Mercedes A35 AMG North Coast 500
It was always a dream of mine to shoot at the iconic North Coast 500 in the Scottish Highlands. The route basically forms a loop at the most Northern tip of Scotland and takes in some of the most breathtaking scenery that the UK has to offer. My companion for the trip was the Mercedes AMG A35 4-Matic – a four wheel drive hot hatch with 306bhp. After spending 4 days with the car I honestly can’t think of a vehicle more suited to the trip. I started in Inverness and made my way North (effectively heading anti-clockwise around the NC500 route) towards John O’Groats and then headed West across the coast. Here’s some highlights from the trip.
The shoot details.
One of the trickiest things about shooting cars is finding the right locations. Proper planning is essential but it doesn’t always give you the information you need, sometimes you have to be creative on the shoot days and constantly be on the lookout for the perfect spot. Many of the bigger shoots I’ve done start with location planning on Google Maps.
I’ve got a pretty decent bank of locations for many places now, but I’d never been this far North before so it was all new to me. I spent many hours scouring online maps and Google Street View to choose in advance some of the places I wanted to stop. And there was one shot in my head that I knew I just HAD to get. A shot crossing the famous bridge at Kylesku.
“One of the arts of the photographer is to pack the right equipment and know how to use it properly.”
I had to pack light for this trip and knew that I also had to maximise my shoot time so Itook the decision to shoot with ambient light only. Armed with a reflector and my usual base kit of Canon 5Diii, Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 and trusty Manfrotto tripod, I packed as light as possible. The rest of the space in the boot was taken up by laptop and also my extensive car cleaning kit freshly stocked with Auto Glym detailing products. Thankfully the weather on the trip was beautiful (for April in Scotland) and that meant we could keep the cleaning down to a minimum. If it had been raining that would have been a whole different story.