London picture library 4Corners Images driving UK stock photos to the next level

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In the run up to the London 2012 Olympics UK photo library 4Corners has unveiled a unique collection of UK stock photography. The stunning images were taken by an elite team of 'motographers', who were able to out-wait the infamous British weather by travelling and living in 4Corners' VW camper van.

4Corners’ VW van gave many of Europe’s top travel photographers their first shot at showing Britain in its full glory

As the build-up towards the 2012 Olympic Games intensifies, London is fast becoming the focus of the world’s attention.

While London is undoubtedly master of ceremonies, there are in fact Olympic venues throughout England, as well as in Scotland and Wales. This is really the ‘Great Britain Games’, and people the world over are increasingly seeking information on – and photography of - all things British.

Leading UK image library 4Corners Images is literally in the vanguard of those meeting this information need, by creating a supremely engaging collection of UK stock photography.

Anticipating the ‘Olympic effect’, two years ago, 4Corners invested in a Volkswagen California camper van, for use by its top photographers on shoots throughout England, Scotland and Wales. The result is an amazing selection of UK Stock Photos taken in all weathers, capturing the many moods and faces of beautiful, beguiling Britain. The collection builds on 4Corners’ exclusive, high-quality image library, which includes worldwide travel stock photography, landscapes and cityscapes, food and drink photography as well as lifestyle and nature images.

“Getting great stock library pictures of the UK is always a challenge,” says 4Corners CEO Carlo Irek. “and Photographers typically meet shoot expenses ahead of image sales, so the cost of travel and accommodation quickly adds up. The famously unpredictable weather of the British Isles makes shooting the UK a risky investment of time and resources for photographers shooting speculatively.” 4Corners’ VW California gave some of Europe’s top travel photographers their first shot at showing Britain in its full glory – ferrying them close to their subject and allowing them to out-wait the weather when, inevitably, it refused to co-operate.

Among 4Corners’ ‘motographers’ was Colin Dutton. Italy-based Colin spent seven days shooting England’s North Devon coast, and would have struggled to get the images he needed were it not for the van.

“It’s a beautiful part of the world but the sun went behind a cloud as soon as I opened the tripod,” he says. “So I’d pack up, only for the sun to come out again. That was the story of my week.”

Italian photographer Alessandro Saffo, meanwhile, took the VW on a week-long shoot in Somerset, in South West England. “The weather was windy, wet and cold – pretty harsh conditions for a Sicilian,” says Saffo. “The van was great for getting us close to the spots we needed to shoot from. We spent time in the beautiful and atmospheric city of Wells, the Mendip Hills, and enjoyed the strange energy of Glastonbury Tor.”

Award winning travel and portrait photographer Richard Taylor, meanwhile, took the camper van up England’s steepest road – Hardknot Pass in Cumbria’s Lake District – to land his wonderful pictures. “The van passed the test with flying colours, and from the top I shot a great panorama,” says Taylor.

Pietro Canali from Umbria, Italy, meanwhile, enjoyed great weather on his 14-day tour of the Cornish coast, during which he shot memorable images of Cornwall’s Heritage Coast. Of the van, Canali says “it offers a priceless freedom, and quickly became a way of life”.

Carlo Irek added “The van has brought almost 2,500 new and exclusive images of the British Isles to 4Corners that neither we nor our photographers would have made without the VW California. It’s fast becoming a member of our photographic family. Given the weather of summer 2011, we’re delighted with the year’s results and are happy to lend 4Corners’ photographers an advantage in the competitive business of stock photography: We’re working together to make 4Corners Images the discerning picture professional’s first choice for travel stock photography”.


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Carlo Irek
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