The Rolling Shot Photoshoot: Colin’s Subaru STI

The title literally says it all… A first for me was a request from Colin to take some rolling shots of his STI. He wanted to have a nice photo to put onto a large canvas to maybe hang above his bed. I’m personally not sure how he got his wife to agree to that… Or he just hasn’t told her yet.

JC and Diana tagged along to meet Colin and Eric for lunch. Colin ended up taking us to Smash Burger because Diana and I haven’t been there yet and it ended up being terrifyingly filling and probably supremely unhealthy LOL. After that awesome lunch, we pretty much did the easiest photoshoot ever… Only because Colin really only wanted rollers. That meant JC, Diana and I never had to get out of the car and we just drove everywhere until I got the shots I needed. It was a nice day, not a cloud to be seen, and bonus for me: a World Rally Blue STI to pop with the perfect weather today.

No need for words – just some cool rollers!

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The cleanest shot from today. That blue is perf.

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We really tried to capture the Rocky Mountain in the back but it’s tough when there aren’t too many roads that overlook them nicely… You can see them if you squint!

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COP in the back!

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We ended up stopping on one dead road for some bonus shots I guess. Let everyone stretch their legs lol

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And one last shot of JC’s fitment and wheels. The rears are dumped as hell – pretty close to bagged height. Also check the colour of his VS-XX faces. Remember in my earlier post, I mentioned that the gold faded and now it looks like rose gold? This is a good shot of them.

Mike McConnell’s Subaru-Powered 1968 Karmann Ghia

This was a long overdue photoshoot – Mike and I have been talking about getting together to shoot his Karmann Ghia for probably a year now since he started building it, and ever since then there has always been something that comes up – he needed to tune it, I had an appointment, something needed a slight fixing, I got caught up in other things… The list goes on. I can’t even count how many times we’ve gone back and forth about postponing our shoots. Anyway – we finally met up and with the daylight fading fast, we had to move quick.

Mike’s car is definitely something to see in person – it breaks necks left, right, and center. This is the first Karmann Ghia I’ve ever seen and before I met Mike, I never would’ve known what it was… It is older than me by almost 2 decades! The work that has been put into this thing and seeing the progress over Instagram is amazing and I’m glad I got a chance to capture this through my lens. As my Instagram caption stated – it is probably the craziest car to ever come through my lens to date. It’s hard not to respect and admire this car after watching it evolve through pictures from day 1.

I’ll add in some details as we go – as I’m sure you’re all wondering about it. Admittedly, though – I did not get all the shots I wanted to… It was a chilly night, we were losing sun extremely fast and we had no strobes to back us up if we needed it. All of these were shivering, handheld shots…

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JC and I met up, Mike came shortly after and had just washed his car, he hopped out and quickly dried the windows with his sleeve and off we went.

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On our way there, we had awesome light – not harsh and very calm – made for perfect color in the clouds and it definitely helped in bringing out the “classic” feel in the photos.

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Immediately you’ll notice how damn slammed Mike’s car is – and it isn’t bagged either like you would expect. This is all static and Mike drives with no fucks given – that’s what I loved about this whole shoot – it was very care free and “do what you need to get the shot”.

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One thing you also might not know just by looking at the pictures is that this car has been painted by Jesse – Mike’s partner-in-crime, if you will in building this car. This was actually Jesse’s car originally but Mike ended up taking it over and with the help of Jesse and his family, they built it into what it is today. I suppose you could say that Jesse is still building the dream, but with Mike at the wheel.

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Another interesting thing to note is that Mike is rocking a set of Porsche “phone dial” wheels – 15×6 in the front and 16×8 in the back. Behind those sit some nice disc brakes as well…

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Under that hatch (which I am regretting not getting a chance to show you guys) is a stock 2.2 turbo Subaru Legacy engine… This paired with a Haltech sprint 500 stand alone ECU from VEX gives it the power it needs to get going. There is currently no intercooler so he runs the risk of running hot but that is probably in the works for next year.

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There are some distinct points that stand out on the car but to me, they are more like beauty marks rather than imperfections. And it works well on a car like this – it gives it character. Funny how as things age, imperfections turn into “character”. I’m sure you won’t disagree…

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Another unique part of Mike’s car is the roof – again, painted by Jesse. There are lot of unique touches on the car that really make Mike’s car stand out and that’s huge these days. You really have to take risks in order to stand out, but you have to be willing to take the potential criticism that comes with it – good or bad. I think this is actually one of the highlights and I enjoy it a lot…

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Kind of a rare shot of the master and the project… Especially when you’re a photographer yourself; it’s rare to have a shot of your own work.

