Episode 139 Nick Dimbleby on Exploring and Documenting the World by Land Rover
Show Notes for Podcast #139
Nick Dimbleby on Exploring and Documenting the World by Land Rover
Summary: Scott Brady interviews famed photographer Nick Dimbleby about the Camel Trophy, and traveling around the world by Land Rovers. Nick shares his experience capturing world-class photographs and videos while on expedition. Nick has been the photographer of choice for overland expeditions since the Camel Trophies of the late 1990s and other notable expeditions using stock Land Rovers around the globe.
With over twenty years working as a freelance, there aren’t many photographic situations that I haven’t experienced. During that time I have shot in over 80 countries, from the desert to the city; in the mountains, the sea and everything in between.
Whether it’s photographing a Ferrari on a winding British B-Road or a Land Rover in the dunes of Morocco, my work is as varied as the stamps in my passport. A typical week could be shooting a 4x4 on a muddy track on Monday; in the studio photographing a concept car on the Wednesday, whilst the weekend could be spent at the circuit covering a 24 hour race…
But as well as photographing cars, my brief regularly includes ‘automotive lifestyle’ – in other words anything to do with cars that isn’t ‘just’ the car. This could include portraits of executives or fashion shoots, action sports as part of a manufacturer-sponsored adventure competition, reportage and location work for a travel story as well as detailed product photography.
This flexibility and huge bank of experience that I have gained from two decades of professional work, means that I have the confidence and experience to create the images you want, even if circumstances or the weather are not ideal.
I work quickly and effectively, thinking on my feet and capturing fast moving events with photography that is precise, creative, looks great and tells a story. I love what I do and relish a challenge!
Those who know me will agree that there’s not much that I’m phased by, and having been lead photographer on numerous expeditions, large scale motorsports events and multi-million pound launches, I am used to managing a team and enjoy working with fellow creatives.
I am as comfortable working in the studio as I am in arctic tundra, and I am used to being strapped into fast moving vehicles, boats and helicopters in order to get the definitive shot. As well as still images, I also shoot moving footage with the latest 4K Canon C300 Mk II camera, and I am regularly called upon to create moving assets and films for my clients. I also work with a team of fellow movie makers to produce high quality films that exceed expectations and belie their budgets.
Please get in touch to discuss how we might be able to work together in the future, or just to have a chat. It would be great to talk photography, film or cars. I love all three.
Get in touch
MOBILE: +44 7710 912522
This was the first major expedition I did for Land Rover and effectively the start of my career as a freelance photographer back in 1996. I spent three weeks living out of a Discovery in the Bornean jungle, where the going was so hard that the convoy only managed 500 miles in the first two weeks. Right there I decided that this would be an excellent way to earn a living.
With the introduction of mountain biking, kayaking and orienteering, Camel Trophy developed into more of an adventure sports competition in 1997. The stunning landscape of Mongolia also offered a very different look to the traditional Camel Trophy jungle image.
To check out more of Nick’s timeline and see all the Camel Trophy events and adventures click the link http://www.nickdimbleby.com/timeline/
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I am your host, Scott Brady. And for today's guest we have Nick Dimbleby. Nick was actually on my very first list of dream guests for the Overland Journal podcast. Nick is a three decade long photographer for Land Rover and other premium manufacturers. Nick participated in the last four years of the Camel Trophy, and he has traveled to over 80 countries in his explorations of the world. Nick is a consummate professional. He is renowned for his photographic work and video work, so there's a lot of insights that are gained from that, both as a photographer and as a traveler. We get to talk about Nick's vintage Land Rovers as well, and we have the conversation in Dubai, in the uae. Nick and I had just been traveling together in the Arabian Desert, so please enjoy my [00:01:00] conversation with Nick Dimbleby. This content is brought to you by Overland Journal, our premium quality print publication. The magazine was founded in 2006. With the goal of providing independent equipment and vehicle reviews along with the most stunning adventures and photography, we care deeply about the countries and cultures. We visit and share our experiences freely with our readers. We also have zero advertorial policy and do not accept any advertiser compensation for our reviews. By subscribing to Overland Journal, you're helping to support our employee owned and veteran owned publication. Your support also provides resources and funding for content like you are watching or listening to right now. You can subscribe directly on our website at Overland Journal dot. [00:02:00] Nick, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. I, I have to say that I have long admired your work, and there are so many in the industry that are familiar with your work and they may not know you as an individual. So I'm so grateful that we can take the time today to talk about not only you as a creative, but as an adventure traveler yourself and as a Land Rover enthusiast. We got a chance to talk in the car today, as we were driving the one 30, the new defender, one 30, from the desert into Dubai here. And we got a chance to, you have a wide and varied story, which I think is, is so, is so fascinating. But I think we should start off by kind of talking about why we're both here, which is the new Land Rover Defender one 30.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely. Yeah.
Scott Brady: And, and have you had, any personal insights or thoughts that you've come to on the vehicle? W
Nick Dimbleby: ell I think the [00:03:00] first thing is I think it's great. I love it. It really is. It feels like a, the absolutely perfect defender now, I think with that extra load space at the back, the car just feels right. And I think one of the things that is interesting photographing it is the proportions. You know, now it looks very much like, you know, the, sort of the long wheel base Land Rover. Going back way back to the sort of the 1 0 7 s, back from the series. One that's sort of, that sort of, you know, four oh, well, five, five seats in the middle. And then obviously you've got the load space at the back.
Scott Brady: Yeah. For me, I notice that when I think about the classic defender that I drive, it does have quite a bit of body after the rear axle and. This new one 30 is more reminiscent of that. And I actually think that of, of all of the current model Land Rovers, this is the most appropriate for travel.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Because you still have the same will base as the one 10. So [00:04:00] it's not too long, it's just right. It's, you know, it's the right porridge, for travel, but then you've got an extra 13 inches of space after that rear axle for additional equipment. And one of the things that I liked about the vehicles that I was driving yesterday is it's actually a, the five door version or the five seat variant So you end up with that flat load floor in the rear. Yeah. So, and have you noticed anything, really different about driving it? No. I thought I was gonna feel like it was longer, but actually, yeah, it feels, it's, you know, you're looking forward. It looks like the sort of, the, the normal sort of, new defender. I guess the interesting thing is here, is everything's a lot bigger. Same as it is in the us. Obviously in the UK we're a little bit more pressed for space. I'm interested That makes sense to see how, how it works in parking spaces and things like that. Scott Brady: But that's a good point. That's a good [00:05:00] point. In the US it's. It's a right sized vehicle. It's a competitor to the, the Yukon and the, and the Denali now. And it, I think it's gonna be well suited for, I think it's gonna be very well suited for towing.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, true.
Scott Brady: And of course the embargo will have lift by the time this goes live, but there's gonna be a V8 variant of the Defender one 30 as well, which I think will be very popular for towing for people who carry a lot more equipment. Although personally I think that the inline six is with the turbo is just a fantastic engine.
Nick Dimbleby: It's a bright engines and.
Scott Brady: We saw that in the dunes yesterday. The vehicles.
Nick Dimbleby: Power.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And that, yeah. And it makes plenty of power.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely.
Scott Brady: And the fact that it's independent, front and rear suspension in the dunes, I think they do really well.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, for sure. I mean that the, be surprised at how amazing it is in the dunes actually. Yes, yes. Because we had the, the mud terrain tires on. So.
Scott Brady: Which is usually a challenge.
Nick Dimbleby: A little bit of a challenge, but obviously with the right tire pressures, which, we obviously aired [00:06:00] down before we headed out. And yeah, you've got the SAM mode, on the, terrain response system, which of course gives you that, that increased pickup, initially and also optimizes all the, all the different traction, aids that you get. And, yeah, I mean it's.
