Magnum Photos and Land Rover have teamed up once again for the second in a series of photographic works, titled “Ultimate Vistas” — this time with photographer Michael Christopher Brown in the Pacific Northwest.
We rode shotgun with Brown in a 2017 Range Rover Supercharged during the last leg of his shoot last month and you can see some of our exclusive photos of the adventure here. But now you can see the end result that captures incredible landscapes and the new luxury SUV in the breathtakingly beautiful Pacific Northwest.
The search for the Ultimate Vistas for the Magnum photographer and his crew began in Portland, Oregon and ended near Seattle, Washington. Many of the photos feature the Corbis Gray Range Rover with Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Baker in the background, plus dozens of inlets and remote islands along the northwestern coast of the U.S.
“I always have a plan for a shoot but it’s important to remain open to other possibilities and the Range Rover allowed us to do that,” said Brown about his adventure.
Brown and his crew explored both urban and remote parts of the Northwest in his quest for the perfect shot. He snapped over 10,000 images and here is an edited version that includes the best shots along with a few behind the scenes snaps with his own personal commentary below. Enjoy!
“We stopped at this viewpoint along Chuckanut Drive (Highway 11), which hugs the coast of Samish Bay, between the Skagit Valley and Bellingham, Washington.
It was an impromptu thing – I saw the light looked great and we had an opportunity to get the Range Rover in shot, so we grabbed some images and then headed on our way.
Chuckanut Drive is a great driving road that snakes through forests and along the water, offering spectacular views of the coast. There are many oyster farms along this stretch where you can buy, or dine on, shellfish literally minutes after they are caught from Samish Bay.”
“One of my favorite locations we visited in the Skagit Valley was Strawberry Hill. It sits just above the Rexville Grange, where I used to listen to live reggae music several times a year while in high school. We would go up the hill at night and take in incredible views of the valley, especially during the clear full moon nights.
The valley’s population has grown but there is still very little light pollution, so you can see the heavens quite well.
During the day there is a great view of the farmland so for this shot of the Range Rover driving on Bradshaw Road through the Skagit Valley farmland, I hiked up there to photograph the fields, architecture and landscape one afternoon, luckily just before the rain fell!”
[FYI: You can’t tell from the distance of the shot, but that’s me behind the wheel of the Supercharged Range Rover. It took nearly an hour to get the shot before the rains came and it was definitely worth it. – Ed.]
“Sometimes on a shoot you catch a break, and we were lucky to bump into two horse riders out for a gallop along the Del Rey Beach State Recreation Site, which borders the Pacific Ocean in Oregon.
They didn’t mind stopping for us to get some shots of the horses and the Range Rover – both looking majestic on the sand.”
[When Brown told us about his adventure on the beach over breakfast in Anncortes, I thought he was pulling our leg — but here’s the proof. – Ed.]
“This landscape is taken at sunrise looking southwest from Paradise, towards Wahpenayo Peak, within Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. The drive up and down the volcano was filled with spectacular views of Mount Shuksan, the ski area, and the incredibly lush forest, full of trees covered in bright green moss. Each time I drive up there it brings back great memories of being in the mountains, the fresh air and good times with good friends.
Weather can be tough to predict in these mountain environments and in 1998 nearby Mount Baker broke a world record for snowfall in a ski season, so conditions can be challenging but often good for snowboarding. On this trip, the ski area was closed and as there are often frequent breaks in the clouds in late spring, we were lucky to have some sun on this day.”
“This is a shot of the Range Rover on top of Cap Sante, close to Anacortes, two hours northwest of Seattle. I had a feeling this vantage point would give us a great view at sunset, overlooking Fidalgo Bay to the North Cascades National Park.
The Range Rover was a great vehicle for this trip – really smooth and relaxing to drive on road, and then superb at getting us to places I wouldn’t normally be able to reach, by using its off-road technology. I drove it on and off-road in sand, snow, and rain. In each scenario, whether it was mud, dirt or big rocks, the vehicle always remained composed.”