Month: November 2015

How can I show rebellion?

I talked a bit about my want to show more of a “bad boy” nature that is associated with drifting, a sort of asbo lifestyle. But im struggling to show personality and emotion when im also trying to protect the identities of the drivers. Its becoming bit of a struggle and i find myself questioning what is more important, the ability to see faces or the ambiguity and mystery when the face is blured.

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The Japanese gangs, notoriously known as Bosozoku are a big influence on drifters and the youth of Japan when the sport of drifting was growing and getting more popular. Bosozoku’s would ride around at night on their modified bikes making noise, waking people up and being a general menace to society. They would disrupt people, be an annoyance and control the streets for periods of time. Why? All to show rebellion and to go against the system. The Bosozokus were individuals who were unhappy with the state of Japan, the government and the oppression they face every day. Drifting and being antisocial is a way to escape the real world and to feel part of something in a developing country like Japan. 

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Photos from: http://www.trolleybooks.com/bookSingle.php?bookId=31

 

This is a video by Bandana Boy which shows a part of the UK’s street drifting bad boy style nature menacing the streets and having fun. It is pretty much the video version of what I want to do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pUNF5hoyLk

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Thinking more about the book

After showing the class my book infront of everyone, I got some very useful feedback and criticism from the class. Mainly how to strengthen the book edit and how to create the narrative even more. The main concerns with my book was the flow and personal touches. They did like the way I masked the drivers identities with the bluring of the cars number plates and faces. I feel that the sense of doing something illegal did come across, but not as much as it could have.

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I showed the class second edit of the book, where I added close up detail shots of the significant features of the car such as the engine, rust, scratches and drift damaged parts of the car. I did this to get a better sense of the car, how damaged and abused it is. Seemingly gleaming from a distance, but damaged and torn on closer inspecton, I wanted to show the signs of abuse to say that although  there is love the car and passion for it, there is have a goal in mind to make it significantly nicer looking. Which is going to be explained through pictures. I included a picture of the white, unpainted body panels in the boot of the car to show that thought is going into making it look better and progress is going to be made eventually.

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The next plan of action is to photograph the work going into the cars, such as grinding up the fenders to get the white overfenders on the car, seeing if the new front bumper will fit and the end result. Then he said after these modifictions, it will be okay to put the brand new wheels on.

 

Things are kind of on a hold for a week or two, as one of the guys is getting another drift car project shell, which he is going to use as a base to build up from, from scratch. So he doesn’t want to drive that much untill he has put some time into getting the new project in the farm safely.

 

What do I think about the book? I think it’s alright, but my aim of the book in the first place was to communicate the personality of the drivers, of the cars and them together. In my opinion it only touches slightly on these points. The personality can be shown through the cars, the different ways they style them and the ways they drive. But I want more than that, I might actually construct some photographs. Drifting has a tendancy to follow Japans modes of working and has a badboy persona attached to it. I was thinking about getting a photograph from the passenger seat of the driver wearing a bandana looking like a badass driving along with blur in the windows from movement. I think I will do this as I need more of a human touch I think. For me, it feels like something is missing. But I cant put my finger on what it is.

 

Where do I want the book to go? As mentioned above briefly, I want to delve into the way that the culture has been passed across from the Japanese youth and rebellious culture and onto their lives. People involved with drifting pretty much use the term “JDM” religiously. JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Market and basically is just a term that drifters use to categorise different styles of modifications. For example JDM is all about low cars, deep dish wheels, stickers covering the windscreen, drift damage and loud exhausts. Where as USDM (United States Domestic Market) is all about stupidly low, stanced, cambered, pristine paint work with big wheels and a want to make the BEST looking car possible. They’re both very different but both serve as a classification of the types of things you do to your cars. People often say that modifying your car is an expression of freedom, showing your personality through your car. But even in this aspect there as sort of a heirachy, a leadership figure and way of doing things. Which kind of counteracts the freedom of personalizing your car. I want to look into this more and show where the inspiration and drive comes from.

Improvements? Get more personal, show more intimate images, be more creative and just do it. Ive got a tendancy to over think things to much, to put too much context on images. I need to stop that and just do it.

Where it all began

I’ve been into cars and into drifting since i was a child. I had dozens of 1/16th model cars or Ferraris, Lambos etc that I played with as a boy and I would watch rallying on TV with my dad before I could ride a bike. I’ve been bought up to love the smell as petrol you could say. I used to do Motocross as a kid, but after lots of injuries and the cost of it, I gave it up. Not to mention the countless broken bones. Then when I was about 14 I got heavily into drifting from watching YouTube videos, playing xbox games and going to watch the street drifting on an industrial estate with my sister late at night on the weekends. I guess thats where the passion came from. Seeing these cars slide around roundabouts at such a young age drew my attention and got me into cars. I started to look into what drifting was more and more through the internet. I began watching Japanise drifting videos, mostly DVD’s and street drifting videos. I cant understand the language, but I watch them anyway for the content. Even to this day I can sit through 3 hours of Japanise DVDs and not understand a word they are saying, but understand what they are doing to their cars. They’re educating me on what to modify, how to drift and how to be a badass. One of the very first videos I watched was this one. Posted in 2008 for a JDM insider DVD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bn2UmH-UFW0

It hooked me like a fish. The speeds, the rebellious nature and the coolness of it all got under my skin and firmly attached itself. Since then i’ve been utterly addicted to drifting. Cant stop thinking about it, dont want to stop thinking about it. I hate to admit it, but even in class at uni I find myself thinking of what I can do to my car to make it better.

