Targa Fest 2019

Targa Fest 2019 / Mac 2, Hobart TAS

Targa Tasmania is a week long tarmac rally held annually in my home state of Tasmania. The tour starts in the North of the state gradually winding it’s way down South to finish up in Hobart. It can be a tricky event to be a spectator at (something I’ve talked about in a previous Targa post), so to give people the opportunity to get up close to the cars the organisers put on a ‘Targa Fest’ …get all the competing cars together in one spot. It’s basically a car show.

Now, I don’t always check this event out but I decided to go along to the Hobart gathering this year with my camera and two young nephews in tow …and I’m glad I did because otherwise this would’ve been the first year in a long time that I would’ve had no Targa photo’s to show (being sick’s frustrating isn’t it? Even more so when it coincides with something you’ve been looking forward to!)

This years Hobart venue was Macquarie Wharf No.2 Shed – in itself a darn cool space. The cars looked great under the lights, loads of reflection and mingling peeps to contend with from a photography point of view… so I gave it a go, deciding to ramp my ISO up to see what results I could achieve using the spotlights (set up outside) and the buildings own lighting (inside) as my only illumination source (hey, you’ve gotta try these things!)

…and like I said earlier, I’m glad I did! Because as it turned out, I felt rotten by the Saturday and even though I trudged out to see the Longley stage I ended up cutting it short and heading home – only snapping a few iPhone shots as I left… ahh well. There’s always next year! In the meantime, here’s a few edits from the night at Mac 2 – a bit different from my usual ‘look’ but I kinda like how they turned out.

As always, thanks for looking!

Showing up


So I’ve come to the conclusion that car shows… aren’t really that great for me photography wise. I always come away disappointed with my shots, nothing really stands out or looks ‘special’ to me – I start analysing everything… How can I make my images look different? How do I get around the crowd? How can I isolate a car from the others around it? What ‘new angles’ could I use? …and so on.

Last weekend I decided I’d tackle Geeveston’s ‘Wheels in the Park’ Car and Bike Show. Now in it’s 7th year running it’s quite a large gathering promising a varied collection of vehicles and motorbikes – it sounded like a good opportunity to figure out what exactly my photography expectations are!

The day itself was great – weather was good, people were happy, food was tasty and wheels were many! Ran into people I hadn’t seen for years who all had plenty of stories to tell… I’m always up for hearing another chapter in someones biography!

Listening to peoples’ tales got me thinking about relationships, specifically the relationships some of us form with our cars. I’ve talked in an earlier post about how I love finding out about the history between owner and vehicle …I think that’s mostly why I struggle at car shows, it’s usually so busy that it can be hard to track the owner down for a chat. As a result my photography suffers as I then end up taking rushed shots of the car as soon as there’s a gap around it. Ideally I’d like to have a chat about ‘the wheels’ with the hope of arranging to photograph it in a less crowded environment – ahh, networking! Easier said than done though, right?

I came away from the day still feeling frustrated with the photography side of things, however, did find some images that I thought turned out alright. Car shows are a work in progress …and I’ll keep practising! As always, cheers for looking!

Mini Clubbin’ it!

Mini Car Club of Tasmania

I got the opportunity to “…get yer skates on mate!” with The Mini Car Club of Tasmania last Sunday on one of their organised club runs – a leisurely (*cough) drive down the Channel and around through to Huonville. Invited along by club Secretary Casey, I was really looking forward to it. Only thing is, I don’t own a Mini …did I need one? Turns out not, as the club welcomes all four and two wheeled enthusiasts!

Couldn’t have asked for better weather on the day too – a crisp Autumn blue sky with a hint of ‘old car smell’ and petrol lingering in the air made for a great turn out of vehicles. Classic Mini’s, modern Mini’s, Clubmans (my favourite!), a cracker of an E30 BMW (also a favourite), a Datsun 1600, Pete’s beaut Yamaha and various others …all coming along for the drive!

As I was taking photos on this meet, I initially got to be a passenger in Caseys’ GP2 Mini …but then had the opportunity to jump into Daniel Willsons’ Morris Cooper S while he gave it the beans along Nicholls Rivulet Road …which …was …BRILLIANT! Got to admit that trying to snap some shots while being skipped around corners was darn tricky, so instead I put my camera down and just enjoyed the experience – Webers for the win!

The drive finished up in Huonville, where everyone ‘caught up’ for a chat, a cuppa and some breakfast (generously hosted by the Price family). I have to say that the vibe surrounding the meet was very welcoming, lots of folks willing to share their many (or maybe that should be Mini?) car tales. As always, I found a favourite for the day – Yvonne’s lovely 1969 Morris Cooper S in Daffodil Yellow (and yes, that really is a proper Mini colour), soooo nice!

If you’re interested in finding out about your local car clubs a quick internet search is guaranteed to point you in the right direction – based on my positive experience from the weekend, I highly recommend it!

Engaging Minis

Mini LS

As well as being the best thing since sliced bread, it turns out that your classic Mini also doubles as some pretty fine garden decoration too! Sitting pretty within the box hedge and looking classier than any garden gnome or flamingo ever could, four classic Minis stole the show for me while at Daniel and Casey‘s engagement party recently.

While there to celebrate the love of this happy couple and take some photos of the evening, I couldn’t help but notice how much ‘love’ had also been put in to the Minis on display . Evident in their presentation, the attention to detail, the care was there to see. In fact, I’d go so far as to say they were beaming! Just like Dan and Casey.

