At the start of this year I sat down and decided I wanted to take another approach to shooting for twenty eighteen, my work was lacking fun, enjoyment, and I felt it had become cookie cutter ‘go through the motions’ kind of stuff.
I took a step back and decided to try and blog more, enjoy what I was shooting, capture some different stuff, and just find my groove again. I took on the motto of ‘keep photography fun’ because if you aren’t enjoying it what is the point? Looking back I feel I achieved exactly what I set out to do, have met some awesome people, and shot some very cool creations along the way. So time to start infusing this with a few pictures to recap what I have been up to this year.
2018 has been crammed full of interesting things so choosing a traditional top ten was proving too difficult, as I have been more focussed on the year as a whole. Many know I am no longer based in Japan, I do miss having content on tap, and just being able to jump on a train and head to RWB, RE-Amemiya, and hang out like I used to. Having a lot less content on tap has taken some adjusting to as a photographer but I am loving what I do in NZ now and am still shooting fairly regularly.
Predominantly I am shooting for print media both here and overseas, and what I can release of those shoots, I pop up on this blog for you to have a browse over. One thing I will say for little ol NZ is that some of the things that appear in front of my lens would only happen here, and time and time again I am blown away by what Kiwis produce.
In terms of events, this year I dialled back on my competitive drifting, attending only one round of D1NZ in Wellington which was a blast to shoot. I have spent a number of years in Japan focussing heavily on D1GP and enjoyed it immensely but wanted to hit the grassroots stuff at my local track this year more than attend the top tier stuff. A good friend of mine Jaron Olivecrona has been a huge ambassador for improving our grassroots drift scene in New Zealand. Allowing entry-level drifters large amounts of track time, providing guidance as well as having a lot of experienced drivers along at the days as well. These events have been a blast to hang out at, and really allowed me to tick the box of ‘keep photography fun’.
This year has also had me dipping into the V8 scene a lot more than ever before. Working for Todd Wylie at NZV8 magazine has been a blast, and produced my favourite shoot of the year. Now I know I said I couldn’t nail down a top ten but I have been able to nail down a #1! For most of my V8 work, it was done alongside NZV8 writer and fellow photographer Shane Wishnowsky, which has been an absolute blast too with a few short roadtrips to sort out a feature shoot. Shane has penned the epic articles that have accompanied a lot of my photo work in the magazine as custom V8 machinery is for the most part a very foreign language to me!
As I mentioned above, my favourite shoot this year was a V8 one, yup that’s right not RWB, nor is it a Japanese tuning car with big aero. It is this…
A Morris truck with a LS-swap! Yup that is right, and on the back is a legit Winfeild Begg F5000. Tim Rush decided he wanted an age-appropriate race car transporter for the Begg so went ahead and built one.
I am not going to divulge any more than that, but those who want to know more about this incredible creation can pick up the current issue of NZV8 which is on shelves right now.
Of course my staple work for NZ Performance Car magazine has continued with Marcus and Jaden who have been tirelessly hunting out cars, and sending work my way. It is always a pleasure seeing my work in print and I look forward to 2019 with more shoots, new cars and yarns for this blog next December!
This year an on-going collaboration has continued with a good friend of mine based out of Sweden. Martin Hansson is a self-professed rally nut and this has proved to be a great partnership for providing coverage to NZ Performance car for events such as Goodwood Festival of Speed, Rallylegend, and WRC.
World rally, classic race cars, and group B rally cars, makes for an intoxicating mix of motorsport. Getting the chance to put these things into print is a lot of fun, and I could write and blog about Group B until the cows come home!
I have also been lucky to have two of my hobbies merge, with the little bit of spare time I found, I built up a large scale dragster that was featured in print. Oddly enough the photoshoot was literally the same as a full size one only sixteen times smaller, happened in the living room and didn’t have a burnout shot…
I also got the chance to tick off a bucketlist item. I have previously seen the Le Mans winning Mazda 787B driven in anger, and now the list is complete after Hoshino-san and his 767B attended Mad Mike Whiddett’s Summerbash at Hampton Downs. I grabbed RWB Hekigyoku and headed north to enjoy the sound that only a Mazdaspeed quad-rotor can make. No matter how many videos you see on YouTube, or on your mates FB page, nothing can prepare you for the sheer noise that this engine makes.
There was also a blast from my past brought back to the race track which I covered for print. The TraNZam class is one that I remember fondly and it is making a comeback downunder. The sleek design, raw mechanical aspect, and angry sounding engine note for me is everything a racecar should be so to see them again for the first time in seventeen years was a treat.
Finally my involvement with MIKE Racing, a GT3 endurance team has continued again this year. Shooting endurance racing is an enjoyable task and with the races lasting a decent amount of time you have the chance to plan out a way of shooting the event as a kind of photographic story. Not only is there the on track aspect to the race, but what happens in the pits and behind the scenes is equally as fascinating. Although watching a SLS barrel down the front straight right at you doing 250+ kph is pretty hard to top.
As I look back on the photos sitting in a folder, having to cull back numbers to something appropriate for uploading gets tougher and tougher. Not to mention a few shoots that haven’t hit the printers yet so those photos shall remain hidden until that time. Hey, there is always next year’s blog anyway…
To everyone who has followed my work, read my blogs, or picked up magazines and commented on my Facebook in 2018, thank-you very much! A huge part of my photography is being able to share the stuff I shoot with people. Photos should never be banked on a hard drive and kept hidden. The shoots I do are shot for the pure purpose of sharing the subject, atmosphere, and people involved in the visual story with people like you. The whole point of photography is that you don’t need to explain something using words.
Now as 2018 draws to a close, it is time to charge the batteries, clean the lenses, and empty the cards to start another year of shooting. I am excited for a long hot NZ summer crammed full of light-capturing adventures. See you again real soon!