The Day The Swan Was Born

This is an overdue post – but I wanted to get the auto show stuff out of the way before it was older news than it already was by the time I posted it.

I dropped the parts off with Nick Prah two weeks ago so he could prep and paint them, then I dropped the car off to him last week and finally picked it up on Sunday. I had been anxious all week to get it back because this has been in the works for over a year now. I knew what kit I wanted and I knew how I wanted it to all come together but I had to play the waiting game – like most of you know.

I did a lot of brainstorming, playing around in photoshop and scouring the internet for ideas before I came to a decision on how I wanted the car to look. I’ve mentioned it before, but having a popular platform means that it’s quite difficult to be unique. There are a lot parts floating around and there will always be a handful of popular pieces that get done over and over. I have nothing against this – but I really wanted to stay away from the “cookie cutter” look as much as I could. Of course, the only way to truly do so is to do custom work. With that off my list – the next best thing is to try and put pieces together that you didn’t generally see all the time, and that doesn’t happen easily. The key things that I wanted (and still want) my build to have was quality parts. I told myself that I wouldn’t cut corners to save a few bucks and if it took me another year to get something better – I would wait the year.

Anyway, going back and forth between kits like the oh-so-popular Rocket Bunny and the increasingly popular Varis – I didn’t know how else I could create something that I loved enough that didn’t look like the vision of someone else. Again, I stress that it’s not because I’m trying to be the cool kid by going off the road less traveled… I just wanted to build a car that I could love driving and looking at without being reminded that my car “kind of looks like that guys car on the internet”. A lot of my inspiration did in fact come from all these guys from the internet – it helped me decide what I liked, and what I really didn’t like. At the end of the day, this is the result and I am 110% satisfied with the result thus far… And I’m stoked as hell to share pics and drive the hell out of it this year!

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When we rolled up to Nick’s place, it was sitting out front with the sun beaming on it… Right here as you see. The paint shining like it just rolled off the showroom floor.

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I seriously could not have asked Nick to do a better job on this. The paint is wet and matches OEM right down to the last metallic sparkle that Raven Black has. No photoshop on the finish – it’s just straight talent and sick workmanship from Nick.

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Right after the auto show, I met up with Ricky to take some quick pictures because he had been anxious to see it as well. I snapped some behind the scene shots as well as took my own as you saw in a previous post…

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We originally wanted to try rig shots but it was way too bright to attempt it. Instead, we just messed around with the GoPro and took some stills.

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Look at the finish of that paint!!

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This was not meant to be an official photoshoot. I just wanted to take some quick snaps to show off.

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The wingggggggg

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TRD x Craft Square

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It’s now aggressive and clean looking – the exact look I was aiming for. Everything balances out so well.

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A rear shot. The only thing I was not able to acquire this year was a diffuser. I was a little late to the bandwagon before our dollar plummeted and I wasn’t about to pay double for a piece…

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Some shots from Ricky’s camera that I edited quickly for him.

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I love when other people take pictures of my car – not because I’m conceited or anything – but because I love to see my car in a different perspective. There are always angles that I would never think of and it’s refreshing to see. Being the photographer most of the time means no one shoots my car LOL

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Like this angle. Obnoxious as f*** but cool as hell.

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As if the wing wasn’t big enough haha

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Shots of the fin and mirrors

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OEM is best. Just say no to Winjet.

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A shot from the passenger seat…

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Later that night, we met up again at that same spot and decided to try rig shots again. Here Ricky is setting up while Diana sits in the car. Being preggo and standing outside in the cold isn’t the best combination when you always have to pee, I guess…

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Suction cups on… Boom on…

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Diana looking bored as hell. Meanwhile, I’m geeking out cause this is cool as shit hahaha

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Ricky finishing up the set up…

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The set up. So rad! This is the first time I’ve had a rig shot so I’m just standing there amazing the whole time haha

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Here’s a few shots that turned out that night. We were kind of rushed since the sun was leaving quick and it was getting cold.

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Here’s one dubbed “Ghost Rider”. LOL I was pushing from the other side.

