Making a living as a car photographer is honestly not even half as glamorous as some would believe. Yes, there are amazing perks and if you happen to love cars, it never really feels like work. You get to drive a vast range of cars from complete opposite ends of the spectrum. On the other hand, there are the early mornings, the cold nights and the wet days when you have no other choice but to get things done. Shooting the Yaris was a perfect example of my little hypothesis… There’s something quite pure about the new Yaris that I like. Whilst it retains most of the features you would expect in a new car (air conditioning, bluetooth, iPod integration etc.) and some that you wouldn’t (reversing camera for instance), it presents everything in quite a simple and direct way. All of your multimedia needs are taken care of via a touchscreen head unit, there are the usual heater controls beneath this and in front of you, you have your speed-and-tach-ometers. And that’s pretty much it. There’s nothing complicated, all the controls can be learned at a glance and you never find yourself reaching around blindly looking for something. The particular model I photographed was the Sol version, which adds some nice features for not much more over base RRP. The one litre engine was perfect around town and even proved its worth on the motorway whilst remaining frugal. A refill with unleaded cost me less than €50. I though the pump was broke such was my surprise. With a light foot, your €50 should see you easily past 600KMs and probably past 700KMs. It’s hard to argue with that. Toyota afforded me quite a lot of time, almost two weeks, to shoot the Yaris. It was a good thing […]
It’s actually quite difficult to write a review of a year whilst trying to avoid every cliché available. I guess it is always good to take the time to look back and appreciate things and learn from mistakes. Speaking personally, 2012 was a bit of a hit and miss year. Although there were certainly some fantastic moments, there was also a lot of time that needed to be endured rather than enjoyed. Photography wise, I don’t think I built upon my technical skills and ideas as much as I would have liked to, mostly due to a lack of field work in comparison to other years. However, these are all things I can focus on for 2013 and try to evolve further as a photographer. I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who comes here, to those of you who take your time to send me e-mails and everyone I’ve interacted with over the last twelve months. I hope that your best moments of 2012 are your worst ones in 2013.
Early last month I picked up Toyota Ireland’s GT86 for a week of ownership. The two litre naturally aspirated FR coupe has been gathering a lot of attention since its release earlier this year, along with being lauded by the motoring press. I was lucky enough to shoot the GT86 earlier this year for CAR Magazine but I was still very excited to spend a week on my own with the car. My experience was nearly all positive. I liked the balance, driving position, gearbox and even the engine which most seem to have deemed as being underpowered. For a standard factory car with a warranty, I thought the two litre flat four 4U-GSE was more than capable. Although lacking in torque, its responsiveness more than made up for it. I couldn’t help myself by blipping the throttle on each and every shift, both up and down the gearbox. The only downsides for me were the tyres which I found to be a little bit too hard and the fact that the car was probably a little bit too hardcore to be a daily driver. As a second car for weekend and trackday duties, I can’t think of anything else currently on the market that would get my money. You can read my full report on Speedhunters, be sure to leave a comment letting me know what you think.
We all have dreams and goals in our lives. Some are big, some are small but with enough work and dedication everyone of them is achievable. You just need to want it bad enough. Throughout my photography career, I have and continue to work towards two goals. 1) Shoot a full season of Formula One and 2) Shoot for CAR. I can now scratch the latter of the list. A couple of weeks back, I received an e-mail from Ben Barry, the deputy editor of CAR in the UK. He asked me if I was free at the end of June for a shoot that I’d have particular interest in, but couldn’t elaborate until closer to the date. Intrigued, I ensured my calendar was free and agreed to meet CAR writer Ben Pulman at a secret test track outside of London. A couple of days before the shoot, I received a brief with three important words: GT86, AE86 & Tsuchyia. Those of you with an interest in drifting will surely recognize the name Keiichi Tsuchyia, also known as the ‘Drift King’. Tsuchyia-san is the godfather of drifting, and without doubt one of the most important people in the history of the sport. CAR wanted to celebrate his history whilst also exploring his involvement with Toyota’s new GT86. The brief I received illustrated clearly what CAR wanted from the shoot, and allowed me to plan in advance what equipment I would be relying on. Unfortunately, on the day of the shoot my appendix decided it no longer wanted to be a part of me. Shooting in much discomfort and pain, I was limited in my movement and abilities. It was pretty upsetting, as this was something I wanted to deliver 110% but I just couldn’t. I pushed on as much as […]
I made a quick visit to Formula D competitor Darren McNamara last week to check in and see what he has been up to over the winter months. Darren is a huge Toyota fan so it comes as no surprise that he always has a couple of interesting projects on the go. His Carina project has certainly attracted a lot of attention over on Speedhunters. It has divided opinions too, but as Darren has said, it’s not really meant to be taken too seriously and is only intended for a bit of fun. Having taken styling cues from a mix of different automotive sub-cultures (VW, JDM, USDM) it’s certainly an interesting project. It’ll be even more interesting when it receives its SR20DET conversion later this year …
You may remember late last year that I published a feature both here and on Speedhunters of Darren McNamara’s wild rotary powered AE86 build. I never got around to posting these images of the car during it’s first test day and first two events. Considering it was a completely fresh build, the success it has enjoyed at its first two events is astounding. Rarely do cars work so well out of the box. It’s a credit to Darren and the team at MCN Sport.
The now monthly drift practice days at Mondello Park rolled around once again last month. As the start of the 2011 drift season edges closer, some of the pro-class competitors were out testing their updated machinery for this championship year. A large amount of kudos must be sent in Mondello Park’s direction, they’ve always been a huge supporter of drifting in Ireland and these practice days are helping the sport to further evolve. More images after the jump along with a link to the full gallery at the bottom of the post …
[vimeo width=”800″ height=”600″]http://www.vimeo.com/20162768[/vimeo] I spent most of yesterday working on a personal project of mine with Martin Ffrench. I had the honor of shooting the exclusive of his SR20DET Toyota Altezza back in November and even luckier to have the chance to ride along side him during the practice sessions. These are only two short laps from the morning whilst Martin was still working on setups and ironing out any small problems. I’ll have a better video and some photographs up later this week.
After a lengthy delay, the Wexican Motorsport Nissan powered Toyota Altezza has finally been completed. I was quite fortunate to shoot the world exclusive feature on the car for Speedhunters. We got really lucky with the shoot, the location played out well, no distractions and although the light was a bit of a pain, it actually worked in our favour. Check out the full story on Speedhunters or click the Continue Reading button for more images from the shoot.