Scott Brady: It really worked.
Nick Dimbleby: The weakest link is the driver, basically.
Scott Brady: That's all. And that's really all we saw yesterday in the dunes was just people that were maybe inexperienced, or took maybe not the, quite the best line. Yeah. And that was the only time that the vehicle really had any challenges. But it, it was also nice to see everybody working together and, you know, we had to even use it, a kinetic rope to tow out one of the vehicles. And it was, it was really neat. And for me, that was one of the joys of yesterday is that I had the chance, Just spend the whole morning with the drive team and, and really spend a lot more time in the dunes driving the vehicle than I would I've normally been able to do.
Nick Dimbleby: So yeah, it's a great team as well, isn't it?
Scott Brady: Yeah, it really is.
Nick Dimbleby: The guys that, that look after these events, not just, you know, here, but obviously [00:07:00] globally, it's, they're incredible. It's a, it's a great bunch of people, you know, really, really, just so experienced they know how to do it and, yeah, it's a pleasure working.
Scott Brady: Yeah. All of you guys are just, you're the masters of your craft and, you know, you know everybody from David sne who was on the podcast a few years ago and the care that he puts into these driver routes and everything else like that, to you and, and I learned something new about you today in the car that was so fascinating. You, if I understand it, remember it correctly. You were 13 years old when you publish your first book.
Nick Dimbleby: That's right. Yes. I was, I was a nerdy teenager.
Scott Brady: Well, it was working out for you.
Nick Dimbleby: That's it. Yeah, absolutely. That's it. So, I, you know, I started, this is where, I mean, this is where it all started really, is, I was interested in cars. I was interested, in conversions, in sort of special, special modified vehicles and Range Rover. The classic Range Rover was, back in the [00:08:00] seventies and eighties was one of the most modified, vehicles ever. Six wheelers, hunting vehicles for the Middle East here, convertibles, you know, rally cars, police, the popemobile, you know, those ones converted for sure. Queen, you know, all these different modifications. So as a boy, I, I wrote to these manufacturers and said, oh, please send me some photographs of information. And started to create this scrapbook, which then eventually became this book that was published by Haynes Publishing. And I was.
Scott Brady: And many you that are listening.
Nick Dimbleby: When I wrote it.
Scott Brady: Many of you that are listening will know the Haines manuals cuz you've worked on your own Land Rover or Jeep or anything. I mean, these are, these are prolific.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, so Hanes manuals was, so they had like a, obviously they published, you know, normal books as well as the manual. So this wasn't, this wasn't a technical manual. This was, this was basically a, a sort of a, a scrapbook of, of cool photographs of some of the, the amazing vehicles that, that have been produced. So yeah, that's where [00:09:00] it all started. And, there was a few of my own photos in there. I started to take pictures as a boy I was, into photography and, it sort of snowballed from there, really sort of, the book came out and, it was reviewed in a magazine called Land Rover Owner, which again was at the time a very small publication being produced by, by three guys in a shed basically. In Norfolk and, yeah, so I started to do a bit of work for them and of course, if you remember that.
Scott Brady: So you were 14 when you started working for the magazine?
Nick Dimbleby: I was, yeah. Very, very young, sort of. And how did the photographer and just was just, you know, they, I mean, they were, they were keen for content and obviously because I was, you know, I was keen to do stuff and I was, I was still at school, but my parents were, were kind enough to, to give me lifts to sort of, you know. Rallies and, and various different things. So yeah, and then it sort of went on from there, carried on working with Land Rover owner for, for years, and then they were taken over by a larger publishing company, [00:10:00] which actually coincided with when I left, university. And then that's it, just carried on from there. Started working for other magazines within the group. And then, in 1996 I had the opportunities to go on Camel Trophy and then.
Scott Brady: And that was as a journalist or as, as a photographer?
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. So this was another one of these weird twists of fate. So, I had a place as a journalist, on the 96 trophy for Land Rover owner. But, coincidentally my friend of mine was working at the, the London Boat Show. And he met, the guy that was running the photographic operation for Camel Trophy in the chat called Lee Farrant. And Lee was at the boat show just, as a sort of a, you know, customer sort of personal interested in boats. Got speaking to my mate who was working on one of the stands and, and he said, oh, you should speak to my mate Nick. He's a, he's a Keen Land Rover photographer. He, he'd love to do the Camel Trophy, so, Lee's they swapped [00:11:00] cars and said, yeah, go to give me a call and. So I called him and again, coincidentally, he happened to live about six streets away from where I was living in London.
Scott Brady: Unbelievable. It was meant to be there. So we met, we went down. I said, we met at the, we met at the pub and had a chat. And and obviously cuz I was already going on the event, it was great cuz he said, look, I'll do you a deal. I'll give you some roles of film cause obviously it was all shot on film Then. I'll give you roles of film, if you can, if you can basically let us have first dibs on all your, stuff. We'll process it. And yeah, that's how it started. And then obviously did a reasonable job and, and got asked to do the, the event next year as one of the official teams. So.
Scott Brady: And how many years of the Camel Trophy did you participate?
Nick Dimbleby: I did the last four, so 96.
Scott Brady: So you literally saw the last of the last.
Nick Dimbleby: So the last Land Rovers, so the 96, 97 98 event. There was no event in 99. And then obviously the 2000 event, which was in the ribs in the South [00:12:00] Pacific. So very different event, but again.
Scott Brady: But to have experienced all of those and when you, because for me, I look at Camel Trophy and I just, I kind of hear it and see it in hush tones and all this excitement steeped in so much legacy.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. It's a long time ago now.
Scott Brady: It is.
Nick Dimbleby: You know, it's, the last event was in 2000, first event in 1980. Yeah. You.
Scott Brady: And that was with Jeeps, if I remember correctly.
Nick Dimbleby: Correct. Yeah, the first event, 1980 was in Brazil with, with these license built Jeeps, Brazilian Jeeps, the U 50 it's called. And then, yeah, the next event 81 was, was in Range Rover, and that was the start of a long association, camel Trophy and Land Rover, which, you know, is, is amazing.
Scott Brady: It is amazing. And the, the first year that you participated would've been a discovery one?
Nick Dimbleby: Correct Yeah. And the soft dash discovery 1 1986. TDI.
Scott Brady: And when you look back on, on that [00:13:00] experience, what were some of the things that you thought were key takeaways about travel, about driving, about setting up a vehicle that you learned from Campbell?
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, I mean I was, I was pretty green then. I'd actually, and I had, I'd been fortunate to do a few trips cuz again cuz I've been working while I was at college. So I had done, the War challenge events. You remember the War Challenge in Morocco? I did that. That was in 94. Sylvania Trophy as well.
Scott Brady: I know that one.
Nick Dimbleby: Some of these legendary.
Scott Brady: They are legendary.
Nick Dimbleby: Events that were back in the nineties. So I did that one.
Scott Brady: Interesting. Yeah, that Sylvania trophy looked like it was in the entire thing was in water.
Nick Dimbleby: It was basically, yeah. Yeah, it was, it was.
Scott Brady: I've seen the photos driving down. Unbelievable.
Nick Dimbleby: The whole a day's stage was literally driving down a river.
Scott Brady: Unbelievable.
Nick Dimbleby: Which was pretty cool.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Very cool.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, 20, I was 21 years old. It's sort of funny. And you think it's a long time ago now? Yeah. But anyway, so that was, I'd done a few trips, but yeah, I was definitely a bit green when it came to [00:14:00] sort of travel. You know, you sort of, didn't sort of know what to expect. They gave a few, there was like a little mini event guide which gave you a few tips of what to bring and, you know, all the sort of medications that anti-malarial.
Scott Brady: Are any of those still in existence, those guys?
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, I've got, I've got them. I've still got my guide.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I would love, I would love to.
Nick Dimbleby: So I did, I was part to see those as part of my scan search for the, the book. I actually, went through all this stuff and it was.
Scott Brady: I saw that you had some of the lists included in the book.
Nick Dimbleby: Exactly, yeah. So all that stuff is all around. But anyway, yeah. So that was that. But yeah, it was, it was, I mean we, we, we lived out of that car for three weeks and it was, I mean that, that trip to Borneo was they say one of the toughest camel trophies. I mean, it felt pretty tough at the time. We did, we did 500 miles in two weeks, the first, the first two weeks.
Because it was, was just bridge building. Winching. You know, it was, it was, it was tough. Mud, mud, mud. You know, it was that, it was classic, classic [00:15:00] Camel Trophy, you know? Real proper, hardcore, just slow going, getting the convoy through Winching bridge building, you know, it was, it was a, it was a amazing track that hadn't been used for years. You know, the locals.
Scott Brady: Which is what they loved.
Nick Dimbleby: That's it. The locals. The locals were on it, on mopeds. So we were getting like, you know, I think it was 40, 40 vehicles defenders and discoveries through, so.
Scott Brady: They had a road at the end of that.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. Pretty much. Exactly. That's it. It was definitely, there was definitely, yeah, definitely a good way came trophy. That was good. Cuz you, there was a legacy that was left quite often with, you know, locals that couldn't get through because bridges were broken and everything else. And, and actually the trophy would come in and, you know, construct these, these bridges, repair them to get the, the convoy through.
Scott Brady: They were quite robust.
Nick Dimbleby: Leave it, yeah. Leave it for the locals to have. And there was, you know, quite a few stories of. You know, places that the bus couldn't get through and then all of a sudden because of trophy it could so, right. It was a very positive legacy in that respect.
Scott Brady: And if, [00:16:00] if I remember, the media would oftentimes assist but not drive, is that true?
Nick Dimbleby: No, no, no. We, we would drive as well. I mean on the, on the.
Scott Brady: In the same car?
Nick Dimbleby: Yes. Also, there was the competitive sections, the beginning of the end. So media couldn't be involved with that. But if you were, but in the mean, if you were participating media, you were expected to be part of it. Yeah, very much. Like help get the car through winch, you know, participate. And, I mean, it misses, the team members didn't want to let the, the journalists drive cuz they were too busy having it. But sometimes it was necessary because of, you're exhausting you, you're working, you're driving for 20, even 24 hours, you know, just so you inevitably have to share the driving. So yeah. So I drove a few.
Scott Brady: And you were, you were along with the the UK team?
Nick Dimbleby: UK team, yeah, sure. Yeah. So.
Scott Brady: And who were the. Who are the two drivers for the UK team?
Nick Dimbleby: Will Tapley and John Leach. Okay. So, uh, so can.
Scott Brady: Do you keep in touch with those guys?
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. So Will actually, he lives in Florida. So he's down, down in the US.
[00:17:00] And John, I never kept him in touch with John cause he actually went off and had a, a military career, so I think he was about to join the Army. So I think remember we talked earlier about, was you were not allowed to be a member of the serv, sorry, serving member of the Armed Forces Camel Trophy, but he managed to dodge that by not actually joining.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I still have my, I still have my original application. And again, it was just, I was just so grateful that Tom Collins took the time to just let me know that I wouldn't qualify because of being inactive reserves.
Nick Dimbleby: So, yeah, there we go. But yeah, we go, it was certainly a steep learning curve for, how was, I was 23 at the time. Yeah. It was a, it was a, it was a steep learning curve for a young 23 year old, but, but it was great. It was a really good experience and actually, you know, Cemented the fact that that's something that I wanted to do as a career. Cause I was still wavering at that time about maybe going into television. That was a that was something that I was looking at doing. But actually that, that particular [00:18:00] event sort of made me think, actually, do you know what I want to, I want to do this. This is what I've done, this is what I've been doing ever since.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Well and the, and those, those events were just so iconic and I think transformative for the Landover brand. And I think it also really brought overlanding and vehicle based adventuring to the general consciousness. You know, not so much in the United States, cuz the Camel Trophy never really gained a lot of popularity there. But in Europe there would be millions of applicants.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely. Yeah. So again, UK was not, Massive market, for Camel Trophy. And it was only because of the Land Rover connection that was there, but obviously in, in Spain, France, Germany, huge, huge following. And in fact, a friend of mine, Moy Torres, who was a competitor for Spain in 1990, is now very much involved with Land Rover. And Moy said that, you know, he was, you know, when he, when he came back from doing that event, you know, he was on tv, it was like [00:19:00] all over the place. And he said it was like being a celebrity, you know, you,
Scott Brady: Or a football star.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. You'd walk into a bar and say, Hey, we know you, you are the, you are the guy from Camel Trophy. And you know, he said it was incredible from going from like, you know, not being known at all to being suddenly this sort of personality. So yeah, it was, it was a big, it was a big deal back in the, yeah. Back in the nineties, in, in many countries.
Scott Brady: And then when you were. I'm just curious because photography at that time was quite different and there would've been.
Nick Dimbleby: It's all on film.
Scott Brady: There would've been, yeah. You'd been shooting on film and there would be a whole separate video crew.
Nick Dimbleby: Correct. Yeah.
Scott Brady: And today you do both quite efficiently between the two.
Nick Dimbleby: Sure. I mean, obviously, I mean, I'm primarily a photographer, but do a little bit of video as well. But, yeah, I mean that's the thing, isn't it? I mean, you look at, look at camera technology and, and how things, I mean, you know, we've all got mobile phones. We looked at our mobile phones are incredible devices for capturing things. Is you know, [00:20:00] you look back, you know, when we first started back in the nineties, you know, it was, it was almost inconceivable, you know, that this would, would be the case. But yeah, this is, this is technology and it's great. I love, I love the fact that, you know, technology allows us to do much better things, be more creative. You know, shooting on raw is, is just an incredible thing to be able to, to change, you know, pick up. Bring, yeah. Bring up, shadows, bring down highlights. You know, it's, it's things like that that really, good. But equally, I love the fact that I had a basic grinding in, in film, you know, cuz that's something that.
Scott Brady: I think so, and I, it was the same for me. I, I had a, the eos the I controlled the Right, yeah.
Nick Dimbleby: That was proper, that was proper radical.
Scott Brady: I felt like it, yeah.
Nick Dimbleby: So a Star Trek.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it, that's right. Uh, but I'm glad that I did start in film and that I, I had a dark room and, and I spent the time to really understand the mechanics of photography.
Nick Dimbleby: Well that's what Light room is basically. Light room is, is a, is a dark room, but without the chemicals.
Scott Brady: It is. And, and [00:21:00] it's, it's quite good. I mean it's amazing. Yeah. I remember being quite sad when Aperture went away from Apple, but you know, Lightroom is better now. They finally eclipsed stain for that aperture ever did. Yeah. So when, when you think about your photography equipment, cuz there's no, no doubt that some that are listening would love to make a, for a career in, in adventure in vehicles and, and, being a photographer to do that. What, talk a little bit about what kind of equipment that you do use. Now. Of course all that being said, you know, beautiful images come from talented photographers. They don't come from expensive equipment. But I do notice that you're, you're, cuz I've known you for long enough to watch your kit refine and you keep downsizing and you're more efficient in the field down.