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The next day we decided to try one more time LOL… Setting up again…

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This time set up on the roof.

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It was significantly colder yesterday and we were on top of this big as hill, so it was windy as hell. Tough to stay steady when your hands are shaking and the boom is blowing with the wind.

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A shot of the set up…

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Ending it here because this was the last set up we tried. I don’t have the pictures from this attempt yet, but once I do I’ll post them for sure!

We’re thinking of trying again next weekend provided the weather cooperates with us. Stay tuned!

Breath of Fresh Air

Sorry! Been dead as hell around here – I’m lucky I even had content a few weeks ago thanks to Ricky’s Japan pics.

Nothing new on my front – I’m pretty much done with getting all my parts. Now all that’s left is to get the kit painted and installed. I’m booked in for the End of February for that and then it’s pretty much ready to go. I’m a little bummed because the one last thing that was on my list to get was a rear diffuser to kind of even out the rear end with the Voltex wing. It’s unfortunate that our dollar has plummeted so much and so quickly that a $450 diffuser ends up costing nearly $900 when it’s finally in my hands. I’ll pass on paying double for something that’s not worth that much right now…

Anyway, I finally stopped being lazy and brought the car out this afternoon since the weather was way too awesome not to. I’ve been meaning to bring it out and install the Craft Square mirrors a little better than how I did it the first time. The rubber behind the mirrors were still showing and it just looked shitty and it made me lose sleep at night LOL.

I ended up rolling it out because all my neighbours were outside and a cold start with the new headers is loud as f*** inside the garage. It literally shakes all my pictures in the garage and rumbles the entire house. Once it idles for a bit, it quiets down significantly… I just didn’t want my neighbours hating me this early on in the year lol.

I also did it because I wanted some shots of the rear – ever since I put the wing on, I’ve never actually seen what it looked like! So I took some quick snaps while it got some fresh air…

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I think I’m going to end up taking the muffler sections off and repolishing it back to a shine and getting rid of the burn.

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Also finally got to put the Craft Square stickers on. Felt naked without them.

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Some random shots…

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I’ve fallen in love with this car all over again…

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Solar flare!

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Obnoxious wide angle. Not that the wing isn’t already huge hahaha

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Sideskirts will bring it all together nicely…

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Ciao for now! Honestly I’m not sure what else I have left – I just want to drive the hell out of it now. I’ll be back though… 🙂

Driven 2015 x illmotion – Before the Doors Open

Another great day of showing has come and gone and as tiring as it is, or as exhausted as I get, the excitement still gets to me. When I first started entering shows about 8 years ago, I was excited the night before, the day of, and even the day after. After a while, the show scene starts to take a toll on you and the hours go by slower and slower each year. The one thing that doesn’t change though is the fact that every year, I get to meet new faces, associate the car to a person, and just talk cars all day – that’s the life I want to live – just to chill with cool cars and cool people.

As I write this, deja vu comes over me from the last year I wrote a blog post and every year the quality of cars gets better and better. (this is a good thing). There are people bringing in good quality cars with good quality parts – as much as we want to move away from the replica/fake market – we never will. I’ve had the pleasure myself of being a part of the illmotion booth since the beginning and the team has done an exceptional job of raising the bar each year with the quality they bring into the booth. I want to stress – this doesn’t mean that I think the rest of the show sucks – because it really doesn’t. There is so much more quality out there that belong to other groups and companies and they hold their own very well. All I’m saying is if you’ve ever walked around the illmotion booth and talked to the guys when they weren’t too busy trying to stay awake, you’ll realize that they’re just like any one of you – these are their builds, their time and sweat and it is reflected in every single one of the cars there.

