Tilting & Shifting At The Nismo Festival

Welcome to the 2017 Nismo Festival, presented through an alternate perspective.

I don’t know how I can best relay the challenge of shooting the same event for over 10 years. For a lot of guys in my line of work, this wouldn’t be an issue; you go there, shoot the same stuff in the same way year in and year out, and that’s it, job done. But that bugs me; it’s both boring and repetitive to shoot and to expect readers to get enjoyment out of seeing the same cars presented in the same way.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_001

Nismo is partly to blame, too. They always use the same general recipe with the same cars. But what do you expect? They do the best with what they have, and as a fan of Nismo, GT-Rs and anything Nissan-related, this is an event I always enjoy. So how do I get that excitement across without being repetitive?

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_002

Well, out of pure chance and thanks to a good friend of mine, I found myself borrowing a tilt-shift lens the night before this year’s event. With my trusty wide zoom still in for repairs, I needed something wide to get up close and personal to the cars.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_003

But the Canon TS-E 24mm f3.5 II does so much more than this. It allows the user to manually – as its name hints – tilt the array of glass within the lens up or down on a preset arch, as well as shifting it up and down off axis. Mostly used in architecture photography to correct lens distortion and thus perspective, when used on other type of subjects it can play with the eye, giving the effect that everything you are shooting is something out of a miniature scene. It’s weird and wonderful, and depending on how much tilting and shifting you do, you can give a really interesting look to your images.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_004

It was so much fun playing around with it that I decided to put a whole post together from this new and unique perspective.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_005

With tilt-shift, you can isolate the subject you are shooting in a way no other lens can do.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_006

It’s as if all of a sudden you are a Jedi warrior of bokeh, a master of perspective. I wasn’t sure how well it would work with cars, but after a quick check on the laptop in the Fuji Speedway pits, I was rather impressed.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_007

I felt like a little kid playing with an amazing new toy, and to top that I was shooting legendary Nissan racers. It’s been a while since I’ve felt so much joy and satisfaction from behind the camera.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_008

One of the coolest things about the Nismo Festival is the fact that spectators can get very close to cars. And if you’re a member of the media, you can get even closer. I got so close to this VQ30-powered Motul GT500 R34 Skyline GT-R  that I self-stabbed my knee on the pointy release valve for the air-jacks. Ouch.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_012

Aside from all the cars that ran in the domestic JGTC/Super GT championships, there was a rather special BCNR33 in the mix. This is the Skyline that in 1995 kicked off a three-year-long Le Mans challenge for Nissan, and this car managed a 10th place finish overall in the famous endurance race.

A nice series of bottoms, don’t you think?

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_013

For the 20th Nismo Festival, Nismo wanted to focus on the cars that are tightly linked to regular production models, so single-seater endurance cars weren’t as big a part of the proceedings as usual. But the old Skylines definitely were; the Hakosuka and Kenmeri helped Nissan to its initial success in motorsports.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_014

On top of the Tasian and Calsonic BNR32 Gr.A machines, the HKS car was always a big favorite. I can’t stress how much presence these cars have, even if they are possibly the most stock looking our of all of Nissan’s GT cars. It’s also one more reason that an R32 GT-R should aesthetically be left as-is when tuning it up for street use.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_015

Here’s an example of what you get if you tilt the lens close to as far as it will go. That plane of focus tightens up and the blur takes over, making the car look like it’s a scale model on a table.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_016

Wind it back a bit and you can get some really crisp images.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_017

And here’s another example of isolation helping make the subject; the 1973 HS30 240ZG GTS-II really pops.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_018

After our recent visit to R31 House, I’ve developed even more love for the Skyline that preceded the R32.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_020

The top section of the pits is where the racing Sunnys live. For years, these little old cars have enjoyed their own race at the Nismo Festival, mixing it up with vintage GT-Rs and Zs to give spectators a nice dose of nostalgia.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_022

As I was making my way to the paddock area to check out the tuners, I stumbled upon this S30 belonging to the T-Man Bros. crew. Judging by the license plate, it packs a 3.0-liter motor, but I do wonder if it’s a stroked L28 or possibly an RB30? I must investigate…

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_023

Of course, no event in Japan wouldn’t be complete with a food area where you can warm yourself up with a steaming bowl of ramen or nibble away at crunchy pieces of JDM fried chicken.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_024

It’s so cool to see how Nismo brings the whole tuning industry together for this event. You get to see everyone that has had a long lasting link to the Nissan brand, from Central 20 all the way to Impul and Top Secret; from Mine’s and Midori to HKS and OS Giken.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_025

If you recall, we were here at Fuji a few months ago for another big Nissan related celebration: R’s Meeting. The organizer of that event, GT-R Magazine, had a massive display at the Nismo Festival showcasing all their cars. Yes, they really do have the entire six GT-R line-up!  #garagegoals indeed!

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_027

Nismo Omori Factory, the side of the operation that caters to the public, had a nice tent set up showcasing their parts and demo cars.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_028

Joining the Clubman Race Spec BNR34 and the Grand Touring Car-based BCNR33, they’ve now added the R35 to the line-up. So if you have ¥10,000,000 (US$90,000) burning a whole in your bank account, you can bring them your zenki R35 and they will bring it up to current day spec and then some. I think another trip at Nismo is in order, what you think?

Option had a really nice display area together with other publications from the same publishing group, including G-Works, but you will have to wait for my separate spotlight post to find out which car stood out the most.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_030

If you’ve see any of my Nostalgic 2 Days coverage in the past, the name Utilitas might ring a bell. They are a restoration specialist that sells really clean classic and collectable cars, like the R30 you see here in the background. They teamed up with Yokohama to launch the new Advan HF Type D, a tire sporting a vintage tread pattern but built with modern day technology. It’s currently available only in Japan in a few 13, 14 and 15-inch sizes. Oh, and I just have to say, Advan tri-spokes rock!

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_053

Here’s a car that I thought needed a special mention, and possibly a follow up feature, too. This Midori-tuned R32 sports beautifully blistered fenders to house 11-inch-wide, new-offset RAYS Volk Racing TE37s shod with 295-section tires. If you look closely you can see how the spokes have a more rounded profile.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_031

I picked up the pace as I moved through the paddock as there was still a lot I needed to cover.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_032

One issue about shooting with a tilt-shift lens is that you end up taking quite a lot of time setting up your pictures. From unwinding the locking rings to trying out different tilt settings, it just take a little longer than usual.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_034

Add to that, that the lens has no automatic focus, and you end up taking shooting more frames too, just in case.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_035

It was a process that I quickly started to enjoy. When you take more time you take in more details, and maybe notice things you’d otherwise rush past.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_036

It’s nice to change pace and look around more.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_037

And I spent a lot of time with the trio of silhouette racers that we’ve just seen. These are by far the most in-your-face race car designs of all time.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_038

The 24mm tilt-shift lens really helped me capture that visual impact, too.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_039

To see everything that this event has to offer you must walk. A lot. The app on my watch was telling me that I’d covered 15km, and once I was done with the pits and paddock it was over to the car parks.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_040

I was looking for the famous line ups you see at the Nismo Festival, and it didn’t take me long to find them.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_046

Except it was very much angled towards current production cars, so next to this lonely white 400R I found rows and rows of…

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_043

Jukes.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_041

And Notes.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_044

Some Fairlady Zs.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_042

And of course GT-Rs. All Nismo versions, of course!

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_045

Nissan had also prepared the current line-up of Nismo versions you can buy from them: the March, Note, Note e-Power, Z, R and Elgrand. Last Friday they also released the Nismo Serena, if anyone actually cares?

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_047

I also had to take a look at the higher paddock area behind the grandstands where Nismo had set up their shop and auction areas, as well as some attractions showing off new and current models from the Nissan line up. All I was interested in was this cool, slammed Caravan.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_048

If you were wondering where all the Le Mans and single-seater racers were, it was here that I found them.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_049

The R390 GT1 was joined by a couple of other prototype racers, but like I said earlier, the emphasis for this 20th anniversary event was not on these cars. Strangely enough, there was no mention anywhere of Nissan joining the Formula E championship, something they proudly announced at the Tokyo Motor Show last month.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_050

I wanted to get a vantage point that any Nismo Festival attendee could, so I headed to the grandstands.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_051

With the sun slowly diving for the horizon the light was getting warmer, casting a nice yellow hue over Fuji Speedway.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_052

