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What happens when a bunch of great hot rod and lowbrow artists come together to help kick cancer’s ass as part of the Shitbox Rally? The Shitbox Artists Art Auction is what happens!

The Shitbox Rally itself is a challenge to participating teams to drive cars worth under $1,000 across some of Australia’s most formidable roads, all in the name of charity. Teams are encouraged to give their car a name and a theme as part of the fun, with some hilarious results. This year’s event will see teams drive 3,800km from Brisbane to Darwin from May 19-25th. Each team needs to raise a minimum of $4,000 to take part, with all proceeds going towards the Cancer Council. Of course this is just a minimum, and each team is encouraged to raise as much as they can!

This is where the Shitbox Artists Art Auction comes in. Vicki Pattison, a renowned signwriter and artist from Queensland, is half of the ‘Blonde Bandits’ team. She’s teamed up with hot rod and lowbrow artists from across Australia to hold an art auction. Bidding starts at $150 on each piece, and all proceeds go to their team total – and then the Cancer Council of course!

We’ve shared some of the art below, but make sure you check out their facebook page Shitbox Artists Art Auction for full auction details. Dig deep, the art is amazing and the cause is great! And thanks to all of the participating artists for donating their work.

1Ceramic bike tank by Cam “Wolfman” Caltieri of Melbourne.

2Vintage petrol tin by Adam Tierney of Toowoomba.

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Painting on timber by Evan James Marshall “Johnny Voodoo” of Brisbane.

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Pinstriped panel by Paul “Thommo” Thompson of Brisbane.

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Painting on canvas by Rob Walker of Brisbane.

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Painting on canvas by Roger Warsop of Sydney.

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Pinstriped panel by Kane Shultz “Kane’o” of Brisbane.

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Painting on canvas by Micky Hora of Brisbane.

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Pinstriped panel by Julz Neville of Melbourne.

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Painting on canvas by Paul Hughes of Melbourne.

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Sculpture by Rastra Lyall of Brisbane.

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Skate deck by Pete Rudd of the Gold Coast.

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Painting on canvas by LB Guzzler.

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Hand painted signs are like old cars – they’re a bit of a window back to a simpler style. A time when style and craftsmanship were valued, and computers were something from a science fiction movie. It’s no wonder I dig both of them in a big way.

So when I stumbled across this amazing collection of pics from Tierney Signs spanning almost a century, I just had to see if I could share them. Graciously, Adam Tierney was only too happy to. The company was originally established in Sydney in 1924 by the late James Mark Tierney. His four sons all followed in his footsteps and studied in the traditional trade. One of his sons Peter, moved to Toowoomba in 1978 and started serving the region. He’s now retired, but sons Adam and Liam have taken on the family legacy for the third generation. To this day they still offer traditional hand painted signs, as well as modern style signage as well. If you’re in the Darling Downs, you know who to contact for your signage needs. For more details check out their website www.tierneysigns.com.au or facebook page.

All images courtesy Tierney Signs1The Late James Mark Tierney. Glebe, Sydney 1927.

3Haymarket in the late 1940’s.

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Circa 1950’s Quay Street – Haymarket in peak trade.4
Ramsgate 1950’s.
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Late 50s to early 60s.6

9Ramsgate 1960s.
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Ramsgate, early 1970s.
81011121314151617Peter Tierney and his son Adam as 4th year apprentice. Toowoomba Qld. 199218Eddie Tierney, Cooma, NSW, 1992.19
John Tierney, Springwood, NSW 1992.20Jim Tierney, Ramsgate, Sydney 1992.2122

This piece was hand painted by Tierney Signs in the 1960’s. The piece is heritage listed and is now part of the Ultimo Tafe campus. This kind of work was regular contract work from the original Sydney Fruit and Vegetable Markets in Haymarket.

