Build your own 1959 Le Mans Winning Aston Martin DBR1...

Well, not quite but how many of us remember those "AirFix" kits with the intricate and fiddly pieces we had to glue together? Why not try your hand at something larger, with this 1:1 Scale Model of the 1959 Le Mans Winning Aston Martin DBR1 race car!

Piloted by the late Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori, the number 5 Aston Martin DBR1 Race Car stormed to victory at 24hr Le Mans playing an important role in the history of Aston Martin Racing.

This unique piece was created as a tribute to that iconic 1959 Le Mans win and measures a staggering 6.35metres by 3.30metres. As you may of guessed, that means this car is life size, full scale, 1:1! Hand crafted by the Evanta Motor Company (the brainchild behind the Carbon Kevlar Aston Martin DB4/DB7 GT Zagato I photographed a while back) this overwhelming scale model features the highest attention to detail by Incorporating such items as; four 16" Aston Martin Wire Wheels complete with eared spinners, a "Mota Lita" 15" AM Racing Steering Wheel, Racing Seats in the correct AM weave, full dashboard with smith gauges and a replica of the Le Mans Trophy. Lastly, but most significantly the piece de resistance has to be the Aston Martin baseball capped signed by both of the late drivers making this a true collectors piece...

Although this structure is collapsable into two transportable pieces, it was challenging to photograph in a way which the background would not distract from the overall magnificent structure. With that in mind, miraculously we managed to source a 8mx6m black screen. In the shade and rigged behind the sculpture itself, the above images were created on my Canon 5D Mark II. It's hard to get a sense of scale with photographs, so below we parked an actual road-going Aston Martin DBR1 replica (also created by Evanta)!

This item is currently on it's way to be auctioned off at the Goodwood Revival on the 16th of September where some lucky bidder will be the owner of not just a significant art piece, but piece of automotive history!

Photoshoot - Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato In The Studio

With the car currently under auction at Monaco, this is one Aston Martin that James Bond won't be getting his hands on. After our photoshoot in the scrapyard, the last thing Evanta wanted me to cover was some studio style 'brochure' shots. These images would be used in the upcoming DB4 Zagato brochure and fact sheets.

Using the infinity white cove at Studio434 was a first for me, and a great chance to experiment with some different style shots. Not only that, it was a great chance to witness the impressive collection that resides in the very same building. I could have happily spent hours taking a look around the collection of fascinating cars.

The detailing and execution on this car is simply stunning. I briefly mentioned in my previous post that this DB4 GT Zagato had a customised Oxblood Red Hide interior, combining certain components from the original DB7 donor car. With it still retaining luxuries such as air-conditioning, airbags and heated seats, this Zagato is certainly a pleasant place to be. With these cars being built to order, measurements are taken for pedal and seat size to ensure a bespoke fit.

Working in this cove meant the use of constant lights, something i'm not overly familiar with (but soon grew to love) and can see myself working further in this way. CT Gels are necessary when mixing flash and constant light as there is always a big discrepancy between colour temperatures. With all of the necessary shots now captured, we turned off the house lights and started to get a little creative with the Elinchrom Quadra's day-light balanced modelling light.

Lightpainting, a technique whereby an external light source is 'painted' selectively over the car, illuminating or highlighting certain areas of your subject. Conditions were not ideal with some natural light entering the studio from nearby skylights, which hindered the shutter speeds somewhat. As such the above and below images were created from multiple (6-7) frames, having different sections of the car illuminated each time and composited later.

It creates a surreal effect and makes the car take on a whole new appearance, emphasising the curves of the car (ideally suited for the nature of this car). In my personal opinion these shots stand out above the rest and will no doubt be found printed onto metallic papers in my portfolio. Working in ways like this just goes to show how versatile one piece of equipment can be, and the Elinchrom Quadra system which I could no longer be without has come up trumps again!

Once again it was an absolute pleasure to work with Evanta on their DB4 Zagato. If you're interested in checking out the auction of their car, you can visit COYS website here. Thanks for reading and if you found this post interesting, don't forget to share it! :-)

Photoshoot - Mission Nutrition

I seem to be getting alot more corporate work lately, which is fantastic as no photoshoot is ever the same and gives you the opportunity to meet lots of varied and interesting individuals. Mission Nutrition is the latest of which, and I was contacted by Michelle Lake who offers a hands-on approach to the benefits of healthy living. The brief was to capture some candid shots of Michelle  from the initial customer consultation through to the picking of healthy produce in a local market.

Michelle has just had her website re-vamped by WordsandStuff which incorporates some of the shots we took today. If your interested to find out more, feel free to check out one of the above links.

Events - British Business Champions Launch 2011

The British Business Champions Awards are the only independent national awards programme recognising the success, innovation and talent of British companies across different business sectors.

I was asked to photograph the launch of the East of England Business Champions event at Harpenden House Hotel, and knowing the success it can bring to local businesses I was delighted to cover such an event.

With my better half, Hannah Couzens speaking about the triumphent success of her business in the recent 2010 FSB awards, it was a great opportunity to point the lens at her and not have her duck out of the limelight. Above is a photograph which was published in the Business Monthly magazine, and if your interested in finding out more about the awards, feel free to check out their website.



Photoshoot - Most experienced car salesman?

When a PR agency contacted us and explained the story behind Don Burgess, quite possibly the most experienced car salesman still working today, it wasn't a hard decision to wether we'd provide the photography for it (even if we flew to South Africa the next day!). Arriving at the dealership for which Don worked, it wasn't long before we saw his key to success. His passion for the cars in which he sold shone through, and his ability to listen made it incredibly easy to see him as a 'friend' rather than a salesman. With Don complimenting me on my own method of transport, the Honda S2000 we were always bound to get along! :)

It was a pleasure photographing Don at Brayley Honda for his 75th birthday, even managing to sneak a few photographs of his pride and joy, the Jaguar inbetween PR shots. Don't ask us how or why, but Hannah Couzens even managed to get Don leaping in the boot of a CR-V for a fantastic shot, shame it never made it to publication!

The story has been published in various formats, few tearsheets below:

Originally published in "Car Dealer" Magazine and "Institute of The Motor Industry" Magazine

Events - Presman Mastermelt 25th Anniversary

Presman Mastermelts are currently one of the leading recyclers of precious metals servicing the industrial sector. It was a pleasure that Hannah and I were invited to photograph their 25th Anniversary at the prestigious Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel. Whilst guests enjoyed their three course meal at this grand event, cabaret dancers and jazz/swing musicians entertained throughout the night.

The event was a tall order for us, as natural light within the ballroom was in short supply. Not to mention the vast scale of the room meaning quick light fall off. For the formals, clever use off three speedlites and gels meant we were able to bring some warmth back into the room and show off this magnificent location in all it's glory.

I'd like to thank Presman Mastermelts for our invitation to photograph such an event, and we look forward to working with them closer in the future on different projects.