It was always going to be a busy weekend, initially planned for the week before one of the trucks was unavailable and on this re-scheduled shoot date I found I had a Covid jab appointment. There is nothing like focus.

The shoot is for a 12-page article in a fantastic specialist magazine, I’m going to do this post as a two-parter with the second part when the magazine is in print. So for now this is a bit of a behind-the-scenes.

As ever the South West can offer many weathers in little time, planning is rarely easy. Prep starts some time ahead but it’s never easy to know what will be needed to help light the scene. One has to cover many eventualities whilst hoping that all of the gear won’t be needed.

I have a large bag of PPE in various colours, with helmets goggles, boots and so-forth. Often the whole bag gets dumped in the car along with the pink food bag. I prefer to work with support and generally take a large heavy tripod as well as one suited to very low-level support. As you can see I also use a monopod and wring the maximum quality out of the cameras so ISO is as low as possible. Beyond that we took some high powered (1000/1500w) strobes and battery packs but on the day the sunlight and environment did the job.

I have a Peli-case that holds most of my Nikon gear but on a day like this I will assemble a pair of cameras with different lenses and take them in a back-pack. Ideally I don’t swap lenses in these conditions but sometimes one has to. One of the most essential pieces of equipment that I have is the trusty charity-shop yoga mat. With vehicle shoots I spend a lot of time lying on the ground and it helps to have a way of keeping me and the gear clean(wish) and comfortable! Unusually for me this was shot to camera rather than computer, the environment was too hostile for tethered shooting to the Mac and I needed to work really fast.

So, I had the jab, got done early and arrived in Cornwall well-ahead of schedule. After meeting Martyn and the trucks we followed him out to the shoot location about 10 minute’s drive away, still not knowing what we were stepping into. Somewhere there is a video that Karin took of me squealing and swearing in amazement at the quality of the vehicles, we’d even been joined by a Liebherr wheel loader, as a prop! The landscape that opened up was just superb!

The only remaining uncertainty was what was the weather going to do but it played fair for us with moving clouds.

This was a very physical shoot, and refreshing to know that I could still manage it. Unbelievable support from Martyn and the guys, I will go into this in more detail in part two.

For now suffice it to say the RAW files were edited once home and WeTransfered on the Sunday. Shortly after I received a mock-up of the article, it looks great!

All in all a great day, massive thanks of course to Karin!