Custom Car June 2011

Out next week is June’s Custom Car Magazine. Pick it up to see my shoot of Pat Healy’s Desert Rat with model Miranda Barrie.

Watford Rods 2011

Went along to a windy but sunny Watford Rods show at Croxley Green yesterday. Great little show, can’t believe I haven’t been to this before. More shots in the flickr set.

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Light Painting my 57 Chevy

I’ve been told that lighting a black car at night was one of the hardest things to do so I thought I’d set myself a challenge. Working with a black car is hard at the best of times, it’s like working with a 18 foot long mirror, it can look great with beautiful blue skies reflected in the paintwork but can also show all the horrors of your location. I could have lit the car with a flash as I did with my Camaro previously but I’ve seen some shots on-line with softbox style reflections in the paint that have been created by light painting. This is a technique of leaving the shutter open and using the light like a brush to paint your subjects. I set off armed with camera, tripod, remote shutter and a battery powered fluorescent tube. After several attempts  where light from the lamp was captured directly rather than by reflection I got a fairly pleasing result with a 20 second exposure. Add some cleaning up in Photoshop and this is the result.

Light Painting Passenger 57


Brown paper packages tied up with strings

I’ve put together some of my favourite shots into this flickr set. Enjoy. 081 082 080 067 060 059 098 099 097 100


My Photos at the 8 Ball Diner

I went along to the grand opening at the 8 Ball Diner yesterday and it was fantastic to see my photos all over the doors, walls, windows and anywhere else they could put them. I really hope it takes off, they are going to be hosting loads of car events throughout each month. Check it out next time you’re in Essex.

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Nefarious Pinstriping – Chevy Cooler

Big thanks to my friend Simon AKA Nefarious for Pinstriping a Chevy cooler I picked up. I think it looks awesome. Now we just need some warmer weather for the picnic/show season to kick in.

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Nefarious Pinstriping IMG_3843 Interview

I was contacted by Emmanuel Bonan from this week to ask if I would be interviewed for the website. I was only too pleased to oblige. You can read the interview here, but is in French. Here is the English version I sent through.

Who are you? Where are you from?
My name is Nick Grant and I’m from London, England. I spend a great deal of time around Hot Rods, Muscle Cars and Aircooled VWs. I currently drive a ’57 Chevy 210 283 four door. We bought a four door as we recently had a baby so we needed a practical family car. Some of my previous cars have been a ’67 Camaro 327 RS, a Kustom ’60 Ford Ranchwagon, a ’67 Dodge Charger a ’63 Beach Buggy. It’s fun driving a Classic American car in London as there aren’t many around but gas prices are almost $10 a gallon. There is a small but thriving scene in the UK for Hot Rods, there are three main drag strips and during the Summer there are a couple of shows on each weekend. We also have some big classic car shows that attract global interest such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed. I have travelled to the USA many times and have taken part in the Hot Rod Power Tour, I’ve only been to Canada once though, to Toronto and Niagra.

What are your motivations behind your camera?
I take a lot of inspriration from other photographers, I collect photography monographs. Some of my favorites are David Bailey, Gary Winogrand, Annie Leibowitz, Harry Benson, Richard Heeps and Gregory Crewdson. I also take inspiration from films, I’ve done a couple of Tarrantino inspired shoots and enjoy the work of David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock. I don’t really take inspiration from any other car photographers which I hope brings a different take to my work. I’m interested in the relationship that people have with cars and how that manifests itself. When I shoot a model with a car there has to be a connection, a reason that she is there and interacting with the car, that’s why they are dressed from the same period as the car. I think this makes a difference to the models being empowered in the photos, they are the driver or the mechanic not just a girl draped over the car.

In what media your photos have already been published?
I am a regular contributor to Custom Car Magazine in the UK, I have also worked with Classic American, Ultra VW, Volksworld, Milkcow, Street Gasser and Connected Magazines. I also publish my own magazine called Retrospective Photographic Review ( I have contributed to several books including Pinstripe Planet I and II and Tiki Mugs. I publish some on demand books through Blurb including a very popular book of the Hot Rod Hayride ( I have exhibited in the Art Shows at Brighton Tattoo Convention, NSRA Billing Fun Run, NSRA Supernats and Hot Rod Hayride. There is a Diner on the A12 in Essex called The 8 Ball that is decorated with my photos all over the bar, doors and windows. I have also covered the Enamore Lingerie Show at London Fashion Week. Check out my flickr sets to see examples of all of these (

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Retrospective Photographic Review – Issue 2

Issue 2 of Retrospective Photographic Review is now available to download in PDF form, issues 1 and 2 are now available from MagCloud as hard copies on demand and to view for free on the iPad. See here for more details and links.


The Brixton Buick – Desktop Wallpaper

Here’s a desktop wallpaper for you, a very popular car on the South London circuit, Dave Williams’ Brixton Buik.  Larger versions here.

The Brixton Buick

Custom Car January 2011 – Two Lane Black Top

Here’s a shoot I did for Custom Car last month. All credit to Rob who build the 55 Gasser it is absolutely spot on to the film, even down to a working fuel filler in the trunk which the actual film car never had.

Thanks to Miranda Barrie for a great job modelling for the shoot. I was shooting another car for Custom Car in the area that day and she was actually picked for the other shoot, in which she is far more glamerous, she then had to wreck her nice hair and make-up to get the TLBT look

See more in the Flickr Set.

Two Lane Blacktop Contact Sheet 1

Two Lane Blacktop Contact Sheet 2

Some of the shot we tried to recreate from the film. I took some screen shots and used my phone to line the shot up on location and then you can see the end result.

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Two Lane Blacktop Custom Car Magazine 2 shoot

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