Midnight Rev Up 2021 Coverage

So I finally got around to doing the photos and write up for Midnight Rev Up from last Saturday – I’m usually done photos and the whole shebang in a day but you know… #dadlife LOL. Anyway, this is gonna be a big one – 200+ photos all in one. I typically break these out into parts but let’s just get it all over with.

This would be my first Midnight Rev Up show that I’ve attended as it is up in Edmonton and to be quite honest, I don’t think I recall ever doing a show in Edmonton… So technically this is my first one ever. Don’t quote me on that though – I’m getting old. Last month Carlo messaged me and asked if I would be interested in guest judging at the show and they were kind enough to pay for accommodation if I accepted. I’m not one to refuse free things (most of the time) and I thought it would be a good opportunity to finally see what Edmonton had to offer. I mean, lots of the Edmonton guys come down to Calgary for our shows and I get the chance to see them here, but for the ones that stay local, it was a fresh sight to see. I asked JC to come along as we were going to be in the Tuner Decals booth to help represent them!

The guys that organize Midnight Rev Up kind of have a similar mindset to illmotion in terms of putting a show together – minimal fees to cover costs here and there, a screening process for participants, space organization and most importantly – just a place to gather all the best cars under one (in this case, two) roofs and have visitors come and spectate. It’s lowkey but it’s tight knit and I truly enjoyed the atmosphere. They try to use different and unique venues each year and this one was pretty awesome to attend as it was in the executive hangers by the Edmonton International Airport. Honestly, not something I would’ve thought of doing because I would’ve assumed it was just off limits for anyone but they did it!

As this was my first time attending the event, I didn’t know what to expect but in the days leading up to it, I was kind of developing somewhat high expectations and I was eager to see what it was all about. I would say that I was pleasantly surprised at the level of quality and workmanship in the cars that came to the show. I can finally say it – hallelujah – I think we’re finally out of that phase of wild chassis mount wings on stock cars and fake stuff flooding the show floor. Of course, we’ll never be rid of it but it’s so rare to see (did I just say that?) lately that it just brings a tear to my eye sometimes. It becomes even harder to judge now because you’re not just judging on the level and quality of parts, but you can now bring it to the next level of execution and detail. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again – anyone can buy expensive and real JDM parts for the clout but if you slapped it on there with not a care in the world, then you’ve done no justice to the parts you just spent a fortune on…

Last note before we move onto the pictures – I just want to say that I think it’s both hilarious and amazing at how many clean wheels AND barrels were at the show on Saturday. It’s been this inside joke for most of the summer that everyone is doing barrel checks and tagging on me on Instagram and it’s slowly made it’s way basically across the internet and some of you that I’ve never even met in person because you’re 1000’s of miles away are cleaning your barrels and it’s fucking amazing LOL. Many of you have been asking why this has become a thing and honestly it wasn’t really meant to even become a “thing”. Long story short – a few years ago at a show, I just happened to notice a car with wheels that had not been cleaned and pointed it out on my blog – no names were mentioned and I still won’t because that doesn’t matter – the point that I was trying to make was that if you’re entering a show, please make it “show ready”. I was asked to take it down eventually but by then, the whole internet had read it and well, you know how the cookie crumbles… Now everyone just jokes that if I’m coming to a show/meet, everyone better clean their barrels or else you’ll be called out and well… Everyone now cleans their barrels LOL! You guys kill me but it’s so honestly refreshing and awesome to see people starting to care about details like that…

I’ll keep the chatter to a minimum for now and talk as we move through the post to keep it from getting dry. The journey begins…

*Usual disclaimer – these are ALL the photos I took. Please don’t ask if I got a shot of your car. If you were sitting in it, standing by it, repping too hard, or your crew was too excited to sit back and relax – that’s probably why I didn’t get a shot. Maybe next time ๐Ÿ™‚

9AM in the morning, JC came over to my place and we rolled out.

Just a little over 2 hours to get there. Not terrible compared to my 10.5 hour drive back from Vancouver just a few weeks prior. Don’t mind the dirty interior… I cleaned it when I got there ๐Ÿ™‚

It was raining in Calgary unfortunately so our cars were still messy. No point in really cleaning it anyway even if it weren’t raining…

We arrived pretty quickly and hit up Poor Boys wash in Leduc. Gave the cars a quick spray and then saved the rest of the cleaning for when we got to the show.

