A Visit To The Pacific Northwest…Part 1…

I sincerely apologize for the lack of updates lately. Work has just been insane the last few weeks and I just haven’t had time to really put time into the site. While I’m happy that work has been so fruitful, I am also regretful for not investing some time to update. Like last year, I decided to make the trip up to Washington to shoot some cars for the annual Super Street Honda Issue. Work at Super Street has been a little different since the departure of JDM Wong so there were quite a bit of adjustments that had to be made with all the shifting around in staff within the company. I pretty much had free reign (within reason) to do whatever I wanted for this year’s Honda Issue. JDM Wong had wanted me to be an integral part of putting the issue together and even after he left, new editor Sam Du wanted to offer me the same respect. There were a couple cars in mind that I wanted to shoot for the cover, but I had my mind set on a particular build from the Northwest that I had wanted since last year. The car wasn’t ready then, and well, it was SUPPOSED to be ready this year…

Everything was seemingly falling into place for the issue except the cover car. The hadn’t heard much from the owner after reminding him the last few months that his car needed to be ready for the shoot. He gave me a time frame of when the car was set to be finished and so I planned out my trip to match that. In the days leading up to it, it was clear that the car would not be done. I was getting excuses here and there that left me weary of whether I would have a cover car but it was already so late into the month that it was pretty difficult to find a replacement with just a few days prior to my deadline. I asked around and didn’t find anyone who was ready because it was such short notice, so I put my faith into this guy to finish his car. I even delayed ordering my flight ticket and booking a hotel because I wasn’t sure when the fucking car would be ready. I was irked but I had a little bit of faith that the car would be done. I even offered to help and was looking for some parts that he was missing down here in Socal because it was more likely that we would have it in stock down here than up in the Pacific Northwest. I love to help people build their cars and finish them, but I really shouldn’t be that heavily involved in helping someone finish a car, especially if it was for a magazine. Receiving a feature in a print magazine is a huge honor, especially if you are already promised the cover of the prestigious Super Street Honda Issue. Anyone that is in the Honda community understands that this is a huge deal so I mean, I expected the car to be done. If I had to help him so that I could get this car on the cover, I would. Seriously though, how many photographers do you know out there who is willing to help a feature car finish their car so that THEY could be in a magazine? It sounds ridiculous but that is exactly what I tried to do.

Still, I was getting the runaround. The car had to be shot no later than the weekend because the deadline was the Monday that followed. During the week of, I couldn’t wait any longer. I had booked another shoot up there for another car just so I could maximize my time and I didn’t want to cancel on this individual just because someone else couldn’t get their car done in time. By that Tuesday, I was like “fuck this”. I gotta go book my flight because tickets were getting more and more expensive by the day and if I didn’t get this cover car, I would pretty much be coming out of pocket for this trip because I would basically be traveling for nothing. Luckily I had one more car to shoot up there but I wouldn’t feel right making my work pay for my trip when I couldn’t get the car that I promised them. So I booked my ticket, reserved my room, reserved a rental car, and was taking a huge risk because it was becoming obvious that I wouldn’t get the cover car that I had planned for. I was familiar with the owner and we chat pretty often so I stayed in touch with him to make sure that he was at least attempting to finish his car. Eventually, the text messages stopped coming in, and well, it was clear that I was screwed… I was now flying up to Washington to shoot one car and was out $600+. In the end it is just money but I was more disappointed with the fact that it didn’t seem like my time was appreciated. I guess if it takes $600 to find out the character of a man, I’ll take it…

After booking my trip, I spend the following days trying to find other cars to shoot. All this was happening while I was still waiting to hear back from the original owner of the car I wanted for the cover. Because of this log jam, I couldn’t even find cars because I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to shoot them. If this cover car pops up and is suddenly finished, whoever I had booked a shoot with was screwed out of a shoot. It was a huge mess. I posted up on various social media outlets informing fellow enthusiasts that I would be looking for cars to shoot and nothing really panned out. I had one or two guys, but one of the cars had already been featured a couple years back and the other one wasn’t even a Honda… All this could have been solved if I had just gotten a solid answer that the car wouldn’t be finished, but I don’t know what happened… the guy just left me hanging…