As tiring as the show scene may be, the quality of the cars is steadily gaining momentum and I love it. It’s been my gripe every year that I write this type of post that it needs to be better, it needs some sort of jump start again. The general sense I get is that there is a lot of friendly competition happening – every one wants to be better than the other. When that happens, people are inspired to do and try new things – sometimes it works brilliantly and sometimes it needs to be re-worked. Whatever the case it, the show this year definitely brought some fresh, new builds out. I’ve seen some comments about the lack of work put into builds (ie., lack of engine, lack of aero, lack of whatever else might tickle your pickle) but the trouble is that it takes time and money, unless of course you have lots of both. While this isn’t near the same quality as Eibach or SEMA, this is still better than where we were 3, 5, or 7 years ago. There are builds that stand the test of time and over and over again have proven to be some of Calgary’s best builds. This marks the start of another season to do it better for the coming years – little progression is better than no progression.

I’ll have a series of posts split up as I work in coordinating with illmotion on their posts – this first one is just a pre-show post. Before the doors open up, before the lights are on, it’s the calm before the storm, if you will…

Let’s start the show!

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Started off with the bae. It’ll never be that clean again until next year…

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Beside me was JC’s CT200h – which went on to win best VIP later that night.

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Punit’s GS450h on his newly coated copper wheels.

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Corey’s S2000

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Rich’s S6 Wagon

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Gopesh finally able to debut his new look officially with the new BBS centercaps and all.

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Ryan’s EP3 – this is no stranger to the car show scene. He went on to later with best Civic as well.

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Alex’s immaculate Integra – a build that is so well done that you cannot walk past. The attention to detail on Alex’s car is just insane. Mugen bolts everywhere (even where you can’t see them)… It just screams quality. Alex took home best in class Acura that day, I believe.

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A group from Winnipeg came down to join us as well – this won best NSX.

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One of the crazier and fresh builds to join us was this bagged TSX – Spoon bumper, Porsche GT3RS grey, ProjectMu… The list goes on.

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A crazy 350Z that also joined the trio.

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Josh’s bagged S5.

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Phil’s widebody AE86. One of my all-time favourites – never gets old.

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A shot before the madness rolled in…

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Jackie’s new-old Type R on bronze TE37’s. Jackie and Punit made the trip down to Edmonton a few weeks before the show for this.

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Steven’s STI – brings back some old memories for me… I love to see the progression on this.

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Steve’s RSX

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Nick’s GTR

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Aldo’s S2000 with new Regamasters and rear ASM fenders.

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Trung’s Voltex S2000

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Derrick’s Integra

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I went through one more time with a different lens – less distorted… But here are more pics, nonetheless.

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Up close of Alex’s engine bay.

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Up close of the TSX’s engine bay fitted with Kraftwerks

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Donovan’s FRS on bronze/bronze Meisters

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Noel’s freshly wrapped Silvia. Love the black.

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Daniel’s Golf R on RE30’s

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Errol’s Amuse S2000

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Alex’s daily – TL type S on bronze ZE40’s.

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Shaylee’s 240

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Romel’s old AE86 – now belongs to Alex. Alex is the one that sold me my FR-S – so it was nice to see him and the car there.

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Mike’s RX7 – this was extremely clean. I didn’t get any underhood shots but it’s a sight to see.

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The elusive Honda S600

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Arif’s EK sitting pretty with his new BYS bumper finished just a day before the show.

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Romel’s Celica finally made it out of the garage after all these years. Fitted with new fenders, a new bumper, a new rear wing and wetsanded all the way through. This thing shined.

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RJ’s 240 – looking clean as ever. Fun fact: RJ was the DJ at our wedding 🙂 hit him up

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Mike’s Bike collection… three of many…

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Jackie’s 4Runner on bronze TE37’s

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Justin’s S2000

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Ricky’s GTI joined us as well. This has been a sight for sore eyes.

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Lester’s 335i on Eurolines. Clean clean clean.

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Ryan’s Genesis

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Once again, illmotion worked with the Alberta Children’s Hospital in donating to the kids.

I guess that’s a wrap for part 1. Many more to come!

Right Out of the Showroom: Ben’s Acura NSX

Numero Dos! Finally getting around to doing Ben’s NSX post… I know that Ben has been anxiously waiting for a photoshoot and to see the pictures. The pictures should already do all the talking, but let me reinforce them by saying that his NSX is hands down the cleanest and mintiest NSX I have ever seen. In fact, it is probably the most pristine car that I’ve ever shot – and that’s saying a lot. His car literally looks like it drove off the showroom floor that same day I shot it and that always makes for good photos.

The cars on the island are very different from the cars in Calgary in the sense that there is no need for 3M film to protect from rock chips, there’s no fear of damage from salt or snow. There’s an abundance of rain, but poses little threat to the condition of the car compared to snow and salt in other parts of Canada. It’s funny because when I saw the car and how pristine it was, I asked “is there 3M on this?!” and Jackie replied with “No! We don’t need that kind of stuff here!” like I was a fool for asking lol!

The NSX is a car that can turn heads with very little effort – whether you like cars, love cars, or know nothing about cars – the NSX carries almost the same presence of a Unicorn, if you will. Everyone knows what it is, but when you really see one, you can’t help but stare. Ben has built his NSX to really live up to that reputation and you’ll know what I mean as you scroll through the pictures. If you’ve ever seen his car in person, I’m sure you wouldn’t disagree either.

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You know the deal by now… A nice roller by the lake.
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This shot in particular was probably my favourite… The backdrop of the lake as well as the crows flying around even sitting on the bench make for a fitting scenery to match the Berlina Black paint.
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The front end of the NSX is still well beyond it’s time… It rivals many of today’s fronts by miles.
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The exterior of Ben’s NSX includes clean, aesthetic changes as well – His NSX is originally a ’91 but he’s done an ’02 front end conversion.
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The headlights are OEM 2002+ headlights… Again, still better than most headlights made today…
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The classic Volk GT-7 help make Ben’s NSX stand out from the rest. He actually plasti-dipped them before the shoot to replicate almost a matte mag blue versus the original gunmetal and chrome.
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We went on a mini touge run up Mt. Tolmie to get a good view of the Island from the top. Victoria is well-known for it’s beautiful views.
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A better look at the car as a whole – he’s also got 2002 sideskirts as well. They work well the Downforce lip and bumper.
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We walked to the top so that I could see – it’s quite the view too! I wish it was a little sunnier but the overcast worked well for the photoshoots. I think the last time I was in Victoria was almost 20 years ago…
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Inside Ben’s office sits a mint Spoon wheel bolted in with titanium bolts – which comes at no surprise…
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You can see that the center console of Ben’s NSX is extremely simple and clean. He installed an audio delete console and also installed a Bluetooth player that will play music off his phone.
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Another view of the absolutely mint headlights.
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The engine also looks like it’s barely seen the road. The engine work is minimal with a Taitec exhaust paired with Pride headers and test pipe and an HKS intake.
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Over all of it are GT-Spec strut bars.
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Another menacing view – my favourite… Especially when you’re driving in front.
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A view from the rear shows the Downforce rear as well. Another cool tidbit about Ben’s car is his license plate – he saw that someone was selling it in Vancouver and made the trip over and bought it right away. What luck…
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Ben purchased the NSX about 5 years ago – it has been through a few owners that have luckily kept it in the best condition possible and it has also always resided in Victoria. Keeping this close to home!
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Front and center!
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One more for good measure
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It’s hard to get a bad picture of Ben’s NSX. It’s just so damn clean that it would put most black cars to shame… Even my 2014 FRS is not as clean as this lol.
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Forgot to mention that Ben’s hood is also a Seibon NSX-R carbon hood painted to match the rest of the car.
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This photo spot in particular is probably familiar from Chris’s shoot but it worked so well for both of them. The scenery is amazing and I made sure to ask Jackie to bring me to all these spots, as Calgary offers nothing of the sort lol.
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Seeing double. It’s funny because when I ask people to set up for this type of shot, they are confused about what I’m doing until they see the final product.
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The black against the green… Awesome.
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And last one down low to show just how low the NSX sits. Thank you to Ben for allowing me to shoot your car and for also being a good sport for all the shots! Hopefully you all enjoyed this as much as I did shooting it!