Long Way Down

The Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman travelogue Long Way Up hits our screens this month and charts the pairs motorcycle journey from Argentina to California. The documentary follows on from Long Way Round in 2004 and Long Way Down in 2007.

I was very fortunate to have photographed the Scottish leg of Long Way Down from John O’Groats to the south of Scotland capturing images for a project with VisitScotland.

The commission came at just the right time in my career as a few months earlier I had left my position as a staff photographer with The Scotsman Publications Ltd. This was the first high profile job as a professional freelance photographer and resulting publicity helped to raise my profile.

One of my strong memories of the commission was travelling to London to meet the producers to pitch my ideas for the Scottish images. Understandably, they were very secretive about the route but asked me to tell them what iconic scenes would make strong imagery. The shot I had in mind right from the beginning of the project was the shot I would eventually capture of Ewan and Charley with their bikes on front of Buachaille Etive Mor at the head of Glen Etive.

I travelled with the group for three days and in the early evening on the Saturday we passed through Glencoe. The light was failing and the weather was a bit driech so we quickly stopped by the side of the A82 with the Munro in the background. I set up an off camera flash on a stand and shot about 6 or 7 frames with Ewan and Charley on front of their bikes. The pressure was certainly on to capture the image I had in mind all those months before.

The images were used widely by VisitScotland and some appeared in the resulting Long Way Down Book.

The picture is one of the favourite images I have shot in my almost 20 year career as a professional photographer and it was a great experience working with the Long Way Down crew.

ClientVisitScotlandServicesPress and PR Photography