The Return of BIGNJPN: Giuseppe’s Nissan Skyline – Round 2

It’s been a few weeks now since I shot Giuseppe’s Skyline again with Diana, JC, and Punit – this would now be the second year in a row that I’ve shot Giuseppe’s car – and I’ll tell you right now that this isn’t a bad thing. I’m pretty sure I mentioned it in my last post with his photoshoot, but I would gladly shoot his car at the drop of a dime because it’s just that good.

Oh, and for those of you who haven’t happened to see the last shoot, check it here: https://lifewithjson.com/2014/06/16/bignjpn-giuseppes-nissan-skyline/

Anyway, the reason I’ve been holding out on the shoot is because the shoot is originally for Farm of Minds (which you can also check out here – http://www.farmofminds.com/giuseppes-r32-gtst/). I just wanted to give them the chance at posting it first before I posted up my own rendition of the photoshoot. The difference is more that I have a lot of the back end story, behind the scenes, etc rather than a spec list and full fledged feature. It’s not my style anymore… Plus, I enjoy doing the back story edition πŸ™‚

I know Giuseppe has been DYING to see the pictures. I would send him edited teaser pics from my monitor so he wouldn’t have full res shots. I’m the type of guy that goes for a photoshoot and probably has the pictures done the same night with the full post up the following night. Even for me, I was anxious to share the pictures with all of you. Anyway, you all probably know about Giuseppe’s Skyline… And if you didn’t, now you do. Let’s get on with it…

IMG_3227 copy

Diana and I carpooled with JC just so it was easier to get everywhere.

IMG_3231 copy

While waiting for Giuseppe, I just took some randoms.

IMG_3232 copy

JC didn’t want anything to do with it…

IMG_3233 copy

As we were waiting, the train came passing by and at that moment, I was wishing Giuseppe was around to get some snaps. He actually did end up showing up at the right time, parked quickly and let me get some shots. As I’m writing this, I’m wondering why I didn’t edit any… But I’ll save it for the “winter blues” post when all the fluffy, cold white stuff starts taking over…

IMG_3254 copy

We moved on and finally got to work on the actual subject. As always, it’s not hard to make Giuseppe’s car look good. If anything, his car makes my pictures look good…

IMG_3264 copy

Looks like it came right off the showroom…

IMG_3271 copy

The difference in this shoot was that Giuseppe asked for it to be a night time shoot. I was down for a challenge since the last time I shot at night was years ago. We met up a little earlier – as you can see – so that I could capture some sunset shots…

IMG_3288 copy

It’s almost like we were in Japan in this shot. So JDM…

IMG_3295 copy

That bright red Bride bucket…

IMG_3304 copy

Heading over to the next spot… I love shots like these…

As I said above, this would be the first time I’ve done a night shoot in a few years. And since it would be a few hours until sundown, this would’ve been one of the longest photoshoots we’ve had. So I took the opportunity to take some more “journalistic” looking photos and you’ll see some throughout the post. This is one of them…

IMG_3511 copy

You’ll see those wide SSR’s under the flares from last post, but you’ll also spot his biggest and newest addition in this photo as well…

IMG_3499 copy

Ohh la la

IMG_3513 copy

But wait! A wild Punit appears…

IMG_3515 copy

Just some engine bay shots…

IMG_3519 copy

Cusco

IMG_3527 copy

Giuseppe made a point to clean the engine this time πŸ™‚

IMG_3529 copy

And an overhead shot of the power plant.

IMG_3537 copy

We made our way up to one of the parkades to get some shots over-looking the smoggy YYC downtown backdrop. This shoot was around the time that Washington had the crazy fires and everyone up North had a very smoggy few days…

IMG_3582 copy

That doesn’t really stop Giuseppe’s car from shining through though. The downtown office lights start to shine nicely as it gets darker…

IMG_35501

One challenge in particular when shooting around this time is that you get two very distinct and nice tones. Either the cool, blue tone or a warm, yellow tone. The few photos above this one is where I picked the cooler tone. The photos you’ll see on Farm of Minds for the next several photos also took that same approach. I decided to sit down and re-edit a few using the warm tone… Both look good, and I couldn’t decide which ones I liked better…

IMG_35601

Sorry – enough about photo blabber. Back to Giuseppe’s car… If you hadn’t guessed it, his newest addition was the Rocket Bunny rear diffuser that Giuseppe retrofitted on. Looks great!

IMG_35671

A side view of the diffuser. Giuseppe is a great example of bringing in quality parts and putting a ton of thought and even chance into retrofitting them onto his car… And each time, he executes beautifully. There are other parts you’ll notice that you probably don’t usually see on R32’s – that’s why Giuseppe’s car is so great.

