Spotlight: David De Borja (@Deborja) x Lexi x FRS x BRZ

Well that was a mouthful.

Anyway, David finally sent me all the photos from the photoshoot we did a few weeks ago that I did the BTS shoot for and he gave me his blessing to share on here with everyone else. As you might have already seen/read – the shoot was an amalgamation of a whole bunch of other shoots – Jason Tang’s BRZ, Steve’s GTR, some rolling shots, and some of Lexi with the cars too and the below is the result of all that.

I mentioned many times before as well that it’s interesting to see another photographer work their craft – you only get to see where they’re standing and what they could potentially be taking a picture of, but you’ll never really ever get to see what they see through the viewfinder at that moment in time. When I photograph and when I look through the viewfinder, I try to envision the endgame or the result that I want to end with the photo. Before going into a photoshoot, I like to imagine the location, the car, the colours, the time of day and the lighting and put it all together in my head to know exactly how I’m going to colour-grade the photo, what look I’m going for, what angles will look best and when I finally get to shooting and looking through the viewfinder becomes an easy task – it just comes down to pointing, aiming and shooting. The idea and the way the photoshoot is going to turn out has already solidified in my head and I “know” what it will look like before it’s even done. I know – it sounds like blasphemy and crazy shit – but that’s truly my way of preparing for a photoshoot.

With that said, being an observer at a photoshoot almost causes me a small level of anxiety – only because I don’t know what’s going to happen, I don’t know what it looks like through the viewfinder and the always-prepared-photographer in me wants to know! And so after bugging David a few times – he finally got around to doing the photos and I know he’s a busy guy – the guy is doing a photoshoot every hour of the day it seems. I’ll be eating lunch and he’ll be shooting one car and when I hope on the gram again, he’ll be shooting another car before I’ve digested my last meal. Anyway, I was stoked when he sent me the photos today and I was stoked to share them with you. I was particularly excited to see the photos with Lexi because my car has never been shot by many people other than myself, let alone with a model. In short – it’s a different perspective for me and it’s refreshing to see my car in a different set up than its usually in. The mood and tone of the photos paired with the colours of Lexi’s outfit turned out great!

Check out David’s instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/deborja/

Mini Red Roadster – Stanley’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 set – 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 not 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!

#uptonohood: Jack’s LS Powered 240SX

Sort of getting back into the groove of things, last week we were able to get out and do at least one photoshoot that I’ve been wanting to do all year. You might have already seen the video below of Jack’s burnout that I ended up getting some static shots of at the end of the shoot before we parted ways.

Like I mentioned before, I saw Jack’s car at the illmotion Sunday School show and it’s just one of those cars that catch your attention because it’s so unique and well done. I’d say over the last year or so, I’ve really been liking the idea of an LS-swap over a lot of the other swaps happening. Of course, the infamous 2JZ swap is another one that you can’t really dispute, but the idea of putting American muscle in a Japanese chassis is just too cool. If or whenever it came down to it, I would choose an LS to swap into the FRS… But that day is so far out (and potentially never going to come) that I’m not even going to mention it again.

Anyway, I think the whole shoot was kind of set up by chance and coincidence. I had never met or talked to Jack before this shoot. This is starting to sound like a love story, but I assure you, it is not. I posted my coverage of the Sunday School show and shine like I do every year, and every once in a while, I’ll see a car that I just have to shoot. When I posted Jack’s car, I casually mentioned that I wanted to shoot it because it was so bad ass. Steve saw it, mentioned me in one of Jack’s pictures saying “This is the car you want to shoot!”. Next thing you know, Jack slid up in my DM’s saying let’s shoot. Fast forward to last week and I can say another bad ass car is in the books.

As per usual, Diana and I meet up with JC and we get this show on the road…

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I think we all got super lucky with the timing on this shoot. You’ll see why as we go, but when we started, there was just enough light – no glare, and the temperature was decent.

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Jack mentioned that he wanted a Fall-looking shoot with leaves and all that fancy stuff. We met in Bowness and there was more than enough leaves to satisfy the criteria as you’ll see later…

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A few hours before the shoot, Jack asked if we wanted the hood off or on. In most cases, I’d say leave it on because it completes the look of the car. In Jack’s case, JC and I agreed to keep it off because #uptonohood. lol

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Why would you wanna cover this anyway? 5.7L LS1. So cool.