Also – ceramic coated cars FTW. Update on the CarPro SiC coating as well – this is my first wash since I’ve coated it and it was amazing. Water beads like crazy – I would say it rivals UK 3.0 + Gliss in hydrophobic qualities… Unfortunately, I can’t comment on longevity yet.

We got inside one of the two hangars… Lots of nice white light and white flooring…

JC right behind…

While waiting for some other displays to set up, I may as well take some more photos…

The boys putting on a Tuner Decals windshield sticker for the show…

I had applied Rain-X a few weeks ago as well as topped it with CarPro Elixir at the show which made it pretty difficult to install the banner since it didn’t want to stick LOL.

JC brought the whole CarPro artillery to the show…

You can’t see it all here but he’s got pretty much the whole line up and is only missing a few products like FlyBy and MFX… Thankful for his collection. I definitely needed some for the show.

Just some random shots of the booths getting set up… Sometimes it’s best to take photos before the doors open because it’s less hectic. I try to wait until the last minute to start taking photos because sometimes booths are not fully set up or placed yet.

A few shots of the Tuner Decals collections as well as some new releases. They have been going HAM this year with attending as many shows as they can to showcase their decals and art and they’ve done really well for themselves in the last year. I kind of had the opportunity to watch them start and grow and they’ve helped me start up JTOONED as I mentioned in previous posts so it’s a mutual growth. It’s rare to see decal companies also hustling with their own art and these guys kill it on both ends. If you have ever gotten a chance to see their anime-inspired art and have an appreciation for it, you’d understand what I mean – just phenomenal original artwork you don’t find anywhere else.

I find that it’s really difficult to find truly original artwork. Lots of other peekers are often just taking a tracing of the actual original art, they add some different colors or effects and call it their own. Not a bad thing, but it doesn’t set you apart from the thousands of others also doing it.

They just released these chibi car keychains, and other decals as well.

As always, honored to have my spread on their table too! Note – I had some questions for people asking to buy these but I don’t have a storefront currently. This inventory is Tuner Decals’ and not mine. You’d have to go to a show to get them ๐Ÿ™‚

Our registration package…

Lito’s Datsun and rebuilt engine. Lito joined us later to help with the judging process to give his insight and knowledge on the engine part of the builds. Oldschool Datsun’s are too cool – always awesome to see people restoring them.

The turd. This thing is so fun to drive on the highways – it keeps up decently well LOL

Before the crowds came…

JC’s IS shining bright like a diamond with the whole CarPro catalogue on the car lol

This AE86 from Fake Hero parked next to the Fit. Such a sweet and nostalgic build. This one went on to win the award of “Unicorn” for the night. It was a fitting award since it’s rare to see an AE86 nowadays as most people seem to be obsessed with S-chassis’s and EK/EG/S2000’s. The condition it was in was a treat.

TE37V’s – these are a nice choice for the classic-era cars. A modern touch but still keeping in line with the classic look of wheels such as Watanabe’s.

Bride KING’s…

Fully gutted interior and an interesting choice of interior fabric paneling – it’s tough to see here but I believe it was just a bunch of trees – looked like a forest.

BI Inspection passed.

One of my personal favourites – partially biased because of my past FRS but the reason I really loved this one was because of the RS series Ignition silver colour. The best way to describe it is a pearlescent silver with some hints of blue and purple – kind of like FK8 sonic grey but 1000000x better. LOL

Some deep dish SSR’s sitting under there as well.

Rear of the RB FRS

Varis kitted Evo X. Edmonton peeps love their Varis Evo’s and you’ll see why in a little bit… Lots of these guys belong to Legit Society and nothing but crazy full builds come from them. Pretty insane lol

Another one of the top contenders for awards was this Varis Evo X on Advan R6’s… Fully gutted with a full interior…

Engine bay blinged out with ARC and Carbing titanium.

I always wanted that titanium bar but never got around to it because everytime I was ready to pull the trigger, I always told myself I could get something better that could be seen LOL. But hella jealous…

Enzzo’s Evo 9 wagon on bronze ZE40’s. Super clean

Some Ralli-Art goodies

Flip up with Voltex steering wheel

FK7 on Gram Lights and a J’s grill. I can’t remember if that’s a new addition or not – I just noticed it in the show…

Raf’s bagged Subaru STI on ZE40’s – shouldn’t be a stranger to the blog at this point

Another Varis Evo X on bronze TE37 Sagas

Tristan’s Varis WRX hatch on Kiwami’s

Good job on the barrels sir…

Next up were these two Silvia’s – possibly the two favourites for myself and JC. I would argue that these were two of my top favourites of the show – from execution, to details, to overall build. Just magnifico!

Work Equips on the first Silvia with wheels so clean you could eat off of them.

Perfect fitment.

Amazing work on the engine

And the part that stood out most was the inner part of the engine tub was painted differently than the rest of the car. It might be hard to see but there’s some red sparkle/flake on the inside while the exterior was a full black with no flake. Also the fact that it was painted was awesome. I can only count a few S-Chassis in this condition that have full paint and not wrap.

Vick’s Silvia right beside it was also another top contender and ended up winning one of the top 10 awards of the night. This was a tough one because there was just so much we could go back and forth on but we chose this unanimously at the end of the day.

Great paintwork and fitment on the body panels

Awesome attention to detail in the engine with titanium goodies and tons of HKS bling…

Chasing J’s titanium pieces

Blue Bride interior – which you don’t see to often – but flow perfectly with the Cusco cage and Takata harnesses.

Rear end looking just as clean.

HKS fuel rail and oil cap

And one last front end shot… Perfection. Well done!

Travis’s Mode Parfume LS430. My first time seeing this in person and it looks great. Super aggressive static fitment and sitting nice and low.

Lots of negative camber as expected for a static VIP build and sitting real close to the fenders.

Of course we need the Junction Produce goodies

That rear fitment tight.

Right beside it was this 2JZ Aristo on SSR’s. Super clean paint and fitment – nice engine work and correct me if I’m wrong – but we thought we noticed the paint was kind of a purple gradation (dark purple fading to a lighter purple) but we only quickly saw it when it was rolling out. Were our eyes deceiving us or is that true? Cool effect if it was!

Another Varis Evo X wrapped in yellow.

Compared to many of the builds we’ve seen up till now – this S2000 was on the rather tame side. Reminicent of the 2008-2010 show days. Super clean.

This 370z has seen better days but all patched up with some zip ties on Advan GT’s…

Berry’s bagged Varis widebody FRS looking clean as always

Engine work to go with the aesthetics

Also good job on the wheels – I didn’t get to check them at Driven YYC but they were up to snuff here ๐Ÿ™‚

One of the newer mods I saw Berry do was this fiber optic headliner which turned out pretty rad! I loved it!

Another shot – must look so cool at night.

GTR R35 in the Mercari booth

The 2nd Evo 9 wagon in the Mercari booth…

Mercedes AMG GT wrapped in a chrome green…

Guess which car this is if you haven’t scrolled too far down LOL

Fucking sick right?! hahaha I’ve seen this at shows before but I never saw it with the hood open…

Got the VIP reclining seats and footrests too

John’s Supra looking clean as hell. I dig the Voltex Swan neck on this thing

on Advan GT’s – AKA StillTheBestWheelAndBetterThanTheTE37

Another MK5 Supra on candy red TE37’s but don’t hate me because of the previous comment. I still think it looks good LOL

Both of them together…

STI on Advan’s…

The Invision booth had a set up of Bride seats for people to try out – which I did, of course – then I immediately hopped out and walked away because I know what would’ve happened if I stayed too long.

It was nice meeting the Invision duo in person and chatting for a bit!

The rear of John’s Supra and Voltex wing…

Peter Luu’s track FRS on ZE40’s. Still looks just as good…

Interior with the obvious JDM BOSS Coffee…

Bride Low Max’s

Front shot with TRD parts! You did good on your BI check as well, my man. Could definitely eat sushi off of them. Oh, and sorry about ruining your announcement for your new baby girl last week – don’t lick her toes. Do love her though LOL.

Pic below for reference so that everyone gets it. In my defense, this guy is literally always trolling my posts so I thought this time was no different but I was wrong…

Lexus IS on Work Meister’s

Hawkeye STI on CE28’s. Invision – ya’ll need to check these barrels. I had no tickets to hand out on Saturday but I’m coming for you next time…

370Z on TE37 Sagas begging for a drop. But love the color combo…

STI in the Mercari booth – I want to say this is one of the only (if not THE only) one with this bumper on it. I just can’t recall the name of the bumper. Reminds me a bit of Black Pearl Complete – they make kits for VIP cars…

Pretty crazy sleeper 86…

Woooow

Another Evo X from Legit Society on Work Meisters

ARC Intercooler

Super clean wheels…

Gerard’s Spoon EK. Such a great build overall – Spoon parts galore as expected. Unfortunately I didn’t get a front shot but it had a J Blood bumper and carbon lip.

