“You ever been in a 1920s Pre War Racing Bentley?” You gotta love that as the opening line to a phone call!! Today I had an amazing experience on a commercial photography – behind the scenes shoot with Omologato Watches They were having a short video filmed featuring their ‘British Racing Green’ watch & 2 1920s Racing Bentleys. My brief was to capture the making of this video as they drove around the countryside in the Bentleys… Ohhhh go on then!!!
A misty morning set the scene…
Star of the show was GSU 757, this beautiful Pre War Racing Bentley. This was one of the Bentleys from the Morley Racing Collection. It is a 2 seater racing car built in 1938 on a short 9 foot chassis. This was then coupled with a 4.5 litre engine, as used in the bigger Le Mans cars which apparently makes it very nimble. As Shami Kalra, founder of Omologato Watches was soon to find out with Stuart Morley later ….
First Oli from YouTube channel Mumbo, needed to get some footage. Along with his hand-held ‘mobi’ mounted camera, he set up a camera rig on the bonnet of GSU 757 to capture Shami & Stuart driving through the lanes. A third camera was mounted to the back of Oli’s LandRover Defender camera-car for low angle tracking shots. It was a Proper Boys Toys kinda day!!
A good selection of images around the yard safely in the bag, we were soon on our way. Stuart & Shami lead the way in GSU 757, while I followed behind in XI 6264. What an incredible experience to be driven in the back of this beautiful 1926 Bentley Vanden Plas by Stuart’s brother James.
Sitting there being blown around in the open air, the loud exhaust & smell of the Castrol R engine oil. The car twitching constantly on it’s skinny tyres… it was easy to imagine the cars back in their heyday. I couldn’t help myself & had to have a go at editing some of the photos to give them an old Antique plate developed feel to them.
The end of the day was soon here & as the light started to fade there was just time to meet Grandad. Peter Morley had no doubt passed on his love & enthusiasm for racing these classic Bentleys to his Grandsons. You could still see the twinkle in his eye as he fired up another from his collection
Thank you to Stuart & James from Morley Racing for allowing me to put a tick in a Life Box today. Thank you to Omologato Watches for asking me to shoot the ‘behind the scenes’ of their video. I hope I captured a feel of the day.
A larger collection from the shoot can be seen in
& here’s the finished
The 2018 Goodwood Revival weekend is my absolute favourite event of the year. One of the first to go into my motorsport calendar as soon as the dates are released.
This fantastic event shares a lot with the Silverstone Classic. Hundreds of rare and priceless cars, from historic yesteryear of motorsport. As if that wasn’t enough, add in the fantastic 1940s – 60s period dress worn by the vast majority of the spectating crowds. There is no other atmosphere like the Goodwood Revival weekend.
This year I was away & so missed the Friday Practice/Qualifying Day. So it was straight off the plane Friday night. Grab a few hours kip before up silly o’clock & off in the car for the drive to the circuit.
I love the small details that make Goodwood Revival so special. The cars are pushed down Tow Road to the assembly paddock. Throw a sepia edit over this shot & if you missed the GoPro fixed to the crash hoop… it really could be a photo from the 1950s.
Enough of the sepia nostalgia, lets get back to the action. Out on track as ever there was no lack of commitment through the chicane.
Growing up as a kid, we were into rallying as a family. Motorbikes was never really my thing. Since I’ve got into Historic Motorsport I quite enjoy watching this lovely old bikes. The rider swap-over in the Pit Lane is great action to capture.
I love the access to the cars in the paddock at Goodwood Revival. These beautiful cars are all very different unlike modern race cars that seem to all be the same bar the colour schemes.
The pioneering engineers years ago make me smile…. I’d love to know the thought process when somebody had the idea of taking an aircraft engine & bolting it to a bike frame!!!
After last year, when I had been lucky to be given a spare ticket. This year there was no chances being taken, I had already bought Mrs S a ticket for Sunday. She is not a massive motor racing fan, though she does like to watch Nick Padmore in his races. It’s the costumes & the dancing that make Goodwood Revival a great atmosphere for her. Her total number of events stands at 3, Revival 2017, Monaco Historic Grand Prix 2018 & now Revival 2018. I feel I may have set this bar a tad high!!!
As always I have half an eye on Nick Padmore. He was as quick as ever a round this circuit he knows so well. This year he had a great run in the Lotus T16s starting 3rd on the grid.
He led for a lot of the race, but 1 missed gear change dropped him to 2nd place. Here he lights up the rear tyres at the start of his parade lap…. bloomin’ hooligan!!!
One day I will go to Goodwood Revival when I’m not working & take time to enjoy it for myself. Oh… & Mrs S has said already she wants to go again she enjoyed it so much!
Please enjoy a larger collection of photos from the event
So when I got asked to do the photography for my future son-in-law Stag Party, I thought “uh oh..that could be tricky”. It then turned out that it involved clay pigeon shooting & grass track buggy racing… much better news! Add to it I would also have the chance to take part …. how could I say no!! As you probably have gathered, I don’t mind a bit of motorsport. In fact having thrown rally cars around many moons ago, I’ve spent half my life sideways.
The day started with clay pigeon shooting. The group was split into 2 teams & would have 10 cartridges at each of 3 different stations.
All the guests had a great time & the banter was starting to flow. We left the clay pigeon venue & headed off for a spot of lunch before the Grasstrack Buggy racing.
A fantastic day was had by all…. & Andre beat me to Fastest Time in the Buggy Racing. No matter how had I pedalled it, tried every trick I knew!! That red buggy was definitely quicker than the green one :)))
to see more photos from the Clay Pigeon Shoot & Buggy Racing
If you would like a photographer to accompany you on your stag party activity events. Get in contact & we can make it happen…. record all the fun & embarrassment maybe for the wedding speeches!!!
For me the 2018 season has been a ‘classic’ year in every sense of the word. In May I was shooting at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, now I find myself at the 2018 Le Mans Classic. Having been there last year for the modern 24 Hour Le Mans race, I was really looking forward to seeing the difference.
The traditional Le Mans 24 hour race is as it says ‘on the tin’…a race lasting 24 hours. The Le Mans Classic is slightly different in that there are a series of races over a 24 hour period. The races were over differing durations & for 6 different ‘Grids’ of cars. These ‘grids’ have cars from different years competing against others from their period. Each car would compete in daytime & nightime races over the 24 hours of racing.
As the grids progress through the year periods, the cars become more modern. The sleek areodynamic lines look a little more like the cars we see today in the 24 Hrs of Le Mans.
Walking around the paddock area there are amazing cars everywhere to look at. Great to be so close watching the mechanics working on the cars to get them ready to race.
There is a fun atmosphere in the circuit paddocks too! Drivers getting into the Old-Timers spirit, while stars of WRC & F1 pose for photos on the grid.
The Le Mans Classic shares a special event with the Goodwood Revival Setterington Cup. Little Big Mans is a race for youngsters in some glorious miniature classic race cars. It’s a great sight as they do they traditional ‘Le Mans Start’ before heading off up the track.
Just like the modern Le Mans 24 Hour race, the action continues through the night. Night time racing brings its own unique feel. I remember from my time as a rally driver really enjoying the night stages in the forests. The Pit Lane is still alive in the dead of night…
The noise & smell of these fantastic machines just takes you back to a golden age of motor racing. It is going to feel a long wait before the 2 years is up for this fantastic event to come around again!!!
A larger collection of photos from this fantastic Le Mans Classic can be seen on my dedicated Motorsport Photography website. Or just
I have a little thing in my head, that I call a ‘Balcony Moment’. This is when you are sitting somewhere, on a hotel balcony with a cheeky glass of something cold. Looking at an amazing view, thinking “how on earth did I get here?!” Then you remember a moment back in time, a right place right time moment. In my case it was taking ‘a’ particular photo, that opened a doorway to an amazing journey. Those are my ‘balcony moments’…. & I was having one right now! My cheek pressed hard against the metal crash barrier Armco. Trying to get focus lock on, shooting through the gap as the Ex Niki Lauda Ferrari blasted into view. If you were standing next to me, even with ear plugs in, you would definitely have heard a slight giggle creep out…. “I’m only in the Tunnel, shooting the 2018 Monaco Historic Grand Prix!!?”
I flew in to Nice Airport on Thursday morning. A waiting taxi whisked from there straight to the hotel (I’ll see about a helicopter next time!!) Dropped the camera gear & was off to the train station for the 10 minute ride into Monaco. After finding the Media Centre, signing on & picking up my Press Passes, it was time to walk this iconic circuit of all circuits.
The Start line seemed logical place to set off & I was soon at Saint Devote, swinging right I headed up the hill. Walking up the right side pavement, every so often stopping to look back down through the kinks of Beau Rivage. Camera location cut-outs in the crash fencing would provide some great views. Up to the crest & the fast left of Massenet leads straight in to the famous Casino Square. I imagined the cars braking before flashing right past the barrier & down towards Mirabeau
A down hill straight leads to the right hander of Upper Mirabeau. From the pavement on the outside I could see it would provide a great view. The cars would swing through Mirabeau, brake hard into the tightest hairpin in Formula One. Renamed several times over the years, The Grand Hotel Hairpin or Fairmont Hairpin after the hotel. I remember it as being Loews Hairpin when I was younger. A short squirt of power would bring the car to the lower Mirabeau. A great view from above of the cars around these corners
Another blip on the throttle & the cars would be at the tight right harder, Poitier. From here it was into that world famous Tunnel, swinging right as the daylight changed to artificial lighting. There was no way I was going to miss shooting in here!! Further round the right hander you could see the bright sunlight burning through the tunnel exit. What it must be like at 170mph in an F1 car as your eyes adjust from dark to light…amazing drivers!
It was then down the hill towards the braking point for the ‘New chicane’. The cars would turn square Left – Right – Right – Left around the chicane before heading down the straight to Tabac. The inside of the first left gives a unique view, one of the few place on a Grand Prix track where there are no barriers in front of photographers. Sat on the tarmac it gives a unique view of F1 cars & the boats in the harbour.
Left at Tabac & the cars would immediately be at the most modern part of the circuit, The Swimming Pool complex chicane. Exiting the left would then bring the cars along a long slight left to another iconic corner. Named after the bar on the inside of the hairpin right, La Rascasse. A wiggle from the rear end as the cars put the power down to pass the Pit Lane entrance on the right, & to Anthony Noghes. Then it was flat out along the Start/Finish straight again, a lap of just over 2 miles.
There was nothing else for it after 2 miles around Monaco Grand Prix Circuit in 25 degrees… Another ‘Balcony Moment’ in the making with a large cold beer at La Rascasse & pinch myself!!
Friday, Practice Day…. Saturday, Qualifying…
Thursday was a normal day (if there is such a thing) in Monaco, the roads were open to traffic. Friday morning had arrived & the roads were closed, there was a crackle of excitement in the air. Engines revved, mechanics were going through final checks, trolley loads of tyres were making their way down the Pit lane.
The Monaco Historic Grand Prix runs every 2 years & is a massive event in the Historic Racing calendar. I was so pleased to have been asked to go & cover the event for New Channel Media. Growing up watching motorsport on TV, the Monaco F1 Grand Prix was always ‘the’ race not to miss for me. This narrow street circuit has always produced incredible as the cars threaded their way around the 2 mile ribbon of tarmac. Here I now was having my ribcage rattled by the awesome noise of F1 cars from the 1950s to the 80s.
At so many race circuits I go to, even with my Media Pass I can still be a distance back from the track. Not in Monaco!! Such is the narrowness of the street circuit, as photographers we are right on top of the action.
Home to the rich & famous, play ground to the stars, all phrases often quoted about Monaco…. but Monaco wouldn’t be Monaco without the sprinkling of famous racing drivers in attendance. Eddie Irvine, Mika Hakkinen, Jacky Ickx & Derek Bell were just a few to be seen driving a range of historic race cars throughout the weekend.
Sunday… Race Day.
After 2 glorious days of Mediterranean sunshine, Sunday Race Day dawned grey & overcast. Rain was forecast & the clouds were already creeping down the mountains… it was a case of ‘When’, not ‘If’ the rain came!
This unfortunately wasn’t the only problem to effect the day’s activities. I decided to recce the route to the podium ready for the prize giving after each race. To check the route & also decide if I wanted to be shooting down from the track or from the Press Box position. Making my way behind the Pit Lane garages, I caught a toe on the metal grid walkway & tripped. I had my Nikon D810 with 24-70mm set up on my left shoulder & the Nikon D4 with 70-200mm lens on my right shoulder. Try as I might to save the cameras but sadly I smashed the D4 hard into the staging!!
2 mechanics saw me go down & helped me back up. Apart from the massive lump on my right knee the Nikon D4 had taken a huge impact & hadn’t survived. My ability to cover Race Day was now very compromised. I use 2 cameras all the time with a wide angle & long lens mounted. This way I can quickly react to the action as it happens. Now with only 1 camera working, I would have to decide what the shot was going to be at each location & fit the appropriate lens. My leg was getting stiffer by the minute & this made getting down to low angles very difficult… getting up again even harder!!
Then the rain came….& boy did it arrive!! This would make changing a lens tricky out on the side of the track. I really was down to choose the shot & stick to it, but the job was back on.
At the end of long & tiring 5 days in Monaco all I can say is what an awesome experience. To shoot beautiful Historic F1 Grand Prix cars in such an iconic location has been a dream come true. Here’s to crossing everything I get an email land in my InBox inviting me to shoot it again in 2020.
To see a larger collection of my photos from the 2018 Monaco Historic Grand Prix please Click Here
Greenpower Renishaw Goblins at Wotton-under-Edge
I love being a photographer & in particular a Motorsport Photographer. You just never know what or where you will be shooting next. One minute I can be in the Pit Lane at Le Mans & the next in a company carpark in Gloucestershire. Today I was covering Greenpower Renishaw Goblins Electric Kit Car racing for their photography partners, Spacesuit Media.
Greenpower Education Trust is a UK based charity, aimed at encouraging young people of different age groups to get involved in science & engineering. They do this by challenging them to design, build & then race an electric car. They provide age appropriate kit cars differing in the amount of design/engineering input required & overall speed of the cars.
The Goblin class is the youngest age group, 9 – 11 year olds. The youngsters are encouraged to build the kit car themselves as part of school projects. They enjoying decorating them too, there some really cool cars out on track.
Parents & teachers are on hand to help but it’s a real team effort to prepare the cars on the day… Scrutineering over we were ready to race!!!
As with all races, it’s important to walk the track first to get a look at the course & track conditions. Some took this task more seriously that others… but they all had fun just the same!
The first event was a straight Drag Race. Two cars would line up against each other, each car doing 6 heats with different drivers so everybody could have a go.
After the first event it was into the Slalom. Runs were timed with penalties added for hitting any cones on the way. A 2 step push off from a team mate & then the cars were under their own power to complete the course as fast as they could. There was some determined faces out there I can tell you!
After a short lunch break it was time for the head to head racing. A 3 lap Heat & Semi Final would proved the teams for the 5 lap Final.
I have seen some close wheel to wheel racing on motor circuits around the country & the Goblins were no different…. not an inch was given up lightly, or at all sometimes!!
I had a great time & really enjoyed my first experience of Greenpower Electric Car racing. Who knows I may have seen a future World Formula One Champion today! I for one will be telling my brother about it & seeing if his boys can find a way to get involved.
To see more photos from the day in the Spacesuit Collections gallery please Click Here
Dominic Toms Golf Academy at Sandown Park Golf Course Dominic Toms Golf Academy at Sandown Park Golf Course
It has been a little time since I was at the Dominic Toms Golf Academy. The last time was to come over to take some photos ready for the launch of their Dominic Toms Golf Performance Studio. This week I was there to take website profile photos of the Dominic Toms Golf Academy Coaching Team.
The shoot took place in some lovely sunshine at their Sandown Park Golf CentreHQ. I arrived as I like to do well ahead of our 1:00pm start time. A couple of the coaches were still in the middle of golf lessons on the driving range. So I took the opportunity to have a little look around their new Horse Racing themed Adventure Golf Course that was nearing completion. This wasn’t there the last time I was down there…it looks like it will be great fun!
The workman were still hard at work finishing off the landscaping of the gardens around the 12 hole mini golf course. It was already looked really good & some tricky holes by the look of it. As you can imagine I couldn’t resist having a little fun & taking a few photos while I waited in the sunshine.
Golf lessons completed, it was time to get on with some work. Firstly to take a few photos of the full Dominic Toms Golf Academy Coaching Team. There were 2 new members, Neal & Stuart who had joined since I was last here.
Once these were safely in the bag, it was on to the golf course for the individual profile photos. This is always good fun with the these guys & in no time at all we had a good selection of everybody. These images had a variety of backgrounds to allow for website refreshes whenever they need to through the year.
Hopefully it won’t be long before I’m back to see the finished Mini Golf Course…..
My aim is to always capture natural shots of guests enjoying their day playing adventure golf whenever I’m at Mr Mulligans. Today’s shoot was slightly different, I was at the Mr Mulligans Sidcup Family Golf Driving Range to photography their new refurbishments. The images would then go onto the www.mrmulligan.com website.
It is always good to refresh website images & what better time than when the Driving Range had been refurbished too. My brief today was to capture not only some images of the driving range but also the golf coaching too. The Sidcup Family Golf Driving Range has golf coaching for all levels & this was a main focus of my day.
The Coaching Team there have a many years experience between them. It was clear to see their clients benefit from a great hands on approach. 1 to 1 tuition helping improve & fine tune their game.
Alongside the Driving Range is the Short Game practice area. Where there was a bunker & putting green set up for additional coaching
Mr Mulligans Sidcup Family Golf Driving Range is a great all round golf facility.
One of these days I know I’m going to have give in & have a go…..but this is more my level!!!