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Jack’s car sports a very clean and aggressive set of WORK VS-KF’s in burning black with a Wilwood BBK behind it on an S15 5-lug conversion. I think this is the most spotless wheel/brake combo I’ve ever shot. I’ll admit, most times I’ll clean up the wheels and brakes a bit, but no lie – I didn’t touch a thing here. I love it.

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That was it for the warm-up shots. I like to just have the car somewhere random so I can just get a feel for things. It sounds weird, I know – but I always find that when I shoot, my first couple shots are mediocre until I actually get into it. Jack’s car looks great either way though.

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Next, we moved into the actual park. The gate blocking it was unlocked so we just pretended we didn’t know and lifted it up to drive right in… 🙂

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Just in case you were wondering why the title of the post was #uptonohood…

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Super clean.

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This makes me want one so bad lol.

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Falling leaves. My assistant (AKA wife) was behind the tree throwing leaves while I took some shots. lol

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The scenery here was perfect – super low key, nobody around to really bother us and we didn’t get in the way of people either.

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The white really pops with all yellow/orange as well.

Some of the rare parts you see include the JDM aero bumper from JDM Source paired with a Chargespeed front lip.

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A set of Bride Euroster’s sit inside a very clean interior.

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I think a few days after the shoot, Jack changed his wheel out for a Personal Grinta wheel.

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I loved this particular shot…

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Peep the falling leaves again. This time, all three of them were chucking leaves everywhere…

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And here we see them cleaning up after their mess. Jack ended up throwing leaves near the front of the car and it ended up all in his engine bay. LOL

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Cleaning up the last few bits of it…

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Got dish?

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Rear.

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A few more before we left the trail…

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A better look at Jack’s super clean bay. All of the fabrication work was done by Jack himself over the last two years. His friend Jay provided the garage space and did the necessary welding.

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We moved closer towards the water for a few more shots just to take advantage of the unlocked gate… A good shot of the S13 Circuit Sports LED tail lights and the Bomex bonneville rear valence.

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JC and Diana on the sidelines providing support…

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A portion of Jack’s bumper was black before this shoot. After comparing the two, I’m kind of torn on which one I liked better. The all white is super clean, but the black toned bumper he had on for the show was a little more raw looking. Both looked very good.

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One more shot of the rear fitment

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The gold JDM Source sticker fit in nicely with the fall theme…

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Next up, we decided to head under the bridge. If we were already trespassing, we might as well take advantage of it 🙂

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Here we see JC the doorman moving the gate for us while Diana photobombs the shot. JC also not looking too impressed that I was taking a picture…

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Jack driving out and JC closing the gate again…

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Walking back to the cars.

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Next, we did some rolling shots and as I said earlier – it was the perfect time to do it. The light and sky were perfect and the white pops beautifully.

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One of my favourite shots – the colours blend well here. It overlooks the city perfectly. It almost doesn’t look like plain ol’ Calgary…

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Next, we stopped at a nice stretch of road for burnouts… The first attempt was a little off. I was not prepared properly so I didn’t get much besides smoke and tire marks…

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The aftermath of the first burnout. I asked Jack to turn around again and do it one more time…

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This time I was prepared, and we got to it. You can see the tires starting to smoke up slowly…

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A little more…

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And some more…

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And he peeled out of there.

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After this, JC and I booked it. When we were running, we noticed a car that wanted to come down this road but looked like he was scared. He backed up slowly, then stopped, then continued backing up… I think he was a little nervous cause we were running at him at the same time. LOL

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One last roller to end it off like usual… Another good shoot in the books. I’m usually not a fan of late night shoots, but whenever I do drag my butt out to go do one, they end up turning out better than I expect LOL.

Check out his IG @boostinfested to follow more of his build!

Sometimes a guy just wants to Netflix & Chill in the evenings, man! (PS, when you’re married – Netflix & Chill actually means Netflix & Chill).

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!