Back in June, I was commissioned to shoot images for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars calendar. The deal was, that I could choose the location if it was in Scandinavia. From a previous shoot for Camp Gauto (https://www.facebook.com/campgauto), I was very familiar with an extremely remote area in northern Sweden. It is one of the best places I know to spend free time in winter. However, I had no idea how it was during the summer time. I saw some photos, which looked incredibly good – so I decided we would give it a go! The place I chose is located just north of Arvidsjaur, a small city with extremely low temperatures. It is called Laisvall and it is around 950 km away from Stockholm. Most of the car manufacturers go there for the cold temperature to test the vehicles. Luckily, we were there in summer and the temperatures were much better than the colder temperatures I have experienced before.
My assistant and I chose the most comfortable route to get there - we went by plane. The crew of the agency PIN1248 (https://www.facebook.com/PIN1248/) came with our photo vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e 4MATIC directly from Stuttgart. The whole trip took them three days.
We spent our first day scouting some good spots to plan out our ideas. Sweden’s nature is extremely beautiful which was perfect for my vision. The amount of lakes is just mind-blowing. Statistically there are three lakes per person. The weather is mostly damp here, and it’s extremely green. The task was to shoot nine images in total; three main photos for the calendar along with two additional photos for each photo to promote the three calendar pages on social media. Therefore, we decided to use three different settings for each photo.
The first set was shot in the yard of a very typical Swedish redwood house. The focus of the calendar was on electric vehicles, therefore we even created a loading station for the vehicle.
The second set was focused on covering the streets with beautiful nature in the background.
The most challenging yet most rewarding was the third set. Our Swedish friends from Camp Gauto used a Water Plane to supply all their remote cabins. The plan was to fly the plane right over our subject and capture it all together. It was easier said than done.
To make this happen, we needed a spot very close to a lake. Since this is the only area without trees, this was the spot that allowed the plane to fly really low. After a rough ride through the Swedish forest we arrived at the spot we defined before, set everything up and told the pilot we are ready. He is a former Fighter jet and SAS Pilot, with over 40 years of experience.
However, flying really low and close to the trees at the same time was still difficult even for him. In the first try, he managed to position the plane exactly where I wanted it, perform a loop, and make the pass by us again.
We even lit the plane with a Siros 800L and a P45 reflector. Even though it was still 200 m high, it got the exact right amount of light - I really love the focus of the P45. We had such an amazing time creating these images for Mercedes-Benz, we hope you enjoyed them!
Here you can see the result: https://www.mercedes-benz-classic-store.com/literatur-medien/printmedien/kalender/1312/pkw-kalender-2018
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