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!

The Nature of Things with Jason Hoang

That title was actually courtesy of JC. I couldn’t come up with a good one and he’s usually pretty good with stuff like that, so I leave it to him. Instead of the usual loading docks and cityscape backdrops, we made the trek out to where we could get some nice greenery.

Anyway – this will be the official kick off post of 2016. We’re finally all cruising around together, the weather is nice, and it’s just a bunch of good times again. I haven’t really made myself available to do many photoshoots yet – it’s not really on my agenda right now. I just want to drive and hang out – taking photos and editing them take longer than one might think!

Last night a few of us decided to go out and grab some Ice Cream and hang since it was April 1st and reached +20C – which is unheard of – so we took advantage of it. We also met up with Alicia and Eric – two sick VW owners. Alicia is also a photographer that JC introduced me to and we agreed to shoot each others cars. I honestly haven’t had a proper photoshoot other than the one Mike and Jesse did of my LS460L. Other than that, I’ve always been responsible for my own photoshoots and I’m particularly picky with who shoots my car. Everyone and their mom is a photographer these days because they own an SLR but no one knows how to use one – there is a difference. When I took a look at Alicia’s shots, I actually got pretty excited for the upcoming shoot. Fast forward to this afternoon and we got ‘er done…

IMG_6057 copy

Starting off at Village Ice cream – I just took a few quick snaps of our cars parked. Above is Rich’s S6.

IMG_6059 copy

JC’s CT200h

IMG_6061 copy

My race car.

IMG_6067 copy

Alicia’s bagged Golf

IMG_6069 copy

Merlin – Rich’s dog in case you didn’t know. Getting huge!

IMG_6070 copy

Eric’s bagged GTI. Love the red.

IMG_6074 copy

Tucked!

IMG_6079 copy

IMG_6081 copy

IMG_6055 copy

Lined up. JDM x Euro

IMG_6096 copy

Ok ok – forward to this afternoon. While Alicia shot my car, I shot hers. It was nice to shoot alongside a fellow photographer. It’s almost inspiring at the same time – it’s almost like sharing the creative energy. The locations this afternoon were perfect.

JC was in charge of moving the cars for us!

IMG_6101 copy

Head on. So clean!

IMG_6107 copy

There’s just something about a Golf in a nature setting.

IMG_6130 copy

Over on the other side, Alicia doing her thing.

IMG_6134 copy

The awesome scenery JC scouted for us included the mountains in the distance. Awesome view.

IMG_6138 copy

JC getting ready to move the FRS

IMG_6146 copy

He couldn’t hold his inner ricer down and he took it for a rip.

IMG_6157 copy

Menacing.

IMG_6159 copy

Great fitment all around.

IMG_6160 copy

I was particularly fond of the diamond patterned leather bra. Added a nice touch.

IMG_6178 copy

Artsy fartsy.

IMG_6187 copy

IMG_6185 copy

Love this.

IMG_6206 copy

Alicia also let me borrow her 85mm F1.2L which was AMAZING to shoot with. If you know what lens that is, you’ll agree as well. It’s a good portrait lens, but it also serves well as a detail lens and certain still shots of cars.

IMG_6241 copy

Another shot with the Calgary skyline in the back. The lighting was perfect this afternoon – just a slight overcast. Black cars shine best in this type of lighting.

IMG_6253 copy

Ass ass ass ass

IMG_6261 copy

One last one to end this. I’ll edit the rest of the photos I managed to capture of my own car and post later. I didn’t want to clog this post up when it’s really supposed to focus on Alicia’s car. I think I have a few more, but I couldn’t wait to get these up!

#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…

IMG_4172 copy

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.

IMG_3814 copy

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…

IMG_3818 copy

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

IMG_3822 copy

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

IMG_3834 copy

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.

IMG_3860 copy

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.

IMG_3876 copy

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… ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_3836 copy

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

IMG_3842 copy

Super clean.

IMG_3872 copy

This makes me want one so bad lol.

IMG_3911 copy

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

IMG_3938 copy

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.

IMG_3947 copy

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.

IMG_3844 copy

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

IMG_3854 copy

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

IMG_3957 copy

I loved this particular shot…

IMG_3962 copy

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

IMG_3983 copy

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

IMG_3985 copy

Cleaning up the last few bits of it…

IMG_3988 copy

Got dish?

IMG_3993 copy

Rear.

IMG_4001 copy

A few more before we left the trail…

IMG_4006 copy

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.

IMG_4017 copy

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.

IMG_4022 copy

JC and Diana on the sidelines providing support…

IMG_4027 copy

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.

IMG_4033 copy

IMG_4037 copy

One more shot of the rear fitment

IMG_4039 copy

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

IMG_4049 copy

Next up, we decided to head under the bridge. If we were already trespassing, we might as well take advantage of it ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_4061 copy

IMG_4078 copy

IMG_4089 copy

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…

IMG_4091 copy

Jack driving out and JC closing the gate again…

IMG_4092 copy

Walking back to the cars.

IMG_4129 copy

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.

IMG_4134 copy

IMG_4203 copy

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

IMG_4264 copy

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…

IMG_4267 copy

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

IMG_4272 copy

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

IMG_4276 copy

A little more…

IMG_4279 copy

And some more…

IMG_4283 copy

And he peeled out of there.

IMG_4297 copy

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

IMG_4236 copy

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).