Thrill and Excitement. Jaguar F-Type R
The weekend has started, and I was already waiting for its end. I knew the exciting part would be on Monday, and I just had to wait for two more days. I'm a very impatient person.
The photoshoot with Jaguar F-Type R
Of course, I didn't just waste my time doing nothing. A quiet period before a photoshoot is always a good thing. It helps to prepare the gear for the day, review my plans one more time and adjust for unexpected events. I always try to get a one relaxed day before a serious photoshoot - I learnt that after a few mistakes I made in the past when things got too intensive. One error that really stuck in my head was the time when I went for a photoshoot, set up everything, and discovered I don't have my memory cards (yeeey!). Fortunately, this was not a big problem as I was tethering anyway, but I felt... Well, let's say "silly" at least. What if my laptop refused to work? Or would lose all the data?
These days, I use a checklist that keeps me on track. Before I pack everything to a car, I go through all the items on the list. I actually have to touch every single thing and make sure it is charged, cleaned, prepared. Only at that point, I'm ready!
Monday morning started very slowly but knew it will look a little bit different from the typical beginning of a week. I woke up around 6:30, just before the sunrise, and had only 10 minutes to get off the bed, do morning chores, jump to my car and drive 65 miles to Silverstone Circuit. That's where the lovely Blackberry Jaguar F-Type R was waiting for me. I got there just a few minutes after eight. All drivers were going at a compulsory briefing. During that time, I practically had the whole place just for myself for about an hour. Not a living soul in sight. Awesome!
As I have never shot an F-Type before, I spent some time walking around the car to get a closer look. Find the details I really like about it and looked out for what I should avoid. Every car has some weird elements that might ruin a good picture and all the effort that goes into taking one. Unflattering front (new Elise), odd body shape at a specific angle (back of a C63 AMG) or maybe a too big gap between wheel and arch (Caterham). They all have something weird, and I always try to find them. It's important. I also noticed a couple of places where the car needed some extra cleaning.
Before people got back from the morning meeting, I was able to take a couple of snaps too (no, I didn't share them here). Without any lights or even a tripod, just quick snaps. It helps to figure out how the car fits looks at the location, where it should stand for pictures, what lens will be the best for the job, and what I want to do about lighting. As there was no need for interior shots, I didn't have to worry about dust particles on a dashboard. I hate it, and it doesn't matter how well a car is prepared and cleaned, there is always some dirt or smudge left somewhere.
I think one of the most significant issues during this photoshoot was the amount of reflection I got on the car's body. Unfortunately, it added me a lot of work to clean up extra and unnecessary distractions from the car and background. Dark paint is hard to photograph, but a lot of tiny light reflections and a glossy floor was making things even harder. Not impossible, though ;) Colour of the car was called "Blackberry", and it is almost black, but in the sun or intense light, you get a purple hint. I really wanted to capture this on my pictures. This is one of those unique features that really make this car special.
I'm pleased with the results and more important - the client seemed to be even happier. We've managed to capture the essence of the day on track and some really amazing automotive pictures in the garages. Some of those photos will make fantastic wall art!
Jaguar F-Type R details and thoughts
Jaguar introduced F-Type back in 2013, starting with a convertible model, which to be honest, I like more than the coupe. The car was first introduced at 2012 Paris Motorshow and later at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2013. The hardtop F-Types arrived just a year later with V6 engines (standard coupes and S models), and of course, the R model with almost 550 bhp squeezed from a 5-litre supercharged V8 engine. This is the model we had at Silverstone that day, but on top of it, it was equipped with carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes. It is a pretty fantastic machine and packs a punch when you push it hard. At the same time, it feels quite civilised on a motorway cruising at 70mph and enjoying good sound system, or take it on some country roads.
The Jag is very stable at high speeds, and the massive brakes are capable of stopping this heavy bad boy from 150mph down to 50 in no time, converting the front brake discs into a red-glowing-hot ring in the process. It feels well balanced and safe, which is an important factor if you treat it as an occasional track toy, and you are not a seasoned race driver. We were able to gradually improve the time lap by lap and gain confidence in the corners - braking later and pushing harder on straights. At the end of the day, the car needed a new set of brake pads in front. I guess keeping them red all the time it's not what they enjoy ;) And just for the record... We did not dare to turn off electronic life-support systems in this car. "Dynamic" mode delivered enough fun and helped to tame the 550 horses under the hood without risking a silly mistake to throw us against a barrier, or worse - another car.
Jaguar F-Type R is a very capable car and delivers enough fun to true petrolheads. Due to its weight, it wasn't easy to stay close behind cars like Lotus Exige V6, but catching up on straight wasn't a problem. Extra kilos also had a significant impact on tyres and brakes - both disappeared quite fast.
It is a great GT car, a pleasure to drive during long trips, fun to drive on narrow B roads, and that sound... We really enjoyed the day with F-Type.
Ps. I discovered I can't do passenger rides on a track! I feel sick after 2 laps, and it take me another 30 minutes to get back to normal :) Ohh well... that only means I always have to be behind the wheel... Or stand somewhere around the track, trying to take this amazing picture that will blow my socks off :)
Jaguar F-Type lapping Silverstone
Starting from The Wing pits and going all around the Silverstone GP configuration. Jaguar F-Type R first lap which is definitely not the fastest and due to technical difficulties, I lost OBD data records :/ During other sessions I had problems connecting GoPro, so I've got OBD data, but no video. There is always some kind of weird issues with any wireless technologies, that's why I like cables, everywhere, always! In this video, I've got only the basic data from GPS captured by my phone (and sound!) :)
The fastest lap we managed to achieve during the day was around 2:42 which is quite a good time :)
This is not a car review, it's a story. A fussion of my car addiction, photography passion and newly discovered story-writing cravings. Something I'm planning to do a bit more in the future :) If you've got that far, let me know in the comments what you think!