Published > 5 recent spreads

...some recent published stuff:

...including the past four issues of Inside Motorcycles featuring some very cool vintage bikes:

Greg Williams (writer) and I recently won separate AJAC Awards, so Inside Motorcycles editor, John Hopkins, gave us some props which is always nice:

..."The Hustle" feature has run a few times now in several publications already, but it never hurts to see it again! Modified has been around since 2003, and I've been contributing for most of those years. They've recently relocated to Los Angeles from Toronto; Peter Tarach, the editor, is taking the book into a new creative direction beginning with this Jan2010 issue. Looking good man.

Tested > 2009 Porsche Boxster

Review: Amee Reehal

2009 Porsche Boxster: Rise up—Powder to the People! Opting for a 2009 Porsche Boxster as the vehicle of choice for a weekend trip to Banff, Alberta, amidst the worst snow storm to hit Calgary in nearly a year, may seem like a really bad idea. Perhaps even outrageous or ridiculous, particularly when your buddies are all sporting SUVs and 4x4s. But for this giddy journalist, it was all smiles.

The fact is Porsche products, including the entry-level’09 Boxster starting at $58,400, are very capable, safe winter machines. They’re engineered to be driven, not sleep in the garage. It’s like placing a gifted child in special ed. class. You just don’t do it, and unfortunately, most Porsche owners do exactly that, depriving their vehicles of its full potential.

Fortunately, Porsche Canada is working hard to encourage owners to leave the insurance running year round, invest in performance winter tires, and take full advantage of their products’ true capabilities, no matter the weather. As Joe Lawrence, President and CEO of Porsche Canada, puts it, “There is no rule against driving a Porsche in the winter! To the contrary, a Porsche performs strongly and safely whatever the season… While visiting Porsche dealers around Canada, I was amazed to hear how many owners put their Porsches away for the winter.”

Granted, the Boxster’s rear-wheel-drive may add skepticism, but when equipped with the right tires, this mid-engine car handles astonishingly well with amazing traction control coupled with the added benefit of the 7-gear PDK transmission’s quick shifts lending more or less torque and control as needed (and for those who are still on the fence, Porsche now offers 13 all-wheel-drive models in the 911, Cayenne, and Panamera ranges). Winter driving is empowering and adds a new level to the Porsche experience, not to mention a few extra months of driving! Check out the Winter Sports microsite at www.porsche.ca.

The 2009 Boxster’s 2.9-litre, 6-cylinder engine produces 255-hp and 214 lb/ft of torque. Paired to a standard 6-speed manual transmission with dual mass flywheel. The new double clutch 7-speed PDK version, as tested, is a $4660 option. Last years Boxster saw a 245-hp engine with a 5-speed standard tranny, so these upgrades are a welcome addition. Again, the mid-engine design equates to a well balance ride (not to mention 2 trunks, including a spacious one in the rear).

Exterior styling is notably different than the previous year (and looks notably sexier and sleeker than the 2008 model), with perhaps the LED front/rear headlamps the most obvious. The front and rear fascias are also redesigned lending a more refined look. The new headlights are available with the optional BiXenon Headlight with Dynamic Corning Package for $2130, as on this tester.

Though the top was never dropped, it was surprisingly unnoticed when cruising at highway speeds en route to Banff—virtuously no noise, no vibrations or impact on handling, or other annoyances that may come with softtop roadsters; feeling more like a hardtop Cayman, for all intents and purposes (and that’s a pretty big deal for those discouraged by a convertible and the impact it may have on drivability).

Standard wheels include 17” alloy wheels with 205/55ZR17 tires up front and 235/50ZR17 in the back. This tested model came with a very worthy $1690 upgraded 18” Cayman II wheel package, wrapped in Michelin Alpine Pilot PA2 winter rubber (priced separately). The interior is comfortable, remarkably spacious, and screams nothing that says ‘entry-level.’ As always, centre console/multimedia is laid out perfectly in a tight, limited area. Some of the buttons have been reworked from last year and for the better.

Overall, the extra 10-hp, standard 6-speed, and updated exterior styling cues are a few things that set the 2009 Boxster apart from the previous year, raising the Boxster’s‘ base model’ stock considerably, and in all the right places. You may not realize this now, but the 2009 Porsche Boxster is a perfect year-round sports car—drop the top in the summer, and shred the roads in the winter. Just winterize it, slap on the right tires and you’re good to go!

The Boxster is available in 3 trims: Boxster, Boxster -S, and now the all-new 2011 Boxster Spyder which recently debuted at the L.A. Auto Show and hitting Canadian dealers in February 2010 for $72,900.

2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder: * Lightest Porsche in the lineup at just 1,275 kg * 10 more horsepower than Boxster S; sportier suspension setup * Manual two-piece top and stripped-out interior with sport bucket seats and fabric door pulls * 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds with PDK and Sport Chrono

Boxster Spyder photos:

Photos: Porsche

New Portfolio: Auto-Pulse

The relationship between vehicles and people always fascinates me. Whether its a family of four sharing a single scooter, a Lambo-owner with a ten-car garage, or simply a passerby walking into the frame. Especially when vehicles are taken out of context, finding themselves in new, obscure environments, well, that's when it becomes more compelling; often a contradiction of people, places, and cars rendering a cool moment in time. Fortunately, I've had my camera when its happened.

I've added a new section to my port called 'Auto-Pulse,' consisting of portraits and candids I've shot over the past 10 years. All of it is personal work, a mix of my travels with a majority of shots taken while doing a job...a 'side-project' if you will.

www.ameereehal.com > Portfolio > Auto-Pulse

Few shots attached, enjoy!

All Images Copyright2009©AmeeReehal

Published > Audi Magazine

This past June in Toronto, we shot a spread for Audi Magazine Canada (out now, Nov09 issue). The brief was simple: shoot two hot cars (the 2010 R8 V10 and 2010 S4), with a couple good looking people. Simple enough, but we needed creative that made sense...one that veered from the cheese, and more towards sophistication.

So the concept was "an affair." A couple frolicking in the fields, with their cars (yes, their cars). Emphasizing the playful, organic vibe and less 'car shoot,' integrating everything into one frame, and making it work. We stuck to natural lighting only with some reflectors. This allowed us to keep mobile without lugging around strobes; but more importantly, retain that natural, organic feel were were going for.

Shooting a girl dry-humping a rear decklid is easy. But capturing people and automobiles together in a tasteful way is a little harder. I think we pulled it off here.

MORE PHOTOS....

Models: Ford

Makeup/Hair: Judy Inc.

Styling/Waredrobe: The PR Department

Photography: Amee Reehal

Producer/Assistant: Rimy

Event > Ford Fiesta Launch

Ford is reintroducing the Fiesta. That's right, that unassuming, boxy little car from the early Eighties. Except now, it's sleeker, more refined, and sports some Euro flair, hitting North American markets mid-2010.

I had a chance to attend the media launch in Vancouver last week and take the Fiesta for a rip. Its a small car with big promise, and will give subcompact car segment a run for its money.

For more info, click here.

Old School Fiesta, gotta love it! ...

Pirelli Photography Award ’09

...fortunate to win another award this year. above all, it's cool to get recognized by the judges who are acclaimed photographers, like Derek Shapton, who's work i totally admire ( http://www.derekshapton.com/ ) also, props to Greg Williams for winning the Julie Wilkinson Motorsport Journalism Award presented by Bridgestone/Firestone. (Greg and I contribute features to Inside Motorcycles magazine; his words, my shots).

PRESS RELEASE:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON - October 28, 2009

The Pirelli Photography Awards are presented to AJAC members each year honouring the best in automobile photographs in two categories: Published and Un-published

Photography is part of the Pirelli culture. The company has created one of the world’s most well known photographic traditions – the Pirelli Calendar.  The calendar was launched in 1963 from Pirelli’s London office as a gift for privileged customers, its concept a take-off on the pin-up popular with automobile manufacturers. But the subtlety of its images and the quality of its photographers made the calendar a coveted collector’s item.

Each year the large field of entries is judged by three of Canada’s leading photographers. The judges for the award are celebrated photographers Alana Riley of Montréal, Michael Van Leur and Derek Shapton of Toronto, all highly regarded professionals and award winners in their field.  It’s worth noting that the judging is done with the photographer’s name hidden.

Anthony Paulozza, Marketing Director of Pirelli Tire Inc presented this year’s awards in the Published category to Bradley Horn and a new AJAC Member submitting for the first time, Philippe Champoux. The 2009 winner in the Published category is Mark Toljagic, first-time winner of the Pirelli Award.

In the Un-Published Photography category, Amee Reehal, the double first place winner last year, and first time winner Graeme Fletcher are the runners up. The winner in this category is Bradley Horn.

The judges commented on the quality of all the entries with considerable praise for the six winners.

For their excellent photos, each category winner received a set of Pirelli Tires presented to them by Marco Zambianchi, President of Pirelli Tire Inc.

-- 30 --

For more information contact: Anthony Paulozza, anthony.paulozza@pirelli.com  or John Morris, John@marcovitchpr.ca

SE Asia Trip

It's been a couple weeks now since my wife and I got back from SE Asia. Part vacation, part work, collecting new content/photos for Gate58 Destination Art (the site is still a w.i.p., but we're working on!). For nearly 3 weeks and moving at a good pace we covered a lot of ground, including Georgetown/Penang, Malaysia (where I went to school ten yrs back); Langkawi, Malaysia (off the beaten track island trekking on our bike); Koh Phi Phi, Thailand (an isolated area on the northern tip, far from hustle-bustle that never existed a decade ago!); Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KL rocks, period); Singapore (down-time in the urban jungle); and finally Taipei (world's tallest building, and Snake Alley which I was prohibited to see).

...I'm working on the new images (we really got some good stuff!), but meantime, some quick shots from Joanne's camera:

Maserati MC12 Shoot

Some shots from a recent shoot for a local client; the MC12 is obviously a surreal looking car, so we wanted a backdrop that was quite the opposite...something simple and scenic, so we chose this 'suburban-woodsy' theme. the final shots have that refined look via compositing, yet still retain a photographic vibe. does that make sense? well, it does to me. check it out...

Lexus HS250h Launch

Last month, we covered the launch for the new 2010 Lexus HS250h, also shooting several of these unreleased hybrid sedans for Lexus' PR initiatives; 4 cars in 3 days, including sourcing locations, editing onsite, and turning the work around almost instantly. The press images ran in several papers across Canada, including this cover in the National Post:

photo: taken in Gimli, just outside Winnipeg.

Couple reviews on this car:  review and review

(Huge thx to my man Allan Chan in Winnipeg who helped us source locations and steered us in the right direction)

Few more pics...

recent + upcoming car stuff...

It's been a bit hectic lately with more to come. But here's the 411 on some cool cars projects...

  • We recently shot this vintage monster Mini for MC2 Magazine, North America's largest Mini publication. Apparantly, this was the fastest Mini in the world at one point:

  • We're off to Winnipeg shortly for a 3-day Lexus event, where we'll be shooting the new 2010 Lexus HS250h:

  • "Rest" for a day or two and then off to Singapore, Thailand, and my old stomping grounds in Malaysia. It's been 10 years since I've been back...its going to be a trip, literally and figuratively.
  • Before then, we plan to squeeze in a couple more shoots...a Masarati MC12, and this Enzo seen here before it recently received the full FXX treatment:

Published > 3 bikes, 1 car

...some recent published work; if you're at the newsstand, here are a few magazines to look out for:

Inside Motorcycles: April09, "Britain's Mighty Single--owner gets second chance with classic BSA"

story Greg Williams, snaps AR

Inside Motorcycles: May09, "From One Friend to Another--Italian Legend: Ducati 750 GT"

story Greg Williams, snaps AR

RPM Motoring Montly: Aug09, "The Hustle" ... (also ran in UK's Banzai, check it)

story and snaps: AR

Inside Motorcycles: July/Aug09 issue, "Joy of Commuting--single-cylinder BMW a study in class and utility."

story Greg W, snaps AR

...more of these photos, click here

Tested > 2010 Mustang GT Coupe

A 45 year track record as one of North America’s favorite muscle cars, coupled with Fords engineering experience and attention to detail, has rendered a leaner, meaner, and more refined 2010 Mustang GT Coupe.

Arguably the best-looking Mustang of the modern era, the 2010 version gets a muscular yet lean and sculptured new design, including an aggressive front grille adorned with the first new Mustang emblem since the car’s introduction in 1964. Inspired by the 1970 version, the headlamps and turn indicators are comprised of one unit found on the completely redesigned front-end—front-ends that are slightly different on both the V6 and V8 GT trims. Another notable difference between the two includes fog lamps on the lower fascia on the V6, while slightly smaller and nestled in the upper grille on the V8. Rendering a cleaner look, the washer-fluid nozzles are tucked into the cowl and the antenna moved to the back, while the nostalgic aggressive styling is still very well alive, particularly in the rear with sharp angled corners and a sculptured decklid above the huge, menacing GT badge.

Jump into the cabin and the all-new interior with well-crafted materials will slap you in the face, and you’ll like it. Gary Morales, Interior Design Manager for Mustang, says it best, “That’s the difference between good enough and exceptional…we wouldn’t accept anything less than leadership design and world-class craftsmanship.”  The chromed-ringed gauges are a throwback to the old school, yet precisely crafted and positioned. Genuine aluminum-finish panels are found throughout and the one-piece instrument panel is clean and seamless. The seats and armrests have high-quality stitching and are super comfortable, due largely to softer materials. The new centre stack is bold in design yet not overwhelming—includes Ford’s latest version of Microsoft SYNC.

The suspension for the new Mustang has been completely retuned, including the spring, stabilizer bars, and shocks. Despite the brawny façade, this muscle car handles surprising well both in the corners and at higher speeds on the highway. The wheel/tire combos are now 1-inch larger, ranging from 17-inch to 19-inch; this test rolls on 18-inch spoke wheels. AdvanceTrac Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is now standard, complementing Mustang’s all-speed traction control and ABS.

Much of the inspiration for the new Mustang comes from the Bullitt model (Steve McQueen anyone?). Including the 4.6-litre V8, with increased power to 315-hp. Throw on a leather jacket, turn the ignition, and go for an ambition drive as you soak in the rumbling throaty signature Mustang exhaust note—you’ll feel like Lieutenant Frank Bullitt ripping through the streets of SanFran…just not as cool (like not even close). But it’s fun, and it’s badass, and that’s what really resonates with this new 2010 Mustang.

Unlike Bullitt, however, the new version is a bit safer. Including dual stage front driver and passenger air bags; front seat-mounted side air bags, and Ford’s Personal Safety System.

The 2010 Mustang GT Coupe starts at $36,999 Cdn. This tested model was equipped with many upgrades, bringing the total price (including upgrade options and fees/taxes excluding GST), comes to $44,729.

Marrying new technologies with long-standing heritage is a hard thing to pull off. But with the new 2010 Mustang GT Coupe, Ford proves it can be done with progressive new styling, a world-class interior, new technologies, and performance improvements, to name a few.  Womanizing, chain-smoking, badass attidude not included.

Review also posted at Performance Auto & Sound online

2 Photos of India > PDN World in Focus

Usually, there isn't much time to enter contests and such. But I was flipping through my new issue of PDN Magazine (Photo District News), and came across this particular one...I figured I'd submitt a couple shots, and feel like its a good excuse to share them with you! : )

The first photo of the Taj was taken with my Nikon D100 digital SLR; the second with an old 1970's OlympusXA film point and shoot in B/W (the sweetest travel camera!). Both shot in 2005.

The World in Focus photo contest consists of a few categories, including the two I entered: Sense of Place (Scenes in cities, towns, and villages that suggest a feeling of place) and Travel Portraits (Travel photos of locals working, playing, celebrating; ceremonies, parades, etc.)

Title: A Different Taj Mahal

Caption: The Taj Mahal seen from the rooftop of a home overlooking the village of Agra, providing a much different, real-life perspective of the Taj--contrary to what millions of visitors envision and see each day.

Title: The Groom

Caption: A relaxed and satisfied Gujarati groom takes a quick moment following his emotional wedding to pause for a photo amongst a room of chaos as they all make their way out trailing behind him.

Showcased at...

Hey, a couple cool sites that are showcasing my work. They promote the work of established artists from different genres. If they like your stuff, they link it up... SOPHISTRY is a comprehensive creative arts information website which introduces artists from a variety of genre and also publishes an arts related web-based magazine.

http://www.sophistry.fm/

XHILARATE is the nexus of visual communications. The xhilarate website started off with a simple idea of sharing Michael McDonald's personal bookmark collection. xhilarate promotes phenomenal website design, thinking, creativity, innovative technology and is a source of creative inspiration and research for aspiring creators.

http://www.xhilarate.com/page_1.aspx

Tested > “Spring” – 2009 Porsche CayenneGTS

2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS

Story & Snaps: Amee Reehal

Kicking ass. This is precisely what the Cayenne SUV has been doing since its introduction back in 2002. Despite the naysayers (and there were plenty) who questioned Porsche’s (very late) foray into the SUV segment, the Cayenne has become a flagship vehicle for the Stuttgart automaker. Hey, that’s impressive. Adding depth to their ass-whooping, Porsche introduced a few variations of the best-selling vehicle, including the entry-level Cayenne (and Cayenne Tiptronic), Cayenne-S, CayenneGTS (and GTS Tiptronic), and the unrivaled, otherworldly Cayenne Turbo-S (replacing the CayenneTurbo last year). But for now, we’re only concerned with the slick 2009 Cayenne GTS Tiptronic, and if you’re in the market, perhaps you should be too because pound-for-pound, in terms of pure performance, price-point, and enhanced styling, the GTS is arguably the best Cayenne available…with or without the Nordic Gold (orange) Metallic paint.

Propelling this 5000-lb plus rocket is a 4.8 liter V8, putting down a respectable 405-hp and 369 lb-ft of torque—well ahead of the sub-300-hp entry-level Cayenne, yet worlds apart from the 550-hp Cayenne Turbo-S older sibling. But in terms of refined, naturally-aspirated power, the GTS version is a true showcase of Porsche engineering. Slide into the cabin, turn the ignition, and enjoy the raw growl of the V8. It with certainly set the tone, literally, for the ride ahead. While the majority of GTS’ rolling off the plant floor come with an automatic transmission, a 6-speed manual is now available at no cost. Think about it, a stick shift luxury SUV? That’s pretty damn cool, and rare. Our auto tranny GTS tester came equipped with the 6-speed Tiptronic-S. Paying the premium for the Tiptronic version (opposed to non-Tiptronic automatic) will definitely be a personal choice—some may love it, some may find it more of a novelty. For all the driving enthusiasts, just get the stick shift.

Alright, let’s get the paint colour issue out of the way. Our press CayenneGTS arrived with the $4280 optional Nordic Gold Metallic paint, a.k.a. Orange. Whether cruising down The Red Mile in Calgary, pulling into the grocery store lot, or rolling up to the golf course, this GTS garnered a lot of attention. And the love-hate reaction was almost always the same: ‘love the colour man!’ or ‘are you gay?’ (mind you, the writers dead-on matching golf bag didn’t really help). Fortunately for the haters, others colours are available. Trivial issues aside, the CayenneGTS exterior styling is simply gorgeous. It exudes luxury, sophistication, and an extra dose of sports appeal, including an aerodynamic body kit with a pair of huge dual tailpipes that look as loud as they sound. And that’s a good thing.

Huge 21” light alloy wheels are standard, wrapped in 295/35 rubber. 13.8” vented rotors with 6 piston calipers occupy the front, with 13” vented rotors with 4 piston calipers in the rear. All mated to a permanent all-wheel drive system. The GTS also sees a 3-mode shock system (Comfort, Normal, Sport) adjusting the damper settings for various driving styles, but Sport mode is the only one that matters folks, because it literally drops the ride, tightens the suspension, and opens up the dual-exhaust pipes producing serious noise. Of course, the GTS sees a plethora of other technologies including Porsche Traction Management (PTM) and Porsche Stability Management (PSM), to name a couple.

The cabin is roomy, comfortable, and very black (black leather interior is an extra $4440). Overall, a great balance of sporty styling and luxury. The 12-way power adjustable leather front seats are snug and well-bolstered, while the 3-spoke multifunction leather steering wheel is fairly big yet feels good in the hands. Forking out the extra $2310 for the Bose Surround Sound System and another $4500 for the Porsche Multimedia System with navigation are wise choices. Some may find the centre console clean and uncluttered, while others may feel unimpressed, expecting more gadgets and stuff. But one thing is evident: the touch screen is nestled fairly low in the console (perhaps move the vents and raise the screen higher?).

Despite the dismal economic environment, Porsche is holding it’s own in Canada. Recent figures show an overall dip in Porsche sales this past year. Yet the company’s flagship 911 and Cayenne models continue to do well, carrying most of the weight. In fact, Porsche’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) sales are actually higher, reaching an all-time single month record with 76 CPO vehicles sold in May 2009. The CayenneGTS new sales were down almost half in May 2009 compared to May 2008, but over the year, GTS sales were down by a reasonable 20%. So despite the auto industry’s current state with all the bailout shenanigans, the Porsche Cayenne continues to plow through the shit storm.

Sharp: - the Nordic Gold Metallic paint - Enhanced styling (i.e. quad tailpipes, aerodynamic kit) - Powerful non-turbo V8 - Optional 6-speed manual stick shift

Dull: - the Nordic Gold Metallic paint - Centre console (debatable) - You’ll end up comparing to the Turbo-S, so don’t drive one, seriously

The Verdict: In Canada, the entry-level Porsche Cayenne Tiptronic remains the manufacturer’s top-selling SUV (starting at $60,190), followed by the CayenneS. While the GTS Tiptronic sits third, with a base price of $91,090 CDN, it is perhaps the best of the bunch, in terms of best bang for the buck. It’s priced a good $60k less than the expensive Turbo-S, yet worth every penny more than the step-down V8 powered CayenneS with 20 less horses and no cosmetic enhancements. Kick-ass, differentiated styling and raw power. What else does one need?

Also posted at Sharp Magazine Online