Nick Dimbleby: Sure. But I mean, well travel is quite an interesting thing. Because obviously you have to decide what you're gonna carry and, and, and how you're gonna travel. So I mean, the nice thing about working [00:22:00] with vehicle based trips is obviously you have a vehicle to work out of most of the time. So that allows you to have more equipment to be able to carry a different variety of lenses. But obviously if you are, you know, other times I'm, I'm, I'm working in a vehicle, but it may not be my vehicle. Cause obviously when I'm working on a, on a, a large event, I'm fortunate enough to have the photo car, if you like. The car that has me and a driver that we can get ahead and, and do all the things you need to do. But, if I don't have that and I have to be, you know, literally have a, a small seat and that's all you've got. And obviously a basic kit, of a sort of, you know, a couple of bodies, a telephoto zoom and a and a, a wide angle to telephoto zoom is, is. Pretty much all you need.
Scott Brady: So you'll run two bodies, one of them.
Nick Dimbleby: Always two will be bodies. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Who will be on the, on to have the reach.
Nick Dimbleby: 24 70, with a wide angle. So sort of mid, mid telephoto. And then on this particular trip I've had the hundred to 500.
Scott Brady:I saw that. That’s a Cannon.
Nick Dimbleby: Which is a, yeah, A [00:23:00] recent Yeah. Cannon. Yeah. So I've been recent convert to the mirror system. So I've been using, EOS Canon EOS for years, you know, starting with the film days, the, the EOS ones. Had all the whole range of those, the OS one ns, the OS one rss, which was the semi transparent mirrors, if you remember those.
Scott Brady: I remember.
Nick Dimbleby: I love those. They were great. Obviously when the digital, photography started coming about, so, initial camera was the D 30, which was the first cannon, own proprietary digital camera. Prior to that, we were using the Kodak. Cannon Hybrids, which were basically converted film cameras, which were two and a half megapixels imagine. So, but amazing to how things had come on. But anyway, the, there are phones.
Scott Brady: Yeah, our phones have 20 times.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely. That's it. Yeah. Yeah. And it was slow and the batteries had run out and it was, yeah. Just, you know, different world. But yeah. So now for [00:24:00] years had the one DX dx, mark one, mark two, mark three had two, one dx mark threes, which I absolutely loved. And then, my friend, Dave Shepherd basically had swapped a mirrors and said, you've gotta try one of these. So tried it. And I was like, wow, this is, this is where it's at, this is where it's gonna go. And, and obviously, and.
Scott Brady: They're more compact.
Nick Dimbleby: And that's it. And so, so yeah. So I'm now on two, R three s, Canon R three s and basically chopped everything in. All my old EF lenses went in and I just did a massive part exchange. It was a big bill.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I can imagine.
Nick Dimbleby: But yeah, so I'm, I'm on that so that I'm, one of the advances is you get this lovely 100 to 500 zoom lens, which as a, as a travel lens is just brilliant.
Scott Brady: That's incredible. To have that range.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, to have the range and, you know, obviously, Is a trade off with the aperture, but obviously shooting in these bright conditions.
Scott Brady: There was plenty of light. I mean, it was incredible how much light there was in the dunes yesterday.
Nick Dimbleby: I've still, I've still got my 328 and my 428. [00:25:00] Which I, I love those lenses, but, you know, those are lenses that, you know, you, you very much use for specific conditions and obviously out in the Dunes you don't need that wide aperture. So, although having said that, if I was doing the wildlife thing, yes. And obviously you've been doing that early morning stuff, so then I would be using those, those fast apertures.
Scott Brady: Yeah, you would. And I think from, from my perspective too, it's been interesting to see how well you've. Bridge the, like the visual storytelling between highlighting the product, which is your job, is to highlight the Land Rover. But you also have done a, a very good job of providing a sense of place as well. And I think that for those that are looking as a publisher, when I look at, at photography from those that are submitting stories, I not only want to see the vehicle, but I also need to understand that, that sense of place. And one of the, one of my favorite photos is actually a photo that you took of me in Namibia. [00:26:00] I had gotten kind of down on, on one knee and there was this beautiful young boy that was, in a nemi, like a, a, Himba, right?
Nick Dimbleby: Yes. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Location. And I was taking some photos of him and you took a photo of. Snapping that shot. Right. But it, that's the sense of place.
Nick Dimbleby: Sure. I mean, I think that's the nice thing about, so an automotive photographer
But obviously, being an automotive photographer actually has so many different disciplines. So as well as, as well as Land Rover stuff, I also, work for some other brands as well, which takes me into the world of Motorsport. So I've done a few lemans, 24 hour races, you know, berg ring, 24 hour races. And, and obviously capturing that is a very different discipline from doing something that's an expedition in the jungle, like Camel Trophy or shoe for challenge. And then equally, you know, with automotive, I'm also shooting cars in the studio, [00:27:00] so. Again, that's completely different.
Scott Brady: Full cycle.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. And then, you know, we get to go to some amazing varied places. So, you know, you've got the jungle, so you've got the humidity, you've got the, just the general sort of. I mean it, as you probably know, the jungle is a, is a hard place to exist. Not designed as a cameras.
Scott brady: It's not, it's not designed for humans, let alone cameras.
Nick Dimbleby: That's so, you know, that's, that's a big issue. And then obviously, you know, arctic conditions. So I, I shoot in, I've been in Iceland. I mean, we go back to 2000 and, 15 where we did the launch of the Discovery Sport.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I was there for that one with you.
Nick Dimbleby: And, you know, only Land rover would be crazy enough to do a, a car launch in the middle of the Icelandic winter.
Scott Brady: And it was, it was tough. It was, I remember that part of the team. Part of the drive team had to just sleep on the floor of the hotel.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, that's right.
Scott Brady: They couldn't get to their other property.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. It was a proper adventure. I think that's great. It felt like it, the fact that, you know, this is not a normal car review. No. It was like, [00:28:00] and it was every day was different. You'd wake up and it was a storm blowing or you'd wake up and it was a lovely, you know, crystal clear sky or.
Scott Brady: And that's the beauty of Iceland is it's just such a dramatic place.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely. Yeah.
Scott Brady: And as a photographer, um, some of my favorite images that I've ever taken were, were, were in Iceland. Just that, that, that never ending sunset almost.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely. Yeah.
Scott Brady: It's really quite, so.
Nick Dimbleby: We were there, we were there obviously in winter, which is again, that time when the period of, it's, I think it's four hours of daylight a day.
Scott Brady: Not much. Yeah, not much.
Nick Dimbleby: But obviously the daylight you do get is low sun all the way through. So it's basically golden hour for four hours. So it's absolutely stunning. We, we absolutely loved it that time.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I did love that.
Nick Dimbleby: And again, so vary the conditions, but you know, and this is what you have to put your cameras through. The cameras go through all these different conditions. I was in in Sweden, two weeks ago Okay. At minus 15. And, and here we are, you know, sort of plus 40 weeks later.
Scott Brady: So it was warm [00:29:00] when we were in Dunes. It was warm.
Nick Dimbleby: It was warm, it was so yeah. So as an automotive photographer, going back to your question, you know, again, another good friend of mine said that, you know, he's not an automotive photographer, he's a landscape photographer. He just happens to put a car in the frame. And I think, I think I approach a little bit that as well. You know, you, you, you are the, the background is, is as important as the foreground. And obviously, you know, I'm there working for, for Land Rover, so the car's the star, but equally the context of where the car is is really important. And again, why I love working for Land Rover is obviously you've got vehicles that. Do amazing things in so many different places. And, you know, there's, there's always something going on, you know, amazing angles, you know, action, sound flying, rock crawl, you know, you've got axle articulation, wheels, lifting all this sort of stuff in the mud, you know, going through, forwarding through the, the muddy, muddy waters of Easter. You know? [00:30:00] Just looks cool, doesn't it?
Scott Brady: It looks super.
