my new equipment. It certainly wasn’t an easy to event to shoot. The low light forced an ISO of 2000 and relatively slow shutter speeds (much slower than what I would have liked). The lighting system inside the arena was tricky to work with too, with the riders often jumping above the lighting rigs into the darkness. Access was slightly limited – although we had almost free reign of the venue, we needed to be conscious of not blocking the views of any paying spectators. The show itself was top class with some genuine breath taking moments. Credit to the organisers for the smooth running of the entire operation and although this was my first FMX event, I’ll definitely be looking to attend more in the future.