Car: Chevrolet Colorado Redline

Location: Monument Valley, Arizona / Moab, Utah

McLaren P1 and Sergio Perez

Each year, one hundred and fifty thousand petrolheads flock to the mecca of motorsport, Goodwood's Festival of Speed. Held over three days, the show (unlike any other) lets fans get up close and personal with iconic cars and celebrities as they hurtle up Lord March's 1.16 mile driveway.

This year saw the FoS celebrate it's 20th Anniversary, whilst McLaren looked back over 50 years of remarkable achievements. From one legendary icon, to McLaren's next? Sergio Perez climbs out of Ayrton Senna's MP4-4 and into the eagerly awaited McLaren P1 hypercar, making it the car's first public debut. 

McLaren P1 Sergio Perez Checo F1 Formula One Racing Driver Celebrity Portrait Goodwood Festival of Speed Blog

Behind closed doors and with exclusive access, I'm given three minutes to shoot portraits of Checo. Gates unlocked, the car would then weave its way through a sea of spectators before catapulting CAR Magazine's Mark Walton up the hill with McLaren's test driver, Chris Goodwin.

McLaren P1 Sergio Perez F1 Formula One Driver Hypercar Goodwood Festival Of Speed Amethyst Black

Despite covering 373 miles in two days (most of which before dawn) and spending two full days at the show for just three minutes with famed Formula One driver Sergio Perez, it will remain a career highlight.

Sergio Perez Checo McLaren F1 Driver Formula One Racing Driver Celebrity Portrait

The P1 up close is breath-taking, especially in "Amethyst Black" with more exposed carbon fibre than you can shake a stick at.

A mass of intricate details, numerous tell-tale signs show that McLaren's F1 background has engineered the P1 to be a race car for the road. From it's indented nose that channels clean air into the roof-scoop, to the lightweight titanium-alloy wire mesh that surrounds the exhaust. Awesome! To read about Mark's experience in the P1 and see further images, check out October's issue of CAR Magazine.

Mercedes Benz S Class

Car of the moment, or car of the year? When it comes to being at the forefront of technology, Mercedes Benz's S Class could easily (in my opinion) lay claim to being unsurpassed by any other manufacturer. 

Mercedes Benz S Class S500 2013

Step inside the car and a single bulb won't be found. Over 300 LEDs make up this lavish interior, with a 43.5 degree reclining rear seat boasting hot stone massage options. 

2013 Mercedes Benz S Class Interior LED Reclining Rear Seat Blue

Mercedes made a pretty bold statement by naming one of their functions 'Magic Comfort Ride'. It's probably something you should experience first hand, as it literally is mind-boggling. The ability to seemingly eradicate speedbumps from the road in front is extremely surreal!

Mercedes Benz S Class S500 Magic Comfort Ride AMG

Packed full of cutting-edge technology, to catch a glimpse into the future of motoring, pick up septembers issue of CAR Magazine and read Ben Oliver's article on what sets this car apart from every other. 

Mercedes Benz S Class Interior S500 Future of Motoring

Lotus Cortina's Golden Anniversary

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the iconic race-bred saloon that is the Lotus Cortina. Classic Cars gathered together five examples, each uniquely different, with one even laying claim to having had the great Jim Clark himself behind the wheel.

Lotus Cortina 50th Anniversary Golden Mk1 Mk2 Race Bred Saloon Classic CARS

Shot for the cover, pick up a copy of Septembers Classic Cars Magazine to read the 12 page celebration with every evolution of Cortina track tested and rated:

Classic CARS September 2013 Magazine Lotus Cortina Cover Feature Richard Pardon Photographer

Portfolio update: DB9, S3, Caterham 7 and a 512BB

In June's issue of CAR Magazine, a Cobalt Blue Aston Martin DB9 joined the fleet of long termers. I challenge anyone to think of a better way of welcoming a car than heading to the hills of North Wales:

Aston Martin DB9 Wales Road Sunset Richard Pardon Automotive Photographer Car Magazine Cobalt Blue.jpg

Collecting the car from Aston Martin's factory in Gaydon, the production line filled was with a plethora of expensive metal. Not to mention this menacing Vanquish which sat in the final inspection bay:  

Aston Martin Vanquish Gaydon Factory Production Line.jpg

Will the 2013 Audi S3 make it into the hot-hatch hall of fame? The 300bhp Quattro packs enough punch to keep up with a 911, how will it fare against the Fiesta ST or Renault Clio? Pick up Issue 611 to find out. Photographed on location in Munich:

Audi S3 Rig Shot Munich Germany Car Magazine.jpg
Audi S3 Munich Launch Richard Pardon Car Photographer Automotive.jpg
Audi S3 Driving Munich Car Magazine Photographer.jpg

Ben Oliver gives us seven reasons why we love the Caterham 7, as the iconic car turns 40. Great to photograph in this lurid colour:

Caterham 7 Supersport Rig Green Editorial CAR Magazine.jpg
Caterham 7 Supersport Interior Rig Shot Editorial Magazine Car Richard Pardon.jpg

Lastly, in between shooting for CAR Magazine i've been back in the studio, shooting various marques for Studio434. One car in particular stood out, the Ferrari 512BB (Berlinetta Boxer) and it's 12 cylinder engine:

Ferrari 512BB Berlinetta Boxer 12 Cyclinder Engine Bay Studio Cove Infinity Car Photography.jpg

All of these images are now uploaded into the portfolio 'cars' section of my website, be sure to check them out large!

Renaultsport Clio 200 Turbo EDC

Last month I flew out to the Sierra Nevada in Southern Spain for CAR Magazine to photograph the launch of the new Renaultsport Clio 200 Turbo EDC.

Renaultsport Clio Turbo RS EDC Launch 2013

With both Ben (Road Test Editor) and I being a fan of it's predecessor, how would the new Clio RS fair with it's paddleshift dual clutch gearbox and turbocharged lump?

Renault Clio RS Turbo Spain Car Launch
Renault Clio Sport RS Turbo EDC Car Launch Spain
Renault Clio RS Turbo EDC Car Launch 2013 Spain

Find out in May's issue of CAR Magazine (Issue 610) as it's challenged by Peugeot's long awaited 208 GTi.

CAR Magazine May 2013 Tearsheet Renaultsport Clio 200 EDC Turbo

Behind the scenes at Caterham F1

For most of us, cold winter months usually conjure up thoughts of snow, log fires crackling and putting up your feet... Not in Formula One where teams are hard at work developing the cars to shave hundredths of a second from their lap time in order to battle for next year's title.

New to Oxfordshire's "Motorsport Valley", Caterham work around the clock at their new factory in Leafield to ready CT03 for the season ahead. With it's high gloss floors and bright white walls, the factory at Leafield seems almost otherworldly. Things you would normally associate with an automotive subject are immediately thrown out of the window. Grease, oil or tyre marks are no where to be seen. Despite owning Domke roller cases, carrying them across their immaculate setup felt more appropriate. This wasn't just going to be an incredible experience, but an unforgettable one!

At the time of writing, all of the cars for the 2013 season have been revealed, and Caterham's was the one I anticipated the most. Why? Photographer or not, most Formula One fans would give their left (and/or right) arm to get up close with an F1 outfit. The past couple of months have seen various visits to Leafield to work with the Caterham F1 Team. This meant I had seen hints of what was to come, and to say it was exciting would be an understatement.

Deep within the heart of Southern Spain lies 2.7 miles of challenging tarmac, a circuit which plays host to four days of winter testing for Formula 1 Teams. Caterham unveiled CT03 early Tuesday morning at Jerez, with an updated aerodynamic package and pearlescent green/matt black livery (not pictured). With the thoroughbred-racer currently being put through it's paces around the tough terrain of Jerez, this blog takes a look back at last years contender, the CT01. The very car that Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen used to propel Caterham to 10th position in the Formula 1 World Championship.

Caterham F1 Formula One Photographer Print Store Art Purchase Buy Blog

To take a closer look at Caterham's 2013 car (CT03), head over to their website to see it in all it's glory.

Studio Sessions

Over a century of automotive history, all displayed within 25,000 square feet. Forty years in the making, Studio434 is now the home to over 160 cars and 60 motorcycles. An extensive and privately owned collection, it's primary use is as a museum and storage facility, whilst offering rental options for advertising and TV. By no coincidence,  at the back of the mezzanine floor lies a purpose built photographic studio with an infinity cove.

Working with Studio434 to photograph their impressive collection, it soon became clear that this could be a service available to private clients and car clubs. This has proved a huge success with top marques such as Aston Martin and their Heritage Trust, collaborating on their centenary project.

With the cyclorama measuring 8x8x2.2 metres, the studio space is able to accommodate almost any vehicle. Working in a controlled environment, it is possible to change lighting setups from shooting in high key to changing the mood and creating automotive art with dramatic effects. Better still, whilst your pride and joy is in the spotlight you are welcome to look around the impressive collection at Studio434.

Located just two minutes from junction 24 of the M25, we have seen clients travel from as far as Wales. If you are interested in having your car photographed, please feel free to get in touch.


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!