Nick Dimbleby: And that's one of the things I'm in the way. Don't tell anyone that you, it's, it's actually quite easy to photograph Alandra doing stuff because, because it's stuff, you know.
Scott Brady: It's visually very interesting.
Nick Dimbleby: Visually. Very interesting. So, you know, that's one of the things that's a real pleasure is actually the variety of, of, of terrains, landscapes, places, weather conditions, all these things over my 25 year career working for Land Rover.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Cuz you're, well, you're getting close to 30 years now.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. Yeah. First of all, I first asked, my first job was, was obviously 90, so 96 was, yeah. But then the first one I actually worked for Land Rover directly cuz Camel Trophy was a separate company. Was in 1997. When Bill Baker, yeah, I'm sure you remember the, God rest his soul, but, he yeah, he actually commissioned me in 97 to under one when it was announced in the uk. And that was the [00:31:00] first commission I had with, with Land Rover back in well, six, 26 years ago.
Scott Brady: Amazing. Let's pivot a little bit to travel. So as a professional photographer, you've literally traveled around the world. What were some of your favorite trips or what was your most favorite adventure that you've been on?
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. I mean, again, so one of the nice things working with Land Rover is, is the fact. I've been to some, you know, many, many different countries. I think about, it's sort of upper eighties, 85, 86 countries I think it is. And yeah, in terms of my favorites, I mean, all the well the, the travel aspect, I mean, camel Trophy, Mongolia, in 97 was, was, I mean, it's a long time ago, but it again, still ranks up there as being a, a really quite a special trip.
Scott Brady: And how different Mongolia would've been in 97. You and I were speaking earlier and you had gone back in 2008 and I was there in 2010. For me, it was the only time I had been to Mongolia, so it, it [00:32:00] did still feel very nomadic and yeah, there was a lot cuz we'd traveled the northern route, which was very remote. There were still very much. Nomadic families, but I'm sure it's almost completely different now.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. I've not been back and I would, I would love to go back actually, but it's, it's one of those things that in those 10 years, that was 97 to 2008, I definitely noticed a difference there that the first year, once you got outside the city, it was, you know, there were no cars. Right. It was horseback or, or Russian built old motorcycles. That's how they got around. Everyone was in a nomad or they're a nomadic, people. So they basically have these gz, which they pack up and then move and move with their sheep and graze. And obviously as the grazing runs out, they move. And yeah, you know, they were all in, in national dress. Very much, you know, no English spoken. It was, was no communication apart from smiles and, and gestures, which was, and they were very. [00:33:00].
Scott Brady: And they are easy to smile people.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely. Yeah. Very welcoming. It's that, that culture of, again, being in those harsh environments, I mean, Mongolia is a harsh environment. It's, it's cold, it's windy, it's, you know, very, the sun is very strong. So the, the, the, the stranger is, is welcomed in because, you know, they, they need to be protected. So and there's very much a culture of that. Anyway, I noticed in that, in the 10 years that, that I was there, or not, so the 10 years in between, the first time in the last time I was there, you know, everyone was in national dress, but I noticed that these girls had satellite dishes outside. And then if you looked a bit closer, the people that were still wearing national dress but if you look to the bottom of their robes, you could see that they were actually wearing jeans underneath. And it's like this is the sort of the western culture starting to, to come in and, you know, you sort of hope that there's, they haven't lost their own sort of cultural identity, but.
Scott Brady: It seems to be [00:34:00] happening rapidly. And it's in the end, you want, you want them to have whatever access to modernity that they want as a culture. But it is, it is still a sense of loss for the traveler that a lot of these incredibly diverse and unique cultures are, are homolog getting, they look very western now.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely. Yeah. In terms of places, some of the most memorable trips, I mean, there's been some, some incredible ones. And I think, I've been fortunate enough to, to do three, really long range trips with, with Land Rover. Aa while ago now. So 1998 we did the, discovery around the world trip, which was the launch of the Discovery two, and the first phase of that was London to Calcutta in India.mSo I did, I did that, which was 25 days.
Scott brady: I remember that trip.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. That was another Bill Baker one. That was, that was a, that was a pretty amazing trip. You know, just going through all of, Eastern Europe and [00:35:00] then dropping down into Turkey. Then we went all the way across Turkey, then into Iran. Across Iran. I mean, again, this would be a trip that would be very difficult. And then into Iran, then Pakistan, we were, you know, skirting the Afghanistan border, and then into India and then across into Calcutta. So, that was a, that was a pretty amazing experience. And then, let's think it was 20, 2011, I think it was. Did another trip. In fact, now that's what's wrong. I'm thinking about another trip. The discovery one. We did another one in, 2002, which was, with, again, with the back end of discovery two. And that was Norway to Jordan. And that was a following a rally. Scott Brady: Through Syria too.
Nick Dimbleby: Through Syria, yeah, exactly. Yeah. Through Damascus.
Scott Brady: I'm so glad that you were able to see Damascus in its glory's. [00:36:00] I didn't go, I had an invitation and I didn't go. And it, it'll never be the same.
Nick Dimbleby: No, no, exactly. I mean, one of the things I remember about Damascus was. Was the, was driving through the city and everyone there was on their horn. So literally you, it's like a, but it wasn't like, it was almost like a, not a, it wasn't like an aggressive sure thing. It was just like, boop, I'm here. And it was like once you got into the zone, you was like biting the horn and it was just like a, like a friendly little sort of game that everyone would play. I've got my little space, but I'm only gonna go through. It was, great fun.
Scott Brady: Yeah. What an incredible country.
Nick Dimbleby: And then the last one, another trip to India, which was, 2013 with the Range Rover Hybrid. And that was, yeah, cross, similar sort of route, but instead of going, south into, Turkey this time we kept north and then went through the stands. So, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and.
Scott Brady: You were on that trip?
Nick Dimbleby: Yep, exactly. And then we did a, a [00:37:00] drop down across the, what's the name of the pass? The Toga Pass, I think it is. That goes into China. From Kurgastan and then you We then drove all the way down the western side of, of China, sort of very close to the Indian border. Which was on the Sing Yang Highway. I think they said at the time. We were the first Westerners to actually complete the whole, north, the south of the, the Sing Yang Highway. Which then takes you into Nepal, and again, you've got this amazing, the, the obviously very high altitude for most of the time. And then you drop down to this border town, which is sort of the funnel where everything goes from China into Nepal. And then obviously across Nepal, which in itself is a, an amazing.
Scott Brady: I've never been. Oh, it's a, really enjoyed it. Yeah. Wow. Again, I mean, I mean, this is one of the things, isn't it? Is when you are, when you travel, one of the most memorable things for me anyway, at [00:38:00] least, is the people. The smiling faces that people, you know, just those, those, those. Human interactions. And it might be a split second. You know, you might see someone and think, oh, that's, can you take that photograph? And, you know, sort of have that interaction. And it's, it's a, it's a really nice thing. And then yeah. Nepal, then into India and you know, again, it's just, just the, the, the experience of actually just driving through these places and, and people waving. You know, I mean that's one of the things that, particularly if you're doing a trip where you've got a number of vehicles, which often these are, so that particular trip we had three, range over hybrids plus, four discovery, four or l r four support carts. So we were seven vehicles, all silver with deckle the logos.
Scott Brady:I remember that.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. And so, you know, when we come through the town in, in the middle of nowhere, it's quite a spec and it's, it's great cuz you know, people come out and they're waving or interested in knowing what you're doing. And, [00:39:00] you know, I mean, that's one of the things I think, which if anyone's doing a, a type of Overland trip that's a, a long distance trip, I'd recommend having a, a map of your route on, on the bonnet, on the door, whatever. Because that's the easiest way when someone says, you know, where are you going? What are you doing? You say, right. Have a look at this. And we had these maps on the bonnet of the, or the hood, I should say of the cars. So you could show people and say, well, look, we started here in, in, uh, in Birmingham, in Soli Hall, and we've been all this way, and you could actually show, and that that was a, a visual way of, uh, people understanding what the journey that you are on. So yeah, definitely a recommendation. Put a.
