Photography is Worth the Wait!

A location photoshoot is never straight forward, as you are dealing with the environment and everything it throws at you. This creates all sorts of challenges, but that’s half the fun. Photoshoots require good planning …

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Oct 20 2022
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A location photoshoot is never straight forward, as you are dealing with the environment and everything it throws at you. This creates all sorts of challenges, but that’s half the fun.

Photoshoots require good planning and consideration to ensure a successful outcome. Whilst on a photoshoot for ARB many years ago, photographing a Hilux, a Discovery and a Tacoma in the Flinders Ranges, we made huge effort to capture everything on the brief in a variety of landscapes.

With access to some awesome properties, we are always spoilt for choice, and the opportunities seem to grow bigger and better, creating amazing imagery along the way.

We had scheduled a set of key images on a set of beautiful sand dunes captured at sunset for the last day. These were extremely important to the client and therefore required additional planning.

The important shot would feature the vehicles driving in the sand and by utilising the days wind energy, I knew we could create a spray of sand which would envelope the vehicle. I have shot this kind of imagery many times before but was really looking forward to capturing this result.

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The Discovery turns in the sand and the wind assists to create drama by pushing it over the vehicle

So we headed to the site with plenty of time before sunset.

At a distance, we walked the area ensuring that no footprints contaminated the beautiful ripples in the sand and crouching down I pointed back to the dunes and explained exactly where the drivers needed to approach and where to turn in the sand to create the perfect result required.

We are photographing on private property and we have full permissions from the property owner for this team of highly skilled drivers to perform this piece of action… but its just so important that everyone knows exactly what to do to create a beautiful image in a safe manner.

However… we noticed a massive dark cloud heading our way and it was moving fast.

This could change everything. Before we could react, we were being sand blasted as we ran back to our vehicles. It felt like the vehicles would be tossed across the sand dunes as they were moving around so much, with debris and sand smashing against them. We couldn’t see each others vehicles as everything was simply mayhem around us. A call over the radio from Matt…“Maybe we should head back the to pub for dinner” making it clear that my team was keen to simply get out of there.

My reply was simple… “It’ll be worth the wait guys”.

So we waited.

As the front moved through taking with it half the landscape, the scenery became visible again and we could see the horizon. A slither of an opening on the horizon between the ground and the distant dark cloud remained where the sun might just shine through. This will assist us by building the colour on these epic sand dunes with the warmth required to turn them red.

Outside the vehicle and the wind still belting sand against my legs, I called on my UHF for the first vehicle to proceed. I knew we would only have a few goes at this, as the sun would peak through this narrow opening and therefore would be here and gone in no time.

The first vehicle approached exactly as we had planned proceeding to turn in the sand. I composed the shot and rattled off a bunch of frames as the sand pushed out by the front tyre and was then blown back over the vehicle. This was exactly as planned.

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A beautiful example of what we were trying to achieve creating an extremely powerful image

The second vehicle approaches, turns a little radically, I captured a bunch of shots as it blew the tyre off the bead. This was not great… So I instructed for the driver to do his best to remove it from the area and grab the 3rd vehicle to capture shots of it.

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As the sun disappeared, we celebrated our efforts of creating the opportunity to successfully capture all three vehicles with a bunch of stunning images.

I headed to another sand dune to create some awesome low light shots of the Land Rover Discovery and the team had the enviable task of fixing the tyre on the Tacoma in the soft sand.

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Having to fix a tyre on the sand dunes in the dark is not fun but if you go prepared with the right tools, like a jacking plate, its not a huge deal…To be able to capture a set of images like we did… “It was definitely worth the wait!”

-Michael Ellem…

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As 4X4 enthusiasts who live for the opportunity to create awesome imagery anywhere in Australia, we know that our vehicle assets are covered wherever we travel to create that shot, as we are insured by Club 4X4.

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