Level Up: Arif’s Honda Civic – The Final Form?

Ah yes, another photoshoot in the bag – and a rather special one at that. This one is of Arif’s Civic and it’s been quite a long time since we’ve gotten together to shoot. Lots has changed since the last time we shot it and there always seems to be a period of several years between our shoots and while it feels like it’s only been a year or two – this time it’s been 4, and prior to that, it was 5 years. Here’s the link to the Fall shoot we did some time ago if you’re interested:

https://lifewithjson.com/2014/10/08/arifs-honda-civic-ek-2-0-aka-hollie/

This time was special – no, not because we had a candlelit dinner with Jina-spec entrees or anything like that. Don’t get any wrong ideas. It was because this time when Arif asked me for a shoot – he was able to get access to CH Toyota all to himself on a Sunday and one other person. Luckily, that other person was me. You don’t really think about shooting inside a dealership until you’re asked to shoot inside a dealership. I’m not going to say it’s a rare opportunity because I’m sure many others have the same ability to do so, but it doesn’t come around all too often.

It’s an eerie place when it’s empty and there aren’t salesmen walking around, or phones ringing, or machines running and tools banging. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. There’s no pressure to say “no thanks, I’m just looking” or “umm, I’ve got an appointment at 3?”. You could stand and stare at that 4Runner TRD Pro all day if you wanted without the pressure of someone asking you questions. Speaking of 4Runner’s… Before we get on with this pic-heavy post, there was one gem sitting in the showroom that I was able to snap pics of with nobody around to bother me…

This 1,000,000 km 4Runner. Yup, one million…

The interior – despite the mileage – was in fantastic shape. The seats looked better than most used cars you’d find that have 100k on the odometer. Although the steering wheel has taken quite a beating, it hasn’t stopped the car from running.

A shot of the back seats and carpet – still quite immaculate.

And just look at the condition of the body and paint. This could pass as an old, low km car if you judged a book by its cover.

Some of the suspension components have been replaced as expected, but the rest of the car still looks great.

The original wheels – although scathed and starting to age beyond repair still holding strong.

And finally – a shot of that odometer just to prove it. Man… Glad I got to see this.

And so now as we move on and Arif gets the car ready, I took a couple shots of the inside of CH Toyota – when the lights are off and everything is at peace.

The M3 kind of out of place… But adds to the picture as decoration…

So we begin… Arif’s car in the flesh. Very different than 4 years ago when we shot it and very much evolved into something better.

A lot of the shots I took were with the lights off. I felt it gave a very unique feel with a slight blue colorgrade added to it. Almost like it was in the pits getting ready to do some hot laps…

One of the most notable changes are his yellow CE28’s which demand a lot of attention to the car.

Arif said that he had the car all cleaned and ready to go on Friday when he was confirming if we were still good to shoot on Friday. My mistake was believing him. I took this pic and for a split second, I second-guessed what I saw through the viewfinder only to have my doubts confirmed when I reviewed the picture again after taking it.

“Arif – I think you need to clean your wheels again” I said. Arif gave a hesitant “what?” trying to sound like he didn’t know what I was talking about even though he knew damn well. “Your wheels are still dirty here…” I replied again. “You know what, I’m just going to leave it so that you can take a picture and call me out cause I know you will” he says. Deep down – I know that he thought his wheels were as clean as could be. Why else would he have left his car in the dealership overnight and not drive it there on the day of the photoshoot? Because he didn’t want it to get dirty. This is the problem with multi spoke wheels, man. You clean the top half of the spokes because you’re looking down on them but you always miss the underside. As Arif reads this, I know going forward he’s going to start cleaning the underside of the spokes. Mistakes happen.

One of my favourite additions to Arif’s car is the newly retrofitted headlights done by Aldrich. Rich has done many retrofits for our friends cars and they’ve always come out impeccable. It’s a much appreciated update for older cars with halogen reflector headlights and if done nicely, it can look very OEM. No unnecessary LED bars or strobing/changing colours all over the place – just a nicely placed projector and housing.

Another notable change is the BYS bumper. Another welcome addition to bring the package together nicely.

Interior wise – not much has changed. Good ol’ Tigger still hanging from the cage as you can see by his tail…

Lots of big changes as I go through these pictures – another is the Project Mu big brake kit you see behind the yellow CE’s. Surprisingly a very fitting colour combo.

