The Exposure Triangle: The Fundamental Elements of Exposure

The Exposure Triangle: aperture, shutter speed and ISO

When I started in the photography world, words like Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO were foreign to me, and it took me a couple of weeks to take pictures in full manual mode after read a photography book and look in Internet to obtain more information. You might be feeling a little confused, and you may even feel like you will never get your camera out of Auto mode, because it’s just too hard to understand. But I’m sure after read this post you will start to try by yourself in manual mode and experiment the different possibilities.

What is Exposure in Photography?

In the simplest of terms, exposure for photographers refers to how an image is recorded by camera sensor and how much light is captured. Basically, it determines what the image you capture will look like.

Understanding the Exposure Triangle

ISO, Aperture and Shutter are known as the “exposure triangle”. If you know how to control or adjust these elements on your camera, taking well exposed photos will not be a problem for you. Take your time to know your camera and find each adjustment. The most important thing before all, it’s to know your controls and how to change them to have a correct exposure.

Copyright https://www.exposureguide.com/exposure/

Copyright https://www.exposureguide.com/exposure/

With the experience, you will be able to make the correct adjustment faster and faster. Finally, it has to be by intuition, as a athlete in any sport.

The three elements are:

  1. ISO – the measure of a digital camera sensor’s sensitivity to light

  2. Aperture – the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken

  3. Shutter Speed – the amount of time that the shutter is open

It is at the intersection of these three elements that an image’s exposure is worked out.

Most importantly – a change in one of the elements will impact the others. This means that you can never really isolate just one of the elements alone but always need to have the others in the back of your mind.

Side 1: Aperture

Aperture. Aperture controls the brightness of the image that passes through the lens and falls on the image sensor. It is expressed as an f-number (written as “f/” followed by a number), such as f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, /f4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, or f/32.

A wider aperture (or lower f-number) means more light will be let in by the lens, simply because the opening is larger. A narrower aperture (or higher f-number) allows less light to reach the sensor.

  • SMALL numbers (like f/1.8) = wide open aperture (large opening).

  • BIG numbers (like f/22) = small aperture (teeny opening).

Another thing that can be affected by aperture is depth of field, or how much of your picture is in sharp focus. A wide open aperture (small number) will make less in focus, and a closed down aperture (big number) will make more in focus.

Copyright https://www.better-digital-photo-tips.com/deep-depth-of-field.html

Copyright https://www.better-digital-photo-tips.com/deep-depth-of-field.html

Try to use Aperture Mode in your camera to see the difference between wide and small apertures.

Side 2: Shutter Speed

In photography, shutter speed or exposure time is the length of time when the film or digital sensor inside the camera is exposed to light, also when a camera's shutter is open when taking a photograph. The amount of light that reaches the film or image sensor is proportional to the exposure time. 1⁄500 of a second will let half as much light in as 1⁄250.

If you have a wide open aperture, your shutter speed will need to be faster, because you’re already letting a lot of light in the lens opening. If your aperture is small, your shutter will need to move slower, so there is more time for light to get to the sensor.

If you want to freeze the action, or hand-hold your camera, then a faster shutter speed is needed. If you want to create blur, then you need a slower shutter speed. 

Copyright https://lottiesimpkinsgcsephotography.weebly.com/shutter-speed.html

Copyright https://lottiesimpkinsgcsephotography.weebly.com/shutter-speed.html

You can try your Shutter Priority Mode to obtain different results. Long exposure is amazing when you take pictures by night but remember to use a tripod to have more stabilized shots. As you play with these different priority modes, notice what the camera chooses for the rest of your settings. The more you pay attention to these things, the more knowledge you’ll have to be able to set everything yourself in the future.

Side 3: ISO

ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The same principles apply as in film photography – the lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light and the finer the grain. ...

Copyright http://stylenoviceblog.blogspot.com/2015/07/dslr-basics-aperture-shutter-speed-and.html

Copyright http://stylenoviceblog.blogspot.com/2015/07/dslr-basics-aperture-shutter-speed-and.html

By choosing a higher ISO you can use a faster shutter speed to freeze the movement. But take care about this, higher ISO means higher grain on your pictures.

Copyright https://www.exposureguide.com/exposure/

Copyright https://www.exposureguide.com/exposure/

In low light conditions, you should increase your ISO to obtain a correct exposure.

Side 4: EVs and Stops

Almost all digital cameras have an Exposure Value (EV) Compensation setting. This setting is needed because the camera can sometimes make incorrect assumptions about the lighting of a photo. Changing the EV will make sure your photos are always correctly exposed.

In photography, a "stop" is a widely misunderstood concept, feared by many because it sounds so complicated. However, it's actually very simple:

A stop is a doubling or halving of the amount of light let in when taking a photo.

For example, if you hear a photographer say he's going to increase his exposure by 1 stop, he simply means he's going to capture twice as much light as on the previous shot to obtain the correct EV.

This amount of light captured while taking a photo is known as the exposure value as said previously, and it's affected by the exposure triangle - the shutter speed, the aperture diameter, and the ISO. These are all measured using different units, so the concept of "stops" was invented as a convenient way to compare them.

Forward, perhaps I will repeat some concepts but if you understand what they are the stops and how the 3 variables can affects your pictures, you will understand the exposure triangle and how to use it at any moment.

STOPS AND SHUTTER SPEED

Shutter speed measures how long your camera's shutter is left open during a shot. The longer it's open, the more light it lets in, and the greater your total exposure will be. Doubling or halving your shutter speed produces an increase or decrease of 1 stop of exposure.

Common shutter speed stops.

Common shutter speed stops.

For example, changing from 1/100 of a second to 1/200 lets in half as much light, so we can say we've decreased the exposure by 1 stop. Similarly, going from 1/60 to 1/30 lets in twice as much light, giving a 1 stop increase in exposure.

Most cameras allow you to adjust shutter speeds in increments of 1/3 of a stop, so 3 turns of the dial either way will adjust your exposure by 1 stop.

STOPS AND ISO SPEED

ISO speed describes how sensitive your camera's sensor is to the light that hits it. A more sensitive sensor will produce the same overall exposure from less light, meaning that you can use a narrower aperture or faster shutter speed in the same conditions.

Common ISO speed stops.

Common ISO speed stops.

ISO is measured using values that correspond to the ASA scale for film, with a higher ISO number relating to a more sensitive sensor. As with shutter speed, doubling the ISO number gives an increase of 1 stop, while halving gives it a decrease of 1 stop.

For example, switching from ISO 100 to ISO 200 doubles the sensor's sensitivity, producing a 1 stop increase. Moving from ISO 800 to ISO 400 is a 1 stop decrease. Most cameras let you change ISO speed in increments of 1 stop.

STOPS AND APERTURE DIAMETER

Aperture is measured using the "f-number", sometimes called the "f-stop", which describes the diameter of the aperture. A lower f-number relates to a wider aperture (one that lets in more light), while a higher f-number means a narrower aperture (less light).

Common aperture stops.

Common aperture stops.

Because of the way f-numbers are calculated, a stop doesn't relate to a doubling or halving of the value, but to a multiplying or dividing by 1.41 (the square root of 2). For example, going from f/2.8 to f/4 is a decrease of 1 stop because 4 = 2.8 * 1.41. Changing from f/16 to f/11 is an increase of 1 stop because 11 = 16 / 1.41.

As with shutter speed, most cameras let you control your aperture in 1/3 stop increments.

STOPS ARE INTERCHANGEABLE

The great thing about stops is that they give us a way to directly compare shutter speed, aperture diameter, and ISO speed. This means that we can easily swap these three components about while keeping the overall exposure the same.

Let's say you're shooting a scene using a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second, an aperture of f/8, and an ISO of 200. You find that while the scene is well exposed, your subject is turning out a bit blurry, so you decide to increase the shutter speed to 1/120 of a second.

This change of 1 stop will result in the next photo coming out dark, because you're now letting in half the total light as before. In order to correct this, you need to reclaim that 1 stop reduction from somewhere else. Now that we have a way of comparing settings, this is simple.

You could open the aperture wider to let in more light - moving from f/8 to f/5.6 is an increase of 1 stop, so we've got back to our original exposure. Alternatively you could double the ISO speed from 200 to 400, again resulting in a 1 stop increase.

As you can see, stops are a really easy way of adjusting our camera's settings while making sure we don't ruin the photo's overall exposure.

Conclusion: CONSIDERATIONS WHEN ADJUSTING EXPOSURE

When adjusting the three components of exposure you should be aware that each one affects your photos in other ways, which may not always be desirable:

Shutter speed - If your shutter speed is too slow your photo may blur, either from movement of the camera or movement of the subject.

Aperture - A wide aperture produces a narrow depth of field, so if you make it too wide you may have trouble keeping everything in focus. On the other hand, a narrow depth of field can help to isolate the subject, and is often something that you want; if so, you need to avoid using a narrow aperture.

ISO speed - The more you increase your camera's ISO, the more digital noise your photos will exhibit. This can make your image look grainy and reduce its sharpness.

As with everything in photography, adjusting these three settings is a balancing act. You need to decide what effects you want in your shot and choose settings that will produce them while minimising the potential downsides. Exposure stops are a really useful tool for doing this, helping you swap settings around with ease and giving you more control over your scene.

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15 Basic Photography Composition Rules: improve your photos!

Before you just step up and take a picture you should consider what you want your viewers to look at and how you should display main points of interest.

There are no fixed rules in photography, but there are guidelines which can often help you to enhance the impact of your photos.

In this tutorial, I’ve listed 15 of these guidelines with examples of each. I’ve started with the most basic ones and finished with some of the more innovating composition techniques.

Before all, I need to define the word “composition”. It refers to the way the various elements in a scene are arranged within a frame. They aren’t rules for this but guidelines as I’ve mentioned already. But we need to remember that they’ve been used in art for thousands of years and they really help us to obtain more attractive results. I always keep in mind some guidelines when I’m shooting as an instinct thinking.

#1. Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is very simple. You divide the frame into 9 equal rectangles, 3 across and 3 down as illustrated below.

I wrote about this basic rule in my previous post. you can follow this link for more deep information:

https://www.migueldasilva.net/blog/rule-of-thirds-start-taking-superb-photographies

#2. Balacing elements

Placing your main subject off-centre, as with the rule of thirds, creates a more interesting photo, but it can leave a void in the scene which can make it feel empty. You can achieve a balanced composition and even out the main subject's "visual weight" by including another object of lesser importance to fill the space.

Copyright Jason Row

Copyright Jason Row

#3. Centred Composition and Symmetry

After the first and second guideline where I’ve told you not to place the main subject in the centre of the frame, I’m going to tell you to do the exact opposite! There are times when placing a subject in the centre of the frame works really well. Symmetrical scenes are perfect for a centred composition.

#4. Fill The Frame / Cropping

Sometimes, leaving too much empty space within a photo can make your main character appear smaller than you’d like. Of course, this can come in handy if you’re trying to capture how small your little one is next to a particular person or thing. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to zoom in close on your subject or “fill the frame.”

#5. Frame Within the Frame

Framing is the tactic of using natural surroundings to add more meaning to your subject.  It could be anything such as bushes, trees, a window, or even a doorway like in the picture at the top of this page.  In the process of doing this you need to be careful that you don’t only focus on what’s framing your subject.  Make sure you focus on the main subject, and also it is a good idea to use a narrow aperture (high f/stop) to achieve a high depth-of-field.  It also wouldn’t hurt if the part of the picture framing the subject was darker so make sure you take your light reading on the main subject.

#6.  Leading Lines

Leading lines help lead the viewer through the image and focus attention on important elements.

When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place these leading lines in your composition, you can affect the way we view the image, pulling us into the picture, towards the subject, or on a journey "through" the scene.

There are many different types of line - straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, radial etc - and each can be used to enhance our photo's composition. Anything from paths, walls or patterns can be used as leading lines.

Take a look at the examples below.

#7. Simplicity

Simplicity is the method of keeping the information in a photograph relatively simple.  If your main subject is close, then your background should be very simple to avoid distractions.  You should try to keep everything not important much less interesting than what’s important in the frame.  Especially avoid lines or objects that lead the eye away from the subject.

#8. Change your Point of View

Before photographing your subject, take time to think about where you will shoot it from. Our viewpoint has a massive impact on the composition of our photo, and as a result it can greatly affect the message that the shot conveys. Rather than just shooting from eye level, consider photographing from high above, down at ground level, from the side, from the back, from a long way away, from very close up, and so on.

#9. DEPTH

Having fore-, middle- and background detail will add depth to your image as well as draw the eye through the picture. Compositional elements that compliment each other, for example with colour or by association, work well but do be careful with the size of objects you use and how you place them as you don't want the shot to be thrown off balance. You don't want a rock in the foreground of your landscape shot, for example, drawing the eye away from the hills and mountains in the background. Adding water to the foreground can also lighten your shot as well as adding an extra element of interest as it reflects the sky back out.

#10. Colors Combination

Choosing colors and color combinations for photography requires planning if not effort. Use of color in photography is an Art as old as photography itself but most of us don’t realize the importance of co-ordination and planning. In this guide, we will consider some tips to get the best color combinations when posing for photos. But first: we will consider the best color combinations for decorative landscape photos especially from the point of view of wall art and interior design.

As you can see in the portrait below, the green color of the dress meets perfectly with the tulips by intermediate colors.

#11. Foreground Interest and Depth

Including some foreground interest in a scene is a great way of adding a sense of depth to the scene. Photographs are 2D by nature. Including foreground interest in the frame is one of a number of techniques to give the scene a more 3D feel.

#12. BACKGROUND

How many times have you taken what you thought would be a great shot, only to find that the final image lacks impact because the subject blends into a busy background? The human eye is excellent at distinguishing between different elements in a scene, whereas a camera has a tendency to flatten the foreground and background, and this can often ruin an otherwise great photo. Thankfully this problem is usually easy to overcome at the time of shooting - look around for a plain and unobtrusive background and compose your shot so that it doesn't distract or detract from the subject.

