Desktops>> Rockstar Ae86

Speedhunters is going quite well as a project it has to be said…. Our hits have tripled in the past four months alone and our inbox is overflowing with offers, queries and questions. Unfortunately, given that we are a very small team, we just don't have time to answer all of these emails…. sometimes though, I will make a point of replying to an email immediately…. This was the case when Irish photographer, Paddy McGrath offered to send over this desktop image as his contribution to Toyota Month. Thanks Paddy!

Last time I saw Eric O'Sullivan's Rockstar Energy Drink sponsored AE86, it was being unpeeled from a concrete wall at the Red Bull Drifting World Championship…. The damage looked terminal to my eye,  but hopefully the car has been repaired this winter. :>




Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Was this the same one that was F20-powered?


i wonder how it'll look with a trueno front


I think Paddy McGrath is Ireland's best photographer. Nobody else even comes close. Great work, man!


its great to know this site is booming =) i think you guys do a fantastic job with car reviews keep it up


To take that picture, it would have to be:

Drifting past the photographer at a distance of two or three feet. (but there is no tire smoke).

Taken from a vehicle driving parallel to the drifting car (but still no tire smoke).

Parked and posed on the racing surface, with the background blurred in a photo editing program.

But it's a better photo than I could take, so I have no place to speculate...


It's a "rig shot"

Using a camera rig attached to the vehicle. The car is slowly driven in a circle. and the shot is taken with a semi slow shutter speed.


Photo's like this are taken using a rig attached to the vehicle. The shot is taken while car is in motion and the rig is 'removed' in photoshop. A very difficult shot requiring loads of patience and a bit of brass (your $2000+ SLR is hanging off the front end of a car after-all). Great photo. My hat is certainly off to you Mr. McGrath.

Keep up the good work SH crew. You guys do a great job covering a wide range of motorsport.

Justin Coffey -


The front wheels are turned all the way to the right. It would not be possible to drive the car in a slow circle to the left around the photographer, rig, etc., unless the subject vehicle was sliding, moving fast, and making smoke or at least throwing bits of rubber. It might be possible if the car were being driven slowly in a right turn narrowly missing a seated photographer panning as the vehicle passed him.


Oyaji Gaijin: This is the classic rigshot technique that you see on the cover of almost every Super Street Magazine. This look was made famous in the 2000s by a photographer named Wes Allison; it was his signature style for many magazine covers, then overused by a lot of American photographers who figured it out and then started making lame attempts at rig shots of cars inside warehouses, of cars seemingly driving 100mph into the wall, etc. Paddy McGrath used this technique, but pulled it off very well, with his own style, mixing in a bit of natural backlighting and lighting know-how. He is obviously well educated in how to use light to his advantage.

Look closely at the background, and the lines on the ground. For a shot like this, there is most likely someone pushing the car, from the rear right side of the car (hopefully not from the taillight!) and the car's engine is turned off. Engine vibrations (especially from a monster like this one) would cause the sponsor logos to be too shaky for this type of shot. It looks as if the rig is attached to the hood/bonnet diagonally, with a 10mm or 15mm fisheye lens attached to the DSLR at the end.

The car is positioned so that the nose is likely facing the afternoon sunshine, with a very well placed bit of fill-flash from the rear of the vehicle, so that the detail in the tires and sponsor logos would be evident. The fill flash also freezes the detail in the sponsor logos so they look nice and crisp. Without that fill flash, the wheel detail and sponsor logos on the side closest to us would be too dark, since they're naturally in the shadow from the sun.

Then the detail in the clouds/sky looks like it was darkened a tad for that HDR effect. I just noticed Paddy McGrath's photography this year, from images taken from the Irish Prodrift site. I think his compositional eye and usage of light is great. I'd love to meet him and the Prodrift drivers, if I could make it out to Ireland sometime! I love the cars in the Prodrift series! Can't wait to see them in person!



you are on the money as ever...........this shot works really well but also as you say the effect is often over used and poorly executed. This shots stands out and has been thought about before the shoot.

In a similar vein Rick Dole, top sportscar photographer, shows some other ideas on what can be achieved with a bit of planning and talent.

Aside from good technique and clarity of thought on what is wanted for the final result, the other requirement for this kind of imagery is a good client. That is one who understands the power of brilliant photography and is prepared to give the photographer time to come up with the art.

Almost without exception set up shots like this are compromised by a lack of time and a team's demanding schedule.

I have tried to produce something similar without a rig and at speed.........these printed up OK but it takes a load of frames to get the right one

Again less is more with this stuff.

John Brooks


Thanks everyone for the kind comments !

Oyaji, the guys are right, the entire image was setup and taken using a camera rig attached to the car. The car was then drove around in a large circle where I took multiple shots that I could then combine in post to get the exposure and image I was looking for.

However, the type of shot your refering to isn't impossible, before I had a rig I had to adopt a more 'adventurous' approach. In a shoot of Koguchi's old JZX100 Chaser, I had to kneel down and have the new owner drift around the camera.

Thanks again to the crew at Speedhunters for allowing me to show my work to the world, I hope you'll be seeing more of me over the next while !



Classic Paddy Mc Grath Photo, looks fantastic and u can almost feel the noise and vibration it makes as you twin drift along side of it, in my oponion and this is far from licking up (people who know me say i allways speak my mind sometimes to my down fall) I dont think it but i know it Paddy is the greateast photographer i have ever meet, top job my man and pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee keep up the good work.


Why am i not surprised at this pic. as always, Brilliant.

No point on repeating myself or what everyone else has already stated. great pic, great photographer. end of!


wow yeah this picture is simply amazing. Im gonna have to blog about this.


OK, I had not considered attaching the camera to the car that is being photographed (only a second vehicle), because there is no visible arm or mount... ...which would have been air brushed out of the photograph with photoshop.


just enjoy the pic already....


Hey, it's a post about a photographer, it's fair to discuss how the photo was taken and learn a little about photography. Why are you scrolling down beneath the photo if you don't want to read anything anyway?


Really great shot, and v. interesting to know how it was done ^^ :) On another note can we have some more Trueno action please Speedhunters? thanks


Always loved this car, how bold is the yellow vs the black & he can drive.


Ben: Ask and you shall receive! I have a whole YEAR worth of Trueno photos! Be on the lookout this week!


Nice! Thanks Antonio, looking forward to it!


Flat Eric is now selling the car, I had the pleasure of seeing it live it is a very nice build.

He's accepting offers on Driftworks far as I know.


Jonny @