Inside – I dig the yellow checkered floor mats. Spoon wheel, cluster and seats… Great job.

Gerard’s Full Spoon FK8. I don’t know why I didn’t put two and two together but both the EK and FK were both of his. I didn’t actually realize this until two of the awards were handed out later that night. Which is also a reminder that for judging – we’re not judging the people that own the cars – we’re judging THE CARS.

I thought it was worth mentioning this because there may be individuals that thought it might not have been fair or  it was rigged because this guy is friends with that guy and this guy knew the other guy and that’s why they won. Gerard just happened to own two of top 10 cars that we found and if he happened to own all 10 of the top 10 cars, we would’ve given it to those cars. I just want to be clear that I don’t care who you are – whether you’re my bestfriend or if you have 75k followers on Instagram because of some clout that you thought might win you an award – not here, bud. Not with me judging, anyway. I don’t mean this in a rude way at all but if you’re in this for fame, I think you’re doing it for the wrong reason because you’ll always be disappointed when you don’t win. You should be doing it because you love it and as corny as it sounds – that attention and effort you put into your car will show just as your hunger for clout will show. With that said, I would never take an award away from a car that deserves it because the owner is wanting fame… I’m just saying that there’s always going to be someone that has done it slightly better than you and that’s just the way of the cards.

But I digress…

Gerard’s Spoon FK8 and Roel’s Varis FK8. Nice combo

And Roel’s full Varis FK8 with livery and all. He switched over to CE28’s now – nice white on white.

BI pass!

WRX  on Work  Emotions…

Civic Si with the Carbon Kevlar lip and gram lights from the Village Honda show a few weeks ago…

Pandem FRS on TE37V’s. This aero is still so wild…

Some rear shots too – Spoon…

Varis…

First time seeing the Varis FK8 diffuser as well – looks super clean.

STI on Sakura Pink Gram Lights.

FK8 on TE37’s and a Voltex wing out back

Was this possibly the only VW that was at the show? Now that I’m thinking about it, it might have been hahaha

Yellow Varis STI on British Racing Green TE37’s. Not much has changed on this since it’s been done for a few years but it’s still great to see kicking around. I still dig the color combo.

Looks sweet!

I like the combo of colors used here – very risky but it turned out all good.

Kris’s Varis Evo X on Te37’s

ARC and Carbing goodies

Trung’s Voltex S2000 straight from the track…

Should I now implement a Rock Check or perhaps an Exhaust Shine check? LOL

Brought some souvenirs from the track with him lol

Mugen seats $$$

EVS tuning mirrors. Also some bug souvenirs from the track here as well…

BUT at least he got his barrels all cleaned LOL. I remember he tagged me in a few posts where his wheels were pretty much black after a trackday. Glad to see them back to white for the short time…

And I wouldn’t have even known unless I went to the other side, but he was rocking his bronze ones on the other side of the car. Looked cool!

This one was a pretty nostalgic one for me because growing up, I really loved the full Voltex hawkeye STI from Cusco/Tomei and this just reminded me of it.

Jonathon Rho’s new S2000 which was restored with some pretty rare parts. Looking super clean.

Alcon brakes!

This bagged Supra in the Mercari booth was insane…

Carbon barrels…

Forged carbon side mirrors

Sitting on the ground…

This was a cool shot – tires resting right on that liner.

Most of the music that day I think was coming from this BRZ? LOL or at least it sounded like it when we walked by…

Fake Hero NSX on kind of a baby/sky blue set of TE37’s

Taking a small break before we move onto more car pics…

At around 6:30, the team had us booked for a helicopter ride as well which was totally unexpected but so grateful for the opportunity. Not something I would’ve booked myself because I’m terrified of heights but this was an awesome experience.

The whip

The cockpit was surprisingly small…

As we took off – I got a shot of the hangars surrounding where the event was being held…

And I’m not gonna bore you all with all the aerial photos but thought these next few were worth showing – the Edmonton downtown skyline…

The stadium with a game going on – you can kind of see the crowd there…

The Stantec tower – one of the tallest buildings in Canada apparently?

Cholo shooting his shot lol

The next set of pics are for the teams/clubs and they were held in a second hangar just a few steps away from the first hangar where the vendors were. Originally, all cars were supposed to be in one hangar but the venue made a last minute change and so they were split. It still ended up working out well though.

STI on bronze Gram lights and aggressive canards

This Sienna won one of the top 10 as well – execution here was pretty dope and there were a lot of small little details that you had to really spend time looking for…

Weds Kranze Acuerdo… Dont’ see these everyday but they’re so good.

