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Onelife 23

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Unveiling of the New Range Rover Velar | Step inside some of the planet’s most exclusive homes | Man’s relationship with dogs | An epic drive through the Isle of Skye | The legendary Beechcraft Bonanza takes to the Skies


THE ALL-NEW DISCOVERY Julian checks over his kit list by flashlight in the pre-dawn: a beautifully crafted, purely manual camera made by the Swiss manufacturer ALPA; a tripod from northern Italian camera accessory experts Gitzo; the precision mechanics and spirit levels of the Swiss-made Arca tripod head; a vented storm umbrella he can hold in one hand to protect his camera while shooting with his free hand; a waterproof covering for the camera (“my least expensive piece of kit, but the one I return to the hotel for if I forget it”); Merino wool base layer and full waterproof outerwear; maps; compass; and to get around, the trusted Land Rover Discovery. “It’s very easy to get gear obsessed,” says Julian. “I keep my list of equipment minimal. I don’t have an arsenal of lenses. It makes for a far simpler process, allowing me to focus on the moment. The camera I use doesn’t have a viewfinder. It means I can view all the different elements in a very natural way. It’s about getting under the skin of a place.” FIRST LIGHT “I might be standing where I have set up for more than an hour,” says Julian. “Yet the moment can come and be gone within a minute. That’s how quickly the conditions can change out here – and that might just be it for the rest of the day.” In such tough conditions, with the possibility of so little reward, what’s the hook? “Bad weather is exciting,” says Julian. “It can be scary. It can be intimidating. In these conditions, I get an almost child-like feeling. I call it the ‘goose bump moment.’ If you’re not feeling that excitement, why take a picture?” Julian points out an image taken on low rocks near Elgol harbor. “The water in this image is actually coming from behind me, not in front of me,” he explains. “The waves are coming up and around. You have to brace yourself and you do have to be aware and look around. But I tell you what, if you can pull off a shot, it’s really satisfying.” It is also about judging the right moment to pull back to safety. “It got to the point where I thought, okay, I’ve got it now, I’ve got to get out of here,” he remembers. “It’s so loud. The wind is howling. The waves are rushing. Your jacket’s flapping around. When it really closes in out there, it’s good to know I’m in one of these.” He taps the heated steering wheel of the Discovery. Julian’s Discovery has the same attention to detail as the rest of his equipment. Just as he selected the individual blocks of rosewood for the handgrips on his ALPA camera, so too he can select from oak, titanium and aluminum finishers and premium leather and fabric materials, including the finest Windsor leather, finished off with tailored twin-needle stitching for the interior INNOVATIVE ISLANDERS SHIRLEY SPEAR RESTAURANT OWNER THE THREE CHIMNEYS “Most crofting cottages are just two chimneys, two dormer windows and a door in the middle. This had an extra third added on because it was the village shop – hence The Three Chimneys. When I first came here there was a peat fire on the hearth and a mud floor. I ate mackerel and chips. Mackerel out of the loch, fried in oatmeal. Today, we use locally reared Highland cattle and Soay sheep, wild deer and hand-dived Sconser scallops on our menu. I’ve always wanted to promote what is good about Scottish food. ” of the car. It’s a nod of acknowledgement to those looking for the same as Julian: quality even in the smallest of details. “I’ve always driven Land Rover vehicles,” Julian recalls. “I learned to drive in a lightweight ex-military vehicle. The day after I passed my test, I drove from Land’s End to John o’ Groats. I liked the idea of Land Rover vehicles, the look of them, the utilitarian nature of the vehicle.” As Julian’s circumstances have changed, so have his Land Rover vehicles. From the Series I, he graduated to a Defender 90 and then a Defender 110. As his family and photography work grew, he eventually moved to a LR3 and then LR4. “The design is beautiful,” he says simply of the new Discovery’s dynamic front end and rising belt line. “And it’s comfortable,” he says after his first drive. “It’s luxurious without being ostentatious.” Comfort, he stresses, is also a question of reliability. The Discovery’s versatility and off-road capabilities offer him the freedom to take it where he wants, how he wants it. “It’s a vehicle that’s at home in all environments. I’d be confident taking this vehicle anywhere,” he says. This efficiency of design, a certain understated confidence and not least performance chime perfectly with Julian’s own tastes in camera design. 72

THE ALL-NEW DISCOVERY The All-New Discovery makes its way across a small bridge in Sligachan as the afternoon light sets in. Below and right: Julian and his beloved ALPA camera 73


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Land Rover Magazine 39


Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go above and beyond

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