This photo in the washbay had a sort of neckbreaking angle but I liked it. Also, Arif was holding the hose that you see over to the right of the picture there. Just thought I’d give credit where credit is due…

Getting set up to move around

In my opinion, Arif’s car has really “grown up” in the sense that it’s evolved from a “boy-racer” look to a more sophisticated and rounded out look. The much tamer Seeker wing, the BYS bumper, the clean retrofitted headlights and the J’s hood.

Another addition are the Tracklife Composites fenders. A much more aggressive look up front.

The TiBurnt valve stem caps with Project Mu and Volk.

The panda theme that Arif had going on for a long time is more or less gone. Everything is paint matched now – the hood, the roof. The only “black” you see now is the naked carbon accents on the lip and the side mirrors.

Close up of the BYS badge on the front lip…

Another shot of the retrofitted headlights

The bolts holding the hood latch are a gold titanium. A nice touch to match the wheels IMO…

Under the hood now sits a K20 that replaced the F20B which was the heart of Arif’s Civic since I’ve known him.

One of my favourite pieces under the hood was this titanium hood rod.

Mugen bolts…

The rear of Arif’s civic also sports new LED tail lights with a slight smoked finish as well.

Inside, the iconic STACK cluster

Quick intermission – the owner of CH Toyota’s Ferrari sitting in the corner collecting dust… I mean, my house is free to let it “collect dust” too, ‘namsayin…

Getting ready to move to the final area…

I think a lot of my favourite shots were done here in the tire storage area. We’re lucky that he was able to squeeze in nicely. That’s what she said.

I dubbed this “Speedhunter” style… It was unintended but I guess I achieved it nicely lol.

Getting some higher angle shots shows the awesome lines of the J’s Racing hood…

Another shot. Menacing.

OK last one I promise… Once again, good job Rich!

A shot of the cut off – the most important part. Check that blue/purple.

The teaser shot I posted earlier this week… My favourite shot of the bunch still.

And just a few random shots before we ended it for the morning…

Time to hit the track…

Hope you enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed shooting it! It’s nice not having the pressures of people and other cars around – although not huge pressure – it’s still distraction and things you need to work with. An empty dealership and all the time you need provides ample opportunity to get a multitude of shots. Adios!

Arif’s Honda Civic EK 2.0 – AKA Hollie

Hump day post!!

Last weekend we finally got out to shoot Arif’s car, and it was in the plan for a while but by Arif’s request, he wanted more of a “Fall-y” shoot so we waited a little longer until the leaves got a little more yellow and the weather was less “Summer-y” I guess you could say. Also wanted to give Arif a shoot because he hooked me up with the sweet JDM mirror for my FRS – so that just goes to show you if you buy me a mirror, you’ll get a photoshoot.

I think the last time I shot Arif’s car was wayyy back in 2009 or something like that when I also still had my Civic. He had just got his TE37’s, and I was really just getting into photography. Most will probably recognize his car because it’s been in the game for a long time and he’s changing pieces here and there to change it up every year. He’s one of the few that have stuck with the same platform and has built it up to something that everyone knows today. The only other person that comes to mind right now as I write this is Ryan O’Hara and his EP3 that I posted not too long ago.

But back to the point about Arif wanting a “Fall-y” shoot – I decided to try something a little different this time with the photos. When I shoot and edit, I usually try and stick to a natural look – meaning that I don’t really do much except maybe try and make the wheels pop a little more or clone out a sign if it’s distracting. Other than that, many of my photos are untouched because I am a fan of working as best as I can with the environment and light to get a good picture. That’s not to say that I’m not a fan of highly processed photos (not HDR) because that’s cool too… I just never tried to do it. Anyway, what I’ve done for this post is I’ve edited a few of the pictures twice – the first one you’ll see is straight from the camera in terms of colour, contrast, etc. The second picture I tried to go a little more processed – I “made” it look more like Fall, I enhanced the contrast and shadows while making the whites pop a little more. Keep in mind, I don’t usually do it and I want to try to see if I can go that route to see if it’s something that I like… But I thought I’d explain first before you scroll through the pics and wonder what the hell is going on.

Bonus pictures for Arif and his choosing too…

I’ll start with a shot from the last time his car was seen through my lens.

Arif's Honda Civic EK 2.0

White on white – TE37’s with the CTR wing on Paul @ Garage Box’s wing brackets/risers.

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And let’s bring it forward to today with some slight changes…

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The day started off with JC picking my ass up again. (Thanks sir)

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The same cockpit I take a picture of every photoshoot. The only difference is that he actually opened the Junction Produce Hello Kitty air freshener this time and it doesn’t smell as good as you’d expect… Oh well.

