W.ith a decent part of Melbourne 2021 that has been in lockdown it has not been easy to come up with new and inventive ways to show you beautiful pictures of the cars our team has driven day in and day out this year.
But our resident snapper, Ellen Dewar and Alastair Brook, rose to the challenge of mastering every assignment.
Here they share the stories of their three best photo shoots in the past 12 months and why these moments were so special.
2015 Nissan GT-R R35
An R35 of seven seconds would probably be enough for most people, but Lance Warren has two in his shed and has them invited Road machine Team in to take a look.
In a top-secret warehouse in southeast Melbourne, Ellen set out to transform a blank canvas into a fiery, atmospheric cave suitable for the 2,500 horsepower beast in the middle of the night.
“Shooting like this can be stressful, you never know what it’s going to look like until you get there,” says Ellen.
“You don’t know what you’ll find when you arrive in your own workshop. There are so many unknowns: is it really empty? Will there be chaos everywhere? How much time will i have?
“When I got to this one, I found that the wrong car was prepared for the photos, it wasn’t running and was sitting in the back behind a lot of stuff with a thick layer of dust and no hood!
“But once I got around all of that, I was just blown away by how cool the car was, and I quickly reinvented my whole plan to capitalize on the exposed engine. I was so caught up in the excitement and the next minute it was 1am, how did that come about? But the result was worth it for all the hours. “
Read Iain Kelly’s report on Lance’s R35 racing car here.
2021 Mercedes G400d
After Ellen stayed within the confines of her four walls for a while thanks to Victoria’s extended winter lockdown this year, she got along with it. teamed up 4×4 Australia Editor Matt Raudonikis and the Which car video team on the way to the Yarra Ranges to put the luxury off-roader through its paces.
“Since I was so stuck at home during the lockdown, I took the chance to photograph the new Mercedes G400d before the car was officially launched in Australia,” she says.
“We drove three and a half hours on deserted roads to test it on the snow, and almost amusingly something was strewn on the low grass as we climbed through the Yarra Ranges, only to disappear the higher we got.”
“Matt was convinced there would be more if we kept going, and hope was almost lost by the time we turned a corner and bam – there was snow everywhere.”
The location, the snow and the beautifully twisted alpine rubber contrasted the dark color of the G400d, the square posture and the round moment.
You can read Matt’s review of the Mercedes G400d here.
2021 Ford Focus ST
Ellen went on an epic road trip with Trent Giunco and Cameron Kirby from the ENGINE Team to recreate the Alpine Rally as the famous event celebrated its 100th anniversary this year.
The trio visited a number of locations across Victoria, including Lakes Entrance, Marysville and Ballarat, and covered 1,600 miles in their four-day journey.
“Once or twice a year there is a story that takes you on a journey into the unknown,” says Ellen.
“These shoots are fun, but they are also completely chaotic. We had to cover a lot of distance in a short period of time and traveled to many places we had never been before. Lots of early starts and late goals too. “
The Alpine Rally is the oldest surviving motorsport event in Australia and the second oldest rally in the world. Only a handful of motorsport events, including the French Grand Prix, Monte Carlo Rally, Indianapolis 500, Pikes Peak Hill Climb, and Italian Grand Prix, are older. In 1921, the event comprised 1,000 miles over eight days.
“Each day rudely started at 4:30 am so we could catch the sunrise and continued until sunset,” she continues.
“As a photographer, this is the ultimate collaboration – working with journalists to tell a story while traveling. You need to rely heavily on your instincts, make quick decisions, and have a keen eye to spot small details in the images that add to the quirks of the written word.
“In total, I took around 4,300 pictures from the trip, which were then reduced to 290, but only 20-30 ended up in the print story.”
You can read MOTOR’s report on the adventure here.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Alastair’s number one for 2021 had to spin the new Mustang Mach 1, which was blown up by Scott Newman on the track in Wakefield Park.
A packed day on which the video team also had to capture the 5-liter V8 in all its glory, Alastair had the chances that it was no longer there – that was needed for the next cover of wheels, but some key elements for the money shot were missing on the track and the car was dirty when it finally arrived four hours late.
“Despite all this, the shoot was super successful and the pictures were ultimately used to present the new Which car Website when it launched earlier this year, ”says Alastair.
“In addition, when the embargo was lifted, we were the only point of sale with specially created content, and the images and copies eventually went in internationally CAR Magazine.
“I love shootings like this one where everything is against you because you win either way. When you do a bad job, you have no shortage of excuses. If you do a great job, you look like a superhero. “
You can read Scott’s review here.
2021 Porsche 992 Turbo
Another lockdown special, this time Alastair has teamed up with ENGINE Editor Andy Enright to find out how the 992 Turbo went touring an abandoned Wilson’s prom.
“I’m a big Porsche fan, so I always wanted to have a lot of fun on the shoot. This 992 is borderline fast in the passenger seat and it was my first time on the prom, ”says Alastair.
“The landscape there is mega and varied – so is the weather. You get the feeling it’s really a piece of Tassie that has stayed on the mainland. “
It wasn’t long, however, before the two had a tense moment – after deciding to park the $ 400,000 supercar on Waratah Bay Beach because it “might look fun”.
“This was a classic Andy and Alastair shoot where at some point we got a car where it just wasn’t supposed to go,” he adds. “Fortunately, it climbed the boat ramp again in one piece, otherwise it would have been a cumbersome call to Porsche!
“The next day, for logistical reasons, it was up to me to bring the Turbo back to Melbourne. What followed was the biggest trade deal of all time – the Ssangyong Korando escort car that I had shut down traded for the 992 Turbo. What a hoax.
“The only problem was that we did the handover at night in the heart of a wombat colony, and what followed was tense for 20 minutes, during which we slowly led the very low nose around a really eye-opening crowd of marsupials.”
Read Andy’s review of the 992 Turbo for MOTOR here.
Jaguar F-Type R-Dynamic P380 against Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe against Lexus LC500
The dream team Brook and Enright were together again – this time at the Lang Lang proving ground for a Supercoupé three-way battle.
Supported by a team of four drivers ready to steer the trio and an escort vehicle, Alastair had a free hand to show the GTs at their best together – including the use of the high-speed loop for wider shots and the stagnant water system.
“As a Holden fan from childhood, Lang Lang is sacred ground. Sunsets are always a pleasure as the wide-open concrete creates clean reflections, ”he adds.
Read Andy’s comparison for MOTOR here.