Kim Watson, photographer

Location scouting 2012 – pt 1


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From time to time I am asked by photographers I used to work for to location scout for up and coming shoots that they have planned in the UK. This year I have scouted locations for Annie Leibovitz, Norman Jean Roy and Max Vadukul for shoots they were doing for Vanity Fair, US Vogue and Glenlivet Whiskey respectively. I have scouted the coastline of Cornwall earlier this year as well as specific locations in and around London. These include the Olympic Stadium and site, Dover Street Market, Crystal Palace Mast and Ealing Studios. I always love doing these as you get to see, explore and shoot place that you wouldn’t normally go to.

The location scout in Cornwall was for a potential Louis Vuitton Campaign. I spent a week searching out a specific part of the North Cornish Coast. My only reference was a painting that I had been given. As with all paintings you are not sure whether the location actually existed or whether it was the artist interpretation of the landscape. Anyway many miles were driven, many cliff side paths were trodden and eventually I found a piece of coast line that look very similar to the ref painting in a place called Bossiney Benoath. Unfortunately it was not the easiest location to get to as you have to cross fields then down a pretty steep slippery cliff path and finally climb down algae covered rocks with an aid of a rope to reach the place I wanted to shoot.

Once the photographer had ok’d the location they wanted me to go back and photograph the place with a person climbing out of the water. We managed to find a local Surfer/ instructor/ Lifeguard called Brendan Moore who was able to assist me with this. As a surfer he knew the coastline really well and we spent a day shooting every conceivable angle possible. As with all my location scouts I create a website and then upload them to my server. Unfortunately like many Hotel internet connections this can take a very longtime to do. I waited eagerly for some feed back from the days scout. They loved it but wanted stormy weather. The predictability of the British weather is at best poor and incredibly at the end of of February this year in Cornwall at least it was bright sunshine and blue skies. We decided to wait until the weather got more akin to the time of year. Unfortunately instead of getting stormy it got foggy. A fog that lasted 3 days.

In the end the idea was scrapped due to time constraints and I headed back home.

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