Scott Brady: And I think one of the things that I like most about the trips that you're referring to is that they were all done in stock vehicles.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, absolutely.
Scott Brady: They weren't modified, they were factory.
Nick Dimbleby: And that's one of the key things with, with obviously any Land Rover trip, is that it has to be in a, a stock vehicle because it's, you know, in, in theory it's a, a trip that you could go to a, a Land Rover dealership, [00:40:00] buy the car and go off and do it.
Scott Brady: Well, and you did. I mean, if you think about you crossed the Silk Road, you, you know, you went from Jordan to Norway and I mean, these are significant overland trips that were done in totally stock standard view.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely. Yeah. And obviously we had a lot of assistance in terms of, but the car, but the car is, you know, it's, it's a stock vehicle, you know, with maybe a little bit of, you know, the mud terrain tires, so stronger tires and extra spare wheel. A winch. But apart from that, but.
Scott Brady: Those are all factory options.
Nick Dimbleby: All factory options. Absolutely. Yeah. Stuff that, and.
Scott Brady: That was also what was so.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely, yeah. Stuff that you.
Scott Brady: And that was also what was so impressive about Camel Trophy. They did, they did have some modifications.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. But they were mainly for safety. So things were the roll cage.
Scott Brady: The roll cage. Yep.
Nick Dimbleby: Which obviously was important.
Scott Brady: And then they tied it into the roof rack and kind of thing. But everything else was, I mean, even the bumper and the winch you could get from a Landover dealership.
Nick Dimbleby: They just bolted on, you know? [00:41:00]
Scott Brady: Yeah. And I think it's just such a, an important reminder that you don't have to spend all this money modifying your vehicle? No. You can buy the right vehicle to begin with and it, that may be a Land Rover, that may be a land cruiser, whatever is the brand of your choice, but buy a good vehicle to start off with and you can, in most cases, drive around the world without doing any real modifications to it.
Nick Dimbleby: That's one of the things, again, we were talking about earlier, I think, is that, you know, mod vehicle modifications are good to make your life more comfortable, you know, maybe make it a little bit more, capable in the sense of being able to recover yourself and, and, and have safety things like roll cages. That's, something that's, that is actually quite a good thing. But you know, at the end of the day, the more stock it is, the more. Easy it will be if you have any issues. So if you, you know, if you break down or have a, you know, I mean, you hear about these things, people have these trick suspensions and actually, you know, that's the bit that actually breaks. And then all of a sudden you can't get that particular component in wherever [00:42:00] you are. Area that's so, you know, it's, it's good to keep things as I, I think anyway, as sort of as standard
Scott Brady: As standard as possible.
Nick Dimbleby: But obviously with a, you know, maybe a few little subtle modifications, for safety and to enhance performance in certain areas.
Scott Brady: And what else have you, what other takeaways if someone was to, to sit down with you like we are now and say, I, I'd love to start traveling the world by vehicle. What are some other things that you've learned along the way as a traveler that you would give recommendations to if you were talking to your 14 year old self or your 21 year old self?
Nick Dimbleby: I think, yeah, I think, set an itinerary but don't, don't have to be like strict and sort of say, We need to be at this location at a certain time, particularly with a long trip. You know, you don't know what's necessarily gonna come about. So for example, you know, you might be stuck at a border crossing in that question border crossing that you think is gonna take two hours, might take you two days. Because someone somewhere decides that then you're not gonna get [00:43:00] through now. So that's an extreme example. But, but.
Scott Brady: That happens.
Nick Dimbleby: It does happen, of course. And also, you know, never, you might end up in an area or somewhere where you actually just, you like the feel of it, you like the vibe and you think, actually I'm gonna stay here for a little bit longer. So, you know, I think if I was planning a trip personally that I was, you know, on a long, long range travel, I would, I would have probably key spots where I would end up wanting to be. But I would actually, the bit in between I'd leave flexible. You know, you might want to spend a bit more time somewhere, or you might actually think somewhere's not, not really where it's where it's at for me, so I'm gonna keep going.
Scott Brady: So, and then maybe bank those days for a future.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely. That's it.
Scott Brady: Future moment.
Nick Dimbleby: That's it. Yeah. I think.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I, I like to call it.
Nick Dimbleby: Stay flexible. Don't be too rigid in your planning.
Scott Brady: I like to call it, strong planning. Loosely held.
Nick Dimbleby: Exactly. Yeah. That's a, that's a good, that's a good.
Scott Brady: Because you wanna start off, being methodical and know where you want to go and have good information, [00:44:00] know where those beautiful campsites are, but be, be open to serendipity.
Nick Dimbleby: Absolutely. Along the way. And, you know, you meet people, and again, this people thing, again, you know, you meet people along the way and they'll open a door for you that you had no idea was there. And then all of a sudden you wanna be able to go and make, make use of that. Yeah. It's good.
Scott Brady: So let's talk about, you have an impressive fleet of Land Rovers yourself and, let's talk about your favorite one to begin with.
Nick Dimbleby: Oh, gosh. I've gotta pick a favorite.
Scott Brady: We won't tell. We won't tell.
Nick Dimbleby: Well, I guess probably my favorite has to be the one that I've had longest, which is my a hundred inch defender. It's a v8. We did laugh earlier about you were saying you assumed that it was gonna be a diesel.
Scott Brady: I did. Yeah.
Nick Dimbleby: I said it's the, it's the classic thing where you always want what you can't have.
So whereas we have lots of diesels and you have lots of petrols. Yeah. We, we, we want the V8 and you want the tdi. That's right. That's, that's the way it works. But anyway, yeah. So I have a, a 3.9 v8, hundred inch soft top, [00:45:00] defender, which is my sort of fun car. And I've had that, I've had that since 1998 and I've, I've rebuilt it twice. When I got married in 2002, that was the car that we drove away from the church. Ah, all this sort of thing. So, yeah, that's probably my, my sort of. As you said, the car that I'll be buried in. But I also have, yeah, a couple of, well, I have three, classic range rovers I have.
Scott Brady: Which are just. They're just exceptional. They're so amazing.
Nick Dimbleby: They're, yes, 1979, which has got 44,000 miles from new, all original, no replacement tailgate. It was, um, one owner car. A guy had it basically just to tow his caravan once a year, so very fortunate. I said, I have not planned to buy it at all, but it was one of those things, it was offered to me and I was like, Hmm, give it a little drive. I drove it. I'm like, I cannot not buy this car. I couldn't afford it, but I had to buy it. So, yeah, so, and thank goodness.
Scott Brady: And then, yeah, nice retirement plan.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, exactly. That's it. [00:46:00] Exactly. The 1995 soft dash, short wheel base with a 4.2 factory fitted v. Was the first of the autobiography series, so it was produced by, by the factory to, to showcase the autobiography, so it had a special paint. I had Brooklyn's bumpers. The spoiler type.
Scott Brady: I remember that.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. So I actually changed those for chrome bumpers. So I've done my own little modifications to it when I did a rebuild.
Scott Brady: Hold on to the originals.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, I've got sort of those as well, so I may put those back at some point. So, yeah, so there's those two. I've also got another soft dash, which I've had since 2006. That's in mothballs. That's a, that's a, that's probably my gonna be my retirement project to rebuild that. And then, what else have I got? I had a csk actually I had to sell, last year just to make some space for, I was getting to the point where I couldn't, I couldn't drive anything cause I couldn't get anything out the lockup where I was. So, yeah, so the [00:47:00] CSK that I had, was sold. And then I also have a Citron two cv, which is my, that's my carbon offset program against the, five V eights that I own.
