To Parts Unknown For The Perfect Shot
Drawn to hostile locations most would seek to avoid, photographer and filmmaker Paddy Scott’s willingness to embrace danger offers fresh perspectives on places less travelled
Curiosity, vision and opportunism are behind every great photograph. Paddy Scott’s work is also the product of something else: courage. Although born in London, Scott’s attraction to extreme environments has taken him to many of the world’s most politically and geographically hostile places, and it’s his ability to bring still images to life – be it a Himalayan avalanche or Patagonian plain – that makes his work so powerful.
But while the photo, or the film, may be the sought-after end product, it’s only ever a small part of a much bigger operation – one that, for Scott at least, invariably involves no small amount of adventure. For a man who has scaled the Himalayas, twice reached the South Pole and paddle-boarded his way down The Amazon, photography is synonymous with exploration.
A sense of remoteness, isolation, or seeing a landscape from a unique perspective is what drives me
Q: Is there any environment you would refuse to travel to?
A: ‘I don’t think so, no. There are places where the political situation would make me nervous about travelling to, but they can end up being some of the most interesting and rewarding.’
Q: Are you drawn to people or places?
A: ‘Places I think, or rather landscapes, although I find myself being more drawn to photographing people and hearing their stories as I get older – I don’t know why that is. Ultimately though, there is always a thrill in standing somewhere that very few people have stood before.’
Q: Some of your work involves the use of drones – how important is it for photographers and filmmakers to use modern technologies?
A: ‘There are so many new technologies appearing all the time and it is important to keep abreast of them, but at the same time it’s important to remember that the basics of what you are doing have not changed: the most important things are imagination and creativity – and a desire to see over the next horizon. Ultimately all you are trying to do is control the light entering your camera in a way that will speak to people in some way.’
Words: Issac Williams