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Finch Restorations is a one-stop-shop for car restoration with over 55 years experience in many marques, for all states of Australia and internationally.
2011 Porsche 911 (991) Engine Coffee Table
2011 Porsche 911 (991) Engine Coffee Table

Porsche 911 Engine Coffee Table à la 'Top Gear'

The Brief

Clients in Sydney commissioned Finch Restorations to manufacture a 'Top Gear' coffee table incorporating the dramatic aesthetics of a 2011 Porsche 911 (991) engine and PDK transmission. The Porsche 991 was the seventh generation of the Porsche 911 sports car which was produced between 2011 and 2019.

Effort to produce the table included:

  • Engine and transmission (external) repairs due to crash damage.
  • Cosmetic refurbishment of the engine and transmission
  • Design of the table-top support system.
  • Fabrication and spray painting of the table-top support system. 
  • Procurement of various specialist furniture hardware
  • Assembly of the table top and supports on the engine and transmission.
  • Transport to New South Wales.

The Photo Shoot

Paraphrased from Andy Rasheed's Perspective  eyefood photography

Growing up in a mechanically inclined family, with a father who was both a mechanic and a panel-beater, I've always been drawn to cars. This interest, which started with customizing bicycles in my youth, has stayed with me, manifesting in a hobby of consuming automotive content.

My photography career has occasionally intersected with automotive subjects, but it wasn't until Finch Restorations approached me for a unique project that my passion found a new avenue. They tasked me with capturing their latest creation, a coffee table based on a Porsche 911 (991) engine, marking the start of a fruitful collaboration.

This particular project was the most technically challenging I've undertaken. The aim was to create a sophisticated advertisement-style image under less-than-ideal conditions. We had a narrow time frame to capture the coffee table before its dispatch to Sydney, and the weighty nature of the piece meant shooting it on-site at Finch's Mt Barker workshop. The complexity of photographing glass, a key component of the table, and the necessity to shoot the background separately at their Woodside mechanical workshop added to the challenge.

I employed a methodical approach, capturing different sections of the table using studio flash to control the lighting, and utilized black and white paper backgrounds to achieve clean reflections. The editing process involved merging these segments to create a smooth and transparent gradient on the table's surface.

For the background, I constructed a life-size cardboard model of the table to replicate the setting at Woodside. This setup helped in aligning the background perfectly with the earlier shots of the table. The scene was staged to convey the essence of an automotive enthusiast's space, complete with cars, plants, and furniture, ensuring the lighting on each element matched that of the table.

The final composition was a meticulous blend of over thirty individual photographs, requiring two full days of post-production to achieve a seamless and realistic image.

This initial project has since led to the establishment of Finch Studio, a dedicated space within Finch Restorations for automotive photography. Here, I've had the opportunity to photograph a variety of restored vehicles, including cars, trucks, and motorbikes. Finch Studio also offers private collectors the chance to have their vehicles photographed in their chosen style, and serves as my base for automotive advertising projects.

Reflecting on this project, I take immense pride in the outcome. The process of capturing each component was challenging enough, but integrating them into a believable final image required meticulous planning and extensive post-production finesse.

Finch Restorations - Over 55 years in the Fine Art of Automobiles

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