Photography has become essential to Mishimoto’s initiative in developing an interactive R&D process with the many interested and enthused motorheads who—like us—want to push the limits. It’s not enough to tell you what stage of development an intercooler is in, or what changes to the design have been made on an intake after an initial examination of the stock system and how those changes will affect the output of an engine. We want to show you. To open the public up to what goes on at our facility matters. It provides an opportunity for us to illustrate what we see, and how we see it. During the coverage of daily activity over the course of 260 work days, the automotive journalists at Mishimoto have been able to capture, with a skillful eye for the ideal, brilliant views of our shop vehicles. It seemed appropriate to gather up the best of those and provide a little insight as to how they came to be. Some from the following list will inevitably look familiar, but that’s only because of their capacity to form lasting impressions.
Titan XD Induction Hose
Here, I was just trying to take a good shot of the induction hose for the Titan. I needed to get the entire hose in one image, and since the shape of it is a little odd, it took me a few tries to get everything level and even within the shot. An interesting aspect here is that I used our normal Saber shop lights that we put underneath the hoods of cars to illuminate the engine bay, which is why it has that small hint of fluorescent lighting on the metal parts. Up until recently, I hadn’t had the need to use any other type of light source because I was only working on projects that took place in the engine compartment. Now that I have projects like intercoolers and exhausts, I have learned to get more creative with our studio lights. -Diamaan G.
Cooling the Hellcat
I’ve always had a love for V8 cars growing up. My father would tell me about his 1973 Mustang Mach1 fastback and my mother drove a turbo TransAm for the first five years of my life. When I was assigned to work on our Dodge 6.1L / 6.4L radiator project, needless to say, I was excited. Not only was I working with American V8’s, but the first car to roll into our engineering facility was an 800-hp+ Hellcat Charger. I could tell that this Hellcat was used as all Hellcats should be used; the only place that wasn’t covered in tire dust from burnouts was the emblem on the front fender. I lit the car with a single light source to give the image some drama and shot. Post-processing was just a matter of some toning to get the look I was going for. -Steve B.
This image was one of the first photos I took at Mishimoto. When I started in June of 2016, we were finishing up construction of the new offices within our engineering facility. I was assigned to document the final stages and a big part of that would be the design and construction of our staircase. For this shot I wanted to get something a little different from the ordinary wide-framed welding shot. Because of the extremely bright light produced by welding, the camera was not able to autofocus. This meant I had to wait until Eric, our resident master of everything welding and awesome, was not welding to frame and focus the shot. Once framed and focused, I set the camera to burst mode, waited until Eric started welding, and held down the shutter release. Out of the probably 1,000+ photos taken over several days of welding, only about 10 of them were even recognizable and only a few of those were actually decent. This image captured the drama and mystery of creating something unique from nothing but a pile of metal. -Steve B.
Just Some Rad Hoses
This was interesting because I did not really have much of a goal for photographing these hoses except to get usable images for the presale. I mainly played around with shutter speeds and aperture adjustments until I found a setting that worked nicely with them. Much of what made this picture turn out so well was the editing I made when I sat down to sift through the media. What’s interesting is that the settings have to change with the colors. Red and blue were a bit harder to get the right settings for a good shot. -Diamaan G.
Focus RS Performance Intake
I spent a lot of time photographing our recently released Performance Intake for the 2016+ Focus RS. This was the first day we received the special edition Nitrous Blue pipe that we offer as an option for the intake kit. It looked great, so I wanted to be sure I spent time getting the right shots to really make it “pop.” I spent over an hour photographing this car and the intake, collecting well over 150 shots I later had to sift through. This one absolutely stood out and actually broke our record for number of likes on Instagram for BTS content! -Diamaan G.
