A Day In The Mountains…

… Kind of. It was as good as it was going to get without having to drive out to the actual mountains lol.

This is just a continuation of my last post with my own car. When we went out on Saturday, we did kind of a double shoot. We were in such a good location that it would be a shame if Alicia and I didn’t get pictures of our own cars. We were also both fortunate enough to trade our lenses for a bit and get a different take on photos. She had always wanted the 135 F2.0L which I had, and I have always wanted the 85 F1.2L which she had. Both extremely good lenses with different capabilities and it really helps you learn different angles and perspectives. But enough nerding out… I’ll just post these here until I find the motivation and time to go and shoot again.

To be honest, shooting is the last thing on my mind these days. Back in the day, I used to want to go out and shoot no matter what the weather, the time of day, or the type of car – I would do it all. It’s a lot of time and effort and it’s definitely helped me grow into a better photographer and each and every car that I’ve shot has helped me learn new things. At this moment in time, I look at my camera and I barely even want to pick it up. I’m not sure what it is – maybe I need inspiration or a car that just totally sets the stage for an epic photoshoot. Nothing has come my way lately – maybe I’ve shot most of them already? Maybe I’m done with photography? Probably an unlikely case… One day I’ll be inspired again.

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This spot was particularly cool with the Rockies in the back. The lighting that day was perfect – slight overcast and there was just enough cloud. Check that background…

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Loved this shot with Alicia’s 85mm. So sharp.

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Another one with the Calgary skyline in the back. Not as awe-inspiring, but still a nice view.

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Still my favourite mod to the car to this date – JDM/GT86 headlights. Say no to Winjet.

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Vertex with optional gold horn button.

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TRD x Craft Square

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Here’s another shot with the 85mm. The great thing about this lens is that you can get closer to the car with a lot more bokeh or shallow depth of field. The 135 can do something similar, but it’s just not as crisp.

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And then some grass shots. Although we wanted it to be more green, I think the yellow/orange hues helped this shoot.

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Tried to take a cool photo. Not sure if I ended up with a cool photo. lol

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Noir gang.

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One last one!

Punit’s Acura Integra Edit

Here’s a little filler for you guys.
Decided to go back and look at some older photos again from the summer and see if I can spruce up on my editing skills a little more for next year. That’s usually how I cycle my work – over the winter I find some new techniques or ways of editing and I carry that through all the way through summer. I guess that’s what happens when you’re bored.

Anyway, one of the things that a lot of people don’t know about editing is just how much time goes into it. For some photos, it can be nice and quick assuming that the car is all clean, there are no imperfections in the paint, the scenery isn’t distracting, etc. That’s not to say that a dirty car needs to be photoshopped clean or imperfections make the car look less visually attractive because there are exceptions. A few that come to mind would be Jackie Tong’s 4Runner – the more dirt the better or Eric Zapata’s 240 – the damage from drifting gives it character and flare. In this example, Punit’s car is more or less in pretty mint condition. Of course, there are a few things that could use the help of my handy clone brush but it’s not about trying to portray the car differently than what it really is, but to help make the photo itself aesthetically come together.


The original image. I made no changes besides adding the watermark. The photo in and of itself is good. Composition on the horizontal plane is good, lighting is decent, no blur in the photo but it could use a little mascara and lipstick, if you will. 🙂

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The final output. So let me explain a little about what I did – I bumped the exposure up just a notch, increased the contrast and clarity to help bring out the shadows and midtones. I love shooting coloured cars because increasing the saturation ever so slightly on the red is the difference between “red” and “WHOA RED”. That was all I did in terms of “slider” adjustments… I call them that because that’s literally all it is: adjusting the sliders in the RAW editor to achieve a little more “pop”.

Once the photo is out of the RAW editor, this is where I think a photo can be made to look good, bad, or somewhere in-between. (That’s not to say you can’t mess it up in the RAW editor with color balance, etc… But let’s assume everyone knows what they are doing).

This is the part that people who don’t edit don’t necessarily understand. I like to zoom in to 100% (or more sometimes) and ensure every line and detail looks satisfactory. In Punit’s case, his front lip was scuffed in the original photo so it would only make sense to do his car a favour and do some quick photoshop body work. It’s not necessarily to fake the aesthetics of the car but to just prevent wandering eyes going to spots on the car they don’t need to be.

Unedited Shots: Nick Chow’s Nissan GTR

Ah, this place is such a bummer lately – no posts, no updates, no nothing. It’s December 1st and Christmas is already around the corner – November just flew by and I don’t even remember what I did. Kind of sad but lately it’s been go go go. Diana and I just finished our Christmas shopping for EVERYONE on the weekend in a span of 4 hours so now we can just relax all throughout Christmas. I’m glad we were able to do that too because I hate going to the mall every week during December. All you see is bad parking, angry shoppers, no stock on anything, and end up frustrated at the end of it all… So this year, I ain’t havin’ none of that. Another plus to finishing early is no bills! The rest of this month will be collecting more money for car parts! I promise I’ll have something by January… I keep talking the talk and not walking the walk… It’ll change, I promise!

