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      12-25-2019, 08:13 PM   #1
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Behind the scenes at the BMW Performance Center with the F90

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Hi guys.

I was recently invited down to the BMW Performance Center in South Carolina to shoot the action as it happens throughout a typical day there.

Some of you may know me from my E92 days, and Iíve decided to put this here in the hopes that you may pick up your new F90 at the PDC, and thatís the car most featured there right now.

As you might guess, a typical day at the PDC beats any other by a mile.

Now there are a ton of photographers out there, and many specialize in cars, but I have a unique love for BMW (Iím on my fourth), so this shoot in particular meant quite a lot.

You can find additional work from the shoot, along with tutorials, at https://machineswithsouls.com/projec...rmance-center/

Below is a compilation of images from my four-day shoot.

Day 1 - Campus walk around and shooting the M2 and M340i.

The first thing you notice about the PDC is that itís built specifically for one thing - driving BMWs as fast as you can. If youíre expecting a big dealership, you couldnít be further from the truth. The lobby welcomes you with what is usually someoneís new baby, ready for delivery.

After walking around the paddock area (where youíll see more M cars together than any place else aside from MPACT) the track was closed off, and I was able to shoot an M2 and M340i without the concern of roaring cars behind me. There are so many great areas like the wet skid pad, and long straightaway with zipper barrier, to use as a backdrop.

If youíve never seen me light paint, itís an experience, and I went back once the sun set for a session with an Austin Yellow M4 and Magellan Gray M760i under the stars. The area by the trailer was of particular interest: Iíve never seen so many PS4ís or 666 M wheels together in one place, and the PDC goes through thousands in a calendar year. This was my favorite part of the entire shoot - to be able to come here at night after hours is something very few people get to experience.

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Day 2 - M School, old school, and the Instructors

We start with a closed morning session of instructors drifting on the wet skid pad in an M2 and M5.

Perhaps some of you reading this have been to and participated in a class - if so, you know how awesome the instructors are. Able to consistently place any car on a dime, over and over again, during a controlled drift is not easy, but they make it seem so. Itís clear they love what they do, and being mere feet from an M5 as it drifts past my lens and gets me with water spray is a huge rush.

We move on to capture some shots with a special guest of some importance: an E39 M5 from BMWís private collection. I ask Matt, the head instructor, if itís ok to drift it, since the tires are original. He just smiles. The E39 at full tilt sounds more mechanical than the booming sounds of the F90, and it was fun to compare both in the flesh as they drove together down the track.

After I capture everything I need here, the instructors move on to M School, and I become a fly on the wall. Almost everyone gestures with their hands to mimic their recent driving experience, sliding and pulling their arms about. Everyone gets to experience the cars in a manner they are comfortable with, but almost everyone is pushing their M4s and M5s to the limit by the end of the day.

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Day 3 - Sunrise with the M850i and the M5 around Greenville.

We start the day with the M850i, and Iím surprised just how good the car sounds and feels. The M8 is really going to be something special. Iím usually behind the lens, but sometimes I get to move the cars around, and who am I to turn down taking the long way around the track with one of these.

Some time is spent with Motorcycle classes, and more M School, but the evening brings another special treat - taking out an M5 in the area of Greenville for another photo shoot. I chose Marina Bay Blue both to offset the orange of fall, and to honor my Interlagos Blue M3, which has always been a favorite shade of mine. Another was also brought out in the school livery, and that drew quite a bit of attention around town. ďThey let you drive them, on the track?!Ē, was the typical response.

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Day 4 - Road Tours and a special kid

The last day involved a shoot in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, so I had to take the M5 about an hour out from the PDC. Needless to say, I fell in love with the car.

Iíve been in a ton of M cars, so itís easy to become jaded, but the F90 really is something special, and itís effortless to get up to speed. Itís comfortable, capable, and I imagine it makes the perfect daily.

Once in the mountains, I shoot multiple passes for some photo ops, and also shoot the natural landscape. Iím from New Jersey, so the scenery from up here is truly unique from my normal urban NYC surroundings.

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We head back through country roads, where again the M5 comes alive despite its size. M cars all share this trait - the faster you drive them, the smaller they feel. Thatís what always makes them so special to me.

Once back at the PDC, I begin to wrap up my shoot with a final walk around the paddock area. A shy-looking kid, maybe 15, walks up to me while here and asks if he can look around. Sure kid, have at it. He looks on in amazement at the F90 parked nearby, and tells me heís never seen one before in person. Thatís shocking to me, I see them every day in North Jersey. He then says that he loves cars, and BMWs in particular, and wonders how he can be around them every day for a living. He reminded me of myself at that age, and I give him some advice on a career path to photography and design. It was a nice moment for me, and a good reminder that Iím truly blessed to get these opportunities.

If you guys have the chance, take a class, or a delivery here - itís everything you expect and much more.
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      12-26-2019, 10:08 AM   #2
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Some really excellent photos. I want to do the school in the worst way! Thanks for sharing.
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      12-26-2019, 10:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrighterjw10 View Post
Some really excellent photos. I want to do the school in the worst way! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you!
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      12-26-2019, 02:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting these. Beautiful pics. I heard about the Greenville driving school a while back, hinted around, and my wife just gave me 2 days there as a birthday gift!

I think I'll keep her.
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      12-26-2019, 02:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Need For Speed View Post
Thanks for posting these. Beautiful pics. I heard about the Greenville driving school a while back, hinted around, and my wife just gave me 2 days there as a birthday gift!

I think I'll keep her.
Excellent! Enjoy it!
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      12-26-2019, 03:21 PM   #6
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Took my 21 yr old son there in May to pickup my new F90!

Tons of fun. Wish we had more time on the track!

FYI
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      12-28-2019, 03:36 AM   #7
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Wau, nice professional pictures 👍
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      12-28-2019, 10:45 AM   #8
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Amazing photo skills! I would never be able to replicate this type of quality. Should make some good desktop wallpapers.
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      12-28-2019, 11:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Amazing photo skills! I would never be able to replicate this type of quality. Should make some good desktop wallpapers.
Thank you! High res available on website.
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      12-30-2019, 02:06 PM   #10
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Beautiful
Nicely done!!
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      12-30-2019, 02:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Beautiful
Nicely done!!
Thank you!
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      12-30-2019, 02:12 PM   #12
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Amazing place, been there 4 times since 2016 and it's always lovely. Their M5 is fire
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      12-30-2019, 11:28 PM   #13
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Well this thread doesn't suck.

OP, amazing pics and nice write-up.
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      12-31-2019, 04:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug_999 View Post
Well this thread doesn't suck.

OP, amazing pics and nice write-up.
Thank you!!
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      12-31-2019, 06:11 AM   #15
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Awesome photos
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      12-31-2019, 09:46 AM   #16
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Great thread! Thank You for sharing your experience as well as photos.
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      12-31-2019, 07:18 PM   #17
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Beautiful pictures!
The yellow M4 with that sky and the M5 in the woods are my favorites!
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      12-31-2019, 07:19 PM   #18
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Beautiful pictures!
The yellow M4 with that sky and the M5 in the woods are my favorites!
Thank you!!
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      01-01-2020, 12:33 PM   #19
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def a fun and cool place!
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      01-02-2020, 07:52 AM   #20
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just did the school with my son 3 days ago and it was really a fun day
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      01-02-2020, 11:26 AM   #21
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Nice
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