On the inside – plenty of JDM VIP to go around… DAD headrests and curtains…

Fiber optic starlight roofliner…

Awesome executive reclining seats with massagers

VIP table trays and a TV front and center…

The trunk air tank set up enclosed in a wooden and glass case

View from the trunk. So rad – great job.

Civic Si looking clean.

Rocket Bunny kitted BRZ

A pretty wild Camaro with LED’s all over…

Matte green wrapped STI

A pretty interesting wrap/livery for this BRZ. Looked cool in the light with some parts matte and some glossy it seemed…

An interesting lip I’ve never seen before on this STI with the large openings and then another lip/deck bolted underneath.

A bagged STI on Works…

This 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood on bags. There weren’t many domestics in the show but this one stood out nicely. Super clean wheels and interesting set up on air over hydraulics but still pretty dope.

This was interesting to see – I believe I saw this a few years ago unless that was a different build, but the oldschool Hyundai VIP builds had me feeling some type of way back when I had my LS. These could really pull off a cool look if done properly. This was pretty cool on Weds Kranze Cerberus.

An interesting wrap on this STI hatch – kind of like the ignition silver/sonic grey with some pearlescent look to it and on the fender, if you look closely you’ll see the Louis Vuitton pattern underneath.

Pretty clean Prelude on RPF1’s – you don’t see these much anymore unfortunately…

A clean Miata – it was tough to get good shots of this group because of how tightly parked they were but it’s as good as it gets…

I liked this Miata – sorry for the light halo lol. I should’ve taken off my filter.

FA5 Sedan on RPF1’s

GK Fit – I’ve always had a soft spot for Fits – the GK is a little odd looking (to me) but I still dig it.

This EK was cool to see. I think if it was completed and running, it would’ve come close for an award but there was just so much missing still that we couldn’t give it to an incomplete car. I do like the project and progress though!

Another FA5 on gram lights with a J’s Racing wing out back and Spoon mirrors. The FA/FG chassis was a tough one to build because of the lack of JDM parts for them unless this was converted to the JDM/CSX front. I remember I was pretty frustrated with the lack of parts for the FG so you had to find other parts to make it work.

Bride interior!

Clean FG in red

Joseph David’s FK8 on Advan TC’s and a full mugen kit including the grill garnishes and Varis rear fender trim. Looking slick!

Another Datsun with restoration in progress I assume…

Gerald James’ widebody WRX. This was super clean and we ended up driving back to YYC together for a little bit. This thing is static too. Pretty sweet.

The paint and body work was absolutely perfect. Everything fit great with no blemishes and gaps. Awesome work.

The S1R’s also in such mint condition.

Front shot of that Datsun…

Boost Blue Mugen FK8 and a Voltex wing out back and LED underglow…

Dunn’s bagged Civic Si – you might recall this from my set from Driven YYC as well. Dunn ended up taking one of the top 10 – not that I need to give reasoning but there are some cars that are built purely as show cars and this was the perfect example of that. Everything down to the smallest detail was in mint condition. No blemishes on the headlights or paint or in the lip of the rim – LED’s were configured properly and placed in spots that were hidden but effective. This is a good example of how to build a show car and understanding it and embracing it – there’s no confusion on whether he’s trying to be stance or race or whatever. Good job.

Dumped Civic Si – white on white.

Yellow BRZ on gram lights…

Civic Sedan wrapped in hulk green? LOL I don’t know the color but that’s just what it reminds me of… A pretty good build as well. BBK and all…

Classic blue and bronze. Can’t go wrong.

A pretty damn wide Hyundai Veloster. I liked the colour scheme and flow of everything. Looked rad.

Pretty cool TRD inspired livery on this FRS.

Bossman Carlo’s M3 parked in the corner of the venue…

Making my way back into the 1st hangar to get some extra shots I might have missed with Lito’s Datsun…

More shots of the Fake Hero NSX

Just thought I’d post a BI check for myself lol. I can’t pass or fail myself, so if anyone else BI checked me then you be the judge LOL. The TE37CR’s are more of a matte look originally but I felt that they were looking a little dull so JC threw out the suggestion to try out CarPro Perl on them – this is typically used as an interior protectant when mixed with distilled water or as a tire shine when used straight. I put some on the wheels (with water) and look at that fucking SHEEN. That’s a protip to make your matte wheels pop AND protect them a little bit if they’re not ceramic coated – which these are not yet.

I really enjoyed this widebody Varis Evo X Final Edition. This was probably one of my favourites of the show because of the execution and perfection of the bodywork. Everything was so mint – the only thing I wanted to see if there was any engine work but I don’t believe so…

Varis carbon goodness…

Love these Meister L1’s especially when they’re this aggressive. The matte black with gold hardware is perfect.

More carbon goodness…

Voltex wing out back signed by mr. Voltex himself…

A rear shot of it all.

Simple 86 on CE28’s

Near the end of the night, the guys were kind enough (again) to treat us to some Jollibee. Honestly it was one hell of a night with everything going on and all the stuff that they did behind the scenes – it often and almost always goes overlooked because nobody really sees that stuff. It takes a village to put something like this together and it’s long days and nights for days, weeks and even months to put a show like this together.

Award time!

Not everyone would’ve obviously seen the awards but these were all handmade – epoxy resin with pigment mixed in and wood on the inside. Pretty cool!

Carlo getting the awards ready…

Participants and visitors on-looking…

Congrats to everyone that took home an award! I just want to say that there was such a good turnout of quality cars and obviously not everyone can take home an award. If you came wanting an award and didn’t get one – you might know why you didn’t get one already and if you do, maybe it’s something to fix next time. If you don’t know, I wouldn’t lose sleep over it – you were likely on the list and someone just did it slightly better.

I just want to say that I know what it’s like to come to a show with the hope that you win an award. I’m no veteran but I’ve been in shows since 2008 and I can say that the “need” or “want” to get an award fades over time because you learn to just build your car the way you want it and sometimes you get to that point where you finally hit that sweet spot and people will notice. Building cars shouldn’t be a competition despite the fact that we hand out awards at car shows. It should really just be done to share the experience and the fun that comes with hanging out with friends and trying to come up with what to do next. Sometimes we miss and we go down the road of crazy bolt on flares that don’t fit or wings too large for any car to use functionally, but sometimes we get it and we ride that wave until the next trend comes.

At the end of the day – no hard feelings for anyone, please. Just enjoy the experience ๐Ÿ™‚

Didn’t notice the midnight rev up shirts until this shot. Pretty cool LOL

That’s a wrap for my coverage. There’s so much coverage that I’m getting tagged in as we speak and so many different and cool perspectives for the show. I wish I had time to be creative but my purpose is to showcase the car in a shot that’s good enough for the blog. Other photographers have really taken car show photography to the next level though and I love it!

We ended up staying up till about 3AM that night drinking with the Esoteric boys but we were up and out by 9AM. LOL I’m not sure if JC is truly an early riser despite what he tells me but I’m up at 530-6AM most days but ended up sleeping in a tiny bit to 730AM on the Sunday… Either way, thankful that JC still dragged his ass out of bed to leave early lol

Filling up before leaving so we need the gas station shots…

That’s it, that’s all! Thanks folks! Enjoy!

Mini Red Roadster โ€“ Stanleyโ€™s Mazda Miata – Part II

Finally a follow up to Stanley’s shoot. All that was missing was rollers from the last set because I hadn’t gotten my wide angle yet. Then, after getting my wide angle – our schedules just never seemed to match up… Either he was busy, or I was busy, or there was a severe thunderstorm watch with hail included on the day we planned LOL.

Anyway, not a huge setย – just enough to fill in the missing pieces and usually everyone’s favourites. As always, the only real reason I’m even able to get rolling shots is because JC is the pilot and knows exactly where and how to position his car in relation to the car I’m shooting and it always works out well. Shout out to JC !

Just a quick shot before we headed out

Typical sunburst in car photo…

Shooting at sunset is both challenging and rewarding. You have to take into account which way you’re going, where the shadows will be, and which roads you want to be on at the time to make sure everything works out for you.

For example this shot – shooting against the sun isn’t always ideal but it works if you can get the lighting and your settings right so that you don’t blow out the sky behind you or underexpose the car you’re shooting.

I dig the distant rolling shots because it adds a feeling of “space” to it all. Especially when there are no other cars around. Lots of rolling shots I see nowadays are really close and they’re great but you don’t get the feeling of a “fast” rolling shot. In this case, we were actually going pretty fast but the space in the picture helps add to the overall mood, IMO.

On the ramp to go for another run…

Other shots I like to do a lot are parallel rolling shots. A nice side profile rolling shot is always A+.

And ending it with probably my favourite one of the evening was just before we were going to get under the bridge with a little sun flare. I’m notย typically a fan of sun flare, but it works well because Stanley’s car is a nice bright red… That paired with a nice open highway… It’s almost like you’re listening to “life is a highway”. LOL

Anyway that’s all for this post. illmotion’s Sunday School Show & Shine is this Sunday so I’ll have a ton of pics after that. If you’re not there, you’re missing out!

Mini Red Roadster – Stanley’s Mazda Miata

A nice hump day read for you all is Stanley’s Mazda Miata. This one took a little while to post because I actually ended up getting tons of great shots of his car that I didn’t know which one to edit/post. I usually take a lot of photos at the same angle just in case something went wrong – shaky hand, something pops into frame that I didn’t want, bad focus… Whatever the case is, but last Sunday almost every shot of Stanley’s car turned out impeccable. I think it was a combination of a car that was a colour other than black or white, the nice bright/clear day, and the vibrance of the scenery around us – hard to fail and doubley hard to look bad.

I’ve never really seen Miata’s around and if I do, they’re usually beat to rust and you’ve typically got an older gentleman driving it. Stanley’s is one of the first Miata’s that I’ve gotten to spend a good chunk amount of time around and I liked it as soon as he rolled into the parking lot we met at. It’s hard not to love a nicely done car with simple, yet bold modifications.

The first thing that caught my eye is the bright red paint. I’ve always said that I loved shooting coloured cars – and most of our friends have black/white/silver cars so I don’t get that option a lot of the time. The only other red car I might typically get to see is Punit’s Integra.

I always seem to get the typical “cleaning wheels” shot. I mean… Clean wheels are important right? Not just at a photoshoot, but at a car show too………………………

His Miata sits on an aggressive set of 15×9.5 Work Meisters – again – one of my all time favourite classic wheels that just never go out of style and never look bad on any car they go on.

The one thing that I was kind of afraid of that day was the full-on afternoon sun. Very little cloud cover and pavement make for a lot of overexposure. Thankfully, all my favourite colours came out to play and helped out in the shoot. All the reds/greens/blues came out to play and resulted in a super vibrant photoshoot.

It also helped that Stan’s brand new paintjob shined clearly that day. Whewwww

Another shot of Stan’s aggressive fitment. Not too much, not too little… Just perfect.

That 90’s style though.

There isn’t an angle on Stanley’s Miata that I didn’t like and I’m generally quite picky. That’s probably why I got so many shots of it – I just couldn’t capture it all!

Another thing I miss from the 90’s is pop up lights. I do favour the pop-up look on cars like the Miata and NSX. It’s a cool feature that makes me a little jelly.

A cool little thing that Stanley showed me was that these were aftermarket replacements. You see those little lines running all through the front of the headlight? Those are heating elements for winter to prevent ice from building up on the headlight. They’re LED inside too – SO COOL.

The classic Smiley Miata face.

One of the funny things that I silently noted to myself while shooting Stanley’s car was the sound the door makes when you open and close it. Some of you might not understand it – especially if you’ve always driven in a car post 2000’s – but it brings me back to the day when I shot Romel’s AE86 (slightly off-topic, but related).

Here’s the link to the flashback if you’re interested: https://lifewithjson.com/2014/01/03/romels-hachiroku-ae86/

That day, we were talking about how Romel just replaced all of the door seals and it felt good as new. I didn’t understand it back then (maybe almost 9 years ago?) because it just sounded like metal hitting metal. Arif had joined me on that shoot and he told me that I wouldn’t understand (similarly to how I just told you up there) because my car was too new and that I’d have to try it to understand. Let’s just say, after opening and closing Romel’s door that day – it was like something I’ve been longing to experience again for a long time and admittedly, Stanley’s car has been the only car that I’ve opened and closed that has reminded me of that day.

It sounds like a silly thing but believe me when I say that it’s truly something different. This is one of those “you wouldn’t understand unless you’re a car-person” things. You feel the weight of the door, it’s solid, it doesn’t have any technological-feel like soft-close or auto-close. OK, I get it – I’m going on about closing a door – I’ll stop. The point is that this is one of those things from the 90’s that we’ve lost and we’re never getting back. Ever. I’ll say it again – you wouldn’t understand if you’ve never opened and closed a door on a well-kept classic car.