IMG_3585 copy

Loved this shot with the Calgary Tower chillin’ in the back and all the office lights…

IMG_3588 copy

A similar shot zoomed out slightly with a cooler tone to it…

IMG_3611 copy

As we moved down the parkade, I took a few more shots with the typical “parkade lights” and they show the lines of Giuseppe’s R32 nicely.

IMG_3597 copy

In between the last shot and this one, we were confronted by the mighty security guard of the parkade and he told us to hurry up and leave. Kind of dumb because we obviously weren’t doing much… Plus, we paid to get in. Ah well… I got the shot!

IMG_3327 copy

Just a few rolling shots as per usual.

IMG_3350 copy

Mother nature

IMG_3387 copy

Down low. Looks like Hong Kong in the back…

IMG_3708 copy

The night falls upon us… The challenge begins.

IMG_3692 copy

Giuseppe mentioned that one of the spots he’s always wanted to park and get a picture of was under the Core’s overpass in front of Holt Renfrew. I proceeded to tell him to get in line, because everyone and their mom wants a shot there… Specifically, they want a shot in front of Louis Vuitton.

Fortunately, I didn’t turn him down and agreed to get the shot for him. It actually requires a bunch of “right timing” and coordination with a bunch of people. First, it needs to be late so that the valet doesn’t come kick you out. Second, the amount of people needs to be minimal or else they’ll get in the way. Third, a spot needs to be available while another driver drops me off on the other side of the street. And finally, you need to take the best damn shot you can because cars are passing continuously.

Anyway, we didn’t get Louis Vuitton, but we got the main entrance, and we got Hermes. Good enough!

IMG_3677 copy

Some shots that didn’t really turn out how I liked, but once I edited them a certain way, they looked real dark and gritty. Totz cool.

IMG_3678 copy

Here’s Giuseppe backing up into the spot you saw above. That truck was the one that got in the way of Louis Vuitton you can see there as well…

IMG_3672 copy

As we were rolling out of there, I popped my head out of the car and snapped a few quick shots of Giuseppe following behind. This was on Stephen Ave – hence the cool lights on the ground and posts all around.

IMG_3662 copy

Heading out for some night rollers…

IMG_3661 copy

A scene from Fast & the Furious.

IMG_3655 copy

Another dark and gritty shot.

IMG_3631 copy

Through downtown, I got a few shots that worked nicely.

IMG_3625 copy

Check that rearview mirror reflection on Giuseppe’s eyes. Means business.

IMG_3617 copy

And one last one through downtown.

IMG_3715 copy

We ended up at a spot JC had been talking about all night and then we found a spot to drive up onto the side walk and take some dope shots. Long exposure, super small aperture, and you get awesome skies, twinkling lights and nothing but shine…

IMG_3719 copy

Loved this shot too. Kind of like the rolling shot above during the day, it looks almost like a Hong Kong city skyline. (or Japan – whatever you please…)

IMG_3721 copy

And one last one over by some cool lights on a wooden walk way…

IMG_3417 copy

And one last shot – which probably ended up being one of my favourite shots – was this one along Memorial Drive. Giuseppe and I were talking and it reminded the both of us of a shot a few years ago of a yellow R32 that was featured on Stance Nation. That shot ended up being one of my backgrounds during my early photographer years. Little did I know, I’d end up recreating it with Giuseppe’s car almost 6 years later.

Anyway – hope you guys enjoyed! Sorry for the lack of content lately… Weather has sucked lately so I haven’t done anything cool. Hopefully I have some updates soon!

Diana’s Bridal Shower

This is outside of the norm for my posts – I have one once in a while – but I thought I’d make a small little post.

**Sappy Jason ON**

I was out all day with the guys doing photoshoots while Diana and her friends/family had a bridal shower at our place this afternoon. Timing was perfect – three photoshoots lasted us from 11AM to 4PM then JC and I went to eat Ramen for a quick dinner.

I got home and they were just winding down and the decorations were actually super nice. Excuse the lack of furniture in our house… I didn’t get a chance to take any pics of the decoration but it was awesome.

IMG_2657 copyA quick group photo of the girls that were still there when I got home.

IMG_2680 copyWhen everyone left, Diana went over all the awesome gifts she got and the one thing in particular that I enjoyed the most was this box that said “Advice for the Bride”. All the girls wrote little things on the hearts and I personally enjoyed each one of them.

My three favourites of the pile (there were tons) were these three.

