fbpx
Connect with us

Lifestyle

Iconic Porsche Moments Recreated in Lego by Automotive Photographer Dominic Fraser

Published

on

Automotive photographer Dominic Fraser recreates iconic Porsche moments at home using Lego and his cameras while unable to travel for work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recreation of the Porsche 919 pulling into pit lane
Recreation of the Porsche 919 pulling into pit lane

Thanks to a mammoth amount of global events being canceled coupled with COVID-19 travel restrictions, many in creative industries who would usually be covering the events or out on photoshoots have found themselves grounded at home with more spare time on their hands than usual.

While some photographers are using the time to create curated print collections based on an impressive backlog of photography archives, others like automotive photographer Dominic Fraser have found new ways to put the camera to work.

Lego Recreation of the Porsche 917K at the Goodwood starting line by automotive photographer Dominic Fraser
Recreation of the Porsche 917K at the Goodwood starting line

Normally traveling the world shooting life-size cars for most of his 20 year automotive photography career, Dominic has instead turned his attention closer to home and to something MUCH smaller in size – Lego size to be precise.

Inspired by his children’s Lego sets, Dominic decided to recreate some of Porsche’s most iconic shots from motoring history using the colorful Lego Speed Champion sets and his Sony cameras.

Lego Porsche 911 RSR recreation by automotive photographer Dominic Fraser
What working from home can look like for an automotive photographer.

“I’ve got house full of cameras that weren’t doing anything and I found it incredibly frustrating because all I wanted to do was create something,” explains Fraser. “Rather than doing nothing, I decided to use Lego’s Speed Champions models to try to re-create some of my favourite images from motoring history. I started with Audi and the quattro because we had that particular Lego in the house, but then I decided to model a series of Porsche images because the cars and the pictures are so iconic.”

Automotive Photographer Domic Fraser At Work
Automotive photographer Dominic Fraser looking to get the perfect shot

While shooting cars on the job is second nature by now to Dominic, photographing the Lego car set-ups posed an entirely different set of challenges that needed to be solved in a new way to achieve the desired outcomes.

On the process of recreating a “Legofied” version of a specific photograph, Dominic commented, “Once I’ve settled on an iconic shot to recreate, I study the details and think about what I can actually see. It’s amazing how much the brain fills in gaps with a normal photo, but with the Lego images it’s a bit different.

Lego Porsche 911 RSR

“If anything, it’s helped my photography because I’ve really had to think about the technicalities of the shot, and to visualise exactly what I’m trying to capture,” he says. “It’s been a more conceptual process than I’m used to with actual cars – in real life, you shoot much more in the moment.”

For those keen to know exactly how he did it, Dominic has been kind enough to share the behind-the-scenes “magic” it took to create the images.

The Porsche 919 Hybrid in the Pit Garage
Everything is awesome at the Porsche pit lane. Credit: Dominic Fraser
Everything is awesome at the Porsche pit lane. Credit: Dominic Fraser

“To recreate the image of the 919 Hybrid in the pit garage, I had to think long and hard about the technicalities of the shot and what I was trying to capture. There’s no track so I can discount that, even though I know it’s there, and the grandstand is miles away.

Camera in place and ready to capture the action of the pit lane.
Camera in place and ready to capture the action of the pit lane.

“With the Lego, I needed to bring the grandstand closer and then play with focal lengths because the recreation needs to have as many elements in focus as possible. In real life, you can blur the grandstand out and the reader’s brain will fill that gap with its assumed knowledge. Not so with tiny plastic bricks.”

Setting up for the Porsche 919 pit stop shot.
Setting up for the Porsche 919 pit stop shot.

“I also needed to position things so that they look correct in the camera frame. There’s a lot of trial and error to make sure the scene looks realistic – the lighting angle is really important so if you’re trying this at home, pay close attention to where the sun is. The lighting position is vital for replicating a shot – especially this one – so I positioned a torch to mimic the sun peeking through at the top of the frame.”

Porsche 919 pit lane workers Lego recreation

“None of this impacts the photographer on a real shoot because they are just focusing on the moment, but when you have to actually build the scene, it makes a massive difference.”

Porsche 919 pit lane Lego recreation by automotive photographer Dominic Fraser
The Porsche 917K at the Goodwood Festival of Speed
Goodwood Porsche 940 Lego recreation shot by automotive photographer Dominic Fraser

“The first thing I did to recreate this image was to make sure the whole set felt correct. The startline at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is so iconic that you can sometimes forget the details that make up the scene – I’ve been there loads of times but still had to remind myself. Simply by building the straw bales and tress, along with the start gantry, you instantly create that sense of Goodwood.

Setting up for a Lego version of Goodwood Festival of Speed. Credit: Dominic Fraser
Setting up for a Lego version of Goodwood Festival of Speed.

“Then it was a case of applying some of the skills I’ve learnt in my day job to create a way to take a car-to-car tracking shot, but in miniature. The blur comes from a slow shutter speed and a camera mounted on a tracking ‘car’ running ahead of the 917 – just as it would in life size. To ensure everything stayed in focus, I tied a piece of string between the 917 and the camera car so that the two were pulled along at exactly the same speed. Afterwards, I simply removed the makeshift tow-rope with editing software.