Here’s some pics…

Baskerville Historics 2018

Baskerville Historics 2018

Heritage Touring Cars

If you’ve seen some of my previous blog posts about this event then you’ll know that it’s all about the Mini for me. To watch those little crackers pfffftting around Baskerville Raceway in their very own ‘Mini Only’ race is my highlight of the day. I honestly can’t explain my attachment to them, they’re just… yeah, let’s move on before this turns into another Mini adoration post! …in fact, how about we send some of that adoration onto another subject? …like, let’s say a certain Bathurst and ATCC winning Ford Sierra raced by Australian motorsport legend Dick Johnson?

Yes… welcome to my world people! The Dick Johnson and John Bowe racing partnership that started in 1988 and continued for 11 years is when I really got interested in motorsport. The DJR Ford Sierra Cosworths decked out in their red Shell livery is the image I identify with Australian Touring Car Championships and to get the opportunity to see (and hear) Johnsons’ famous No.17 Sierra race again was super exciting for me!

As I was firing off shots of the Sierra doing the laps of Baskerville Raceway during the Heritage Touring Cars event, I couldn’t help but compare it to the last time I’d tried to capture the car through my camera. It was at Symmons Plains Raceway and I think it was 1992… I remember stumbling around the track with only 2 rolls of Fujifilm 400 (yep film folks, film!), crossing my fingers that my panning shots of the Sierras had worked (they hadn’t …ohhh the disappointment!) and having a fan girl moment over seeing Dick Johnson for real. Ahh yes, all those memories resurfaced over seeing one car! Fortunately the shots I took this time around made up for my failure of ’92. Finally …after 26 years …closure! 

…and just as a bonus, I actually found my film negatives from ye olde 1992! So here you go, the real deal.

Anyway, I had a great daysoooot! I ran into the Willson family, out in force and ready to drive their Minis in the Baskerville Classic Sprints, plus (thanks to Gary Willson) had the pleasure of meeting former BMC Australia race driver and winner of  the 1966 Bathurst 500 Mr. Bob Holden – what a gentleman, 85 years of age and still racing! The Willsons are the owners of a replica of Bob and co-driver Rauno Aaltonen’s Bathurst winning Mini Cooper S. The car was on show at Baskerville for the weekend, so when Gary asked for some photo’s of Bob with the car I was happy to oblige – love it when chance meetings turn into opportunities! …ANNND on that note I think it’s time to stop writing and let the photo’s tell the rest of the days story.

As always, thanks for looking!




The Willson Minis

Collector feature / CCUK July 2018 Edition


I’m actually still pinching myself about this shoot. To get the chance to meet Tasmanian Mini racing legends James and Daniel Willson plus their lovely parents Gary and Carolyn was pretty neat in itself …but to top that off with the treat of photographing the Willson family’s current Mini collection for the July 2018 issue of Classic Cars (UK) Magazine? Well, to say I was a bit excited is an understatement! …I was also nervous as all heck too, as I’m on a continual learning curve in regards to automotive photography and working with publications. Classic Cars magazine though… eeeeeek!!  So chuffed to be given the opportunity!

In brief, the day consisted of lots of snaps, lots of chats, bits of rain and some pretty nice sandwiches. Plenty of stories to be told too… (but you’ll have to grab a copy of the magazine to read those, hehee!)

I’d like to say a big thanks to the Willson family, the witty wordsmith Mr. John Dean, the super fresh Nat Mendham (who saved my bacon by lending me her tripod) and everyone at CCUK.

In the meantime here’s some extra ‘from the day’ pics of the collection for you all… as always, cheers for looking!

A tad of Targa Tas

1961 Volvo 122S

Targa Tasmania hit its 27th year running this week …and I still remember stopping work (along with the rest of the town) and watching the cars pass by during it’s first event back in ye olde 1992, sheesh! Funny that, having the whole town come to a stop just to watch some cars. Guess it was a bit of a novelty at the time – pretty sure I wasn’t thinking I’d still be watching the event in 2018, yikes! …hmmm, actually ‘watching’ is a loose term to use because Targa Tas has always been tricky to navigate if you’re a spectator. It’s a matter of picking a Leg (or Stage) and deciding whether you want to see the start …or the finish …or wether you can find your way to a spot on the course that you can also get out of again (without having to wait hours for the road to re-open) …I guess if you’re dedicated you’ll find a way. Afraid to say my dedication ended last year after sitting in a paddock for a millennia trying to get ‘the perfect shot’, yep …enough!

Sooooo, this year my brother and I decided to head down South to the start of the (Leg 6) Cygnet stage. Gotta say that the weather combined with the drive down was pretty awesome. One of the highlights for me was witnessing an oncoming fleet of classic Mini’s crest the hill from Kettering on their way (between stages) to Nicholls Rivulet Rd – yiewww! The start of the Cygnet leg was pretty neat with the landscape putting on a show that rivalled the cars at one point! Distraction aside I did manage a few stationery car shots, giving me an opportunity to get some exposure measuring practice in. Actually I put the camera down after a while and just enjoyed hanging out with my bruv, talking about how we’d like to stop spectatin’ and start participatin’!

So yeah, maybe next year eh? Targa 2019? We shall see. In the meantime, here’s some pics…