1) Don’t drive stock cars

2) Never stop saying I love you

3) Don’t go to sleep mad at each other

I just wanted to give a heartfelt thanks to all the girls that help put this together for Diana (Julee, Cindy, Thy, and Derrick – not a girl). It means a lot to Diana and myself to have a great group of people that we know care about us and are willing to spend time helping us out. You guys are the best! Anyone that makes Diana happy, makes me happy too! Just about a month until the big day!

**Sappy Jason OFF**

BIGNJPN: Giuseppe’s Nissan Skyline

A little late on this post… Had a bunch of things come up over the last week and have just been swamped. I originally wanted this post to go up last Friday but I think Monday is an even better time to post as a pick-me-up for those of you that dread Monday as much as I do. The only worst way to start the week is if your iPhone breaks and you have to wait 3 days to get a new one – exactly how mine is starting. That’s what I get for jailbreaking the phone and losing the Modem Firmware. Probably not going to do that again…

However – let’s move onto the latest and greatest – Giuseppe’s Nissan Skyline. This is by far my favourite photoshoot this year – first because of the new location, but primarily because Giuseppe’s car is a rare piece of art. Ever since Skyline R32’s were permitted in North America, there has been a whole wave of them being modded by fanboys left, right and center. Once in a while, a star is born when it comes to making Godzilla something special. Giuseppe did just that.

I first met Giuseppe in 2008 when I entered my first car show with my Civic FG1. At the time, I thought my car was pretty decent – coils, Work Emotion XT7’s in some weak sizing, a carbon trunk, a minimalistic audio set up and a lip kit. Giuseppe rolled up beside me in his Skyline and I immediately knew I couldn’t compete. He had a GT wing before I even knew I had a love for them, bucket seats that I didn’t even think worked in a street car (I was a noob at the time)…

Mercedes Terrell - Nissan SkylineHere’s a picture of what his car looked like at DTP 2009. A year later and once again I had the privilege of parking beside him – you can see my car to the right of his.

Ever since I’ve known Giuseppe, he has never had anything bad to say about anyone’s car. He loved my Civic in 2008 – the stage I hated the most. Giuseppe is a rare type of car guy – one that you don’t see too much of anymore. He truly loves cars and has a passion for all things cars – Japanese, Domestic, Italian – you name it. He comes from a family of car lovers – his dad, his brother – Marco, who also has a bad ass 350Z (staying in the Nissan family). Not only that, but his Fiance – Lexie, supports him in every way possible without holding him back.

Ultimately, It’s the respect that he shows to fellow car enthusiasts that really just make you want to continue doing what you’re doing in the best way that you can – big or small because we all motivate each other. To this day, nothing has changed and Giuseppe is still focusing on his car and just doing him. We need more people like him in this scene… People that can appreciate everything and anything even if it’s not part of his taste palette.

IMG_1643 copy

Let’s start off with my favourite shot of the shoot. Giuseppe’s car has undergone quite a few changes since the picture I posted above and even more changes since I shot it for illmotion a few years ago. He’s gone bigger and badder and you really won’t see anything like it. This picture makes me wish it was my car because it’d be the first one I’d print to go on canvas for my living room πŸ™‚

IMG_1442 copy

The meeting spot – Country Hills Toyota. Giuseppe ended up getting there early so Diana and I rushed down there to meet him to try and start the shoot a little earlier.

IMG_1443 copyTook a few shots while waiting for JC and Rich to show up. Giuseppe’s paint is the wettest paint I’ve ever seen.

IMG_1447 copyToo good.

IMG_1462 copyGiuseppe requested to try out the new Airport tunnel for some shots and that’s where we went. It would’ve been the first time I’ve ever shot in there so it was exciting for me. Here’ a shot of Rich off to the side.

IMG_1463 copyAnd more importantly – Giuseppe’s car. The lights and everything just make his car shine.

IMG_1473 copyHead on.

IMG_1504 copyAnd my favourite view – from behind. Giuseppe killed it with this set up and it just looks so deadly from the back.

IMG_1520 copy

Side profile of his rear. SSR Sp3’s – a great choice for Giuseppe’s Skyline.

IMG_1534 copy

IMG_1542 copy

Shining lights.

IMG_1561 copy

Maybe I lied a bit – this might be my favourite rolling shot ever πŸ™‚

IMG_1589 copy

We made a few passes through the tunnel until I got exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want this shoot to go to waste and I wanted to make sure Giuseppe’s pictures were as epic as I could make them.

IMG_1596 copy

Look at that shine and reflection!!! Giuseppe – you did a great job – I can’t tell you that enough throughout this post.