Before the closing ceremony started, I headed to the media room for a quick picture dump and noticed the pit walk had started. Shooting it all from above the pits really emphasised the fact that high-vantage points work amazingly well with these type of lenses.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_054

And then the time came to head down; the main cars of the event were going to be driven in small groups and blasted down the main straight, giving both a visual and aural show to fans.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_055

As I walked up the pits I noticed Masahiko Kondo was leaning up against the widebody R33 he drove in Le Mans in 1995. The ex-singer and driver now runs his own team.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_056

And speaking of legends, here’s an aggressively tilted and shifted shot of Eric Comas as he patiently waited his turn to drive the Penzoil R34 GT500 car from 2001.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_058

Twenty years ago Comas was the man that brought the R33 GT-R to its victorious finish, before continuing his career with the R34. He is a massive legend in Japan and was enjoying this ode to his past success.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_057

Low shutter-speed panning with a tilt-shift lens and manual focus on a Canon 5D, which isn’t exactly meant for sports photography, was a bit of a challenge.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_059

But it ended up working well.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_060

In fact, I think I may end up printing out a few of these shots.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_061

As I walked up the pit wall I came across four-time GT500 champion Ronnie Quintarelli (who has just finished the 2017 season in second place with Nismo) taking a few pictures of the Penzoil cars.

This will definitely go down as one of the most memorable Nismo Festivals for me.

nismo_festa17_ts_dino_dalle_carbonare_064

I’ll remember it as the time I tilted and shifted my way around the tantalizing selection of cars. Oh, and the time that it took six hours to drive the 90km (56mi) back to Tokyo. Yes, Japan never fails to impress, and when it does you just have to think of fresh ways to experience it.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

ADVERTISEMENT

Comments

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

63 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

Awesome photos Dino, I think printing some of these images is a very good idea !
(I always look forward your the coverage of the NISMO festival).

Author2
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks man!

3

they do look like scale models. awesome new view on things!

Author4
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Something different!

5

speedhunters,

inspiring and teaching me new techniques as i go.

Todays Lesson: Tilt Shifting.

Author6
Dino Dalle Carbonare

We like to challenge budding photographers :)

7

A nismo Elgrand? What's next? a Nismo Titan?

Author8
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Toyota does the TRD Tacoma & Tundra, I think Nissan is missing out not offering Nismo versions of the Titan. The brand is so diluted and stripped of that original feel they might as well whore it out for every model. It's mostly aesthetic anyways

9

Nismo Titan?

Capital idea, old man!

decom_683cfe0cd314e272a0a60f6c6a1147d0_5a1c48221ed6c.jpgdecom_683cfe0cd314e272a0a60f6c6a1147d0_5a1c48221ed6c.jpg
10

or a Nismo Navara for those who can't get a Titan in some countries like ASEAN

11

@dino - Use that lens more!!!!

Author12
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I gotta borrow it more or sell a kidney!

13

So much want. Not just the cars this time either^

14

OMG, the Pennzoil R34 GTR is my FAVORITE!!!!! All those hours I spent on Gran Turismo giving the GTR hell on Nurburgring and embarrassing others at Twin Motegi.... YES!!!!!!! Thank you Dino for capturing my favorite Nissan of ALL TIME!!!!!! (Sorry, I'm nerding out hard-core! But can you blame me! :D)

(And I mean, this picture shows that this GTR will kick butt anytime, anywhere, anyhow! XD)

decom_3909d78a562d7edf8794c4eb0d6dc4ce_5a1c4104c8c0c.jpgdecom_3909d78a562d7edf8794c4eb0d6dc4ce_5a1c4104c8c0c.jpg
Author15
Dino Dalle Carbonare

You go ahead and nerd out all you want haha

16

Such a nice coverage, still top 3 event to do once in a life but omg I hate tilt shifting, it's like 2011 all over again.

Author17
Dino Dalle Carbonare

What happened in 2011?

18

It was when the tilt shift became a thing (or maybe was it was 2010), everybody used it, overused it, and everybody went like "omggggg it looks like miniature!!!". I hate it, it's like fisheye, it's cool for one or 2 shoots but it's very limited and redundant. And it looks like you really had some struggle focusing in the right place am I right? Haha. So yeah it's cool for some shots (and this coverage is uber cool as usual), but it's limited.

19

That opening image Dino <3 coreeeee - that looks amazing!

Author20
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Mini R35 :D

21

Hi Dino, do you know how much to build the clubman race spec bnr34 at omori factory?

Author22
Dino Dalle Carbonare

12-15 million yen or something absurd like that

23

Seriously?

They didn't have a GTP?

decom_eeb57407fc3a805fab08771178d6f7de_5a1c47c0571e1.jpgdecom_eeb57407fc3a805fab08771178d6f7de_5a1c47c0571e1.jpg
Author24
Dino Dalle Carbonare

That car isn't even in Japan

25

It's Nismo Fest, not Electramotive/NPTI Fest
:)

26

So they can slap a NISMO decal on it and say they found it like that.

27

Really nice photos, so many of my favourite GTR's , top work wish i was there .

Author28
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks Joe!

29

So much depth...

Author30
Dino Dalle Carbonare

#iamthedepthhunter

31

Dino, as a fan of your photography, I thought it was cool you're still experimenting with different methods. But I don't think tilt shift lens could really pull off the "model play set" look from up close car shots. The more landscape high vantage point photos really did nail the trick though. I always appreciate reading through posts like these. Keep it up!

Author32
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah I did mention that in the story, but for the others, that's precisely why I did it. Something new and fun to bring excitement into repetitiveness!

33

try a macro lens next :D

34

Z32 headlights ?!!

decom_4978c30610dbd1f52a70c300051bf350_5a1c76f605557.jpgdecom_4978c30610dbd1f52a70c300051bf350_5a1c76f605557.jpg
Author35
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Exactly! Much like the Lamborghini Diablo

36

that midori-tuned r32... Jesus!!! Makes me want a R32!
Top coverage, as usual! keep the photos coming!

Author37
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yep it looked sensational, simple but so effective!

38

I think I know where I'll be next November!!!

39

POP Quiz Dino: why does Nissan use the number 23 on their race cars? :D

Author40
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Really?

Author41
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'll through you one. Why is Nissan's phone number have the 5523 in there?

42

Nismo making more versions out of Nissan's line-up is a good thing. It can help nurture regular drivers into enthusiasts. As apparently people don't want fun cars anymore.

Wasn't there a rhetoric that we missed how back in the day most any ordinary car from a manufacturer's line-up had a Sport version?

So while they may not be for me, I'm all for it :)

Author43
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I don't agree but that won't change squat

44

I saved that image of that white S30Z and the file size is 666kb.... could it be? DEVIL Z!

Author45
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Haha it was all planned!

46

Don Dino never disappoints me with all things JDM.......Good Job sir :)

Author47
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Grazie!

48

Interesting...I thought the STP/Taisan R32 that Keiichi Tshuchiya drove, would have been at this event..

Author49
Dino Dalle Carbonare

It was

50

As always, great work Dino

Author51
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks you Sir!

52

way too much camera talk :( talk more about the cars please :)

53

Does anyone know what front lip on that s30 is off? Looks modern...

54

That opening shot is so cool man.

55

You do not leave many stones unturned with your coverage. Great write up and pics.

Would love to see more details on that Midori tuned R32!

56

Was my first time attending Nismo Festival and I'm glad I got to see all this history and Dori Dori san too. Even got a pic with Niikura san of Mine's. Unfortunately I missed out on the cars going out, as I left the pit area to hop on a bus to Gotemba St. Glad I got to see these pics of what I missed! You should've taken the train, was 3 hours 1 way for me, haha!

57

Amazing photos!

58

I'm no pro photographer but I find tilting and shifting limits depth of field and thus isn't really effective when not working from an elevated position, or far away enough from the small area of focus.

59

The lens adds the blurry effect? Looks like it's added with photoshop, not part of the original photo don't why it gives me that impression

60

Very interesting selection of pics Dino. I salute the choice to make the entire post with the tilt-shift instead of using it as an occasional novelty.

61

As always, Amazing shots Dino!! Those perspectives of pit lane are on another level.. Thanks definitely inspires those enjoy the art.

62

Nissan has been AMGed!

63

That tilt shift lens is awesome! Tilt shift SEMA next year?

OFFICIAL SPEEDHUNTERS SUPPLIERS