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:


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.

IMG_5835 copy

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

IMG_5523 copy

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

IMG_5526 copy

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.

IMG_5527 copy

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.

IMG_5529 copy

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

IMG_5548 copy

And off we go – Arif right behind us.

IMG_5579 copy

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!

IMG_5579 copy

IMG_5600 copy

Arif has always <3’d the haters.

IMG_5616 copy

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

IMG_5618 copy

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

IMG_5618 copy

More wheel pop. More Pumpkin Spice Latte colours.

IMG_5621 copy


IMG_5629 copy

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

IMG_5629 copy

More #PSL.

IMG_5637 copy

Head on.

IMG_5637 copy

IMG_5642 copy

IMG_5642 copy

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.

IMG_5648 copy

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.

IMG_5649 copy

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

IMG_5651 copy

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.

IMG_5652 copy

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.

IMG_5656 copy

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

IMG_5656 copy

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

IMG_5660 copy

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.

IMG_5663 copy

IMG_5663 copy

Interior shot.

IMG_5666 copy

A close up look of his CE28’s

IMG_5666 copy

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

IMG_5673 copy

IMG_5673 copy

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

IMG_5675 copy

IMG_5675 copy

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.

IMG_5677 copy

Shot of his engine…

IMG_5683 copy

IMG_5684 copy

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…

IMG_5687 copy

Closer shot of the Seeker wing.

IMG_5687 copy

With the edit…

IMG_5698 copy

IMG_5698 copy

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

IMG_5721 copy

IMG_5721 copy

IMG_5752 copy

IMG_5752 copy

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… 🙂

IMG_5859 copy

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).

IMG_5860 copy

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!

Adam’s Honda Civic EK – Version II “The Second Wind”

Here’s a second, small batch of photos from the photoshoot yesterday afternoon. I managed to go through a few more and pick out some other ones that I liked.

I’ll most likely be going back to these photos a lot to see if I can re-edit or do some before and afters for you guys again. In the meantime – enjoy the last set of Adam’s Civic.

Again – if you want the full high res pics – visit my flickr



Really really really loved this one. The backdrop worked perfectly – almost like we were in Cali cruising along the coast. Silver works so well when it’s bright out.


This was one of the first shots I took yesterday. The reason I didn’t choose this to go in the initial set was because the weather was just turning nice so we were kind of in the middle of overcast, some rain, and some sun. His car looks great though.


Another one on the trail that I ended up missing. The other shot at the same angle was with Adam looking back at the car.


One of the only profile shots I took of the car. I remembered last night that Adam had wanted a profile shot of the car and I was going through my photos hoping I had taken at least one. Thankfully I did and thankfully it turned out awesome. The sun coming through the trees and light holes on the ground. Personally, I don’t think a dark coloured car would’ve worked well here. I was telling Adam yesterday that his car was one of the few that worked awesome with the locations we shot at. My car wouldn’t look right in a nature setting.


Another shot that I felt would’ve looked good if the sun was behind me. Instead, I was shooting in front of it and so the front part of his car ended up being dark, and the top part being washed out because of the glare. We couldn’t turn around and flip sides though cause the backdrop was just empty road and it wasn’t all that great. There was also a yellow sign behind his car in this shot that I managed to photoshop out and that helped the picture out a lot, but still – the lighting isn’t my favourite… but the car looks good. haha

To the left of this picture (and I wish I would have taken a picture) there was this huge ass house with a separated garage that was probably bigger than most houses in the city. The pathway leading up to his house had to have been a good 300 meters. I WISH.


Last one. I liked this one only because it showed how much dish he has in the front and not just in the back. Most people will brag about how much lip they have in their rears. In this case… Adam has more dish in his fronts than most people have in their rears hahaha.

Speaking of dish, before we started the shoot he came over so I could help him get the water etching off his lips since it often sits outside in the rain and doesn’t get dried. The reason for the etching is because he’s got enough camber to hold all the water in a small puddle at the bottom of the wheels. #firstworldproblems lol.