IMG_1667 copy

Moving onto some static shots to take in more detail. A lot of detail in Giuseppe’s car is in the bodywork. Devon (I shot his EG a while back) and John worked their magic with all the work into the body and made it into what you see in these shots. Quality work pays!

IMG_1670 copy

I’ve done this a few times and I try not to abuse it, but I couldn’t resist with Giuseppe’s car. Every angle is too good not to take.

IMG_1681 copyA nice shot of the fitment and the amount of lip in his SP3’s. I posted a photo a few weeks ago to my Instagram and it was a teaser shot of his rear fitment without showing the wheels at Zero Limit. Jackie was able to fine tune his suspension to get rid of all the rubbing in the rear that Giuseppe was experiencing. Those rear tires are 275 wide – too good.

IMG_1687 copy

A picture I posted on my Facebook page a few days ago. Thanks to Jimmy and Ryan at VEX Performance – Giuseppe was hooked up with his first set of real baller wheels ever. (That’s quoting Giuseppe haha)

IMG_1690 copyBeautiful finish.

IMG_1692 copyA typical sun flare shot. You need one of those in every car shoot, right?

IMG_1694 copyThe crew chillaxin while I’m running around shooting. Don’t get me wrong though – without these guys, the locations, rolling shots, and even the actual photoshoots themselves wouldn’t happen for me.

IMG_1700 copyAnother of “dat ass”

IMG_1715 copyAnother detail you might have noticed is his retrofitted Rocket Bunny wing. Sits right at home with Giuseppe’s Skyline and it looks perfect!

IMG_1727 copy

IMG_1731 copyStack cluster and no less for the interior.

IMG_1735 copyGiuseppe’s interior is still mint as can be.

IMG_1737 copy

A quick engine bay shot for those of you that want to see the heart of Godzilla.

IMG_1739 copy

IMG_1745 copyRich’s WRX.

IMG_1747 copyEnding the shoot…

IMG_1749 copyAnd finally we will end it here with Giuseppe – the man himself – getting ready to leave.

Huge thanks to Giuseppe for letting me be the first to shoot his Skyline in its completed form. We have been talking for a few weeks about getting together but he was just waiting for the finishing touches to be done. Giuseppe is super low key, but if anyone is looking for the next big thing – it’s right here.

Hoang’s K20 Honda Civic Coupe

Back to regular broadcasting as we are nearing the end of the week. It’s been quite the busy week for me with more appointments for getting stuff done with the house and the wedding. For those of you that care in the least bit, I’m happy to say that Diana and I have finally sealed the deal on a venue for next year.Β  That was the most stressful part of the “wedding planning” stage so far because if we didn’t lock in a venue, the wedding wasn’t going to happen. After that, everything usually falls into place with some coordinating here and there. Next up are save the date cards and that should be it until it gets closer to the day.

As for our house – the footing and cement is done and we’re expecting the framing to be up by mid November. At the pace that they’re going, it’s quite possible that our possession date will be sooner rather than later, but we’ll hold tight until then. We’ve got a few more appointments to pick out the last remaining items and then we just wait… You’ll probably end up seeing more posts of the progress on here as the winter months come…

Anyways – enough of my life story for now – the time has come for Hoang’s Civic! I was super pumped to finally shoot it and now I’m super pumped to post the pics. I’ve been wanting to shoot it ever since I met Hoang and his Civic in 2010 during Driven when he entered with illmotion. The most attractive feature of Hoang’s car for me was the J’s Racing GT wing. It was the first EK coupe that I’ve seen with a GT wing and I had, and always will have a soft spot in my heart for J’s Racing parts. His car was on Mugen MF10’s and it was just so mint. Many of the EK coupes that I see are usually done up in a very simplistic way – much like Brad’s Civic and it just works well that way. However, when you turn the tables a full 180 to an aggressive track-inspired look, it looks equally as good and Hoang’s is exactly that.

Here is a shot of his car that I took during that show from 2010. You’ll see that not much has changed besides his wheels. It’s also been 3 years since this shot and the car has not aged one day.

On route to our location.Β  Looking aggressive from the front.

View from the back. I know what you might be thinking with his license plate – I thought the same. But I’ll explain later…

Hoang’s EK looked perfect rolling in the sunset. The blue was just perfectly match with the sky.

Now you can see why I said it’s track-inspired theme looks so good. There are a bunch of retrofitted parts on Hoang’s Civic that make it unique. If memory serves me right, the carbon canards and lip additions are from an M3 body kit and fitted on.

Another shot with the awesome lighting. It was cold as hell that day though.