Scott Brady: But yeah. But the, the, the two CV is such a classic.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, absolutely. It's, it was, that was.
Scott Brady: Now was yours is cuz didn't they make a one that was also a small little van as well?
Nick Dimbleby: Yes, there's a, the van, the ette as they call it in.
Scott Brady: Yeah, so, so Matt Scott, my, my co-host of the podcast that you've, I believe you've met him on other programs, but he just bought one of those for his wife.
Nick Dimbleby: Ah, perfect. With the little van, with the corrugated sort of.
Scott Brady: It's so great.
Nick Dimbleby: Sides and, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Scott Brady: It's so, it's so great. It is so neat.
Nick Dimbleby: There's such a character thing.
Scott Brady: Oh, absolutely.
Nick Dimbleby: Doesn't, doesn't go very fast. You have to drive it flat out all the time. So good. It's, it's a great, it's a great photo.
Scott Brady: Oh, absolutely. So now, if you were, if you were gonna leave tomorrow to drive around the world, what vehicle would you take?
Nick Dimbleby: That's an [00:48:00] interesting question actually. I think it depends where I'm going, but actually, I guess it depends what sort of journey I want to have as well. Because.
Scott Brady: You get to pick.
Nick Dimbleby: Well, I know, but the thing is, it's a difficult one, isn't it? Cause see if I want to go for like a, if you're like an easy trip, I'd probably take a, a new defender. Very so much the ones that we've been driving the last.
Scott Brady: Yeah. The one 30.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, the one 30 with, with the, again, just the basic equipment. Roof rack, winch. You know, series tires, two tires, tires. And then that's pretty much the main modifications you need. Really. So if I was doing an easy trip, I'd go for that. But actually there's something in me that actually, I quite like the idea of taking a series vehicle. I'm quite frankly, getting a, like a long wheel based series two. And just having that and just taking that on.
Scott Brady: Being in the moment every moment.
Nick Dimbleby: Cause you are in the moment, you know, it's, it's, you're living now. I've done, I've done a few trips, with Art Goss and the team. Yeah. Out, we did a, we did a trip in [00:49:00] the BlackRock Desert, about 18 months ago. In three series ones. And it was great. I mean, it was just, Pure.
Scott Brady: So charming.
Nick Dimbleby: It is. It's just, you know, you are, but it's, it's, you know, it's, it's not as comfortable clearly, but it's a just a completely different, you say you're in the moment, you're in there, you driving it, the car, you know, you've gotta, you've gotta coach and the plan can change at any moment. And it's the simplicity as well though. I really enjoy. I think it's, you know, in, in the, in today's complicated life of, you know, tech and being connected and everything else, actually having that sort of analog experience of, of just, you know, there's no gadgets, there's no nothing to help you. It's, it's you and the machine. That I quite like that idea. Scott Brady: Well, maybe that'll be part of the retirement plan.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. But you don't want to be in a hurry. So it comes back to what I was saying about the time. You know, you, if you've got a no particular itinerary, just you, you start where you start and you finish where you finish. [00:50:00] That appeals to me.
Scott Brady:Well one of the, it does, and it, I've, I think most people find those trips like, Ray and Maryanne Highland that took, kind of recreated the, the first Overland trip, and they did it in a 1950s series one. A few years ago. And that was just so incredible what they, what they did as a family. Them and their, yeah. Their sons and everything else like that. All in a, in a 80 inch. Nick Dimbleby: Yep. That's it. That's it.
Scott Brady: You know, Incredible.
Nick Dimbleby: But it makes also, that focuses your mind on what you're taking. So for example, going in an 80, you haven't got much space, have you? And you don't. And, and in reality, you don't need much really.
Scott Brady: You just don't.
Nick Dimbleby: In, in life, you just need shelter, food, and, you know, sort of, and, and company. Really, those are the three things that, that you need. And, and you know, there's a lot to be said for that, isn't it? You know? 80, and you've, you've got limited amounts of stuff to take. So, you know, it's, you know, you take a, a few clothes and you [00:51:00] wash them when you can. And you know, it's just, just basic, these, a lot to be said for that.
Scott Brady: There is. And I think you have a better experience oftentimes. And as you get into countries with lower GDP per capita, then everything gets cheaper. Even accommodations get cheaper.
Nick Dimbleby: And more simple. Absolutely. That's right.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Yeah. So you've had a really significant recent, release of a book. So your, your career started with a book Yeah. And then.
Nick Dimbleby: Hasn't ended yet.
Scott Brady: Yes. No, no, no. But Covid hit. And yeah. Did you just wake up one day and decide to write a book?
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. So you say Covid. Funny enough that Namibia trip was in, sort of February, into early March, 2019. And then we came back from that. And obviously as we were there, it was just starting to kick off, globally, wasn't it? Yeah, we got to the end of March and I had, three months worth of work, which was [00:52:00] booked, and then all of a sudden it was no longer booked as it was for all of us, you know? Base of the world went on hold, didn't it? On pause. So it was that thing of like, right, what am I gonna do now? So, as you said, I had, I had the idea to do a Camel Trophy book had always been something that I'd had in my mind. It was maybe gonna be a, a retirement project or something to do, you know, when I had some spare time. And obviously, with, with Covid, I suddenly had lots of spare time. So yes, I decided to make the most of it and actually go and, start interviewing people, start try reaching out to try and find the original photography.
Scott Brady: And had to have been so much work.
Nick Dimbleby: Well it was, I mean, it's funny because it's something that I think when I look at the, I mean, you've seen the book. It is.
Scott Brady: It's impressive.
Nick Dimbleby: It's quite, it's quite a comprehensive. If I say so myself, it's one of those things that once I started, [00:53:00] you know, it, it just became an, an absolute obsession, a labor of love. And it, it was an absolute pleasure to ha be able to dedicate the time I did dedicate to it. I mean, it was, I mean, literally months and months of work.
Scott Brady: You can see it. And the, the, in my mind it is such, such a way to honor all of those people who work so hard to make. Camel Trophy a possibility. And just the event itself, all the competitors. And yeah, for those that are listening, take a look. The name of the book.
Nick Dimbleby: It's called Camel Trophy, the Definitive History.
Scott Brady: That's right. So the last time that I was on Amazon, I did see a few copies that were still available. I'm sure that there are some on eBay. There's no question that they'll start to get more and more expensive as time goes on.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, that's it. Yeah. but it's been a couple of years now, I think.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it has. And it is I, it's, it's the only book that I have, on my coffee table at my office. And it's just awesome.
Nick Dimbleby: So it's a heavy thing. So I [00:54:00] think it's 300 and something pages.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Perfect bound.
Nick Dimbleby: 950 photos, I think it is. 150,000 words. It's, it's a, yeah, it's a fairly, fairly comprehensive volume. But the point is there was a lot to write about. You know, camel Trophy was on for 40 years. You know, an amazing, an amazing number of stories. I mean, I spoke to all the sort of main people that were, were instrumental in delivering Camel Trophy over 20 years. Right from Andrea ESP Bender, who was the first guy that, that sort of started it back in 1980 through to, you know, Duncan Lee, who was the American that worked for RJ Reynolds that basically developed the event from, from being a German event through to a more, you know, global event. And then yeah, other, Ian Chapman was obviously event director for many years, and Nick Horn who took over at the end. You know, that was it was, yeah. An amazing to be able to speak to these people. Yeah. And of course, these, [00:55:00] these people are in their, in their seventies and eighties and Duncan Lees in his eighties now. And you know, as sad as it is to say these, these stories are not gonna be, you know, told forever. So, and that was one of the things I really wanted to do. I mean, sadly there were quite a few people that I knew on Camel Trophy that have, have already passed. And you know, I think of some of the stories they could have told, and sadly they've gone. So yeah, that was one thing I really wanted to do, was to get those stories down into paper, before the, before they were gone forever. And likewise the photography again, you know, that was something that. You know, it was all shot on film, so trying to get hold of particularly as early years, the 1980s, you know, trying to get hold of those original pictures. So I actually managed to contact some of the original German photographers again. They're in their eighties now. And they still have some of their original film left, and I was able to, to get hold of that and scan it. It's amazing. It was great. You know, now I think that's where I think, you know, I'm proud that I managed to achieve that. [00:56:00] And, and, and it was, I mean obviously Covid was a, a tragedy in many respects, but obviously the, the ability to actually have that time and dedicate that time and, and not have any. I mean, obviously it was worrying in the sense that obviously I didn't have an income. That's what we all did. Cause I, as a freelancer, obviously, clearly if you're not working, you're not earning. So that was, that was a bit stressful. But, but actually that was then able to focus on, on doing the book and, and you know, having that as my, as my sort of, pandemic, focus was, was really good. So it was, it was.
Scott Brady: It's impressive. It really is.
Nick Dimbleby: It was, it was a pleasure to write it to be honest. I really, I did enjoy doing it. And, hopefully that comes.
Scott Brady: No, it was a gift to the whole community and those, all that, that loved the Camel Trophy and, and yeah, it's just a really impressive volume and I can't wait to see what book you come up with next because, yeah. Well, books have been a part of your life.
Nick Dimbleby: Just, yeah, well I'm thinking, I'm thinking about doing another Camel Trophy book actually, but more just based on the photography. So we'll see if that, if that [00:57:00] happens. And then, and then I might actually just go full circle cause the Range Rover Conversions book I told you about in the beginning. So, since obviously I was 13, I've learned an awful lot since, since then. And I think there's a lot of other stories that I, I'd like to sort of look cause whereas that was more about, the scrapbook side of things. You know, the, the ooh and the wow moment of the, of moment, but the, about the vehicles, there are actually some interesting stories about the vehicles and, and how they were built and who they were built for.
So I, I'm quite keen to tell some of those stories.
Scott Brady: So it's really the problem of your, you know.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, exactly. That's it. Yes. I mean, that's it. That's my sort of thing that, you know, hopefully there won't be another pandemic, so let's hope so, to find some time, other, other ways to, to do it. Yeah. But, yeah, one of, we got some more books in me.
Scott Brady: Speaking of books, one of the things that I love to ask, and this is a purely selfish question that I ask of all of our guests is, are there any [00:58:00] books that you love? You know, and it can be of any, any genre. It doesn't have to be about travel. Do you have a favorite book or a favorite couple books? And it's okay if you don't as well.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, I'm pretty rubbish actually, cuz I do, I I go through phases of actually reading loads of books. And then I, and then I, don't read books for a long time. And it's, I think it's tied into sort of work and.
Scott Brady: You're busy.
Nick Dimbleby: Sort of Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it sounds like it's quite nice to have a little read of an evening, but, yeah, so I can't really think of any sort of particular, I mean, I enjoy, I enjoy all sorts of books, you know, I enjoy novels, I enjoy, you know, books about automotive. I enjoy photography books. So, yeah, I wouldn't probably say there's any particular book that I would sort of, I wish I could sort of go, oh yeah, you everyone needs to read this one after. After. So they've maybe.
Scott Brady: Well they need to read the Camel Trophy book.
Nick Dimbleby: Exactly. Start there and then, then, yeah. Work down.
Scott Brady: Yeah. No ab Exactly.
Nick Dimbleby: Up work up.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. Well, Nick, thank you so much for being on the podcast.
Nick Dimbleby: Thank you. Real pleasure.
Scott Brady: It is a genuine pleasure. [00:59:00] When I first started the podcast with Matt Scott, I made a list of what we considered to be dream guests to have on this podcast, and you were on that list. So we have.
Nick Dimbleby: Thank you very much.
Scott Brady: We both have tremendous. Admiration for the work that you do. The quality of your photography is, inspiring for me.
Nick Dimbleby: That's okay.
Scott Brady: As a photographer. And then you're also very well traveled and you've, you've be, become a master of your craft. And to have such a storied, a storied career, starting with Land rover, well, starting at 13, writing your first book, which is so impressive in and of itself to participating in the Campbell Trophy and driving around the world with Land Rover. Wa gift your life has been for sure.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, it's funny isn't we? Were just talking. I'm, so, I'm 50 this year. Yeah. And, I mean, for a start, I can't, I can't believe I'm 50. I can't believe I've got two children.
Scott Brady: It'll be okay.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah. Yes.
Scott Brady: I went through, I went, I went through that in December of last year, so Yeah.
Nick Dimbleby: Got two [01:00:00] children. 17 and 14. I don't know where that went. You know, I remember when they were, you know, this, this big. Yeah, I mean, life does go like that, which is, I guess is a reminder just to. Made the most of it. You know, you have, do those, do those travel dreams? You know, I'm obviously very fortunate and I've been, been able to go and travel and explore it, you know, sort of, and do, do many things that, you know, people have.
Would love to do. But, equally, you know, I always feel there's something else reaching out there. I think, you know, everyone's a bit restless to, to go and see more and, you know, the world's, even though the world's a small place, it's a big place. And I think we should.
Scott Brady: There's a lot to see.
Nick Dimbleby: People should definitely, make the most and explore, you know.
Scott Brady: Well, like we just did, like we just did. In the deserts of, of the UAE looking out into omond to the, to the side, they're amazing. How do people find out more about you? You have a great Instagram account.
Nick Dimbleby: Yes. So yes, I have. I'm, I am pretty poor on social media. I've just basically [01:01:00] got Instagram.
Scott Brady: That's good. So that's good. So yeah. Nick, what's your account?
Nick Dimbleby: So Nick Dimbleby @ Nick Dimbleby is my, account. So N i c k Dimbleby, D I M B L E B y. I have a website which I should really update. It's quite old now. It's about probably seven or eight years old. But there's, yeah, lots of other work there. Some of the, the non Land Rover. So the.
Scott Brady: And what's your website?
Nick Dimbleby: It's also, it's nick dimbleby.com.
Scott Brady: All right, perfect.
Nick Dimbleby: And yeah, that's it really. That's, that's.
Scott Brady: Well I would suggest.
Nick Dimbleby: Online presence.
Scott Brady: I would suggest that people follow your Instagram account just watching to the lead up to this trip, seeing these images of the one 30 in the dunes. It certainly got my appetite built.
Nick Dimbleby: So yeah, it's always, I always find it difficult to know what to, to put on there because I've obviously got a, a huge back catalog of stuff. But it's that thing I think, well maybe I need to be putting on some my current stuff, but I sort of occasionally bring out some of the old stuff as well. And I think it's one of those things I just [01:02:00] sort of, I just need to mix and mix it up a bit.
Scott Brady: But I think people enjoy that.
Nick Dimbleby: Yeah, exactly. They seeing occasionally a little bit of, some of the stuff I shot on film, you know, scan that in and, and put it on. So yeah, I guess if you, if you like Land Rovers, then probably my Instagram's probably a good place to go.
Scott Brady: It will be. Nick, thank you again so much. Thank you. It's been very for being on the, on the podcast and we thank you all for listening and we'll talk to you next time. Thank you. Excellent. Thank you, Michael.