“I was quite pleased as this was the only ‘post’ alteration that I had to do. Unlike in reality, no shots were made up of several photographs comp’d together, and there was no need for special editing effects.”

The Jumping Porsche 930 Turbo
Recreating the jumping Porsche shot by automotive photographer Jeff Zwart. Credit: Dominic Fraser
Recreating the jumping Porsche shot by automotive photographer Jeff Zwart. Credit: Dominic Fraser

“If you look closely at the iconic 930 Turbo image – originally shot by Jeff Zwart and famously appearing as a backdrop in the US sitcom ‘Seinfeld’ – you’ll see the car kicks up some dust in the original photo. I really wanted to show that in the Lego shot because it would make my recreation even more realistic. I sprinkled some grit over the Lego floor and then used a camera sensor blower to ‘puff’ the dirt into the air.

Jumping Porsche Vintage Poster by Jeff Zwart

“It’s important to think about the background in your image. The original shot I was working on here has a blurred-out landscape so I decided to set this scene up in my garden. The bushes at the bottom of my garden are the right shade of green and because they’re far enough away, I managed to blur them out so that you can’t make them out in any detail – just like in the original.

What it takes to get the shot. Credit: Dominic Fraser
What it takes to get the shot.

“The final trick with this image relates to the wheels. When a car jumps in real life, the wheels drop out of the arches because the suspension drops. Lego models don’t have any springs or dampers, so to make the wheels appear lower, I built a second ‘false’ floor. It was then simply a case of suspending the car with some string – which I edited out afterwards using Photoshop – and pressing the camera shutter release. It’s these little details that aren’t easy to spot at first but they make all the difference in a realistic recreation.

And Dominic’s final word of advice for anyone considering this as a new hobby…..

You're going to want a good pair of tweezers to help put the stickers on. Credit: Dominic Fraser
You’re going to want a good pair of tweezers to help put the stickers on.

“If anyone wants to try this at home I recommend using a pair of tweezers to put the stickers on: it’s time consuming but worth it because when you’re focused on the car in such detail, you notice when something isn’t quite right.”

For those who don’t have the patience but love the outcome – you’re in luck as you can purchase a few of Dominic’s lego recreations as prints over at his website.

Advertisement
Comments

Lifestyle

New Breitling Top Time Deus Limited Edition Revealed

Published

on

Breitling has joined forces with Australian moto/surf lifestyle brand Deus Ex Machina to create the new retro-styled Top Time Deus Limited Edition watch.
The new Breitling Top Time Deus Limited Edition. Credit: Breitling
The new Breitling Top Time Deus Limited Edition. Credit: Breitling

Watchmaker Breitling has joined forces with Australian moto/surf lifestyle brand Deus Ex Machina to create the new Top Time Deus Limited Edition, a retro-themed chronograph inspired by Breitling’s 1960’s Top Time design.

Made for today's "young and active professionals". Credit: Breitling
Made for today’s “young and active professionals”. Credit: Breitling

Originally marketed to “young and active professionals” in the 1960s, Breitling’s Top Time was introduced by Willy Breitling, who wanted a youthful design and something sportier than the dress watches of the day. Now almost half a century later, the same remains true of the Top Time design, and with the latest collaboration between Breitling and Deus Ex Machina, those “young and active professionals” look like surfers, bikers, boarders, and backpackers inspired by the open roads and a thirst for adventure.

Breitling Top Time Deus Limited Edition Lifestyle Dark
Powered by Breitling’s Caliber 23, offering a 48-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bhp beat rate. Credit: Breitling

This time around, the new Breitling Top Time features a 41mm polished stainless steel case on a brown calfskin leather racing strap with a yellow underside. It continues the retro feel with a cream dial signaling the collaboration with a small “Deus” logo in black below the Top Time text and two “squircle” (square + circle) shaped black chronograph counters in the middle, one with a red hand and one with an orange hand.

If you look closely, you’ll also notice Deus Ex Machina’s slogan “In Benzin Veritas” (“in gasoline, truth” or more loosely “in petrol we trust”) inscribed in the black tachymeter bezel around the outside of the dial. A block of orange and yellow also breaks the black at 3 PM and gives it an almost fuel gauge feel.

Look closely and you'll notice the lightning bolt seconds hand and "In benzin veritas". Credit: Breitling
Look closely and you’ll notice the lightning bolt seconds hand and “In benzin veritas”. Credit: Breitling

Another very subtle playful element is the red lightning bolt-shaped central chronograph seconds hand, which the observer at first glance may miss but appears recognizable upon closer inspection.

On the case back, an engraving of Deus Creative director Carby Tuckwell on a retro-looking motorcycle features in the center, with other markings to signify the limited-edition collaboration between Breitling and Deus.

Sketch of Deus Ex Machina creative director Carby Tuckwell featured on the case back. Credit: Breitling
Sketch of Deus Ex Machina creative director Carby Tuckwell featured on the case back. Credit: Breitling

The Breitling Top Time Deus is priced at US$4,990 and is limited to 1,500 models. It is currently available exclusively online and will be available through authorized dealers in late March 2021.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

TAG Heuer & Porsche Officially Join Forces In New Partnership

Published

on

TAG Heuer and Porsche have made it official with a new partnership that will see the brands collaborate on a range of joint projects in the future, starting with the new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph watch.
The new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Watch. Credit: TAG Heuer
The new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Watch. Credit: TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer and Porsche have recently announced a new partnership based on their shared love of motorsports and racing, which will begin with the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph release.

While TAG Heuer and Porsche have long crossed paths over the years in various “friend of a friend” circumstances and even shared the name “Carrera” in both automotive and watch models (thanks to the inspiration of the 1950’s Carrera Panamericana road race), this is the first time they’ve made it official.

Porsche detailing on bezel and signature red, black and grey colors. Credit: TAG Heuer
Porsche detailing on bezel and signature red, black and grey colors. Credit: TAG Heuer

The new partnership will see TAG Heuer and Porsche collaborate on a range of joint projects focused on their shared commitment to speed and precision sports, including Formula E, FIA World Endurance Championship, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup, golf, and tennis.

The automotive kind of "Carrera". Credit: Porsche/TAG Heuer
The automotive kind of “Carrera”. Credit: Porsche/TAG Heuer

Commenting on the new partnership, new TAG Heuer CEO Frédéric Arnault noted, “TAG Heuer and Porsche have common history and values, of course, but more importantly, we share an attitude. Like Porsche, we are disruptors at heart, always in pursuit of high performance. With this alliance, TAG Heuer and Porsche finally come together officially after decades of close encounters and will create unmatched experiences and products for customers and fans that are passionate about both our brands and what we stand for.”

To kick off the partnership, the brands have created the new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph special edition, powered by TAG Heuer’s Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic with a power reserve of 80 hours.

TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition with Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic. Credit: TAG Heuer
TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition with Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic. Credit: TAG Heuer

The watch utilizes a 44mm steel polished case with the tachymeter scale engraved on the ceramic bezel and features Porsche’s red, black and grey colors and either a black calf leather strap with hand stitching, reminiscent of Porsche’s upholstery or a steel H-shape bracelet.

Available with calf leather or polished steel bracelet. Credit: TAG Heuer
Available with calf leather or polished steel bracelet. Credit: TAG Heuer

The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition 44mm Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic is priced at USD$5,850 and is available online at TAG Heuer.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

H Moser Delivers Final Upgrade of $30,800 Swiss Alp “Smart Watch”

Published

on

H Moser is closing out production of their tongue-in-cheek Swiss Alp Watch with one last edition – the “Final Upgrade” with a Vantablack® dial.
The new H Moser Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade. Credit: H Moser & Cie
The new H Moser Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade. Credit: H Moser & Cie

In 2016 Swiss watchmaker H Moser & Cie introduced the world to their very own “smartwatch,” the Swiss Alp Watch, which for all intents and purposes, LOOKED like the ever-popular Apple watch but was powered mechanically.

Smart watch at the front, all mechanical at the back. Credit: H Moser & Cie
Smart watch at the front, all mechanical at the back. Credit: H Moser & Cie

Just over five years later, H Moser & Cie have unveiled their “Final Upgrade,” which was inspired by a customer of the brand and will bring the tongue-in-cheek concept to a close.

“This idea was conceived by a customer and friend of the brand, a true enthusiast and fan of the Swiss Alp Watch collection. He came to visit us with an extremely precise design, and we immediately wanted to create this model, perfectly in line with our philosophy, with a touch of humour and a hint of provocation”, says Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie.

Unmarked dial in Vantablack with black DLC coating on the steel case. Credit: H Moser & Cie
Unmarked dial in Vantablack with black DLC coating on the steel case. Credit: H Moser & Cie

Featuring an unmarked ultra-black dial (created with Vantablack® – the blackest material produced artificially that barely reflects light), H Moser has included a seconds subdial made to represent the spinning/loading icon associated with most Mac products (but thankfully not the colorful spinning wheel of death).

The Swill Alp Watch Final Upgrade is housed in a 38.2mm steel case similar in size to the Apple Watch 6 series and is coated in black DLC with blackened hands and a black alligator leather strap to tie the whole concept together.

Powered by the manually winding HMC 324 movement. Credit: H Moser & Cie
Powered by the manually winding HMC 324 movement. Credit: H Moser & Cie

Powered by its 100% Swiss manufactured HMC 324 manual wind movement, the Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade has a minimum power reserve of 96 hours and, with its mechanical heart, will most likely outlive any smartwatch of its same birth year.

Limited to 50 pieces, the Swiss Alp Final Upgrade is priced at USD$30,800 and available from h-moser.com

H Moser Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade Vantablack Reflection

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending