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A 101 That Works For A Living

A 101 That Works For A Living

A few weeks ago I was fortunate to spend the afternoon in the company of Keith Hart, proprietor of ‘Photo 4x4’.

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Keith is a professional photographer and a qualified instructor in off-road driving. He has a passion for the Highlands of Scotland and has over 30 years worth of invaluable experience exploring the hidden treasures of the area.

Now a fulltime resident in Ross-shire with his Highland born wife, he is an ideal position to share his passion for photography, the Highlands, and off-roading, with visitors to the area. Keith’s vehicle of choice is a 101inch forward control Land Rover with an ambulance body.

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Powered by a V8, which has been converted to LPG, there aren’t many places he cannot take his customers.

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Some alterations have been made to the interior of the vehicle….. The stretcher racks have been removed and bench seating (with lap belts) now resides along the rear wheel arches.

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These bench seats are the same as we have fitted in our everyday Landies, but are modified to fit the larger wheel arches, and are in fact considerably more comfortable than they usually are!

You can also see that there is a computer monitor in the rear compartment as well. This enables the passengers to view their digital photographs instantly, and discuss various options to improve or alter their pictures, or use different techniques under Keiths guidance.

Also, there is a tannoy system fitted, which enables Keith to give a commentary to passengers in the rear of the vehicle whilst he is driving. There is also a radio fitted in the cab...But keith states categorically that he would rather listen to the sound of the V8 burble from the exhaust than the radio any day!

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As you can see from the above photo, Keith has also altered the window arrangement down the side of the body, and also in the rear doors, giving a much better view of the surroundings that the standard arrangement. The new windows are the same fittings as standard though, and are very much in keeping with the general ‘feeling’ of the Landy and do not look at all out of place.

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From the above you can see that the 101 really does work for a living. The first photo is taken at Assynt, and the second from our afternoon out.

I was fortunate enough to go off-road with Keith, and we took a trail that he is very fond of, and that he has exclusive permission to use. During this trip which culminated in a visit to an ancient monument,

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I was able to understand why Keiths tours are so popular. He has an amazing understanding of his surroundings; both of the natural history and the geography of the area, but also of the way mankind has interacted with his surroundings and the effect he has had over the centuries.

Photo 4x4 have a green award from the Tourist Board, and the company motto sums up their view perfectly “Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints”

So, what next for Keith and Photo 4x4? Keith is working on ideas to enable wheelchair bound users to use his unique service. So that disabled people can enjoy the thrill of off-roading, and the delights of accessing places that they would normally never be able to visit; (In fact, to visit places that normally 99% of the population will never see) and at the same time furthering the cause for off-roaders everywhere.

For more information on Photo4x4, please visit Keiths website at
www.photo4x4.co.uk/index.html
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