Ben Chen has experienced his share of success in his nearly 30-year photography career?his work has been published in such publications as Cosmopolitan, The Los Angeles Times, and ESPN Magazine, and he has lent his expertise to some of the nation's largest corporations, including Procter & Gamble and The American Red Cross. In 2006, the photographer began to notice that more and more novices were purchasing complex DSLR cameras, and that gave him an idea. Chen decided to share his wealth of knowledge with aspiring photographers by creating the 4-Hour Newbie Photography Boot Camp, which teaches students how to shoot manually with their DSLRs and create artistic, professional-quality photos. Since then, more than 5,000 students in 20 cities throughout the country have benefited from these classes. In 2013, he acquiesced to student demand and created Part II of the class, which goes beyond photography basics by diving into post-production techniques. Nowadays, students can take both Part I and Part II in the same day, helping them go from student to master in less time than most action-movie montages.
The factory-trained technicians at McCombs Ford West and McCombs Superior Hyundai whip weary cars into shape with new oil and refreshing grooming sessions. During an oil change, mechanics evacuate the old lubricant and introduce the engine to up to five quarts of fresh and friendly fluid. Tire rotations help to even out tread wrinkles, improve balance, and put a stop to any bickering between tires about who's taken the most potholes.
For 23 years, Splash N Dash Car Wash & Lube has washed, detailed, and fixed up vehicles from its retro, yellow service compound. Automatic tunnels lavish cars with tri-foams, clear coat, and conditioners, and rigorous detailers shine fa?ades with Blue Coral waxes before restoring cabins to pre-carpool condition with interior shampoos and upholstery treatments. Onsite mechanics flush residue and Crackerjack prizes from stagnant transmission and cooling systems, and dispatch standard, synthetic, and diesel motor oils to mediate between friction-filled components. Customers flop down on plump leather couches inside Splash N Dash's waiting lounge, where flat-screen TVs and a small convenience store distract car owners from their desire to peek at their cars in the shower.
Led by cofounders Dave Appel and Trey Steele, Cycle Camp USA's dedicated community helps riders navigate Austin's paved trails and push one another to extend personal limits and cover new ground. While working with students, Steele shares techniques that placed him among the top five in his age group at the North Carolina Triathlon Series. Avid racer and enthusiastic instructor Allison Atkinson also works with cyclists through CycleFit classes. The comprehensive training curriculum developed by Appel and his staff integrates a balance of core fitness pillars, such as heart rate, endurance, and maintaining speed when being pursued by coyotes on rocket skates. The community also encourages cyclists to test newfound abilities on destination trips, which pit packs of riders against picturesque ribbons of open road.
DFW Drive Your Dream grants rubber-burners the opportunity to pilot the industry’s most celebrated sports cars on predetermined routes. Drivers can strap in to experience the massive 400-horsepower motor of the Ferrari 360 Spider, which vibrates with barely tamed power as it climbs to speeds nearing 180 mph. The Gallardo streaks around hairpin turns with all-wheel-drive tires propelled by a 5-liter V10 engine. Ferrari's 483-horsepower F430 has the potential to reach speeds of up to 200 mph, and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster is equipped with an automatic paddleshift gearbox and produces 379 horsepower, or roughly 95 stagecoaches, from a 4.3-liter V8 engine. Top up or top down, the Vantage Roadster maintains its sleek Aston Martin design, earning its place among the iconic cars of today.
A Plus Automotive's trained technicians skillfully repair and service four-wheeled chariots. While some mechanics tweak breaks and perform tune-ups and oil changes, others nudge wheels back into alignment and identify mechanical ailments with computer diagnostics. In addition to repairing air conditioners and radiators, technicians also sell used parts and perform state inspections. Members of the shop’s bodywork and paint division smooth out dents and nurse injured roadsters back to health while providing one-year warranties on all bodywork. Pickup and drop-off services are also available for customers who are pressed for time or have never seen someone really strong lift a car.