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JC’s car over to the side like usual under that nice sky.

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This shot reminded me of a scene from a gangster movie – don’t ask me which one, it just does.

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A shot to see the lines of the car. Truly one of a kind.

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One other thing to note about Mike’s car is that all the paint work that was done was done with a rattle can. Mike then polished the car to blend the new and old paint together. I would say after looking at it that it would be a tough task to point out exactly where that is… By no means is it a paint booth/professional job but I don’t think that was the intention – Mike’s intention was really just to take a car that is unique and do something crazy and different with it with what they had, and finally get it to the point where it was driveable and they could just enjoy their fruits of labor.

Shooting a car with brand new parts and paint is one thing, but shooting a car where sweat and tears are a must in order to get to a stage of being able to say “finally” is different. There’s more appreciation and more of those moments where you’re standing there admiring the work more than the car at times. You get that feeling with Mike’s Karmann Ghia and it’s a rare feeling.

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A shot to see just how low Mike rolls… There were a few times that we saw sparks fly out from the back and the car is just so low that rocks don’t even get a chance to go under it, it’ll just shoot out the side of the car. Just a little note of caution if you’re driving beside Mike 🙂

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Another shot that better shows how low it is. This road was relatively flat and to someone like me, it’s a great road with little issues. But for Mike, he scraped… And he loved it.

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Mad tuck. Even most bagged guys can’t get that much tuck.

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A nice shot of the rear and his exhaust set up. Under that trunk is a beautiful Subaru 2.2L turbo engine – once again, a thing I regret not being able to capture. But not to worry… I’ll get it the next time we go out for sure.

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The roller I posted up on Instagram that same night.

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Low shots compliment Mike’s Ghia well just because it hugs the road so tight and we all know how good cars look when they’re slammed AND rolling.

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One last shot of the many rollers we took that night that I decided to save for the long winter months. I loved a lot of these shots because we could see the moon so clearly and what better way to capture a beautiful car on a beautiful night.

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We ended up stopping back at our rendezvous point and I had to get a few more shots. Even as we sat in the lot, it was breaking necks – and rightfully so…

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That exhaust!!

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One last shot to leave you all with for a nice and happy Halloween.

This shoot was honestly one of my more stressful shoots because as I mentioned – Mike is a photographer too, and while I was not really losing sleep over what he thought of shooting the car, I wanted to make sure that he loved the photos OF his car. I say this because in many ways, Mike is more than capable of shooting and capturing his own car so that’s where he asked me to step in and take it from a different perspective. I think for the most part, I captured it well even though I didn’t get all the shots I wanted, but at the same time it wasn’t a failed shoot (I do consider some of my shoots failed sometimes).

Thanks for coming out Mike! And I know Jesse is reading this – sorry we missed you! Next time, we’ll make sure we all come out together and do some epic shooting – DUB Dynasty style. Thanks (again and again) to JC for making the trek all the way out to the boonies to get this shoot in the bag with me.

Have a happy Halloween!

Kraft(werks) Fed: Terence Wah’s Subaru BRZ

This shoot is a little more close to home for me – mainly because it’s pretty much the same platform, just badged differently and in a fancier suit and tie. Terence has actually gone through a decent array of cars since I’ve known him and I was surprised and excited when I found out he had a BRZ, and even more excited when I heard he had already supercharged it!  When I first met Terence back in 2009 – he was building an S2000 and at the time (keep in mind this was 5 years ago), this was – and still is – a very good set up for a car that was beaten around the track whenever Terence could get out there. He has always been function-oriented, using mods that worked and looked good. I believe a year later, he had a J’s Racing hood, J’s Racing Wing, he changed the wheel set up to Volk RE30’s in a more aggressive fitment and paired it with Spoon brakes for the track.

Shortly after that, he got his hands on every Honda fanboys dream car – the NSX and while the dream was achieved, he didn’t hold it for too long. It sat in the garage most of the time and as much as he wanted to enjoy the car like it should’ve been, things just never worked out – and so they ended their relationship.

