Wraptivo CLS and Vorsteiner BMW E92 M3

March 19th, 2011

One of the exciting new trends in the automotive market is wrapping a car. It allows a consumer to change the color of the car relatively easily while preserving the OEM paint. Changing the color on a car can cost upwards of $4,000 or more and take a full week, while wrapping a car can often be done in an afternoon for less than $1,000. Meguiars has introduced a new product called Wraptivo, which is a series of designer car wraps that can be applied to any car. They have a bunch of cool colors and designs, but their flat colors have been the most popular in their pre-launch phase.

Through some phone calls, I was able to line up a pair of the cars for separate photoshoots. I met up with Peter from Vorsteiner and Brett Coca in Irvine where we cranked out both shoots in record time. For Peter’s BMW, we chose a commercial complex with a draub red tone to it, which should help add some contrast to the simple color spectrum of the BMW. When it came time to shoot Brett’s car, we simply moved down the street to another commercial area which included some blue tints, again providing some contrast against Coca’s car.

First up was Vorsteiner’s E92 M3, complete with an Active Autowerkes supercharger, full Vorsteiner aero and wheels, Brembo brakes, and a matte silver colored wrap. This car will be featured in Performance Auto and Sound magazine.

The second car was Brett Coca’s Mercedes CLS. If this car looks familiar, it’s probably because this car was originally white and built by RJ DeVera. DeVera sold the car to his good friend Coca, who changed the look up with a matte battleship grey wrap that really goes well with the black and carbon accents.

This feature hasn’t been comitted to anyone just yet, but has interest from several outlets.

Performance World car show – Toronto, ON

March 13th, 2011

This year, I was given the unique opportunity to travel to Toronto, Ontario, Canada over the weekend of my birthday to visit a client of mine as well as hang out with some friends. My trip just so happened to fall on the same weekend as the annual Performance World event in Toronto. After a few phone calls, I arranged a media pass to check out the show and cover it for UrbanRacer.com.

The first thing I noticed walking into the event was the variety of cars. The front hall was filled with a dozen or two hot rods and top-notch vehicles. While I’m not much of a hot rod guy, these cars were awesome to look at.

The imports I’m used to were in the back of the show, clearly showing their place in the priority of the show management. None the less, the cars were pretty well done overall. This NSX shows a bit of the ‘new’, while the Civic is a taste of the ‘old’ I’m used to.

A Mercedes SLK is the polar opposite of many of the hotrods there, but I can’t help myself to be drawn to the lines of this sexy automobile. Of course, the flat gold wrap helped make this particular car stand out.

Once I got home, I sorted photos and threw together a quick article for the UrbanRacer site.

Performance World coverage on UrbanRacer

Ray’s 13B-powered RX4 Wagon

February 13th, 2011

I have a standing call out to several people for feature-worthy Mazda’s to be featured on Mazda’s corporate site, and through Efrain from Shift Communications, I found this awesome 1974 Mazda RX4 Wagon. The car has been modernized with a turbocharged 13B rotary engine, Mazda FC suspension and FD Brakes, and a Ford 8″ rear end. I knew this would be perfect for the site, so I arranged to get the car shot as soon as possible. We ended up shooting at one of my steadfast locations in San Pedro, CA, and exchanged stories of watercooled Volkswagens during the shoot. Overall, the shoot went out quite smoothly.

Looking at the profile of this car, it’s hard not to fall in love.

I’m a sucker for a Wagon!

The special 13B that powers this monster. With such a light chassis, this car really moves! The motor has been moved back 9 inches and sits below the rain tray, but this shot of the engine bay shows off the turbo piping and intercooler tucked behind the radiator.

The feature will be up on Mazda’s website shortly.

A new beginning

August 1st, 2010

Hello world!

Jacob Leveton, waiting to shoot top 16 in

Waiting to shoot Top 16 at Formula D Seattle – Photo by Larry Chen

Here we are, starting a wordpress blog to document my photography, about 4 years later than planned. The JacobPhoto.com domain was started back in 2003, and since then, has never really been a domain. This layout in it’s current iteration started in 2008 and was planned to be finished before SEMA, but wasn’t completed until February 2009 thanks to Andy Devendorf of TypeBlue. I gave him a few ideas and let him run with them, and this concept exceeded my expectations. However, as it was started 2 years ago, the portfolio is already horribly out of date, and the sections need a lot of updating.

After having the site up for 18 months without any updates or attention, I’m finally making a commitment to get this site updated. This blog was originally designed to serve as a timeline for my photoshoots and showcase some of my work and clients. Over the next few weeks, I plan to update this blog with shoots from the past, and identify some of the clients I have worked with over the time. Moving forward, I also hope to update people on some of my work-in-progress, as well as some info about how I got into photography and all that jazz. We’ll see how long I can keep this commitment!

For now, sit back , hold tight, let’s see how this goes.

Atsushi Kuroi’s UNPUBLISHED Riverslide 180SX

March 2nd, 2007

With the drifting season just around the corner, I was looking to shoot a feature on one of the many cars in the area. After a few phone calls, I found out that Atsushi Kuroi’s competition car from the D1 Grand Prix series was still in town, being stored at a warehouse locally. I jumped at the chance to shoot this car as it is one of my favorites. I brought my Speedotron strobe setup to get some more experience shooting with the lights on some cars, I’m still getting the hang of it.

I started with your basic front 3/4 profile shot

Then I moved around to the front head-on shot. The car looks so menacing from this angle!

This RB26 engine puts out more than 600 horsepower with the help of Nitrous!

