A Month of Contrasts
The last month or so has felt pretty hectic with a variety of different shoots going on. Spring always seems to be a funny transition period between summer and winter activities where you can be freezing cold trying to shoot winter climbing one day and then be sweating your way up a fixed rope the next in blazing sunshine. Below is a brief summary of some of the contrasting shoots i've been on recently.
Pink Panther - Ben Nevis
The first shoot of the month was a trip to the North face of Ben Nevis for the final winter shoot for Hot Aches latest film 'Transition' with Natalie Berry and Dave MacLeod. We were lucky enough to get brilliant ice conditions with a number of rarely formed routes in perfect condition. We headed to 'Pink Panther', a grade VI 6 first climbed by Godefroy Perroux. We were also blessed with perfect weather (a rare occurrence for winter climbing in Scotland!), which made the day much more manageable. Everything went smoothly and we'd bagged some great footage and were walking back to the van by 4pm.
Paper Doll Militia
The next shoot of the month was something entirely out of the ordinary as we'd arranged a shoot with Sarah from Paper Doll Militia, an aerial theatre company based in Edinburgh. The main aim of the day was to put Hot Aches new Sony FS7 through its paces but also gave the chance to get some great stills in the theatre's black box space. The image below was shot using a couple of Canon Speedlites positioned off camera.
Hamish Teddy's - Dunkeld
I also headed to Dunkeld in Perthshire over the Easter weekend to check out the sport routes. They have a long and rich history, being some of the first bolted routes put up in Scotland. The rock is generally very good with lots of features, allowing lots of different possible sequences for each of the routes there. It's also a great place for photography with the surrounding woods having a mythical feel to them with hidden grottos and ancient trees. It was one of the first opportunities for me to try out my new Canon 14mm, which turned out to be really great for shooting in quite a confined spot between the trees and the crag and provided a more interesting perspective on the routes. I have a feeling it's going to end up being an essential part of my camera setup in the future.
Forgotten Twin - Aonach Mor
Scotland was lucky enough to get 40cm of fresh snow over the last week of March, which resulted in brilliant Spring skiing conditions in Lochaber. I headed to Aonach Mor (which is conveniently serviced by the Nevis Range ski area) with the hope of shooting some of the steep lines there. The day certainly provided with a lot of steep skiing going on, including the 3rd descent of Forgotten Twin, a grade II gully route, which included a 20ft drop from the massive cornice (camera safety was supplied by a rope around the waist attached to a buried ski).
With things now turning warmer i'm looking forward to getting out and shooting more summer time activities with MTB and climbing shoots in the calendar over the next month or so. We also head off to Chamonix and Finale Ligure in 3 weeks time for ski touring and sport climbing respectively.