Honda S2000

A shot I took way back in 2009 of his S2000 in its early stages. This was when I was still fairly new to shooting and practicing my skills and one of the rollers I took during this shoot made it into Import Tuner’s back page snapshots which became my first shot to ever be in print (as small as it was).

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Enter Terence’s Subaru BRZ with a Kraftwerks Supercharger right beside the heart of the Boxer. Again, nothing much has changed in terms of Terence’s vision of building cars – functional and simple – and sometimes that’s all you need to have a car that you can just enjoy and not worry about e-fame or status.

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One of the things you’ll notice is that he’s got the STI-style lip kit on to give the stock body a little more aggressiveness.

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The BRZ headlights was one of the first things I fell in love with when I was in the market for a BRZ. This, along with push start button were the only two things that I liked on the BRZ over the FRS. Even though I would have changed it all out for something else anyway…

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Nice little gurney flap on his wing.

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Terence’s BRZ sits on KW V3’s – a perfect choice for the FRS/BRZ platform.

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The shoes are BBS CH-R’s

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The obligatory mirror shot – and JC’s mirrors are clean for once. (Have they ever been clean?)

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Got into a nice alleyway and it worked nicely with the white. Reminded me slightly of my photoshoot with my old STI way back when…

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Random rear shot and I would’ve put more effort into this if JC wasn’t in the way…

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So I decided to take a quick shot of his car even though it was in the way just to be nice before rolling out.

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Oops one more with the lights on 🙂

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This shot makes me excited for some reason. I think it’s because I can’t wait to start modding the FRS and seeing something come together so simply with good quality parts makes me happy. The FRS/BRZ platform is so popular that it’s difficult to differentiate your car from everyone else – I usually compare the FRS/BRZ to the shadow of an S2000 – it is significantly cheaper brand new, it’s RWD, it’s essentially a 2-seater and it has parts for days from some of the best manufacturers out there to the cheapest ones. The combinations are endless and I often find myself shopping for one part for a week straight because there’s just so many.

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Stopped by a gas station to feed the beast.

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Here’s a good shot of the front end with the intercooler sitting behind the grill…

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Reminds me of a Panda theme. I dig it.

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Under that hood sits the main attraction…

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Kraftwerks Supercharger – installed by Compact Tuning Lab, pushes about 270WHP according to Kraftwerks. He has yet to dyno it for true numbers but Terence said he’ll be getting to it soon as there is a race track slated to open up in Drumheller next year (we hope) and I’m sure you’ll see this there.

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Still weird for me to see Toyota and Subaru under the same hood. It’s cool and all but still kind of weird.

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An overhead shot of his engine bay – very clean and simple.

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One more of the Kraftwerks power plant.

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And the last one to close off. This shoot made me order parts…

Onto the Next One…

Something I’ve been looking at recently is the Subaru BRZ. I have always had my agenda open just incase something new came along. I ended up test driving and checking out the 370Z last night with Diana after bribing her with McDonald’s. I enjoyed the car, it’s something I’ve been longing for before I bought the LS460. I needed something that I could build that would rekindle the fire that I started with the STI.

As most of you know, I sometimes have severe regret with selling the STI. It’s not particularly the car that I miss, it’s the experience. Being able to just rip around in something fun. With the LS I lost all of that – it looked good and it was a different experience but it lacked everything the STI had except the power. Even then, the power is too refined to enjoy like you would with a sports car (obviously).

Tonight, we went to Subaru and test drove the BRZ. Why the BRZ, you ask? I don’t really have a good reason – it really is just because I like the headlights better because of the LED accents and I’m willing to bet I may even end up changing that down the road too. Everything else really isn’t important to me because I would change it anyway. At the end of the day, you wouldn’t know if it was a Subaru or a Scion when I’m through with it – like most of the modded ones. I enjoyed driving the BRZ. A lot… And perhaps it’s because I miss the experience so much that I feel this way, but the modding potential with this chassis is just endless. Reminds me of the S2000 back in the day. I may go back tomorrow depending on how I feel after I sleep on the idea… I’ll keep you guys posted.

With that said – here is a part of my vision. Obviously exponentially slower than how I built the STI, but I plan on getting it there.

The Varis Arising II Widebody. Varis never fails to please…

As I write this, I think back of when I had the STI and I posted pictures of the Varis STI dreaming about it… Deja vu all over again.