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Early Friday morning, I set off on my trip to Washington. Rywire Ryan was kind enough to wake up extremely early to take me to the airport and I boarded a Southwest flight to Seattle-Tacoma. The reason why I planned to leave Cali so early was so that I could get to Washington in case I needed to shoot that afternoon. When I arrived in Washington, it was around noon and I still had time to find a location if I needed to shoot a car or two. I hopped in my shitty rental car and headed over to the hotel. I wasn’t getting any response from the owner of the planned cover car, so I hit up a couple other guys to see if they could shoot. One of the guys I had mentioned earlier that wanted to shoot but had already been featured in Honda Tuning magazine before was Bill Master, owner of a beautifully-done turbocharged EP3 Civic. It is such a great build, that I actually considered shooting it for the Honda Issue. He had mentioned to me that the car had gone through some significant changes but overall, the exterior was much the same. I couldn’t really afford to feature a car that had already been featured looking identical to the original story but Bill notified me that he was getting another set of wheels. I thought that this car was strong enough to be featured again and a new set of wheels just might be enough of a change for the car to look different so I told him to standby just in case I had time to shoot. What I liked about Bill was that he was eager and appreciated the opportunity. He even called Mackin to try to have them one-day ship the wheels up to Washington but it just didn’t work out in the end. The wheels didn’t come back in but I told him I would meet up with him anyway. I wanted to see the car in person and I had the rest of the day free now that I literally had nothing to do. Another Washington native, Huy Hoang aka “Wii” or “Wizzer”, also wanted to come chill so I had him meet up with Bill and I. Wii is actually building a pretty remarkable DC5 himself, and I think that if I ever return to Washington again, it would probably be to shoot his car. That thing is going to be nuts and I’m interested to see the final product.

I forgot to mention that this particular weekend was PERFECT for shooting photos. Washington is usually dreary as fuck and raining like crazy but on this trip, I didn’t encounter any rain whatsoever. Everything was perfect except for the fact that I didn’t have the car I came for. Anyways, it was a nice day, so Bill and Wii wanted to meet up in Alki. Alki is a nice beachfront area on the coast of Washington and provided some great scenery. The day was so nice that it honestly looked a little bit like California. Washington natives often tell me that people like to shoot in Alki so it was almost played-out to them because the area was used so often for shoots. What I noticed from the photos taken there is that they are all mostly shot against the water. The beach is cool and all, but you can only do so many photos with a sky and a bit of water as a back drop. I wanted to take advantage of the buildings around there because the surrounding areas by Alki were very scenic. It’s a sight that you would rarely see because the people who live there don’t think it’s anything special. For guys like me, who didn’t even know a fucking beach existed in Washington in the first place, the area was beautiful. I loved the colors of the buildings and how the whole Alki area looked. The surrounding businesses are all mostly homegrown so they aren’t your typical Starbucks or fast food joints. I think the photos below will tell a better story of what I’m trying to describe…

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I had some trouble finding them at first since I wasn’t too familiar with the area, but eventually I found Bill and we headed up to Hamilton Viewpoint Park, which overlooked the Seattle skyline. It was an epic spot. Bill’s car was ready to go and I had all my gear with me so I decided to shoot away. If I wasn’t going to get anything for work at least I would be able to generate some content for The Chronicles. I am my own biggest critic but I had a good feeling about these shots….I couldn’t get Bill Master another feature so I could at least get some good shots of his car for the web. After all, he had already put in a lot of time into cleaning his car and getting it ready for photos, unlike some guys who couldn’t even get their cars done in time for print…

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The exterior is all OEM JDM 04-05 spec Civic Type R…

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…minus the rear wing of course, which is Mugen…

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The Vivid Blue Pearl paint was sprayed by Jeff Miller at JMI Motoring….

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I asked Bill how much power the turbo set-up made and his response was “Well, the intercooler is a little too small so it is restricting power, but it made a little under 500whp.” My response: “WHAT?!”. Your intercooler is too small but you are still making like 500? Uhh, that’s plenty, especially on roads that are rained on like 364 days out of the year….

