Aston Martin

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!

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!

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 - Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

For most, the thought of returning to work hours after landing back from holiday isn't appealing. That is, until you see whats booked in. At the London Motor Show in 1960, Aston Martin unveiled another masterpiece. Their DB4 GT had been placed in the capable hands of coachbuilders Zagato, where a smaller, lighter and more aerodynamic version was hand sculpted. With initial plans to build 25 cars, demand at the time was low and Zagato ceased production after their 20th unit. This makes the DB4 Zagato one of the most valuable sports car of all time, with opportunities to purchase one being extremely rare.

That is, until now. Built to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the original Zagato, Evanta Motor Company have created a classic Gran Turismo fused with modern day technology. This blend, on what is often regarded by many as the most beautiful GT car of all time makes the culmination of over two years hard work time well spent.

With just five days between completion and shipping it off to Monaco for auction, we headed to a contrasting location to capture some publicity shots. Evanta's creation is simply flawless, with it's one piece body shell being hand crafted from modern day carbon fibre and kevlar materials.

There's more to this car than meets the eye, as some of you may have noticed that this DB4 Zagato in particular features widened arches and no door handles. That is because this 1960's based Aston Martin has well and truly been brought into the 21st century.

Life for this car started out as an Aston Martin DB7, before Evanta removed the heavy exterior bodywork and reduced the wheelbase from 102" to the Zagato's original 93". The exterior stays true to an original Zagato (bar a few touches here and there), but the similarities end there. Nearly every component on this car is bespoke, from the suspension and braking system to the Oxblood Red Hide interior.

Evanta certainly made this DB4 Zagato look the part, and they wanted to make sure it had the power to match. Shoehorned in under the bonnet is the V12 engine from the donor DB7. That means that this classic GT features a modern day ECU-Driven, Tiptronic fed, Aston Martin V12 Supercar engine.

Creature comforts such as air-conditioning, airbags and remote controlled door actuators are all features on this car whilst a race-spec roll cage is hidden beneath the interior. One can only imagine what it is like to drive this race-bred GT, but being the only car of its kind in existence I doubt I will ever get to find out. If the noise it makes is anything to go by, it will simply be phenomenal.

The car is currently making it's way to Monaco to be auctioned. If your interested in finding out more about this truly unique, one off creation, you can visit Evanta's website here for a photographic build diary.

With a keen passion for everything car related, I really enjoyed working with Evanta and the beautiful DB4 Zagato. Look forward to seeing what other creations roll out of their workshop in the future!