Not much more can be said about Stanley’s Miata other than it’s clean as hell. I’ve alluded to my liking towards the 90’s era car period but there’s something about a lot of the JDM sports cars from the 90’s that just doesn’t seem to age. Yes, todays cars have sharper lines and generally bigger bodies, but you take a car made in the 90’s and plop it right smack dab in the middle of cars like my FRS and an EVO X – which btw are also two very different classes of cars – and the Miata would still draw attention and it would still hold it’s own.

I’m not sure the same can be said about the cars made today. The styling has become so radical and extreme that maybe that styling can only last while the people can stand it? When big grills and multiple vents become outdated – will the cars that came with them become outdated to? Will we think the same thing about cars like the FRS, Type R, and the new NSX in 20 years? Maybe not…

One for you phone wallpaper fanatics…

And to end the post – one last profile shot overlooking the Rocky Mountains (which you don’t really see, but trust that they’re there). We’ll be going for another shoot shortly with some new gear I hope so stay tuned if you want to see more of Stanley’s Miata!

Pre-Show: Driven 2013

Yesterday afternoon was the beginning of roll-in and this is by far the most exciting part of the whole show for me. It’s exciting because we’re all able to form a big group of some great quality cars, all cleaned up in one place for one long day. It’s the one place where we can all hang out, show our cars and all the work we’ve all put into them over the months or even years leading up to the show.

Roll in for illmotion in particular is huge because the booth is usually quite big and it’s quite a handful of work positioning the cars and waiting for people to come – maybe they’re late or coming from out of town… tons of stress. Props to Ryan for taking care of most of it and setting the booth up nicely.

I’ll be taking a bunch of pics this year because I know every year before I’ve always taken far less pictures than I could have taken and I regret it. It looks like it’s shaping up to be a great show once again. I love that everyone is starting to step it up and doing more than just carbon wraps and cheap wheels with no suspension. People pay $15 for a ticket to see good shit, so I think it’s only fair we give them good shit. Not the one car you’ve seen for the last 8 years with no changes. Painted white dash and neon lights was cool back then. Not today.

Anyways – another mini rant of mine. Here’s some pics of what you can look forward to. See you guys later today! Stop by and say hi!

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JC’s CT back in action.

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With the Junction Produce Hello Kitty air freshener to boot. So sick haha

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My big booty sedan. Regina George.

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Setting up. Maybe a quarter of the cars had show up at this time.

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Derrek cleaning up his Integra… fitted with new mag blue TE’s

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Corey’s Civic. And he’s f***ing selling the Meisters because he says he can’t fit them on his S2000. Someone convince him not to sell them because those are too awesome.

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Andy’s Skyline.

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Didn’t meet this fellow but his RX7 was bad ass with Michaels’ Mazda3 sitting right beside it. Made the trip from Edmonton for this.

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Arif’s Civic

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Phil’s AE86. This thing is still so gangster and it’ll never get old. In person, it’s just way too awesome. One of the best for sure.

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Lester’s new Mini Cooper. So awesome haha

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Another shot of Michael’s Mazda3

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Justin’s TSX. With Justin and Barb in the way… GOD don’t people have any consideration for people taking pictures?!

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Ryan’s Ep3

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Steve’s RSX

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Aldo’s S2000

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Another shot from the opposite corner. Not many cars here yet.

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Didn’t meet him either but he’s got a nice Silvia on Work 3PC Meisters

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Mike Salek’s bikes.

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Rich’s WRX.

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Duncan’s boosted Civic

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Devon and his EG. He polished the whole car at the show lol. Crazy guy.

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A shot of the mean girls. I’m biased but this looks gangster as f***.

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Nikki and Adam

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Front shot.

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Punit’s GS. Freshly finished – if you weren’t at the roll in, this is probably the first you’ve seen since Jackie at Zero Limit finished it a few days ago. Dumped on coils, pulled fenders in the rear and cambered in. Looks gangster with the dish in the rear.

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Random shot of my trunk set up since I finally got it cleaned up.

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Punit cleaning up.

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Aldrich setting up his DJ equipment for the show.

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Giuseppe and his bro cleaning his bro’s 350z. Giuseppe’s Skyline is in the VEX booth this year if you’re wondering.

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Lined up front.

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Ass ass ass ass.

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Another awesome shot. Killed it.

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Detail shots. Another of my trunk.

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Last one of Adam’s Meisters in the rear. Love the dish in Meisters.

Anyways – that’s all I got for the pre-show. The next few days will be tons of pics of coverage. I will try to take pictures of all the cars I can and post them up day by day. Stay tuned! Like I said above, if you’re showing up to the show – come by and say hi!