#13. Patterns, Textures and symmetry

Texture can add a significant amount of interest in any picture.  When people see texture in pictures they start imagining what it feels like to touch what’s in the picture.  Texture is a good idea when your taking pictures of rocks, walls, surfaces, someone’s hands, or leaves.  In order to make a picture reveal a texture you must make sure the light is coming almost exactly from the side of the surface so it creates shadows in places key places.

Human beings are naturally attracted to patterns. They are visually attractive and suggest harmony. Patterns can be man made like a series of arches or natural like the petals on a flower. Incorporating patterns into your photographs is always a good way to create a pleasing composition. Less regular textures can also be very pleasing on the eye.

We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made. They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situations where they are not expected. Another great way to use them is to break the symmetry or pattern in some way, introducing tension and a focal point to the scene.

#14. Diagonals and Triangles

It is often said that triangles and diagonals add ‘dynamic tension’ to a photo. What do we mean by ‘dynamic tension’ though? Look at it this way, horizontal lines and vertical lines suggest stability. If you see a person standing on a level horizontal surface, he will appear to be pretty stable. Put this man on a sloping surface and he’ll seem less stable. This creates a certain level of tension visually. We are not so used to diagonals in our every day life. They subconsciously suggest instability. Incorporating triangles and diagonals into our photos can help create this sense of ‘dynamic tension’.

Incorporating triangles into a scene is a particularly good effective way of introducing dynamic tension. Triangles can be actual triangle-shaped objects or implied triangles.

#15. EXPERIMENTATION

It exists so many different composition guidelines or rules in art and photography that it only depends on you to search, follow them or simply try and experiment by yourself.

With the dawn of the digital age in photography we no longer have to worry about film processing costs or running out of shots. As a result, experimenting with our photos' composition has become a real possibility; we can fire off tons of shots and delete the unwanted ones later at absolutely no extra cost. Take advantage of this fact and experiment with your composition - you never know whether an idea will work until you try it.

Rule of Thirds: start taking superb photographies

Rule of Thirds: Composition Photography

The rule of thirds is an essential photography technique. It can be applied to any subject to improve the composition and balance your images.

This technique is a basic rule for artists, not only for photographers. This Rule of Thirds is perhaps the most well-known ‘rule’ of photographic composition.

It's an important concept to learn as it can be used in all types of photography to produce images which are more engaging and better balanced. If you take an introduction to photography class, more than likely, one of the very first things you will learn is the “Rule of Thirds”. Even if you haven’t taken a photography class, you have still probably heard this term.

What is the Rule of Thirds?

The rule of thirds involves mentally dividing up your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines, as shown below. You then position the important elements in your scene along those lines, or at the points where they meet.

Rule of thirds

Rule of thirds

As you’re taking an image you would have done this in your mind through your viewfinder or in the LCD display that you use to frame your shot.

With this grid in mind the ‘rule of thirds’ now identifies four important parts of the image that you should consider placing points of interest in as you frame your image.

Not only this – but it also gives you four ‘lines’ that are also useful positions for elements in your photo.

When taking your photo, you will want to ask yourself:

  • What are the most important elements of my photo?

  • Where should I should I place them within my photo?

Realize that your subject doesn't have to be exactly on the hot-spot, just near to it. You may have to movearound when shooting to make this happen and get best composition.

The Rule of Thirds states that a photograph has the greatest impact and ability to capture a viewer’s attention when your image subject and important foreground and background elements are placed in the composition near the junction of these lines. Horizons are best placed along one of the two horizontal lines, rather than in the center of a photo. Vertically oriented subjects, like people standing, are best placed along one of the vertical lines, with the person’s back closest to the edge of the photo, leaving room ahead of them in the direction they’re facing.

Rule of Thirds in Landscape Photography

New landscape photographers often mistakenly place the horizon right in the middle of the photo.  This tends to give the feeling of the image being split in two - which is not generally pleasing to the eye.

Knowing the rule of thirds is very helpful here, as placing the horizon on one of the horizontal lines will naturally balance the image and allow you to highlight the area of the photo that you want.

For example, you should place the horizon on the bottom line if you’re trying to highlight a beautiful sky or sunset. Alternatively, if want the focus to be on the land, you would place the horizon on the top line.

Rule of Thirds and Directional Movement

When you’re photographing a moving subject pay particular attention to the direction they are traveling.  You will want to place them near the hot spot or line on the opposite side from where they are going.

For example, if your subject is a jogger who is running from right to left, make sure place them on the right vertical line or hotspot.  This will give the appearance your subject moving forward and also show where they are headed.

Rule of Thirds and Where Your Subject is Looking

If your subject is looking in a particular direction, make sure to place them on the opposite side from were they are looking. This will leave empty space ahead of them and prevent the appearance that they are looking off into nothingness.