Adam’s Honda Civic EK – Version II

This afternoon I planned to shoot Adam’s Civic again since he’s had quite a few changes since last year. New bumper, new wheels, new fenders and proper placement of his side markers, new headlights, and less stickers lol. All in all – it looks way better IMO especially with the new wheels. I personally can’t get enough of Meisters – especially with as much dish as him. It’s even rare to see that much on bigger bodied cars around here.

One of the reasons that Adam’s Civic is one of my favourites – not only to shoot, but to just look at and enjoy – is because it’s really pushing the limits. To some, it may definitely push the limit too far. For others, it may be just right. Whatever the case – people have an opinion on it. I will admit that I would never run that type of fitment on my car, nor would I ever drive that low. Mainly because I’m a wuss and I don’t like having to deal with scraping or getting up driveways. To those that have the balls to do it, like Adam, I give him kudos. Even just driving around today looking for locations, the simplest roads were probably mountains for him.

Anyways – this was a chance for me to test the new polarizer and might I add it has proven to be a valuable investment and I will say it again – I can’t believe I have shot without it for this long. For 5+ years… Dumb, I know. haha you’ll see what I mean when we get to the shots.

Also – because I have hit my 3 GB limit on my WordPress, I will have to be ghetto for a bit and outsource to Flickr. Usually you can click for high res, but for now you can check out my Flickr for the full res versions here:


Here is last years’ set for those that are interested!



Stopped over at Shell for a quick fill up for Adam. The LS all 4×4 and JC’s CT just over a stall.


Obligatory fill up shot. I didn’t have the polarizer on for this shot and now that I look at all of them without it, I hate it LOL.


Rolling shots on the way out to Bearspaw.



When we left, the rain started getting super heavy but right after the fill up at Shell, blue skies started showing and the rain let up. We were super lucky because right when we got out to Bearspaw, it was literally blue skies and sun for the whole shoot. About an hour after the shoot was done, the rain started again. Talk about being lucky two weeks in a row!


I decided to go for a nature-esque shoot this time. Most of the shoots we do are downtown and we’re starting to run out of spots to shoot. This was a nice change of scenery.



Well this answers one question. Adam bought the right car. (For those of you who have seen that “if you don’t look back at your car, you haven’t bought the right one” pic haha)


Head on. I’ll just note that I never really cared about reflections because I always thought it helped the shot out. But with cars and the polarizer on a sunny day – getting rid of the reflections – especially on the windshield is so darn helpful.


Dat ass. Love how it looks from the back.


JC and I parked off to the side. This area was super peaceful and quiet. Birds that I’ve never seen before, frogs ribbitting (LOL), and just an all around relaxing area to be. Minus the bees and mosquitoes, this place was awesome. Kind of sketchy though because we have to watch out not to trespass onto certain property. This whole area was rich people grounds and we felt so poor hanging out here… One day…


Trees are a great backdrop for Adam’s EK.


Probably my favourite shot from today.


Upclose of the front wheel.



And rolling shots. Again, super awesome with the polarizer to shoot rolling shots when it’s super bright out during the mid day.


Love how it looks like it’s gliding. Wheels are perfect.



Next up we decided to try some sketchy shit. I would lay down in the back of JC’s car with the hatch open and get some rolling shots as Adam rolls behind us.


Looked great rolling through the estates. Like a scene from Top Gear.


Another from out the hatch.


lol waiting in the hatch to get back to the parking point.


Took a few more. I personally love how Adam’s EK looks head on and from the rear. Peep the wheels.


Rear quarter shot to show his fitment.


So much lip in the back it’s ridiculous.


And a similar shot to last years to shot his front and rear fitment.

That’s a wrap! Most of the shots that I liked are here. I’ll probably go through the set again and see if I can dig more up. If I find anything, I’ll post asap! Thanks again to Adam for coming out all the way to the ‘burbs from the hood for a shoot. And thanks to JC for tagging along and helping out at the shoot! Boom! Another one in the bag.