Front quarter shot – shows the aggressiveness that the J’s Racing wing adds.

I just want to add her that Hoang’s car is an absolute garage queen – much like a lot of the other cars that will be posted up soon. He doesn’t drive it often, but he does go out into his garage to wipe it down every few days – that dust can be a silent killer… πŸ™‚

Like I mentioned before – I love that these guys are coming out to let me shoot because they really just spend a lot of their lives in the garage so you don’t see them often. Having them come out to play for a bit is even better!

Side profile shot. Also note the addition of the Spoon diffuser as well…

His immaculate engine bay with a lovely K20 sitting in there. Funny now that I think about it – all of the Honda’s that I’ve shot lately are either K20’s, FI K20’s, or just straight up FI.

There is Hoang wiping down the bay for the shot above. Nathan and JC hang out. I felt bad because it was clean before the shoot and I had him enter a warehouse near there and it dusted up the whole car. I felt even worse when he was saying he was trying not to brake on the way to this location because he didn’t want brake dust all over his wheels.

The signature J’s Racing teal valve cover.

J’s racing strut bar.

Signature of authenticity πŸ™‚

The J’s Racing wing that made me fall in love with the car the first time I saw it. Funny story behind it – when Speedtech was still open, I was talking to Jackie about his plans with his S2000 and I talked about my plans with my Civic and we eventually stumbled across the topic of GT wings. Jackie’s S2000 was sporting the 1700mm wing he still has today and I was saying how much I loved it and wanted one – not knowing I would have soon traded my TE37’s for his brother, Dal’s J’s Racing wing. Jackie said he had a smaller J’s Racing wing before that and ended up selling to his buddy with an EK. He showed me a pic and unbeknownst to me, it was Hoang’s.

And so, here it is today. Still in pristine condition and one of the only EK coupes that I’ve seen with a GT wing without looking gaudy.

Back to the Spoon diffuser. The age of retrofitting parts made for other cars remains. For those of you that happen to have an EK and happen to have tried or have successfully retrofitted an S2000 Spoon diffuser if you also happened to have one, know that the diffuser is too long for the back end. You ultimately have two choice – man up and cut the diffuser to “make” it fit or sell the diffuser altogether. Hoang, in this case, is a handyman – he went with the first choice of manning up and cutting the diffuser. He also went an extra mile and found an even better way of making it work and look clean cut…

The end that Hoang cut is now covered with another carbon “cup” to hide it up and give it a more polished and finished look. That “cup” is actually also from an M3 carbon lip that he also cut and fitted to the diffuser.Β  I, too would also rather cut an M3 lip to make a Spoon diffuser look better.

It’s hard to see but if you could touch the seam, it is smooth as butter. It’s almost like it was molded on or was an additional piece that Spoon provided if you wanted to use it or something. Great job to Hoang for that.

Wheel/brake set up upclose. Volk TE37’s paired with twinblock Spoon brakes. Again, if you’re a diehard detail fan – you’ll notice the full titanium T1R lugnuts. You’ll also know they aren’t cheap at all lol.

Paying more attention to detail, he’s got J’s Racing tow hooks up front and out back and if you’re really scrutinizing this pic – you’ll see he used a Mugen bolt to hold the diffuser to the body… Love it.

One of the shots I posted on Facebook from the night I shot his car.

And from the back. I feel like the Spoon diffuser is a perfect addition to the wing now. At Driven, it didn’t have the diffuser and it looked a bit naked, but still awesome.

As for his license plate – I know every one of you is reading it exactly how it sounds and are probably thinking that it’s got something to do with how high something is or how his car shits on yours. Yes his wing is high, and yes it probably shits on yours but it’s not what it means. It’s actually read as “HIS HAT” in conjunction with his wife’s car’s license plate – “HER HAT”. “HAT” is the first letter of his, his wife, and his daughters name. It’s a very personal plate but I couldn’t help but ask what it meant because I was always reading it wrong. I admit that as I write this, I’m still sounding it out in my head wrong. But now you know…

And to end it off, I always like to finish with another roller. I absolutely loved this shoot, not just because of the car but because Hoang is really one down-to-earth dude. Extremely humble and easy-going – it’s hard not to appreciate him and the work he’s done on his car. Thanks to Nathan for helping set this one up as well and once again to JC for being my chauffeur for the last few shoots because I’m lazy as F.

Sad to say that another one is in the bag. I’ve retired for the year from shoots because it’s getting super chilly now and the sun goes down faster than we can shoot. Looks like it’s going to be a long winter, people… Brace yourselves.