Anyway… T’is also the season for going back through old pictures during the summer and edit the ones that didn’t make the cut the first time. First up is Nick’s GTR – although most of the shots I took of Nick’s car were nice – half the credit goes to him building a clean GTR, the other half is probably because of the scenery. 🙂

Now that I actually look back at the pictures, I’m not sure why I skipped over them but here they are!

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PS – Nick has also gotten rid of his Advan GT’s for new Volk Te37’s…

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As much as I said I hated black wheels on a white car, I love it on this. Probably because I’m beginning to love Advan GT’s the more I see them.

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Them hips don’t lie.

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No cyclists were hurt during these rolling shots.

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And that’s it! Of course, it’s a lot shorter than a full shoot since these are just snippets of photos I either missed or skipped… But it gives the site a little hope until summer comes along. Until next time! Happy December 1st!

Ryan O’Hara’s Honda Civic EP3: Version 21

Finally able to get around to writing this up for Ryan. I’ve had his pics done since the day I shot this a few weeks ago but always got pulled away from the write up every time I sat down to do it!

Just to clear things up, I put “version 21” in the title because it seems like that’s how many times he’s changed the look/wheels/color theme of his car. I just picked some random number that seemed suitable, and for those of you that know Ryan, you can probably sit back and think “yeah… 21 sounds right” LOL.

I think I’ve shot Ryan’s car during every single stage that it’s been through since I’ve known him. The first time I shot his car was when he was on Volk CE28N Time Attack editions (white with red lip), then I think was the Volk RE30’s in a dark gunmetal, not too long after that was the Volk SE37’s in bright orange, and now Volk TE37’s in mag blue. You can kinda tell that Ryan is a sucker for Volks (but who isn’t?) and has gone through his fair share of them. Each time, he’s changed up the color scheme slightly or added little accents here and there to offset the wheels and each time it looks great.

One of the best things about his EP3 is that not many people these days mod them anymore – it’s quite a rare sight to see. A few years ago, there was sort of a “boom” of EP3’s around the city and they were modded quite extensively but (in my opinion) not in the same finesse, care, and attention to detail as Ryan. Suddenly, now all I ever see is Ryan’s car if he ever chooses to drive it over his S2000. He’s been trying to sell it for quite some time now and will only let it go for the right price – mind you, Ryan is the first and only owner of the car and is probably one of the very few that have own their car this long and have babied it from the first day until now. Most owners give up on their cars after a few years – like me – and move on quickly. I can’t specifically state how long Ryan has owned this, but it’s a long ass time and it looks like he just bought it yesterday. So if you’re interested – hit him up.

Ryan’s car has gotten to the point where only little changes can be made now if he wants to make any at all, and I think he’ll agree. Different wheels, maybe a different color for his roll bar… You know, just the easy things to switch it up a bit. I call it the mini Odyssey because that’s kind of what it looks like, but cooler… If this is your first time seeing it, maybe you’ll agree. 🙂

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dark wheels on a white car… hate shooting it. Love the combo. I think everyone who knows me, knows this.

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JC’s mirrors are still clean from the last shoot with Jimmy. So no smart ass comment from me.

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Scouting for some spots. It’s tough finding spots now on the whim because you’re forced to go to a familiar location and when you get there, you try looking for something different but it never works out! Hate it.

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Justin joined us for a bit during the shoot as well.

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As much as I hate dark wheels on a white car, I have to say that I think this is my favourite combo on Ryan’s car. It works really well and TE37’s have a soft spot in my heart.

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JC Instagramming a shot. One of the funny things is that we kind of have an unspoken competition (although I’m calling him out on it now and I’m sure he knows it) with our Instagram shots. While I’m shooting, JC is usually running around trying to get a good shot on his phone too and he’ll end up posting the photo first. I’ll usually try and grab my phone out and take one and post it after the shoot on the way back home or something and we’ll compare to see who’s is better LOL. That’s why if you follow the both of us, you’ll see both of us posting something of the same shoot haha!

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Close up of the mag blue TE37’s. If you remember the shoot I did of Eric Yu’s Civic Si last year, then you might remember these as Ryan bought them off of Eric when he parted out. Good pick up though and I’m glad they went on Ryan’s car.

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So clean!

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The JDM Ep3 projector headlights have always been my favourite part of Ryan’s car ever since I saw them in person in 2008 at my first DTP car show. What can I say – I like lights.

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The back end of the mini Odyssey. Love the wing too.

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Status seats + Willans harnesses paired up in the back.

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Closer shot of the J’s Racing canards on the front to help add a little aggressiveness.

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Another shot. Side note: Ryan’s headlights do this cool “oil slick” look more than all the other cars I’ve shot and I love it. Don’t know why… Just makes it look so cool haha

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Side profile. This is why I love the mag blue TE37’s on his car. TE37’s just make everything so much better!

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A nice close shot of the carbon on his wing.

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Status seats – again, not something you see everyday… A little different than the Recaro/Brides you’re so used to

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Closer shot of the carbon kevlar weave in the seats.

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Getting ready for rollers!

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Just one I took off the camera with JC’s still in it. Thought it was cool.

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And one last one with the awesome sun on the bridge!

I guess we’ll see which Volk’s Ryan is going to get next year… I’m going to put this in as a placeholder so I can reference it when it does happen – but I’ll say ZE40’s. LOL