 

I began looking for more, at that age I was way too young to begin drifting, so I kept looking for videos to keep my obsession sain. When I found this video, it also just drew me in. The way he slides the car so close to the kerb, causing sparks from his exhaust gave me goosebumps, and still do to this day. This is a HD remaster, but the original video is around 2008 also. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6pJ7CqfReE

 

Over time the videos have improved, with the popularity and appeal of street drifting reaching creatives such as photographers and film makers, the videos got alot better. And still are, there are now dedicated movies to street drifting. But this is one of my favorite modern street drifting videos. I could watch these over and over for days, infact i do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13C3n3NTV3o

 

Oh, and one more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28phKea5Zik

 

“rules”

When it comes to street drifting, there are no rules pretty much. You go out, skid and try not to get caught. There are precautions you take to ensure that you have the best chance at not getting caught or seriously hurt, but there are no official rules stating what you can and cannot do. I’ve found a really cool Tumblr page which is all about street drifting. The Author posted this duscussion a few weeks ago which I think sums up street drifting perfectly. It talks about the “rules” as it were. Things to keep yourself safe and advises in manors in which you SHOULD opperate. This is only the authors opinion and suggested experience, but I think more people should read this. I’ve seen countless times on Facebook of my freinds having their cars wrecked or taken by police as a result of street drifting. I know what you’re thinking, yes this should only be done on a track. There’s no denying that, the majority of people, myself included do keep it on track whenever possible. Howevwer there are still an abundance of people who take it to the streets. For reasons that I can only speculate on. Maybe they enjoy the rush of doing something illegal, maybe they cant afford a trackday, maybe street drifting is just what they want to do. Who knows? Does it matter? Personally I think it doesn’t matter, as long as you dont become a nuisance to others, be an idiot and put other peoples lives at risk then it’s okay in my eyes. But being an idiot about it and drifting in residential areas, then yeah you should get caught.

 

http://no-name-heroes.tumblr.com/post/131306349205/lets-talk-about-street-drifting-nearly-for-as

Changes to the edit

After seeing Anthony last week and getting some one on one feedback about my images and book layout. We discussed alot about ordering and what the current state of the book is like, talking about what is needed and what I am missing. As it is at the moment i’m not too fond of how it looks. It doesn’t appeal to me and I think its rather boring. I dont want it to be like this, I want to show simular sized images but better planned out working with each other, e.g double page spreads with a decent border around both images.

Here’s the sort of changes we talked about

1

Do I need the petrol station shot?

 

3

Find a better image to show the companionship between the drifters and where they work on their cars.

 

2

Take one image away, the siluette is alot better in my opinion. I’ve already repeated the blurring across the book with the number plates etc. It looses its impact the more its used. Make the darker portrait bigger too.

 

4

The books about street drifting, need more actual street drifting photographs.

 

5

Used too many of these images, take most/all of them away.

 

6

Get rid.

 

More updates to come.

Reflections On The Real

It’s been a few weeks since the start of the Third and final year of my degree and i’m certainly feeling the pressure, trying to manage my time between different projects and life duties is becoming harder. I’ve not really been putting a great amount of effort into thinking of project ideas and the ones I do come up with seem to be falling on their face. At first I wanted to photograph something wacky in the Gloucestershire county, there is alot of weird and wonderful things going on this winter, but none of which really engaged me fully. I was interested in going to one of the biggest Toy Collectors fair in the country in Birmingham, but it just didn’t feel like it had enough depth within the story. So yet again i’m left hunting for ideas.

Thats when I met two fellow motoring enthusiasts. For their protection I will not refer to them by their real names and I will blur out their number plates in every photograph both on this blog and in my final workbook. As what they get up to is still illegal at the end of the day. So for their protection I will not revel their identities. Instead I will call them codenames designated by the colour of their cars e.g Black and Blue. Blue and Black both own Nissan 200sx s13s which are cars of choice for drifters as their lightweight, rear wheels drive, turbo powered and easy to modify. They met as a result of their cars through forums specifically for drifters across the world. They told me that if it was not for their cars, the forum and instagram they probably wouldn’t be friends at all. They both work on their cars at Blues farm and go out at the middle of the night drifting in the quiet gloucestershire country roads. They’re not rebellious asbo thugs however, everything they do is organized, set up and well executed. For example, they bring their friend Red who also owns a Nissan 200sx S14 along, his job is to stand on the corner of this quiet road with a walkie talkie to both drivers telling them if the road ahead is clear. It is as safe and as controlled as it can be. The common misconception about drifters is that their loud thugs who are a menace to society. But in this case that just isnt true. Blue is an apprentice at a garage and Black is a student at university who both drive and build up their cars with whatever money they have just for the passion and love of the cars. They’re really nice guys, nothing thuggish about them, I respect that they use walkie talkies to let each other know if the coast is clear and i respect the manner in which they drift on the street. They find the quietest road, usually near a motorway to mask the noise of screeching tyres, surrounded by trees to also mask the sound of their exhausts and have people on look out with tow ropes and equipment if things happen to go wrong.

I want to try and get into their lives, with each other and with the cars. They tell me stories of all the things they’ve done to the cars, the amount of money they’ve put into them and the joy they get out of them all with a massive smile on their face. I want to get intimate photographs of what they do on the farm working on their cars, capture them street drifting and socialising. They say they meet up at least once a week to go drifting in their cars. In a sense I want to be accepted into their group but not as a member if it were, but as an observer. I am going to make a small photobook out of this which will be a clean format with fairly well sized images. As said before the faces and number plates are all going to be blured out to protect their identity. I feel as if this will add an element of drawing the viewer in, a mysteryousity of who these people are. The layout is going to be clean, concise and well thought out with quotes and captions of interviews with them.

Im exited to start shooting!