The Return of BIGNJPN: Giuseppe’s Nissan Skyline – Round 2

It’s been a few weeks now since I shot Giuseppe’s Skyline again with Diana, JC, and Punit – this would now be the second year in a row that I’ve shot Giuseppe’s car – and I’ll tell you right now that this isn’t a bad thing. I’m pretty sure I mentioned it in my last post with his photoshoot, but I would gladly shoot his car at the drop of a dime because it’s just that good.

Oh, and for those of you who haven’t happened to see the last shoot, check it here: https://lifewithjson.com/2014/06/16/bignjpn-giuseppes-nissan-skyline/

Anyway, the reason I’ve been holding out on the shoot is because the shoot is originally for Farm of Minds (which you can also check out here – http://www.farmofminds.com/giuseppes-r32-gtst/). I just wanted to give them the chance at posting it first before I posted up my own rendition of the photoshoot. The difference is more that I have a lot of the back end story, behind the scenes, etc rather than a spec list and full fledged feature. It’s not my style anymore… Plus, I enjoy doing the back story edition πŸ™‚

I know Giuseppe has been DYING to see the pictures. I would send him edited teaser pics from my monitor so he wouldn’t have full res shots. I’m the type of guy that goes for a photoshoot and probably has the pictures done the same night with the full post up the following night. Even for me, I was anxious to share the pictures with all of you. Anyway, you all probably know about Giuseppe’s Skyline… And if you didn’t, now you do. Let’s get on with it…

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Diana and I carpooled with JC just so it was easier to get everywhere.

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While waiting for Giuseppe, I just took some randoms.

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JC didn’t want anything to do with it…

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As we were waiting, the train came passing by and at that moment, I was wishing Giuseppe was around to get some snaps. He actually did end up showing up at the right time, parked quickly and let me get some shots. As I’m writing this, I’m wondering why I didn’t edit any… But I’ll save it for the “winter blues” post when all the fluffy, cold white stuff starts taking over…

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We moved on and finally got to work on the actual subject. As always, it’s not hard to make Giuseppe’s car look good. If anything, his car makes my pictures look good…

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Looks like it came right off the showroom…

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The difference in this shoot was that Giuseppe asked for it to be a night time shoot. I was down for a challenge since the last time I shot at night was years ago. We met up a little earlier – as you can see – so that I could capture some sunset shots…

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It’s almost like we were in Japan in this shot. So JDM…

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That bright red Bride bucket…

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Heading over to the next spot… I love shots like these…

As I said above, this would be the first time I’ve done a night shoot in a few years. And since it would be a few hours until sundown, this would’ve been one of the longest photoshoots we’ve had. So I took the opportunity to take some more “journalistic” looking photos and you’ll see some throughout the post. This is one of them…

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You’ll see those wide SSR’s under the flares from last post, but you’ll also spot his biggest and newest addition in this photo as well…

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Ohh la la

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But wait! A wild Punit appears…

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Just some engine bay shots…

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Cusco

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Giuseppe made a point to clean the engine this time πŸ™‚

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And an overhead shot of the power plant.

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We made our way up to one of the parkades to get some shots over-looking the smoggy YYC downtown backdrop. This shoot was around the time that Washington had the crazy fires and everyone up North had a very smoggy few days…

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That doesn’t really stop Giuseppe’s car from shining through though. The downtown office lights start to shine nicely as it gets darker…

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One challenge in particular when shooting around this time is that you get two very distinct and nice tones. Either the cool, blue tone or a warm, yellow tone. The few photos above this one is where I picked the cooler tone. The photos you’ll see on Farm of Minds for the next several photos also took that same approach. I decided to sit down and re-edit a few using the warm tone… Both look good, and I couldn’t decide which ones I liked better…

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Sorry – enough about photo blabber. Back to Giuseppe’s car… If you hadn’t guessed it, his newest addition was the Rocket Bunny rear diffuser that Giuseppe retrofitted on. Looks great!

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A side view of the diffuser. Giuseppe is a great example of bringing in quality parts and putting a ton of thought and even chance into retrofitting them onto his car… And each time, he executes beautifully. There are other parts you’ll notice that you probably don’t usually see on R32’s – that’s why Giuseppe’s car is so great.

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Loved this shot with the Calgary Tower chillin’ in the back and all the office lights…

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A similar shot zoomed out slightly with a cooler tone to it…

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As we moved down the parkade, I took a few more shots with the typical “parkade lights” and they show the lines of Giuseppe’s R32 nicely.

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In between the last shot and this one, we were confronted by the mighty security guard of the parkade and he told us to hurry up and leave. Kind of dumb because we obviously weren’t doing much… Plus, we paid to get in. Ah well… I got the shot!

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Just a few rolling shots as per usual.

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Mother nature

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Down low. Looks like Hong Kong in the back…

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The night falls upon us… The challenge begins.

