Anatom Boots Photography Shoot

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Client: Anatom, AMG Group

Date: 26th July 2018

Job Type: Anatom Magazine Ad Photoshoot

Location: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Scotland 

Job Description: 

During the mad heatwave we got in Scotland this summer, a team from AMG Group and myself went out for a days photography shoot. The main purpose of this shoot was to create an A4 ad for the Outdoor Enthusiast magazine, promoting Anatom’s 2018 Footwear collection. The slogan for the campaign was ‘When we say waterproof we mean it’, so the plan was to feature some sort of water feature in the image. From Glasgow, we decided to drive an hour north to the Falls of Falloch, located just up from Loch Lomond. Since the waterfall can be accessed just off from the main road, it tends to accumulate a crowd. However, thanks to our early start, the location was empty for the first half hour. When I’m taking photos in the outdoors, I find that less people means less can go wrong. A quiet location also means there is more space to concentrate and experiment with different angles and compositions (also saves time in Photoshop editing people out of the image). When on shoot, it is sometimes difficult to know in the moment what images work and what don’t. To combat this issue, I try and shoot as many different angles and compositions as time allows. This means that there is plenty of different angles to choose from in post-production and reduces the probability of a mistake. Pleased with the final result and great job on the graphics by Euan Stewart from AMG Group.

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 The rest of the day was spent shooting images of the various footwear. Further upstream from the waterfall, we found a quiet spot to concentrate on the shoot. Around midday during summer, the sunlight can be very difficult to work with, creating harsh contrast in images. Areas like a river gorge which remain in shadow most of the day, create softer light which is easier to work with. Here is an example of the difference between soft and harsh light.

On the left, contrasting light creates a dark shadow on the boot. On the right, the dark river gorge creates a better exposed image.

On the left, contrasting light creates a dark shadow on the boot. On the right, the dark river gorge creates a better exposed image.

 To wrap up the day, we took a quick detour to the Devil’s pulpit. In the 2 years since I last visited the pulpit, its spike in popularity wouldn’t have looked out of place at Disneyland. Its positive to see so many folk getting outdoors but I think the surrounding area is now taking a toll. If anyone is in the area and wants a quieter spot for a walk, ‘The Whangie’ is a great one just down the road. After about an hour of photographing the boots beside the river, we finished up for the day and went home.

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Vango Chamonix Photography Shoot

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Client: Vango, AMG Group

Date: 11th - 18th July 2018

Job Type: Vango 2019 Technical Product Photography Shoot

Location: Chamonix, France

Job Description:

Our first day in Chamonix was focused on shooting mid-level tents, mats and sleeping bags. From Chamonix, we took a chairlift to one of the northern mountain summits, opposite Mont Blanc. Due to Chamonix’s strict camping regulations, we obtained permission for the photoshoot in advance. Even in the height of summer, Mont Blanc is covered in snow. This created a great backdrop for the shoot. After we finished, I agreed with the team to travel across to ‘Lac de Glace’ glacier for sunset.

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The next day, our aim was to shoot high technical tents in a glacial environment. The four of us, led by a mountain guide, traversed down a tributary of the Argentière Glacier from an elevation of 3000m. Having lived and worked in the mountains for many years, our guide’s knowledge of the glacier was invaluable. Using our ice axes, we pitched the tent into the snow, overlooking the Argentière Glacier. After a couple hours of photography, a thunder storm forced us back down the mountain.

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Day 3 consisted of shooting footwear and rucksacks in a low level forest located near Chamonix. In such a dense environment, it can be difficult to highlight the subject of an image. To combat this problem, I use a low aperture lens to blur out inessential details from an image.

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The team agreed that I wake up early the next morning to catch the sunrise. The plan was to reach a mountain lake named Lac de Cheserys, 1400m up from Chamonix. The lake provided a great backdrop to photograph one of Vango’s adventure tents. After hiking back down, the team and I drove to a forest to shoot a variety of kit and tents.

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Our final morning was spent back at ‘Lac de Glace’ glacier, photographing the remaining mats and sleeping bags. When shooting on a clear day, it’s important to be conscious of any lens flares that could mark an image. This can be avoided using a lens hood or alternatively by using your hand/object to block the lens from direct exposure to the sun.

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Visit Scotland Wild Camping Project with Hey Nadine

Client: Visit Scotland 

Date: 24th – 27th May 2018

Location: Loch Dochard, Scotland

Job Description:

Over the last couple years, Visit Scotland have been running a campaign called ‘Scotland: Life’. The idea is to bring popular Youtubers/Instagrammers over to Scotland to experience different areas of the country. These influencers may have a large online audience in a different country that do not know much about Scotland. The goal is that the content created by these influencers during their time in Scotland, will encourage others to visit Scotland.  

In May, Visit Scotland invited popular travel vlogger Hey Nadine and Matt over to Scotland on a wild camping themed trip. As part of this project, I was asked to come up with a wild camping trip that would make for an interesting video for Nadine’s YouTube channel. My plan was to take Nadine and Matt somewhere quite remote. Personally, I feel it is easier to make a video in a remote area where there is less distractions. I decided upon Loch Dochard as our camping location for 3 main reasons.

A.    I’ve been plenty times before, hopefully minimising the chance of unwanted surprises.

B.    You can access the Loch solely using public transport which I like to encourage.

C.     There is a natural waterslide located near the loch

On the 24th May, I arrived in Glasgow and met up with Nadine, Matt and the Visit Scotland team. We did a quick run through of the plan before rushing off for the train to Bridge of Orchy. The hike starts off on the west highland way before cutting off into Clashgour Estate which is pretty much the middle of nowhere. In spite of the rivers crossings, uphill and ticks, Nadine and Matt bossed the 4-hour hike to the Loch. After pitching the tents, we ate dinner, enjoying whole loch to ourselves.

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Day 2, my plan was to take Nadine and Matt to the natural waterslide. What I kind of forgot was that between the waterslide and loch, lies about 2km of marshland: no path, lots of mud and plenty of ticks. However, we did eventually make it through the bog and arrived at the slide. Matt caught some nice footage with the drone of the waterslide from a bird’s eye view. After our mission to the slide, we spent the rest of the day chilling out in the sun. One thing we did have to our advantage on this trip was the weather. One of the locals told us later that it was one of the hottest periods he had ever experienced in the area. To be honest, it was a bit of a relief because filming a video of wild camping in the rain for 3 days would have been a very different story.

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On our final morning of the trip, we filmed a separate video for Nadine’s channel, talking through the kit needed for a wild camping trip. The video can be found on YouTube here:

All in all, I think the trip was a success. It was also interesting learning how Nadine and Matt film and plan their videos. Big thanks to Visit Scotland for the opportunity.

Nadine’s Video of the trip:

 My video of the trip: