A smashing day out with an Opel GT

Josh Cornelius, who I had known from being at King Edwards School in Witley, has kind of a dangerous passion for cars. Classic cars in particular but I remember chatting to Josh and James, his brother, about them at school before roll call or just on the way to lunch or between lessons. We had been planning doing a photo shoot for maybe like 2-3 months but because of problems with the Opel and either Josh or I being busy we weren’t able to do so. Early May bank holiday rolls around and Josh and I finally have the chance to photograph their gorgeous 1972 Opel GT, which had recently come back from the mechanics and been polished earlier in the week by Mr Cornelius so we was in for a treat. 

My day started at 7am as we had planned to shoot earlier in the day rather than later because there was a chance of rain in the early afternoon. As I was staying in LDN, the trip down was around 1 hour 30 mins so I was down in Haslemere at 9am.

North Greenwich station at 7.30am and I am about to jump on the Jubilee Line to Waterloo

North Greenwich station at 7.30am and I am about to jump on the Jubilee Line to Waterloo

I was expecting Josh to pick me up from the station at 9am in the Opel already but nope, he pulled up in their trusty “granny like” Nissan Note. I feel so sorry for you Josh. We pulled up at the Cornelius house and proceeded with getting the beauty out the garage, after a quick bite to eat and coffee, of course. 

Right so we planned a target to basically get down to Goodwood and then along to a road that Mr Cornelius said would be great fun to drive and really good for photos. I can’t remember which road it was, sorry. And so off we went…

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Josh said, even within the first few 100 meters that the car was running the best he had ever experienced so we were feeling optimistic about having a successful day. All was well. Happy faces all round. However after about 20-30 minutes around the Petworth region, we started to encounter some backfiring and mis timing from the pistons in the engine and etc.  

Picture a Frank Underwood address: the Opel GT, yes wasn’t that pricey in terms of money/investment value but the car had been in the family for donkeys. Josh’s grandfather first bought it around the 25-30 age and it had stayed in the family ever since then. 

Josh being overly cautious decided to pull over at West Sussex Specialist Cars, opened the bonnet and have a peak around before calling his old man to find out what he thinks given the symptoms. The verdict… try driving back home and rethink what we could do to not make the day a waste.

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So a quick check over and drive by his old man and we were back out. Josh and I took this time to go and look though the documents, photos, articles and just cool shit he had. I only have this 1 photo which I took on my phone of this. I wish I had taken a few more with my big camera tho.

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All seems fine as long as Josh kept the revs high by staying in a higher gear longer. Opel GT’s only have 4, incase you didn’t know. Our first stop was back at our old school, King Edwards School in Witley. I had been back a few weeks prior as I was in the area anyway shooting some bikers at some dirt jumps in Milford but Josh hadn't been back in donkeys. Around 5 years.

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Nice little behinds the scenes pic from Josh. We didn’t like the final pic in the end, but it made me think about what would

Nice little behinds the scenes pic from Josh. We didn’t like the final pic in the end, but it made me think about what would

Right, time for some pub grub. We headed for the most middle class, countryside pub you can think of, The Noahs Ark in Lurgashall. Yes, it did come complete with cricket playing just across the road. 

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2 burgers down and a beautiful Aston Martin DBS Volante turned up, among other cars, which actually followed us a bit down the road when we left. It sounded and more importantly looked fuckin’ magical. 

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Next on our adventure was Cowdray Ruins in Midhurst to try and get some dramatic more period style photos. 

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The weather was a bit iffy around early/mid afternoon as there were a few cloudy lying around up there but we decided to make the push down to Goodwood. Im so glad we did because it was my first time there and we were able to make these beauties:

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It was around 4pm by the time we left Goodwood and headed back to Haslemere. By the way the Opel had been running really smoothly all afternoon, we had like 2 little hiccups from the engine on the way back but that was it. It started raining just as we pulled in home so we were happy to call it a day there. I spent like 30-40 mins going through the photos with Josh already rating them for ease of finding the better photos in the future (as I do always) and doing quick edits. I was able to have a shiT as I wasn’t able to have one earlier in the day. Sorry Josh and family. I was on the train headed back to LDN around 5pm.

Overall, what a bloody fantastic day out, THANK YOU! We sure will be doing that again. All I need now is a classic Porsche or E30 or something. 

Catch ya later,

Ray Petty Meccanica - November 2017

After my US West Coast trip in October 2017, I was able to find a gem of a motorbike repair shop in Greenwich. I stumbled upon Ray Petty Meccanica during a bike ride (a break from being in the flat all day) one cold dark, but dry Friday evening. 

As someone who within the last year or so, especially who is frequently on the discover page on Instagram (seeing what the rest of the world is up to), I have grown a strong passion for specialist "cafe racer" style custom bikes, which Ray Petty where clearly into. After a quick Google, website and Instagram stalk, I got in touch and asked if I could take some photos of the bikes, workshop and people involved, for free, which they were happy to let me do on 2 occasions.

