Wednesday, March 30, 2016

THE SIL-TRUCK - 気楽な


Long before I even moved out west, I friend-requested Scott on Facebook probably because we had some mutual friends in common.  For years, that was the extent of me knowing him.  But now that I've been in the Phoenix area for almost a year (wow, can't believe how fast time flies), I've actually gotten the pleasure of getting to know him in person and see him drive at events.


A few weeks ago, he hit me up and asked if we could shoot some photos of his car that he needed for a sponsorship situation.  I was happy he came to me, and gladly made myself available the following weekend.


Lucky for us, you can pretty much go anywhere in Arizona and find a pretty sweet spot to take some quality photos.  I won't give this one away, cuz I might want to use it in future situations :) But, you'd be surprised if I showed you where it was, seeing as how it looks like we were somewhere far up in the mountains, away from anything typical. 


Scott and I met up nice and early that Saturday morning, snagged a coffee and off we went to get some sunrise shots.  I enjoyed being pleasantly surprised by the results I was getting experimenting with my flash.


First thing I noticed when I pulled up into the Starbucks parking lot, was the fuel jugs tied down in the bed of his car truck.  Caught me off-guard, and I asked, "Do you run E85?"  Sure enough he does, and I was stoked from then on out to smell and hear this car running.


All the shots we needed for this time around were just exterior.  Maybe I'll get to shoot his car again in the future and get some nice detail shots of the engine bay, interior, etc. .


If you couldn't tell by now who these photos were for. . .


One of my favorites from this whole set.  Just wish that man-hole cover wasn't ruining the shot.  I suppose I could have clone-stamped it out. . .


Not saying I didn't use any clone-stamp or healing brush in any of these shots though ;)


Hanging around that morning, and taking it nice and slow while shooting his car allowed Scott and me to bullshit about stuff and get to know each other a little better, which was way cool.  For example, he gave me the back story on his custom Rasta lion hood, which was hand airbrushed by a young local artist.  It's really cool to see the artwork up close, as closer to the edges the color starts to fade into the carbon fiber weave below.  Aside from the fact that basically the rear half of his car has been chopped off, it's some of the cool, one-off touches that make cars like Scott's stand out that much more.


Thanks for the opportunity to let me shoot your car, Scott!  Hope everything turned out as you pleased, and looking forward to getting some more sweet photos of the Sil-Truck in the future!
武士道 - B U S H I D O!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

VEGAS DRIFT PRACTICE DAY @ WILD HORSE


I've been thoroughly enjoying getting to know the local driver's out here, and have been pretty surprised at how accepting and generous everyone seems to be.  Recently I was informed of/got invited to a Vegas Drift practice day at Wild Horse Pass as part of Import Face-Off.  A quick email off to them just 4 days before the event, gained me a media pass and free entry +1.  Sweet!


Arriving bright and early on a Sunday morning didn't really seem to make any difference.  This one wasn't unlike IFO events I had attended back in Maryland - aka the line of cars waiting to get through the gates extends about a half mile out to one of the main roads.


Thought I'd give the old bypass a try, and sure enough I snaked everyone waiting in line and was able to enter the track through a side gate, where the nice gentleman who remembered my joke I made about my car being a roller-skate at a previous event allowed my entrance.


Sean helping Mike get his car unloaded.  It's nice to be able to refer to people out here by their names now and not by what cars they're driving. . .


And I really missed shooting with my Canon 5D.  I forgot how awesome the shots are from this thing.


Sweet golden-hour shot of Scott's Sil-truck and Andrew's V8 hatch.


WANG GANG.


I'm not quite sure what Ar 18 is (other than Argon, or a selective-fire rifle), but I had to appreciate Griffin's sweet *probable CNC Plasma cut* endplates.


A quick peek inside his cockpit.  The dash says it all.


Paco's Hoonivan.


Everyone seemed to line up for tech all around the same time, which made it a cool opportunity for me to run over and get some decent candid, paddock shots.










One final check before the driver's meeting, then getting ready to head out on track!


I didn't even have to watermark this photo.  :)  Thanks for showing the love, Scott!


A brief glimpse inside of Mike's hatch.


None but ourselves. . .


A sweet Soarer that was posted up near the car show.  Either I missed it, or this thing didn't see any track time throughout the day :(


Andrew, the superstar, heading through the paddock to drop his car back off at the trailer prior to the morning briefing.


Cool shot of some of the LAST PLACE CO. dudes hanging around while everyone else is off at the Vegas Drift tent.


I was a little nervous bringing Kenji with me for the whole day, but he ended up really having fun too I think!  He's a champ for sticking it out through the whole event, although he got pretty spoiled with everyone giving him leftover pieces of burgers and snacks.  Gayle was awesome for looking after him while I was out on track shooting!

 

Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to appreciate the angle this PBM kit allowed on this Z33.  There are several driver's that I keep seeing at events in the area running Z chassis with angle kits, and it's making me hurt pretty bad.


This dude runs a Wisefab kit, and gets DUMB amounts of angle.


Another Wisefab guy.


And I think this dude is actually running a pretty stock set-up.  Maybe tie rod spacers and/or different UCA's?  Either way, he was killing it and making me itch pretty bad to get my Z out here!


I don't even know what to say about Joe and his coupe.  He kills it.  His car kills it.  And he's been doing it for years. . .





I don't really feel like I need to put anything here.


This is Jazmin/Yazmin (sorry if I got the spelling of your name wrong), wife of the Elite Automotive Finishes family.  Awesome car, and it's cool to see her progressing more and more at each event I've seen her at so far.


Here's her husband in the S13 Coupe w/Kouki front end!


These Ruckus dude's put on a good show.  That windshield banner is a retina blinder!



I really like Sean's style.  Pretty much: IDGAF.  You can't see that rear wheel, but he's probably running more negative camber in the rear than up front. . .


Slipping through the paddock on the way back out to the track.


And Griffin got to test his car since having his new cage put in.  Looked pretty solid, dude!


The Bimmer dudes had to represent!  I forgot this guys name, but he was super fun to watch.



I met Julian at the last event I went to at Wild Horse Pass, and I feel like something must have clicked overnight for him because he was absolutely MURDERING it out there.  Looked like he was having a blast.


 Sadly, Scott's front bumper didn't last but one turn into one run.  But snatch it off real quick and go back out there, right?!  I got to do a ride-along with him later in the day, and holy shit he drives fast haha Thanks for letting me ride shottie dude!


I'll end this post here with Austin's beautifully clean Zenki.

All in all, I think this is by far the funnest event I've attended since my move out to Arizona.  I liked the way the Vegas Drift guys operated, and it literally seemed like there was drifting all day long.  I don't even recall them really stopping for lunch break.  There was no classes it seemed, so it was pretty much get out on track whenever you're ready, and tandem with whoever you want as long as you have door bars! 

Like I said back up top too, everyone out here is just so nice and welcoming.  I got to hang around these guys' tent and enjoy some BBQ'd burgers, weiners, beers and snacks.  Thanks for the hospitality everyone!  This is actually not all the photos I have from this event either, and still have a bunch of work to do  with what's leftover (I filled 3+ memory cards X_X).  But stay on the lookout for a Part Deux to this post!
武士道 - B U S H I D O!