The Making of a Shot : Glen Etive, the Scottish Highlands
When we began planning our first real photoshoot for Belgrave Crescent, we knew we wanted to incorporate the incredible scenery of the highlands into the shoot. Of course, living in Scotland made the highlands a natural choice, but more than that, we had been indeed inspired by the rugged elegance of this region in our travels there and we thought that it complemented perfectly what we were trying to convey in our Belgrave Crescent satchels.
We began researching different shoot locations and imagining how the locations would work. I had a few locations in mind, but by chance on one of the rare nights that Roséline took off from working, we decided to watch a film. That film happened to Skyfall, and some of the scenes were filmed in the highlands. We were blown away by Roger Deakins’ cinematography, especially the scene where Bond and M meet on deserted stretch of road somewhere in the highlands [below]. We instantly knew that we wanted to find that exact location with its sprawling vista for our shoot.
With a little detective work online and the help of google maps, we were able to pinpoint the area without too much trouble. We were so excited about the prospect of the shoot that we decided to drive up there the next day. We headed up to the highlands via A82, the main road linking Glasgow and Inverness. Just off the A82 and about 10 miles away from Glen Coe, there is a single track road known locally as the “road to nowhere”. You can easily drive past it if you are not careful. The road is definitely off the beaten track and you likely won’t find many tourists. You will, though, be rewarded with views of one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland, Glen Etive.
When we arrived at Glen Etive, it was absolutely pouring and as much as we were taken by the stunning scenery, we were equally disappointed by the terrible weather conditions. We decided to try and wait out the rain, but it didn’t really show any signs of letting up. Just when we about to give up, there was a slowing and then a break in the rain. We knew things were precarious and we had to move fast. All in all, the shoot lasted 15 minutes before the rain started again. We managed to get everything we needed, and Roséline even managed to do a wardrobe change in that time.
You never really know what kind of images you have, even if they look good on your small camera display until you upload them to your monitor; but in the end, we were relieved— thrilled even—with the final images, and the experience remains to this day, one of the best and most memorable moments of the year. —Paul