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The sun was setting just perfectly so I packed up my stuff and had the guys follow me down to beachfront area down the street so I could get some shots of their cars against the buildings of Alki. Above is Wiizer’s daily-driven Mugen DC5. This isn’t the car that he is building either. He has a red DC5 as well which he is investing most of his time into finishing. The sheet metal work alone on that car took a couple years so you already know that shit is going to be pretty wild when it debuts. Having a Mugen DC5 that you daily drive isn’t too shabby either. Some guys have builds that aren’t even as nice as this guy’s daily…

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Master’s EP3 turbo posted in front of a local auto repair shop. Loved the colors and how it looked as the setting sun wrapped around its walls…

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Sorry if the shots aren’t incredibly dynamic. I just walked up and down the beach and shot the cars long the street. Here Wii is waiting for his opportunity…

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This wasn’t supposed to be a set shot since Wii was still trying to park, but I liked how his DC5 looked against Duke’s Chowder House…

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Spoon Sports brakes and classic bronze Volk Racing CE28Ns….

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Coincidentally, my adventures in Alki lead me to these two cars, which I did not set-up to meet with at all. They were grabbing some beer and a couple slices of pizza at a local eatery and I just so happened to run into them…

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James Craig, owner of this RHD S14 Silvia K’s, was the guy whom I mentioned earlier who had contacted me about a shoot but didn’t own a Honda. I completely forgot to respond to his email but it was crazy to run into him down in Alki. It’s a really clean Kouki S14 and it looks great on Desmond wheels. He came out to chat with me for a couple minutes and he’s a cool dude. I felt bad that I forgot to email him back after he had taken the time to message me so I grabbed some photos of his car so I could remember to shoot it the next time I return to Washington….

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Zach Dunn’s EF hatchback is a car that I didn’t even know was from Washington. I spotted a really good photo of it online just a couple days before and shared it on The Chronicles Facebook page. I didn’t know I’d ever get to see it in person but there it was just parked on the street. Zach came out to introduce himself and even had a Chronicles hoodie on, haha…

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I saw a nice little area on the sidewalk that was baron so I had Bill pull his EP3 up for photos. The neighboring businesses had closed so we were left undisturbed…

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His K20A2 featured a massive Borg Warner S300SX turbo mounted to a twinscroll Full Race sidewinder manifold. The engine bay is completely shaved with custom tubular chassis motor mounts. If you look closely, you will even notice that his core support has been cut and shaped to fit the Honda RRC intake manifold. Everything just looks perfect in his bay and is probably the best EP bay I’ve ever seen…

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The oddly nice weather in Washington really brought out the best in everyone on Alki. After Bill popped his hood, all kinds of random strangers came by to check out his car and pass along a kind word. Many of them weren’t even into cars at all. Some stopped and had their significant others snap cellphone shots of them next to Bill’s Civic. It was like a meet-and-greet that was totally unplanned…

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Wiizer’s Mugen RSX parked in front of a local coffee shop…

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Another of the red EF on white Volk TE37s…

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I really liked how the flags above added a variety of colors to this shot…

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Didn’t get a chance to meet the owner of this BR-Z but got a pic of it before he drove off…I believe his name is Henderson Nguyen…

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Alki was crowded throughout the day because Seattle residence rarely see weather this good. For car guys, it was the perfect opportunity to go cruise around and so there were modded cars everywhere….

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A couple more of Zach’s EF since it looked so good out there that day….

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Closing it out for today with a final shot of James Craig’s legit Japanese Silvia K’s. I got a ton more photos from the day that followed but I haven’t had a chance to go through them yet. I’ll try to knock them out and get them up for you guys tomorrow…

Thanks for looking. Oh, if by chance you want to post these up wherever, I ask that you just please respect my work and don’t alter it in anyway and to provide credit where it is due. Like I said, I flew out to Washington on my own dime to capture this shots for everyone so the least you could do is offer a photo credit if you are re-posting them. I could easily just have these used for print as I shot and edited them specifically for that but you get to enjoy them here completely for free. This is getting ridiculous lately with all these random ass accounts created to just profit off of people’s hard work…

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9 thoughts

  1. Pingback: A Visit To The Pacific Northwest…Part 2 of 2… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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