For example, if your subject is looking to the left, place them on the right vertical line.  This will provide more natural balance and allow the viewer to understand what they are looking at.

If you find that there are no determining factors on which side is better for placement, choose the right.  Because we read from left to right, our eyes will naturally focus more strongly on the right side.

BREAKING THE RULE

The Rule of Thirds is not an infallible law, but it is a good point of reference to keep in mind, just as artists have done for hundreds of years. Excellent photos can certainly be taken with your subject or horizon centered in the middle of the frame, but generally you’ll find that the Rule of Thirds really does improve the composition and balance of a photograph.

However, learn to use the rule of thirds effectively before you try to break it - that way you can be sure you're doing so in order to get a better composition, rather than just for the sake of it.

A few examples of when breaking the rule of thirds can make for a better photograph include:

  1. Highlighting the symmetry of a subject or location by centering the photo.

  2. Making a subject appear larger and more intimidating by placing them in the center of the photo.

  3. If you want to draw the eyes inward - perhaps a photo of a narrow pathway that you want your viewer to focus on.

  4. The subject is nicely framed and centering makes for a stronger photo.


EXTRA TIP

You can easily apply the rule of thirds to existing photos by cropping them. This allows you to reposition the important subjects in your image, moving them into more pleasing positions.

If you don’t get your perfect positioning in camera (and who does), you can use Lightroom and Photoshop, they includw a rule of thirds overlay to help guide you.

Ferrari 458 Italia & Ferrari 488 GTB

Italian Event Circuit Zandvoort 2017

Italian Event Circuit Zandvoort 2017

Italian Event Circuit Zandvoort 2017

I was invited to this event in Netherlands in 2017 and It was also my first time in this circuit. But I didn't realize how my passion it has this country for motorsports. People loves and takes care so much about their beauties that it's easy to feel it. After some hours expended around the circuit I could take some great pictures about rare and precious Italian cars. A long list can be done: Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maseratti, Vespa, Ducati... But also, you can see , smell and hear the italian passion, culture and habits. This was a great day with great pictures and nice vibes. Finally, after all the cars I could take on picture, I wanted to make a blog about these reasons: Ferrari 458 Italia & Ferrari 488 GTB. For 2 reasons, the quality of pictures and because I loved to shoot those cars. The lines and curves are perfect for my point of view as photographer. I really enjoyed to see and shoot them in a few minutes.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia, the latest V8 Ferrari, the licence to move into more serious territory. There is nothing remotely junior about 562bhp or a top speed in excess of 200mph.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Any observations about the Ferrari 458 Italia’s styling are, of course, entirely subjective but, in our office, the consensus is that it marks a return to sensational-looking Ferraris.

With a flat undertray, but without any obvious aero aids, the 458 generates more downforce than the F430 (360kg flat out) and yet it is also more aerodynamic.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Finally, there is a touch of Enzo in the 458’s overall design, particularly in the shape and position of the rear lights (although the Enzo had twin units). Vents below the rear lights are for radiators to cool the gearbox and clutch.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari's 458 has extensively restyled, given a turbocharged V8 with more power and loads more torque and a new name. Meet the Ferrari 488 GTB, the Ferrari that makes a 458 Italia look slow...

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

 

While the looks of the 2015 Ferrari 488 are not entirely different, it's actually an almost entirely new car, with 85 percent of its parts changed from the 458, and the roof the only external panel retained. The engine has shrunk slightly in size but grown vastly in power and new aero innovations, combined with some superior software, are claimed to make it handle better than ever. It is overwhelmingly, however, a Ferrari built for speed.

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

It's the kind of performance that mounts a serious case for turbocharging (although Ferrari admits that engine response time at 2000rpm is now 0.8 seconds, at 2000rpm, compared to 0.7 in  a 458, but still well-ahead of “our turbo competitors − McLaren, Porsche etc”, which it says are closer to 2.0 seconds).

 

But is it a sound argument? Well, no, because despite the engineers repeatedly promising us that  they’d tuned the car to deliver the “sharp and loud, unmistakable Ferrari sound,” it takes less than two minutes in the 488 to realise that the screaming, operatic exhaust-asm that has defined the brand − and the 458 in particular − is gone. 

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

Choosing between the two comes down to what you are looking for in your Ferrari road car. If you love the roar of a naturally aspirated Ferrari engine, you might want to explore the 458 Italia. If speed is your true desire, the Ferrari 488 GTB will delight. Which will you choose?

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

And Suddenly, when I was going home, in the last moment:

Ferrari 488 GTB Safety Car

Ferrari 488 GTB Safety Car

Car comparison test of Ferrari F430 vs Ferrari 458 italia vs Ferrari 488 GTB compare Ferrari F430 vs Ferrari 458 italia vs Ferrari 488 GTB sounds, revs, acceleration 0-300km/h, power, sprint and exhaust sound. Send me your car videos here: slizo3310@gmail.com We do NOT own the video materials and all credits belong to respectful owners.

Nissan 350Z

I was a owner of one Nissan 350Z some years ago, a red unit. Pretty rare in europe, the color isn't very common I can say after visit some Z meetings around Spain or France. Firstly, I want to advise that I can't be objective in this review as this car was and is my favourite daily car.

Nissan 350Z 2005

Nissan 350Z 2005

The Nissan 350Z recaptures elements of the original Datsun 240Z. It's fast, it's fun, it's pure sports car. And, like the original Z, it's affordable, or at least attainable. 

In 2005 Nissan commemorates 35 years of Z production with a special anniversary edition coupe, and there's much more to the model than just the unique badge. A significant dose of performance has also been added, including a bump in engine output to 300 horsepower, big Brembo brakes, 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and improved aerodynamics. There's also a new, very special high-chrome pearl Ultra Yellow pigment on the colour chart. 

The coupe, introduced as an all-new model for 2003, and the convertible, which debuted last year, get important upgrades, new features and revised transmissions. All 350Zs share the same sports suspension and Nissan's superb V6 engine, which punches out 287 horsepower and strong torque. Both models come standard with racy hardware: a six-speed manual gearbox, carbon-fiber driveshaft, drive-by-wire throttle, anti-lock discs vented front and rear with electronic brake-force distribution. Add the convenience features that come standard, such as automatic temperature control and a premium stereo, and the price of the Nissan 350Z is compelling. 

Nissan 350Z left side car

Nissan 350Z left side car

Coupe or roadster, the 350Z delivers racecar handling, rear-wheel drive, and thrilling acceleration performance. The suspension keeps the tires glued to the road through fast chicanes. Bounce over the curbs on a road racing circuit and the Z will hold its line. Styling details like the controversial industrial-design door handles ensure this car will never be called bland. 

Nissan says the 350Z was designed to be a sports car an enthusiast can live with every day. While its firm ride, abrupt throttle response, and awkward cup holders don't make it a great place to drink coffee, eat doughnuts, and make phone calls on the way to work, it is a comfortable car with usable cargo space, and getting in and out isn't impossibly awkward. Order a version with the excellent five-speed automatic, and you'll have a better commuter for the daily stop-and-go. But,..., we all know what we are searching with this kind of car.

Bottom line: The Nissan 350Z is no poser. It's a real sports car with serious GT performance. 

The 350Z looks aggressive with its bulging front fenders and fast back. The shape of the Z suggests a mid-engine design. The engine is in fact in front of the driver, but it's behind the front axle. That's why Nissan calls it a front mid-ship placement (somewhat similar to the Mazda RX-8 design). 

The Z shares its under-body architecture with the Infiniti G35 coupe and sedan. Moving the engine rearward evens out weight distribution, which improves handling balance. The Z Roadster adds more than 80 kg to the hatchback's 1630 kg, but the weight front/rear weight split remains at 53/47 percent. It's balanced well for accelerating out of corners. 

An extremely short front overhang and a short rear overhang make for agile handling. It also means you don't scrape driveway transitions like you do in a Corvette. Bulging fender flares make the Z look like it's ready for the racetrack, which it is. 

The hatchback's shape helps the Z slice through the air with a minimum of drag (0.29 on the Track model). The Roadster's more traditional coupe outline isn't quite as slippery, attaining a drag coefficient of 0.34. (But what do you care when you've got the wind in your hair?) Underbody airflow is managed well, with zero lift on the front (and zero lift on the rear of the Track model). All this math adds up to relatively low levels of wind noise, even in the Roadster with the top up, and a stable sports car at high speeds. 

Nissan 350Z Roadster

Nissan 350Z Roadster

With the top down, conversation in the Roadster required only slightly raised voice levels; the stereo did, however, have to be cranked up a bit. 

Inside the 350Z is a cockpit designed for driving, helping the driver quickly become one with the car. The carbon-fiber colored cloth seats are form-fitting, supportive and comfortable, made of a soft material that grips the body in the corners. The driver's seat bottom features a mound in the center at the front to restrain the driver from sliding forward under deceleration. Aggressive side bolsters grip the waist to hold the driver in place. The leather seats in the Touring model feel a little firmer than the cloth, and are available in charcoal, burnt orange or frost. Either cloth or leather are good choices in this car. The supportive seats and a driver's dead pedal mean you never feel like you have to hang on. 

Nissan 350Z 2005 interior

Nissan 350Z 2005 interior

The seating position should be good for drivers with long legs, though the steering wheel felt a little close when the seat was adjusted for the legs of a six-footer. It's worth noting, however, that this feeling went away the moment the key was turned in the ignition. The Roadster boasts an inch more headroom than the hatchback, thanks to the articulation of the top's various mechanicals. 

Tilt the steering column and the main pod of gauges moves with it, ensuring a clear view of the instruments for drivers of all sizes. The instruments consist of a big tachometer and flanking speedometer, fuel and temperature gauges. Reminiscent of the original Z, nestled in three pods on top of the dash are a voltmeter, an oil pressure gauge and a digital trip computer. They look retro-cool, but reading them requires more than a glance. 

Two toggles to the right of the steering wheel operate the trip computer, used to check outside air temperature, distance to empty, speed, average mileage, and average speed. It has a stopwatch function (to check out those 0-60 times), and a tire-pressure monitor for 18-inch wheels. With the Trip Computer, the driver can program a shift light to come on at a certain rpm. The small red indicator on the tachometer begins flashing about 500 rpm before the preset engine speed is reached, whereupon it comes on solid. You can program it for the ideal shift points for acceleration or fuel economy, then let your peripheral vision pick up the indicator. We've seen race cars with this feature (though the red shift light is sometimes as big as a golf ball). If you don't like this feature you can turn it off. 

Nissan 350Z gauges

Nissan 350Z gauges

The interior of the Z seems to suggest a carbon-fiber race car tub. The material surrounding the shifter and forming the centre dash looks like carbon fiber. Likewise, the large expanse of grey material lining the door panels suggests carbon fiber in appearance. The quality of the materials is okay, though some of the pieces would never be allowed in an Audi. It looked austere at first, but grew on us. Stylish interior touches, such as the inside door handles integrated into aerodynamic pods for the side vents, give the Z a racy, modern look; with the AC at work on hot days, the handles chill to fit their frosty look. Passengers often grope for the door release the first time they try to get out, distracted by the big grab handles adorned with genuine aluminium and relieved by the Z's dot motif. 

Stylish audio controls include a big volume knob, clearly marked buttons for channel seeking, and six station buttons that can be preset simply by holding them down. Below the radio are three large knobs for the automatic climate control system, which comes standard. 

Nicely designed wiper and headlamp controls are mounted on short stalks. The leather-wrapped steering wheel looks and feels great, and comes with cruise controls. Overhead are well-designed map lights and a bin for sunglasses. Power window switches are auto-up/auto-down. Two power points are available, one in the center console, the other in the bulkhead between and behind the seats (but neither is conveniently located for radar detectors). 

The Z is not the best place to drink things.

Turning the key and hearing the engine roar to life is the first indication the Nissan 350Z is no poser. Turning onto a winding road proves this beyond a shadow of doubt. Sharp steering, terrific handling, and excellent grip make it a real driver's car. This car is very fast with brilliant acceleration. The Roadster's additional weight, a result of the platform strengthening to increase rigidity, no doubt adds a tick or two to the 0-60 measurement but isn't noticed in everyday driving. 

Nissan 350Z motor 3.5 V6

Nissan 350Z motor 3.5 V6

Mounted longitudinally and driving the rear wheels is Nissan's excellent VQ V6 engine. It's smooth and sounds like a big sports car engine. It generates lots of torque at low rpm, pulling smoothly from about 2000 rpm. Maximum torque of 274 pound-feet comes at 4800 rpm, tapering off as 287 horsepower is reached at 6200 rpm. The engine is still pulling smoothly as the rev limiter steps in somewhere just north of 6500 rpm, but this engine is more about low-rpm torque than high-revving horsepower. Nissan's Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System helps the V6 produce a nice, linear band of torque. Drive-by-wire technology reduces mechanical weight and complexity. 

The short-throw shifter feels good and it's effective. The six-speed gearbox shifts quickly and deliberately. It feels perfectly synchronised, making shifting easy and enjoyable. Clutch pedal effort has enough heft to remind the driver that this is a serious sports car. With the Roadster's top down, the exhaust tone is music to the driver's ears, rising and falling melodiously and crisply as the gears are worked through the turns on a twisty road. 

Nissan 350Z interior

Nissan 350Z interior

The automatic transmission works great, really smooth and responsive, and it didn't leave us feeling like we were missing out by not having the manual. With manual mode selected, the automatic holds lower gears right up to the rev limiter, upshifting only when the driver desires. Downshifts are electronically managed to ensure an overly rambunctious pilot doesn't over-rev the sweet V6. The delicious exhaust tone is wasted on Roadsters fitted with the automatic, though, when it wanders almost aimlessly up and down the scale as the engine slips seamlessly amongst the gears. 

Handling feels taut and well controlled in both hatchback and Roadster. These cars really stick through fast sweepers, allowing the driver to keep the throttle down. The steering is sharp and accurate and the Z changes directions brilliantly in transient manoeuvres, without excessive understeer turning in or sloppy oversteer coming out. Cornering is flat, without much body lean.  The ride gets jouncy on bumpy roads, most noticeably when cruising slowly, but it doesn't beat you up and we expect a firm ride with a sports car like this. 

Nissan 350Z 18' Rays forged rims

Nissan 350Z 18' Rays forged rims

Buffeting at highway speeds with the top down was much less than we expected, thanks to the tempered glass deflector mounted between the rollbars behind the seats and to racy body panels tapering back from each of the seat positions. Anti-flap seatbelt retainers further reduce the perceived buffeting effect. Rear side vision loses little to the convertible top, as the hatchback's quarter panel already blocks a sizable area of blind spot. 

The brakes are easy to modulate, fun to use, and do a good job of stopping the car. Electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist come standard on all 350Zs. Just like it sounds, electronic brake-force distribution improves stopping performance by dynamically balancing front and rear braking forces. Brake Assist is a mechanical system that appli. 

The Nissan 350Z stands alone in its price class. This is the car for drivers who want serious sports car performance in a GT body without shelling out the big bucks. And Nissan has added a truly sporty variant to the mix with the 35th Anniversary Z. 

Its rear-wheel-drive chassis is rigid and its suspension is taut for excellent handling. The V6 engine delivers lots of torque for strong acceleration performance. Whether you opt for the six-speed manual gearbox or the five-speed automatic, there are no dogs in the lineup. The interior is the weakest link here, but it grows on you with a little time spent living with it. 

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RWB Porsche 964

The first time I listened about RWB Porsche, I was in France some years ago. I had seen images floating on the web prior to seeing one in person and always thought "that's a huge work and job!", but after seeing a couple of them, seeing videos of different variations, and reading about Akira Nakai (the founder/creator of RWB) this build has made its way to the top of my list of dream cars.

RWB Porsche 964 in front of W Amsterdam Hotel

RWB Porsche 964 in front of W Amsterdam Hotel

There's a lot of controversy around these cars, much like most tuning scenes there are always going to be people that just hate the idea of taking a very well-engineered performance car and cutting the fenders, putting a wide-body, and lowering the car on some aggressive looking wheels.

RWB Porsche 964 by Akira Nakai

RWB Porsche 964 by Akira Nakai

Stanced cars get shitted on all the time by people. I personally wouldn't "stance" my car but I do have respect for people that want to enjoy their car and be creative with it. Yes, some builds go too far, but I don't think this is the case with RWBs. 

RWB Porsche Akira Nakai signature

RWB Porsche Akira Nakai signature

Some purists, like Jack from the Truth About Cars, argue that it's pretty much garbage to do this to a Porsche, especially with a limited supply of air cooled engines (see his take here). I see both sides of the coin, that of the purists and that of the tuners.

RWB Porsche 964 Wheel details

RWB Porsche 964 Wheel details

Honestly, I think Jack's fear of losing all air-cooled Porsches to Nakai's RWB is unrealistic. I think RWB tuning is desired by a small population of Porsche enthusiasts and owners. I don't have any data to back this up, unfortunately, but from an anecdotal standpoint I see more stock/original 993s and other Porsches than I do RWB modified ones. I only see RWB Porsches at shows or shops. I wish I had some stats on how many RWB 964s or 993s there are, but I would suspect that the percentage is really low given that Nakai works on every car himself, hardly scalable by any means.

RWB Porsche 964 built by Akira Nakai

RWB Porsche 964 built by Akira Nakai

I would argue the vast majority of Porsche owners probably don't want to go to that extreme of tuning for many reasons. First, not every Porsche owner wants to tune their car, they're perfectly happy with their car being stock, after all Porsche engineering is impressive right off the dealer lot. Second, if they do want to tune their cars it's probably not to the extreme of going with the RWB approach, perhaps new rims, ECU flash, or some other basic mods. With that said I don't think we'll ever come to a point where we rarely see the original air-cooled Porsches. In fact, I argue that it will be more likely we hardly see RWB Porsches in person, which is a different reality than seeing "many" of them online or in magazines. 

RWB Porsche 964 back

RWB Porsche 964 back

Now in regards to it being considered hideous, this just comes down to preference and you can't really argue on this. One person thinks a piece of art looks like shit while another considers it a master piece, you can't win a debate on what someone prefers. So with that said I'm going to move on from the controversy and go into what is RWB.

RWB Porsche 964 in front of Hotel W Amsterdam

RWB Porsche 964 in front of Hotel W Amsterdam

What is RWB?

RWB stands for RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF which in German means "Rough World Concept". RWB started in the mid-to-late 1990s by Akira Nakai in Japan, and is still based in Japan.. He started tuning cars when he began driving them. Originally starting as "Rauh-Welt" he eventually started driving and tuning German cars and ended up as RAUH-Weld BEGRIFF. This video by Fatlace gives you a peek into who the man behind RWB is, kind of like a mini-documentary.