Below are some of the photos I captured on both these occasions. I hope you enjoy them

Its mid February at the moment and I am going to get back in touch to see if I can get involved again and maybe work on some more bike showcasing style photos (like seen on @bikeshedmc, @autofabrica & @losperdidos_ on Instagram). I hope I can take these passions of mine further throughout the next few years here in London. 

Cheers

Matchstick Productions 'Fade to Winter'... My thoughts

Before I start I would like to use this review as sort of a public tool to use to get some of my thought and feelings I had about the film across to anyone who stumbles upon this review/blog post. Also I did not write this blog post to offend anyone. If I do, then I am sorry in advance and I hope you understand these are just my opinions

Watch Fade to Winter here ... https://www.redbull.tv/film/AP-1N9BJJJJ51W12/fade-to-winter

The thing I love about Apple TV is that I am able to watch Red Bull TV on my 10 year old Loewe 720p HD television that we bought when we first arrived in Jakarta before living there with my family a couple of years. I am surprised it still kicks out a reasonably good picture for this day and age. So one evening I was in that "I want to watch a ski film" mood and I happened to fall upon watching Fade to Winter by Matchstick Productions through Red Bull TV.  I had not seen the film but had had it in my watch list for a while now. The film is an ode to times of change that skiers, snowboarders and surfers alike experience. 

I started watching the film and as a 3rd year Film & TV Production student here in London and one that wants to work in the ski film industry, I found that I picked up on a few things that could be of interest for my future self. 

Firstly I learnt some awesome new phrases to add to my skiing, mountains and snow arsenal. One of which was the way snow, and in particular falling powder snow was described as 'big fat potato chips floating down from the sky'. I don't know why specifically this phrase stuck out in my mind but it remained me of one of Queen's famous songs and then the British  documentary series 'Big Fat Gypsy Weddings'. The likelihood of you knowing of Queen's song is pretty high but if you haven't heard of or seen some of the TV series then I suggest you go and check it out because it is both a big laugh and pretty eye opening (for me at least) at the same time. 

Secondly, the shotover shot through a valley between 2 rocky peaked mountains in Haines, Alaska, I think should have been longer. With the sounds and music that were playing at the ned of this segment, the shot should have at least lasted for 5 or 10 more seconds and the helicopter could have moved both up and back whilst the camera lens could have zoomed in. I think it just would have been a more "set in stone" way to end such kick ass segment. 

PS in case you don't know what a shotover is, the picture and video below will tell you. Its one hello of a piece of kit for sure. 

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Lastly I would like to raise an enquiry as to what people think of featuring a narrator in ski and other sports films. For me, I always thought a narrators guiding words in ski movies was always going to be something that Marren Miller and his films would feature. I would think that the guys there were the best at it and if anyone were to copy them and use a narrator to guide the viewers attention, it would be weird and somewhat wrong and "breaking the law" of modern and semi modern ski films. And so when I was watching Fed to winter and the narrator would be there doing his thing I built a strong disliking to it and started to question 'What would a ski movie be like without a narrator?' or even athletes that would say what was going on in their dialogue. There may be a market for that sort of film where the audience has complete freedom as to what they think is happening and the story thats being told. Something like this would surely open up a whole lot more creative "latitude" to the visuals, sound design, effects and music.

And so yeah I will leave it at that to ensure I don't upset anyone further or fall into any legal or political "stromash". 

 

Thank you,

 

 

PS below are some screen grabs of the rubber duck/s that made an appearance in the "skiers spring break" segment in the film

Skate Photography

On 22nd March 2016, my mate Tom said he was heading over to the new skatepark at Folkestone Gardens to enjoy the nice and not be stuck inside editing the documentary he was pulling together. So wanting to get out and do the same I asked if I could tag along and try my hand at some skate photography. He said 'yeah sure man, it'll be fun' so I joined him to get my camera out and shoot some photos.

 

Below are all the good images I got from that day. FYI and FMI (for my information) skate photography is down right hard man, but it was mu first time shooting this sport so give me some slack.

All photos shot in RAW with my Nikon D7200 with either Nikon 35mm 1.8, Nikon 70-300 VR or Nikon 18-55 VR lenses. Edited in Adobe Lightroom 5 with the Adobe DNG converter (Lightroom 5 doesn't take the D7200 RAW files)

An Infrared Experiment

So I have recently become really interested in infrared photography and the potential it has for a photographer and filmmaker, especially within the sports, architecture and culinary fields. So below I have compiled a collection of photo's which I have converted to infrared using the negative effect filter on my Samsung Galaxy S6

Feel free to comment/like below to show your love or hate of the infrared genre as I would like to know