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While waiting in the lot for Arif to arrive, we decided to try and get some shots near the birds but they kept moving away as we got closer so that was a bust.

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Random shot. I like the look of the front bumper here.

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And off we go – Arif right behind us.

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So here is where the dual pictures will start. Let me know what you think of the before and after and which ones you like better!

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Arif has always <3’d the haters.

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A shot requested by Arif to send into Red Bull… Some Bokeh action.

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Side profile shot. I’m digging the look of the Seeker wing now even though I love the riser look on the CTR wing.

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More wheel pop. More Pumpkin Spice Latte colours.

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Candid.

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Here’s a good shot of another one of his new additions – newly retrofitted headlights which look quite good.

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More #PSL.

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Head on.

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I ended up liking this picture more and the more I look at them, the more I like the second, more processed pictures… Gives it a good look, especially on white.

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We decided to have a Instagram competition… Didn’t know what we were really competing on but we had one. Here we see a wild Arif furiously adding hashtags to his Instagram post.

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And over to your right, we see a wild JC picking the best filter for his photo.

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Then over here, because we’re in the middle of butt-fuck-nowhere, I’m trying to send my shit to Instagram and it’s not sending because I’m not on Canada’s largest network. Took me a good 5 minutes to send it.

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In the meantime, Arif has already got 5 likes, JC still can’t decide on a filter and I’m pissed because my shit won’t send.

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That’s not a fake sun BTW. I don’t do fake sun flares.

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I do enhance them though. I like this one more.

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JC still can’t pick a damn filter, Arif is reading all his hashtags and I’m wondering why the hell there’s no coverage out here.

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Interior shot.

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A close up look of his CE28’s

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With #PSL filter. (Kidding – I don’t call it that).

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By now, my picture sent and we were good to go. JC still hadn’t picked his filter.

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I like this shot and in both edits, it looks like his hood is Carbon-Kevlar, and it’s not so don’t be confused.

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Shot of his engine…

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Some work that Screamin’ Paintworks did for Arif a while back was get rid of the “D” and the “C” to make it say “OH VTEC”. Not something you would generally notice if you didn’t look carefully…

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Closer shot of the Seeker wing.

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With the edit…

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I was indifferent about this edit – but that doesn’t matter right now, look at Arif’s car.

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This shot just makes it look so warm… Which it was. This was also one of the last rolling shots down that strip. I got a few more but I decided not to post them just yet (sorry Arif) and I’ll save them for a little later… 🙂

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On the way home, JC got the feels as we saw a kitted Corolla roll up but then we saw that it was clearly confused. Hard to tell in the picture but the tail lights looked like Swarovski’d out (which isn’t cool).

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Then we got in front and saw that he was trying to be like a Mazda 3 up front. Ah… I’ll never understand…

Happy hump day!

Adrian Perry’s Honda Civic Coupe

Alright time to go ahead with another one. It’s actually sad that I’m going through these now that the snow is on the ground… Mainly because there is no… well… snow on the ground in the pictures. I remember even complaining about how cold it was during these shoots and I take it back. I take everything back about it being cold and having to wear a sweater. If there is a God, I hope you’re listening because I hate winter. I hate it so much. It adds absolutely no good to life except the fact that we may be able to make snow angels, but I would happily give up snow angels for sweat and snowball fights for sun tanning and shorts. Mark my words – if I ever won some substantial amount of money, I would move to a place it never snowed and got below +10C. I would. I would also purposely post pictures of my feet up outside with the sun glaring into the camera every day.

In other news – Adrian’s car is up next.  Another absolutely mint car that just shines every time I get the chance to see it. He also recently switched over to Alex’s Volk CE28n’s from his other set that he’s been rocking for a while – Work RSZ-R’s. I personally liked both looks so I don’t think he can go wrong with either of the wheel choices, but these were looking mighty fine too. You’ll also notice that it also very simple aesthetically, but deep down – there’s a lot more going on (I’m also talking about the car, not Adrian LOL).

Fitment is perfect. Height is perfect. FMIC is drool.  Simplicity.

I love how the red looked in the sunset as well. The CE28’s compliment the car well. But when you think about it, there are very few cars that the epic and legendary wheels like CE28’s or TE37’s look bad on.

Side profile shot.

The rear of Adrian’s car is where it stands out from the rest. The piece in the bumper is a Golden Eagle rear diffuser – the main purpose of this is to allow air through the back of the bumper so it doesn’t hold air coming through and act like a parachute.