Jeep Wrangler: An Unexpected Success
This image started out as a simple point-and-shoot moment that became something more interesting by accident. I originally shot this photo with the simple intent to show that we were working on a JK Jeep. I liked the harsh quality of the work light on the hood and how it brought out the texture in the various pieces of the disassembled engine bay. Instead of using our two photo lights, I decided to work with only this light and under-expose the shot to make those textures pop. After bringing it up on the computer, I realized I hated the colors that the mixed lighting had cast on the Jeep, so I decided to make the image black and white. That’s where the little extra post-processing started. Once the image was converted to grayscale, I found that I liked the grittiness the lack of color gave the photo and decided to accentuate that by over-sharpening the image and giving it a “dirty” toning. A little bit more contrast adjustment and I had this image. I really liked the way the toughness of the Jeep came out in the tones and lighting. Somebody in the office said it looks like Frankenstein’s monster; I take that as a compliment. -Steve B.
435 Horsepower from Above
One day, while talking to one of our designers, we somehow got on the subject of aerial images of our shop vehicles and how they had been wanting to take some for a while but weren’t quite able to. They had thought about using a drone but we didn’t have one in the office. One of our engineers, Steve, enthusiastically offered up his drone that he just got for Christmas, but that sounded dangerous (sorry Steve). Somehow, me going up in our scissor lift with our shop foreman / fabricator / safety officer, Mike, worked out to be less dangerous. Despite my fear of heights (but odd love of roller coasters), I lit the car with a few soft-boxes, grabbed my monopod and headed up. We started by shooting from the side of the Mustang, using my monopod to get the camera centered over the car. After a few shots from that angle, I asked Mike to move to the front of the Mustang, just to see how it looked. I ended up liking the symmetry and lines this angle created and how the Mishimoto banner on the windshield popped. It wasn’t until after I was finished post-processing that I realized I wasn’t quite centered on the car, oh well. -Steve B.
Make Every Moment Count
We often ask customers, forum members and friends to allow us to use their vehicles for R&D. When this happens, we sometimes have the vehicle for a day, sometimes for a week. When we’re allowed to borrow the vehicle for longer, some of that time the car is not actually in use by the engineers. I figured why not fill the extra time doing something that would give added value to the volunteers and take some awesome photos of their cars. This Charger was brought in by a volunteer to allow us to test fit our Dodge 6.1L / 6.4L radiator. While we only had the Charger for a couple days, I wanted to try to get a few shots anyway. I got to ride along during our road testing and get some rolling shots but this image turned out to be one of my favorites. Because we didn’t have the Charger for very long and didn’t want to spend a lot of time driving it unnecessarily, I had to find the best spot I could within our complex: the empty lot behind a neighboring warehouse. The scenery wasn’t picture-perfect so I wanted to fill the frame with the subject and bring out the bold features of the Charger’s front end. This shot shows both the great design from Dodge and the owner’s personal style that make it more than just another Charger. -Steve B.
Today’s Forecast: Turbo Spool
This photo was taken within a few hours of arriving back at the Mishimoto R&D center after first picking up our Camaro 2.0T – obviously, one of the first things we did was benchmark testing on the dyno. It was a dreary day outside, with a steady spritz of rain all afternoon, and the lighting was typical of an overcast sky. With our garage door open, the ambient environment illuminated the white Camaro in a striking way, and I supplemented this effect with help from two studio lights aimed at the vehicle from the side. I adjusted my angle to capture the starburst effect in the headlights. Finally, some minimal post processing work to further darken the background made the contrast pop. -Gardiner K.
Focus on the Nitrous Beast
During Focus RS oil cooler development, the team found out that a track testing day at Englishtown Raceway had been approved, and it was greatly anticipated despite the looming weather conditions. When the day finally came, I braved the light rain to run around the track in search of various media spots to snap photos of our Nitrous Blue beast roaring along the slick pavement. The low-light conditions mixed with a speeding florescent beauty made getting the perfect photo difficult. However, as I heard the growl of the RS rounding the corner for its last lap, I took a chance shooting through a gap in the fence of the banked turn and came up with my favorite photo of the day. -Sara R.
We hope you enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes look at how some of our favorite photos were taken. Be sure to like and share your favorite photos by clicking the buttons in the corner of each image and keep an eye out for more great images and articles in the coming year!