These custom pop-up headlights look awesome in drift!

The amount of smoke Kuroi puts out is amazing! Here’s a shot of the car in action from the last D1 GP event at Irwindale, CA

Here’s another of Kuroi in tandem with one of the famed Team Orange cars.

Unfortunately, this feature never found a client. The original publishing magazine went out of business before the feature ran, and no other magazines took up any interest in the car.

Even more unfortunately, Kuroi passed away since this car was shot. R.I.P. to one of my favorite drivers in D1 Grand Prix.

Teresa’s model feature for Race Pages

March 1st, 2007

Since 2005, I’ve worked with Promedia Publishing to wrangle the models for their magazines, and occasionally shoot them as well. This originally started with OverRev Magazine, but when that magazine was retired, the features rolled over to Race Pages. For those who don’t know, Race Pages is the publishing end of Promedia, with the National Mustang Racing Association (NMRA) being the racing end of the business.

We found Teresa Menconi via Model Mayhem, and she was great to work with. For each issue, we shoot a handful of products for the product section, then take a few extra shots with the model for their feature.

Teresa starts out modeling an OBD-II scanner

We moved on to a digital fuel pump controller and a Wilson throttle body.

We finished up with a few poses using one of the many airsoft pistols laying around the office. Don’t mess with Teresa!

Fausto Merida’s 2006 VW GTI

February 25th, 2007

Fausto Merida’s 2006 Volkswagen GTI turned  heads at the 2006 SEMA show, and I got the opportunity to shoot the car for a feature in PAS Magazine. Fausto has been a good friend since his days working at Overboost.com, so it was great to spend a morning shooting his car. I chose to do the shoot at a pretty infamous spot near downtown LA which has a view of the downtown skyline. Because of the overcast weather, we had some awesome equal light, which allowed us to shoot the car in any direction and make the most of the location.

Shooting towards the city

Shooting to the East, towards a black gate and some ivy

Shooting to the South, against a red brick wall with some graffiti

BPM “Shwag” shoot in Hollywood, CA

February 18th, 2007

Out of the blue, I got a phone call from Ray Allan David asking if I could help him out with a quick photoshoot. I knew Ray from the car industry, and at the time, he worked at a publisher who not only published a car magazine but also had some titles in the music industry. He was working on a short deadline, and needed some products shot that same day. Luckily for him, I lived just a few blocks from the OverAmerica office, and had the afternoon off from work. Being a fellow creative, Ray pretty much gave me open reign creatively to get the shots they needed.

First shot was a set of chocolate bars from a private chocolate factory. We decided to do the shoot in the office fridge, with just ambient light and whatever condiments were remnant in the fridge.

Next up was a set of 4 T-shirts. We only had one mannequin, and Ray wanted to fit all 4 t-shirts into 1 shot. Luckily, the office is on Sunset Blvd, and we found an extra turntable in the office that we could use for part of the shot as well. The first composition was shooting across Sunset to the South.

It wasn’t a bad frame, but it just didn’t jump at me. Plus, the middle mannequins would block the sign that says “Hollywood”. Perhaps this would work for 1 shirt, but not for all 4. Instead, we shot towards the East, down the sidewalk.

Ahhhhh, much better! The palm trees definitely screamed “Hollywood”, and the red building added some nice color to the frame to offset the muted colors of the shirts. We setup a tripod, shot a few frames per shirt, then composted them together.

There we go! Looking back, I wish I had switched the olive green shirt with the burnt orange shirt to help offset the colors in the shot, but I like how this all came out. Simple, yet conveys the purpose well. These 2 shots ran in BPM Magazine.

To date, this is still one of my favorite product shots.

UNPUBLISHED Redline Time Attack Fontana

February 12th, 2007

In order to shoot the Chris Rado Hero Card, I had to attend the first Redline Time Attack event of the season at California Speedway in Fontana. Since I was already at the track, I shot some stuff. I only shot the track from two different locations, which at the time seemed like two more than I needed since my paying assignment of the day required me to be away from the track for awhile. The coverage never went anywhere but my hard drive, so this is the first anyone is seeing these images.

All wasn’t for naught, as I used an image or two from this event in my motorsports portfolio to show my ability to shoot a variety of subjects.

Tyler McQuarrie pilots the JIC Magic / Hankook Nissan Silvia S15 to a blistering time of 1:08.861 in the Unlimited RWD Class.

James Sofranos narrowly edged out McQuarrie in the GMG Porsche GT3 with a time of 1:08.656.

Chris Rado’s pit setup.

Joey Redmond shooting some video for Redline Time Attack.

Chris Rado UNPUBLISHED Hero Card shoot

February 11th, 2007

In the week leading up to the first Redline Time Attack event of the 2007 season, one of Chris Rado’s new sponsors had contacted me about shooting a hero card for them. Rado’s World Racing Time Attack Scion tC was breaking records, and Rado has long been an innovator of motorsports, so I was excited to work with him. Prior to the event, we exchanged several emails and a few phone calls discussing the details of what they were looking for, and some pricing was exchanged. Although a final price wasn’t agreed upon prior to the shoot (at the time we were still waiting to hear back from upper management, but I had no reason to believe the price wouldn’t be approved), I showed up to the event to shoot some action shots of Rado’s car as well as some hero shots to be used in the card.

After the shoot, a few proofs were sent to the company. I informed them that once I got confirmation of the pricing, I would send over the high res files. Several weeks went by, and my emails and phone calls went unanswered. In the end, these photos never saw the light of day, which is unfortunate because I was particularly proud of some of these shots. You win some, you lose some.