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Giuseppe mentioned that one of the spots he’s always wanted to park and get a picture of was under the Core’s overpass in front of Holt Renfrew. I proceeded to tell him to get in line, because everyone and their mom wants a shot there… Specifically, they want a shot in front of Louis Vuitton.

Fortunately, I didn’t turn him down and agreed to get the shot for him. It actually requires a bunch of “right timing” and coordination with a bunch of people. First, it needs to be late so that the valet doesn’t come kick you out. Second, the amount of people needs to be minimal or else they’ll get in the way. Third, a spot needs to be available while another driver drops me off on the other side of the street. And finally, you need to take the best damn shot you can because cars are passing continuously.

Anyway, we didn’t get Louis Vuitton, but we got the main entrance, and we got Hermes. Good enough!

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Some shots that didn’t really turn out how I liked, but once I edited them a certain way, they looked real dark and gritty. Totz cool.

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Here’s Giuseppe backing up into the spot you saw above. That truck was the one that got in the way of Louis Vuitton you can see there as well…

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As we were rolling out of there, I popped my head out of the car and snapped a few quick shots of Giuseppe following behind. This was on Stephen Ave – hence the cool lights on the ground and posts all around.

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Heading out for some night rollers…

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A scene from Fast & the Furious.

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Another dark and gritty shot.

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Through downtown, I got a few shots that worked nicely.

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Check that rearview mirror reflection on Giuseppe’s eyes. Means business.

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And one last one through downtown.

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We ended up at a spot JC had been talking about all night and then we found a spot to drive up onto the side walk and take some dope shots. Long exposure, super small aperture, and you get awesome skies, twinkling lights and nothing but shine…

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Loved this shot too. Kind of like the rolling shot above during the day, it looks almost like a Hong Kong city skyline. (or Japan – whatever you please…)

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And one last one over by some cool lights on a wooden walk way…

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And one last shot – which probably ended up being one of my favourite shots – was this one along Memorial Drive. Giuseppe and I were talking and it reminded the both of us of a shot a few years ago of a yellow R32 that was featured on Stance Nation. That shot ended up being one of my backgrounds during my early photographer years. Little did I know, I’d end up recreating it with Giuseppe’s car almost 6 years later.

Anyway – hope you guys enjoyed! Sorry for the lack of content lately… Weather has sucked lately so I haven’t done anything cool. Hopefully I have some updates soon!

Giuseppe’s Nissan Skyline Edit

I wouldn’t normally post up so many before and after pictures but I was pretty excited about this one.

Giuseppe has been wanting a canvas print of a shot I took during out photoshoot this summer for his new house. We’ve been going back and forth between sizes and he’s had some issues with his house that put this on the back burner until last night when he was ready to pull the trigger.

He ended up picking one of many of my favourite shots that day and I really wanted it to look extremely clean for a canvas wrap. I spent a few hours last night cleaning up and making sure it was good to go before sending it his way for final approval. This is a perfect example of where the time it takes to edit is really what you’re paying for. Taking the picture is 20% of the work while editing is where the magic happens and I thought this would be a perfect example of that.

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The before picture. Again, all I’ve added was my watermark.

The white balance is off because we were in the tunnel, the reflection of Aldrich’s car is across his whole car and there are a few other little things that can be a small distraction. The last thing I’m sure Giuseppe wants is a reflection of someone else’s car, an orange/yellow hue, and switches and pipes all over the place.

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So let’s fix that up for him. The white balance has been adjusted to help make Giuseppe’s car pop like it really does, I took Aldrich’s car out of the mix, I removed the pipes and switches on the walls, brought his brakes out a little more, and lit that tunnel up a tad to – I quote Giuseppe – make it look like a million bucks.

The part that took the longest was actually getting Rich’s car out of the reflection. It’s particularly more difficult to do on a metallic car (so most cars) because you need to get the grain, the texture, and the lighting all right. Those that do rig shots understand the pain… You have to clone the whole door but you only have a little piece of reference on the car to work with. Dodging and burning help bring out the details as well.

The rest of the credit goes to Giuseppe for building an amazing looking car to begin with. I can’t wait to see the finished product and hanging in your house, Giuseppe!

Enjoy!

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. πŸ™‚

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!

Keepin’ it OG: Jimmy’s Datsun 240Z

Back logged on the posts – mainly on purpose because I don’t have much time to shoot this weekend so I gotta make sure I spread them apart… I was also trying to get to the write up on the weekend but we had awesome weather so I was in the garage mudding, sanding, and painting trying to get it finished before winter. Took a little longer than I expected, but I should be done by next week! I’ll post pics – it’s nothing special cause it’s got absolutely nothing in there but it’ll get there.

JC and I got the chance to go out and shoot Jimmy’s 240Z last weekend and what a great shoot it turned out to be. It’s a little different because it’s so old school, yet so modern at the same time. The combination of the classic Japanese body mixed with Work wheels that also have that oldschool JDM flavour makes this a very fun shoot. One thing that stands out about a lot of the classic Japanese tuner cars is that their body design has truly become iconic and timeless. Even in today’s design standards with fancy body kits, GT wings, big and wide wheels, these cars – much like Jimmy’s 240Z – stand the test of time and still really don’t need much to turn heads. Even today, this car is considered a gem and what many people fail to realize is that although it is a car that is older than a majority of the readers (myself included), there is nothing like sitting in a car so simple yet so matured – even by today’s standards – and just driving.

For those of you that have been around for the last year or so – you might remember the shot I took of Jimmy’s 240Z in his garage the day we went out to shoot all his Lexus’s. He had just acquired it at the time and he was working on getting it up and running smoothly and reliably. Fast forward to today and it’s definitely running like a beaut and there are just a few things that Jimmy wants to finish up… But only time will tell.

The best thing about this shoot (from my photography perspective) is that it’s an awesome colour. If you look at most of my shoots, the cars are almost always black, white, or a colour bordering close enough to black or white that it’s not much different. Albeit, this is not the original paint – it was repainted by the previous owner – but even the original orange underneath this would still be an awesome colour to shoot.

But that’s enough talk from me… Onto the pics!

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One of my favourites from the shoot… Dem curves. A nice roller as an appetizer!

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When we rolled up, Jimmy was just getting the car ready to go.

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Out on the sidewalk, Jimmy’s VIP Lexus LS430 sitting on new step-lipped WORK VS-XX’s and gold hardware. Much better than the Work Gnosis HS203’s IMO. These wheels make the car pop way more.

Peep that shoot I did last year here: https://lifewithjson.com/2013/10/17/poorform-jimmys-lexus-ls430/

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En route! Typical cockpit in JC’s car that you see from our photoshoots.

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First stop was at a construction-type area. The car would truthfully pop anywhere though.

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It was when I was shooting the car here that JC and I both said that this car is just so timeless (like mentioned above). The design – although very retro – still has lines and design features that any car lover would have trouble resisting.

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A nice shot of the Work Meister CR01’s in the custom finish.

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The profile shot shows more of the awesome lines of the 240Z. Because the car has no specific aftermarket coilover option, the suspension has to be put together using a lot of custom work. Jimmy does a lot, if not most of the work himself and like his LS430, the pick and quality of his parts do not get overlooked.

His suspension consists of custom Zeal function T coilovers that were made to fit the 240Z, paired with Whiteline poly bushings, ST suspensions sway bar kit, and TTT Roll center adjusters to get it sitting how you see it today.

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PoorForm Car Club that Jimmy founded in 2009.

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A few detail shots of the car show a lot of things many of the modern cars don’t have nowadays. It’s the details the matter!

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A better shot of the wheels up front and the Fairlady badging. Behind that sits Endless ME20 brake pads and Project Mu brake shoes. And getting everything going is an OS Giken TS2A extreme lightened clutch. No jokes here.

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A close up shot of the BRE spoiler adding a little more aggressiveness to the back end.

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I wanted to get a closer shot of the wheel’s custom finish. The anodized bronze is amazing in person and it’s really something pictures don’t do justice. Paired with the gold bolt hardware and the silver face, it all just glimmers so perfectly.

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Perfection.

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That paint!!!

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Jimmy was gracious enough to take me for a ride to our next location… I’ve ridden in my fair share of older vehicles, and can now add this one to that list. The interior has a nice feel to it – classic, simple, refined – really all that you need in a car like this. No fancy gadgets, no blinking lights all over the place – just the feel of a raw car.

The 240Z is fitted with a custom 6-2-1 header, custom exhaust system and an A’pexi-i N1 Evolution-R muffler to end it off the back. One of the things that modern day cars will NEVER get back (In my humble opinion) is the raw sound and feel that you get from a car like this. The L24 engine just purrs and growls at the same time – the closest we ever get to that most of the time is a fart can and we can thank cherry bombs and Canadian tire for that.

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A classic “Work Wheels” shot from down low… *cough* Work Wheels look here *cough* πŸ™‚

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A shot of the interior. Like I said – simple and everything you actually need in a sports car.

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A wooden Nardi wheel to go along with the OG theme.

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Check out that classic radio. Not even a cassette player.

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A closer look at the heart of the 240Z – the L24.

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Tomei oil cap. Shiny shiny.

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An overhead. Some other details of the engine, for those that are interested:

Dela camshaft

Mikuni 44mm triple carbs

Mikuni intake manifold

Koyo race radiator

Tomei oil pimp

Tomei valve springs

Nismo fuel pump

… All courtesy of Jimmy’s informative text message πŸ™‚

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Just looks so mean from the front.

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A shot of the rear. Although it’s not as wide as today’s car, it’s just as good. Everybody is about stance and wide shit these days, that it’s nice to see something so simple put together so nicely.

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Closer shot of the Meister CR01’s – 16×8 and 16×9.

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And one last one to finish it off. That front end is just so elongated giving it a more sporty look and feel. I love it.

Boom! Happy Monday!