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Pin up from the cover of the 2001 Dyno Kustom Kruisers calendar. Image: Simon Cudby

There are some much loved custom inspired beach cruisers, but arguably many of the most desirable came from the Dyno range by GT bikes. Models like the Taboo Tiki, stretched Roadster, and the official Mooneyes bike all are still highly coveted by bike enthusiasts the world over. Even the base model Dyno frames still remains one of the most beautiful bike frames ever made.

We tracked down Aaron Bethlenfalvy, former Head of Design at GT, to learn more about the inspiration behind some of those iconic models, his subsequent work at Nirve and Schwinn, and what he’s up to these days.

Aaron, thanks so much for taking some time to have a chat with us. Doing some research online I realised your resume includes some of the coolest bike models ever. Personally I’ve owned 6 or so bikes that you’ve helped design. Let’s start at the beginning – what first made you want to get into design?

Hi Hewey. First and foremost, thanks for reaching out and all the kind words. There is nothing more gratifying to me than hearing someone express his or her appreciation for my work. Thank you and everyone else that helps keep my creations alive after so many years.

Growing up I spent my childhood doing three things. Riding my BMX bike, disassembling any mechanical object I could get my hands on and drawing. My BMX bike provided me freedom, disassembling things pacified my curiosity of how things work and drawing helped me escape . Both, however, tended to get me into trouble, as I would voyage beyond pre-set bounds and was seldom able to reassemble the things I took apart.

I’m fortunate that I had parents who told me from a young age that I could be anything I wanted so long as it made me happy. Their encouragement helped me overcome the negative response I was getting in the school system, which saw me as a waste of time due to my poor grades. By high school, I excelled in math and anything creative (drawing, sculpture, problem solving).

And I understand that when you were studying at Ohio State University, for your final year project you designed a bike for the police and engaged GT and Shimano as sponsors – and that lead to you getting your job with GT that started this all?

Cold called both of them! My plan was to use my thesis project as my way to enter the industry I had hopes of entering. It worked. GT offered me the job upon completion.

3The bike that started Aaron’s 20+ years in the bicycle industry. A Police Patrol Mountain Bike thesis project from The Ohio State University’s BSID program. 

How did the Dyno range come about at GT?

Dyno was a BMX brand that GT had purchased many years ago. They would use the Dyno brand when a price point was too low for a GT or when dealers wanted a certain type of product that wasn’t fitting for the GT image… Et al Beach cruisers. The Dyno cruisers actually existed when I joined GT in 1995. They were your typical retro looking beach cruiser like everything else on the market at that time.

I believe Jeff Soucek designed the first frame. He definitely designed the frame for the Dyno Roadster and I think he designed the others as well. I couldn’t even tell you what the first model was since they existed before my arrival in 2005.

I think a better question is why did GT decide to redesign the cruiser line. The answer is that the current Dyno cruisers weren’t performing very well. If I recall correctly, they were selling less than 4k units per year. With such few sales, they wanted to either kill the line entirely or take one more swing at refreshing them. For comparison sake, Schwinn was the undisputed king of cruisers at the time and they were selling 120K cruisers per year.

A key part of what made the Dyno cruiser range so good are the kustom kulture and hot rod inspired models. What inspired GT to create these models?

When I was assigned the Dyno Cruiser redesign project, I began researching how the bikes were used. Even though they were referred to as “beach” cruisers, they were used worldwide in areas that had no beach. The bikes were being used on pavement more than boardwalks. To me they were just “cruisers”. That simple reclassification in my own mind helped me look elsewhere for inspiration. At that point in time, I had been helping a friend, Tom Schubeck, build his custom cars after work and on the weekends. ’52 Ford Victoria, ’64 Thunderbird, ’64 Rivi, ’32 Ford Pickup… I was engrossed in the Kustom Kulture scene. The Dyno concepts seemed to flow with very little thought required as a result.

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The original concept rendering for the Dyno Kustom Kruisers “Motoglide”. The production bike ended up  nearly identical to his original vision. Fireball tires, ghost flames, billet grips, ape hanger bars and a Shimano 3 spd hub.

13This is ’51 Ford was Aaron’s first car build – chopped, shaved, nosed, decked, lakes pipes and air bags. Safe to say customising with an eye for style runs deep in his blood!

The Dyno calendars have achieved a cult like status. Surely pulling together a dozen themed pin up photoshoots for that was one of your more fun jobs?

Without a doubt! Gorgeous woman, super sick Kustoms…it’s hard to believe I was paid to organize and execute it!

Let’s focus on a couple of specific models. How did the Taboo Tiki come about?

We had a graphic designer named Kevin Hertfelder who knew VonFranco. Upon seeing the Dyno Kustom Kruiser concepts, Kevin suggested reaching out to VonFranco for a collaboration model. Kevin established initial contact and the first VonFranco model was the orange pinstriped model, which was a great success, but we had every intention of only making a limited quantity.

Year two we needed a new VonFranco model and the Tiki was a clear choice. VonFranco’s house and studio was adorned with Tiki EVERYTHING. Nothing would be more “VonFranco” than a Tiki model. We brainstormed with VonFranco around this theme and came up with a general direction (name, details, specification, etc). I drew up the concept illustration for approval of Sr. Management and VonFranco. Once approved, VonFranco began to create the artwork for the tank and chain guard while I worked on sculpting the tiki head for the fender lamp. I communicated all of the final schematics with our manufacturing partners in Asia and about 5 months later we were reviewing our first article samples.

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The Taboo Tiki is one of the coolest Dyno models. VonFranco is seated in green, and Aaron is actually the squatting pygmy.

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Aaron designed this model as a replacement for the original Taboo Tiki collaboration model with VonFranco, however the original model sold so well there was never a need to replace it. This model paid homage to true island style and featured bamboo fenders, wicker rear basket, tiki hand grips and a tiki torch head lamp.

 

Another seminal model is the Mooneyes Dyno, what’s the story behind that one?

I approached Chico at Mooneyes directly. I had met him a few times when I was at their facility purchasing parts for my ‘51 Ford and figured it couldn’t hurt to pitch the collaboration to them. I walked in and showed him my concept illustration and he was sold immediately. It was a great way for them to leverage their bicycle Moon Disks and a great way to help us legitimatize our commitment to the Kustom Kulture scene.

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Aaron’s original concept rendering for the Dyno Kustom Kruisers “Mooneyes” cruiser. The model ended up nearly identical to his original vision. Superslick tires, mooneyes artwork, billet grips and flat track bars.

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The Mooneyes model looks especially amazing with their legendary discs installed. Image: Mooneyes USA.

A few short years after we launched the Dyno Kustom Kruisers the company went through some hardships. Ultimately, the company was sold to an investment company that already owned Schwinn. They replaced all of GT’s upper management with Schwinn people that felt like the Schwinn brand should be the only ones selling cruisers so they killed the Dyno Kustom Kruiser line.

With the Dyno Kustom Kruisers gone from the market, many brands jumped on the “Hot Rod Inspired” cruiser band wagon, but I just didn’t feel like they were hitting the mark. When I joined Nirve, we felt like there was still opportunity in the segment and I approached Chico again. I think the Nirve Mooneyes cruiser did even better than the Original Dyno version!

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The Nirve branded Mooneyes cruiser. Image: Mooneyes USA.

Speaking of Nirve, you designed their now widely copied chopper frame. What’s important to you when designing a bike like that?

There are three things that need to converge to create what I call “The Trifecta of Excellence”. First, you need aesthetic appeal. Making something “look cool” is the by-product of visually communicating a very specific message. Proportions, color, stance, etc all play an important part. Second, you need functionality. All choppers on the market either didn’t fit the target consumer or had a horrendous ride quality. The geometry creation of the Nirve Switchblade chopper was a very involved process that combined anthropometrics and numerous test mule frames. Third, you need to hit the right price. If you’re priced too low, the perception will be that the product is inferior. If you are over priced, it will have abysmal sales. The Nirve Switchblade chopper had “The Trifecta of Excellence”

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Aaron’s handmade prototype of the Nirve Switchblade chopper. He was determined to build a good riding, ergonomic, raked out chopper and this was the result.

The more I looked into your design history, the more cool bikes I uncovered. A Boyd Coddington bike done with Nirve. Concept bikes like Hot Wheels, Budweiser, Jeff Gordon/NASCAR etc. Any particular models, either produced or concept only, that you really loved?

Hmm. I have a lot that I love. I think my favorite’s would be:
1. The Harley Davidson Limited Edition I created for GT. (Production)
2. The Dyno Kustom Kruiser Kiddie Trailer. (Hand fabricated Prototype – Concept)
3. The Nirve Chupacabra Concept Chopper (Hand fabricated Prototype – Customized Production Switchblade)
4. The George Barris Kustoms models for Nirve. (Meeting and becoming friends with George and his family will forever be one of the highlights of my career)
5. Paul Frank Line of Nirve Cruisers. (Paul is one of the most genuine and creative people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with)
6. The work I’m doing for Ruff Cycles in Germany (no one has seen this yet and I can say is that it destroys my prior Kustom work!)

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The 100% hand fabricated hot rod kiddie trailer prototype.  Sculpted in surf board foam, fiberglassed and set on top a custom chassis with two 20″ bicycles tires. It featured a removable Carson Top, leather tuck -n- roll upholstery, wall to wall carpet, wolf whistle horn and a massive trunk space for diapers and beer.

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Seen here is the handmade prototype of the Nirve “Chupacabra” concept chopper. The entire bike was made in Aaron’s little one car garage in Huntington Beach, Ca. The features included hand formed tank, billet wheels, custom disk brakes, custom springer fork, billet grips, shimano 8 speed internal hub activated by jocky shifter under the seat and paint work by the legendary Hot Dog Kustoms. “I love this bike. To this day it’s on display in my living room!” says Aaron.

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“Collaboration projects rule. They’re a great way for designers to break mental walls that begin forming after years of repetition within the same industry. Seen here is the Kopper Kart inspired Nirve cruiser I proposed to the legend of Kustomizers George Barris”.

While this interview has focused on the beach cruiser side of your career, you’ve also done a lot of design work for regular bikes?

This list would be too long to write out. I have designed products in the cycling industry for just about every category. Complete bikes, components and accessories…

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When Aaron started at GT in 1995, one of his first projects was to design a replacement BMX stem. “I felt that the old school GT Mallet stem was iconic GT and wanted to create a modernized version of it. The final result was the GT Piston stem. They were available in Micro, XL, XXL and cruiser sizes initially and later a zero offset Freestyle variation. 100% CNC machined in the USA from extruded 6061-T6 bar stock by TOMI Engineering in Santa Ana Ca.

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The Schwinn “Rocking Cruiser” prototype Aaron designed. Seen here is the prototype sample from the production facility (hence the poor photo and mismatched grip/saddle color). Sadly, it never saw production for internal political reasons.

These days you’ve gone independent and run Alpha Dog Design. What kind of work do you these days? And how can people follow your work?

I’ve continued to do a lot of contract design work for the bike industry. Sadly, 99.9% of what I’ve been working on over the past few years can’t be shown as I have strict non-disclosure agreements with my clients. As I’m able to release content, I post it to my Instagram page www.instagram.com/alpha_dog_design (note where many of these pics came from). I welcome new followers!

Brands that I’ve worked for since starting Alpha Dog are: Felt, Schwinn, Electra, RockyMounts, Bafang, Niner, Astro, GT, Detroit Bikes, Elbrus Cycles, Schwift Cycles, AirFom, Gammax, Haro, Priority Bikes, Protanium BV, Ruff Cycles and TransArt.

Aaron thanks so much for your time. As I said I’ve owned a handful of bikes that you’ve designed, so it was awesome to have the opportunity to learn a little more about them and yourself.

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The mosaic in the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial is as poignant as it is beautiful. It features panels representing the army, navy, airforce and the women who served in World War II. There is significant meaning behind each of the panels, and that understanding only serves to make them more powerful.

The Hall of Memory houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and is accessed by passing the Pool of Reflection which includes the names of 102,000 people who have given their lives to serve our country. It is the heart of the Australian War Memorial and one of the most sacred sites in the country.

The Hall was originally conceived to commemorate the soldiers killed in the Great War, with stained glass windows and sculptures. However before it was completed, World War II had commenced. Following the second World War, it was decided to incorporate mosaics representing the pillars of the Australian defence force. The mosaic work was undertaken by Napier Waller, who also served in World War One. This is an excerpt from the Australian War Memorial website:

The figures in these drawings emphasise qualities of strength and endurance. Their poses are frontal and each – except the sailor – has its left foot extended forward in the manner of an archaic Greek ‘kouros’. The enlarged, intense eyes are also characteristic of both ancient Greek sculpture and the Byzantine mosaics at Ravenna, which Waller had visited in the late 1920s. In contrast, the uniforms and hairstyles are contemporary. The faces express their feelings. The figures are of ordinary men and women, elevated to demigod status by their monumentality and references to antiquity.

Each of the following explanations of the imagery also come from the Australian War Memorial. A short video from 1955 on the construction of the mosaics can also be viewed here.

The Army: The war is over. The last traces of the storm symbolising it can be seen as water running down the tree trunk, while the sunshine bursting through the trees causes the soldier to contemplate that the sacrifices of his dead comrades have brought a ray of hope for the future. Through the beams of light he imagines he sees in bird-like form their ascending spirits. After the dreary war years, with freedom still ours, he is removing his wartime equipment and preparing to return home.

The Navy: On the fore-deck the sailor in summer uniform is preparing to hoist the white ensign, which symbolises the oldest tradition of the fighting services, as the ship goes into action. Behind him is the nautical compass as a reminder of the Navy’s service in all seas. Above, on the upper fore superstructures of the ship, are an Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun, and fixed searchlights from which beams of light are crossed with beams coming onto the ship. Smoke belches from the funnel as she steams towards the foe.

The Air Force: In the remaining walls of a cathedral, the flying officer stands and surveys the destruction of beauty and human ideals. He is inspired to defend his tradition. The sculptured “wyvern” grins down sardonically on man’s stupidity, and on the perverted ingenuity by which he can destroy in a few moments what has taken centuries to build. The idea is sustained symbolically in the decapitated saint and mutilated hand and book, and, from above, the rain of missiles. In but two generations this youngest of the services has built up its wonderful tradition of prowess and the noble one of chivalry.

The Women’s Services: This figure is clothed in blouse and skirt, this part of the uniform being the same in all the women’s services. The different branches of the services are symbolised by their own badges in the lower right hand part of the design. The figure has stepped forward from an opened doorway, from which bursts a halo of winged light. She remembers the many sacrifices and disasters suffered by her sisters; one of which is symbolised above by the engulfing waves of the sea into which sinks the “sea-centaur”, symbol of that war tragedy in which the hospital ship Centaur was sunk and all but one of her nurses lost their lives. The suggestion of missiles falling from above is a reminder that so often the service woman too was a victim of gunfire and the wrack of bombs.

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There’s a bunch of good photographers around at the moment, but one that is consistently nailing it is Chris Cooper from Melbourne. He’s got a great eye for not just the cars, but people as well. His work has been featured in magazines like Fuel, Street Machine, Cruzin, Gasoline, 2020BMX, Fly Wheels, FocalPointBMX. We caught up with him for a chat about what goes on behind the lens.

Chris thanks for your time. Your photos do a great job of capturing the atmosphere of our rod and custom culture. What inspired you to get into photography?

Thanks, man. During high school, I rode BMX almost everyday, and when photography came up as an elective, I jumped at it. After I burned my first roll of Illford, the bug latched on. It was another way to express myself off of my bike. A way to document my buddies riding. A creative outlet with no limitations.

Most Monday mornings my friends would be bugging me “have you printed the photos yet?” and at lunch, we’d sit around looking at a bunch of wet prints wrapped up in paper towel. Sharing the photographs with a bunch of close friends was always an amazing feeling. And today, that is stronger than ever.

I rode and photographed the scene I was a part of. It wasn’t until the first Fuel Magazine launch party at Rancho Deluxe in Collingwood and the 2010 Chopped that a new chapter of my life started.

My hobbies may have fluctuated over the years, but my belief in why I need to take photographs still remains. I am documenting my life and the people who are a part of it. A time in their lives and mine. I want to leave a legacy of photographs on this earth. Everyone is a photographer nowadays, however, these are my photographs, of my friends. I want them to be able to look back in 10-20 years from now and think, “fuck, we had some bitchin times”.

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I really love your candid shots from the shows you attend. Lots of people can take good photos of cars, but only a few really excel with this kind of work. What interests you about this angle with your work?

Photojournalism has been a huge influence on my work for a very long time. Its truth, a part of history. An event isn’t just about the cars and bikes; it’s also about the people. Who attends these shows? What happens at these events? Who are the builders and owners? A photojournalist captures and creates a story from a certain event in a series of photographs. That’s my objective every time I head out with my camera.

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Have you got any tips for the aspiring photographers out there?

Stop “branding” yourself and get out there and shoot. Don’t limit yourself, be open minded to what you find interesting. Email photographers you look up to. Never be satisfied or content with the knowledge you have. Shoot, shoot, shoot.

Don’t merchandise something you’re passionate about. Cups, calendars, clothing whatever other cheesy shit is out there…..Put all that time, energy and money into pushing your knowledge, skill and finding your style. The only way you’re going to improve and eventually be noticed as a photographer is to build a body of work. A body of GOOD work. Build a blog/website, don’t rely on Facebook. Update that sucker daily/weekly and only upload your best work. Be brutal with your editing.

Anyone can pick up a camera and claim to be a photographer. But not everyone has that certain eye for timing, great composition and has the passion.

Shoot for yourself. Stop pushing people to like your work. If you put out quality work, people will respond to it, and if they don’t, who cares? You’re taking photographs because there is a passion inside you. And lastly, print out your work for yourself. A photograph isn’t finished until it’s printed.

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One for the photography nerds who’ll want to know, what do you usually shoot with?

My over the shoulder camera is a 5yr old Canon 5dMkii with an even older Canon 50mm1.4. When I need to, I’ll hire out the Canon 35mmf1.4 and the 50mmf1.2. These paired up to my own Canon 135mmf2 and it’s a pretty boss kit. Perfect for how I shoot. Film wise my Leica M2 with Voigtlander 35 F1.4 is the Holy Grail.

Recently you went to Japan and checked out the Mooneyes show over there, how was that?

I am still speechless about that show and I honestly can’t describe it in a few short words. It was mind blowing and such an eye opener. The amount of people that attend the one-day show was surreal. Having the hang over from hell didn’t really help but packed in like sardines is no word of a lie. The most memorable part of the show was the attention to detail the builders put into their creations and their displays just for the one day. I couldn’t fathom the amount of work they put in. It’s a show you truly have to see in person to really understand and respect.

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So how does the Japanese scene compare to Australia?

They were extremely welcoming, but that is the natural nature of the Japanese. Very accommodating. Chris Thorogood and I did experience the owners of numerous cars dimming their headlights when they noticed we were taking photos. Both of us have never experienced that here. As two countries, they are two very different worlds. My advice is to check it out for yourself. Go without any pre-expectations and take it all in. It’ll make you look at our country and way of life in a whole new light.

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On the home front, have you got any interesting rides on the road or in the build?

My on going project at the moment is a 53 Belair hardtop that I imported 3 yrs ago. It’s been through a rough patch, but insurance is a godsend. I’m currently repairing a bunch of rust with the help of Benny Mickle at Barebones Customs and eventually some subtle changes with the help of Ahron Jefferee at Rolling Art Body Works.

It will always be a driver, never a show car. I haven’t welded since high school and I wouldn’t know the first thing about panel work and mechanically, I can just get by. With that said, its so rad to be able to go out to the shed and start tinkering with bits and pieces after spending a few solid hours processing photographs.

Just like photography, it’s yet another way to express yourself creatively. A new avenue to gain knowledge and life experience. I am surrounded by some very amazing people with skills to match, that are more than willing to teach me a thing or two, and I am truly grateful for that.

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One thing we’ve noticed is that you’re into BMX, as are a lot of the other younger guys getting into traditional rodding, bikes, and kustom kulture in general. What are your thoughts in terms of why this trend is happening?

When I was riding I could show up to a skate park by myself, and within minutes be exchanging life stories with a fellow rider. I think that camaraderie can be very strong within the traditional car and bike scene, which is a massive attraction to riders and skaters.  You have something very specific in common.

Sure, there will always be a dick in the crowd, but for the most part, you quite often find people that you can still call your friend 10 years later.

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We also understand you’ve got some cool art in your pad. What artists are you into?

Man this is hard…there are simply too many people to mention, but here are a select few off of the top of my head: Keith Weesner, Ryan Ford, Chris “coop” Cooper, Jacob Bannon, James Natchwey, Chris Thorogood, Scott Pommier, Craig Nye, Jacob Rapauch, Marc “lowech” Woltinger, Ricky Adam.

Speaking of art, where can people check out your work? And how can someone get a print from you?

I am more than happy to print any of my photographs that you see on my blog/website. Send me an email crcooper84@gmail.com for some prices.

Website: https://crcooperphotography.wordpress.com
Instagram: Crcooperphoto

Chris thanks again for your time!

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Traditional sign writing is a beautiful art. The imperfections are what make it unique and gives it soul, kind of like an old car. In a world where the focus so often is a quick turn around and maximising profits, something needs to be said for artwork done by hand. Is it worth the extra money? Give me two identical cafes but one has a beautiful hand painted shop front, well that’s the one I’m picking.  It might seem superficial, but it suggests that business has an eye for quality and detail.

Here are some neat short docos looking at traditional sign writing and the artists that create it.

 

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I’m pretty freaking excited to share these amazing pictures with you. I mean it’s not often you get the chance to do a photo shoot with your gorgeous fiance, a biplane, a bunch of cool vintage items, all shot by a fantastic photographer.

This story actually started a few years back when I met a girl on a forum. We talked online for a few months, and even though we lived interstate, I was pretty smitten. A friend was having a luau in Brisbane, and that was just the excuse I needed to fly up and meet this girl. Well it went pretty well, and for the next two years we did the long distance relationship thing. Our trips were coordinated around rockabilly gigs and hot rod shows in our respective states. Not to mention going for drives, hitting vintage stores, riding our cruiser bikes and just being dorks with each other. When she finished her degree, she made the gutsy call to move away from her family to Sydney. Needless to say it’s worked out great, and another couple of years down the track we’re engaged.

Our wedding photographer is the talented Jonathan from Jonathan David Photography. As part of his standard package he includes an ‘engagement shoot’. Basically it’s a chance for him to get to know us, and us to get to know him. This way on the wedding day we’re feeling relaxed and comfortable, which means less stress and better photos. As you can see the quality of his work speaks for itself.

For our shoot we wanted something that reflected our love of dusty and rusty old stuff, but also the many hours we spent travelling over those two years of long distance relationship. We were incredibly lucky to find Roy and Primrose Fox, and their B & B ‘The Missions 1937‘. Located at Wisemans Ferry, it’s a luxurious B & B and we highly recommend a stay. Their hospitality was fantastic, not to mention Prim’s cooking! And they were more than accommodating for us to do our shoot with their plane. The plane in question by the way is a DH 82a Tiger Moth, which was used extensively as a pilot trainer. All of the props we bought at various swap meets and vintage stores.

A massive thank you to Roy and Prim, Jono and Britt, and Jen for all your help in making these amazing shots happen. You guys are all awesome!

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