Top Photographer Adam Hinton In Touch With BMW's GS Range

2008 will surely be remembered as the `year of the GS' for BMW Motorrad. With the launch of the all-new BMW F 800 GS - as well as the revised versions of the best-selling R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure variant - fans of the travel enduro genre are now spoilt for choice when it comes to picking their perfect motorcycle.

BMW Motorrad recently selected top photographer Adam Hinton for an exclusive product shoot in Morocco and Berlin. The photo shoot, co-ordinated with BMW Motorrad's new international communications agency, 180 Amsterdam, takes advantage of the current enduro line-up's versatility and stunning looks by capturing them on film in their natural environment.

Unstoppable' is the big idea at the center of all the communication for BMW Motorrad's 2008 enduro range. Because riders interested in the enduro genre are naturally interested in exploring and discovering the environment around them - as well as challenging and pushing themselves to ride faster, further and better - in these contexts, the word `Unstoppable' describes both the rugged and robust character of the latest enduro range, as well as the mindset of the enduro rider.

BMW's Enduro bikes have as many answers as you have questions. The F 800 GS is an easy to handle, dynamic travel Enduro for unstoppable off road power. The R 1200 GS is the Enduro for unstoppable experiences and the R 1200 GS Adventure is the bike that takes those experiences to the extreme.

Put another way, when you are unstoppable - you are a BMW Enduro rider. With this in mind, the agency's brief was to take a range of enduro bikes, send them on an arduous journey and document it with breathtaking photography. The results would then form the backbone of BMW Motorrad's message that motorcycling - especially Adventure Sport motorcycling - is more than just a pursuit, and for most, is a passion and a way of life.

With the help of world-renowned documentary photographer Adam Hinton, the `Unstoppable' results are spectacular and certainly add weight to the notion that BMW Motorrad is producing some of the most sought-after two-wheelers in the world.

Armed with little more than three motorcycles and a Canon IDF camera, Hinton and his team travelled across Europe and into Africa to make the most of the rugged terrain of Morocco in search of the perfect set of images. "From a personal perspective, a good image needs to be well composed and must carry some sort of message. The work has got to want to say something," says Adam. For BMW Motorrad, he was set the challenge of displaying the Enduro range in its element.

Having previously supplied documentary photography for the likes of the Daily Telegraph, The Observer and Der Spiegel, and having undertaken advertising work with Nikon, Coca-Cola and Texaco, Adam was singled out by BMW for the `Unstoppable' campaign for his ability to produce outstanding images that perfectly fulfil a brief.

But this was the first time the Englishman had worked with motorcycles and he admits they were difficult subjects: "Probably the most challenging aspect of the shoot was getting unusual shots of the bikes," he says. "I was constantly asking myself, `What more can I do to make the shot look different?'" I recognized that the most important thing to do was to move away from the clichd images of motorcycles jumping through the air or being leaned into a corner."

However, multi award-winning Hinton is no stranger to challenges. His projects have taken him to all four corners of the globe; have introduced him to all walks of life, and all manner of dangerous situations. "When I first started in the industry I was covering the Kurdish exodus of Iraq and we were arrested by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and there was a short period when I thought we were going to be shot," admits Adam. "Similarly in Yugoslavia. I never actively seek dangerous situations, but things such as these generally happen as a bi-product of my work."

Other aspects of his life's work have stuck in the memory for entirely different reasons: "As a photographer you visit some remarkable places - places you wouldn't ordinarily be able to go," says Adam. "I've had the privilege of spending time with some incredibly interesting people, including almost four years with a mining community in the Ukraine, and two weeks with the Himba people of Namibia. Those kinds of experiences enable you to build a special relationship with the people you are photographing."

He continues: "I still think about the family I stayed with in the Ukraine. In the four years with them I became very close to them, attending weddings, birthdays. I was there for the birth of their first grandchild. It was an amazing time."

Dedication to a documentary style of photography is clear to see when studying Adam's work, however he is equally comfortable carrying out corporate projects for the likes of Sony, Shell and HSBC. Sticking to a set brief, inhibiting for some, is a challenge worth taking according to the London-based snapper. "I prefer to be working on personal projects, however I do enjoy the structure of working for corporate clients. I enjoy the discipline of working towards a brief. But for pure pleasure, my personal work is my preference. "

Aspects of the two were incorporated into Adam's recent work with BMW Motorrad. Morocco - a location Adam holds dear - was one of the settings for the `Unstoppable' photo shoot which focused on the enduro range's relationship with the rider.

"The first part of the project took place in Berlin as we were keen to get urban shots of the bikes. For the second phase we travelled straight to Marrakech which was perfect for getting some off-road images," says Adam. "We had plans in place for what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go, but for much of the time the trip was ad hoc. If I saw something that worked, we'd stop. Morocco brings out that spontaneity in you - the landscape and culture is so `otherworldly'".

And of the fruits of his labour, Adam insists that the hard work paid off: "It was my first time working with BMW Motorrad but I enjoyed the freedom that I was given and the riders were particularly good and very receptive to everything that was asked of them," he says. "It was extremely hard work though, but I hope that the results reflect the effort that was put into getting everything right."

About Adam Hinton

Adam Hinton began his photographic career at the age of 12 when his father bought him a basic SLR camera. He became fascinated with a new way of looking at the world and the ability to record things of importance. When he was 15, he received his first installment of compensation from the Government following a knife attack (his attacker had a thing against punks) and instinctively knew what he was going to spend the money on - more lenses. When he received the rest of the money at 18, he spent it all on a set of professional cameras and lenses.From that moment onwards, photography was a constant focus and enabled Adam to vocalize his other interest - politics. Studying photojournalism in the `80s enabled him to articulated his feelings, beliefs and values into a visual medium that he could communicate to others, and he would take photos at all the demonstrations he went to. Adam hoes that his images portray something of the way we live today, how each action has a reaction, and that nothing is without cause or response.