This looks deadly in the rearview mirror.

The bay is where all the magic happens in Adrian’s car. He’s pushing around 400whp at 20psi. No slug.

Everything is clean and minty as F.

Up close of the front set up. God, I love the colour of the CE’s.

JC’s car off in the distance. Looks good low and on stock wheels. Fact – cars look better lowered on stock wheels than lowered on fake wheels. Don’t fake the funk.

A cool shot outside of JC’s car as we were rolling down John Laurie.

One of the last shots of the night. When we shot this, it was actually pitch black outside and the only light coming through was from the two doors you see behind the car. It wasn’t even that much light either… so I decided to try out light painting again. The last time I did it was maybe 5 years ago during the winter with my Civic as well, so I quickly set up and since I had my tripod, this was possible. I got Adrian to draw a random shape and this is what we ended up with. It was actually surprising how perfect he got it, considering you can’t see the light trails when you’re actually doing them…

That’s a wrap for Adrian’s car! I “heard” that a few days after the shoot he was having some issues with the motor or something, so whether that’s true or not – I hope that it’s all fixed!

White is Right – Aldo’s Honda S2000

Still going! I’m not gonna lie – all these photoshoots are starting to take its toll on me. I’m literally just exhausted – it doesn’t help that it’s always so friggin cold and it makes it that much more difficult to shoot when you’re shivering and trying to get a good shot. Yesterday evening we were supposed to shoot Tim’s EG but the weather turned out crappy so we rescheduled for next week. I’m kind of glad though because yesterday was the day that I needed some rest, although I did end up editing more pictures last night anyway, it was nice to just stay home for the evening. Even told me he ended up sleeping for 3 hours and he was feeling exhausted too… Today we are scheduled to shoot Adrian’s Civic – so we’re back in the game tonight. Hopefully the weather holds up – but it seems like every day is getting just a little colder…

Anyways – let’s start this off again with Aldo’s S2000. Aldo just picked this bad boy up earlier this year and it was a big change from his Mercedes that he was rocking for a long time. He went from a luxury-type over to a racer-boy car – I don’t blame him though… The S2000 is an awesome car to drive stock, but add a few more pieces like suspension and an exhaust and it’s perfect… And that’s just what Aldo did.

The side profile shot of the S2000 is always a perfect angle. No matter what route you go – super aggressive and GT-styled or laid back and modest – like Aldo, most looks will end up turning out right for the S2000. Aldo purchased the car mostly how you see it in the picture, minus the addition of the CE28’s and coilovers. The wing and lip were already there and his plans are to ditch the replica parts next year for something bigger and better. In fact, at this exact spot – he asked me if he should do a GT wing. If you know me, I would never say no – so I do hope that he goes that route next year and slowly changes over to the aggressive styling for the S2000.

White on white is always awesome to shoot – especially during the sunset.

Side story: earlier that day, Punit messaged us and said his tire was flat and had to change over to the spare. While we were shooting, Gopesh ended up driving the GS over to our location to meet up quickly and we took a look at the GS…

The wheel was in the trunk and it ended up being pretty bad… The tire came loose and the inside of the rim ended up rolling on the ground. Luckily for Punit it’s on the inside of the wheel only…

Shot of that awesome spare. I love how Lexus chose to paint it a cream color haha

Back to the shoot near a mill.

Getting in to move the car…

JC over to the side. He was sitting in there editing his picture to post on IG. Another side story: on every shoot that we go on, JC usually takes a shot, edits it and IG’s it – but he always ends up taking a killer shot and I’m not going to lie – I wish I knew how to do phone edits as good as him. I’ve already threatened to uninvite him to all future shoots if he keeps taking business away from me like that.

Aldo rocking the metallic on black LEVEL one decal. Most of us are rocking the metallic on white… I like this look too!

Another piece that was on the car when Aldo got the car was this intake scoop – which is actually functional and directs the air into the bay.

Looking great from behind.

More rollers!

Coming away from the sunset.

Our last location was at a junkyard-ish type of place. A nice backdrop with the sunset coming through.

the CE28’s shining away.

Lastly – one of Aldo’s additions was the J’s Racing stainless steel catback exhaust. I love this piece and I love the sound even more… Ever since I owned the Civic, I longed for a J’s Racing exhaust but I never got to fulfill the dream so I just admire everyone elses haha

That’s a wrap for Aldo’s S2000! Stay tuned! The next few batches will be coming straight from Poor Form…