With a helicopter, a camera so high tech he is not allowed to use it outside Nato countries, and ten years of experience as an aerial cameraman, you might have thought that the weather would be the principal obstacle for Pete Jones, the cameraman on the new Scotland Revealed series for STV.
But while the programme may show Scotland in High Definition photography as you have never seen her before, it has also succumbed to the beastly, tiny scourge of the Scottish Highlands - the midge. And he says that the ‘persistent’ bug, with a wingspan of less than 1.4mm, has given him many troubles down the years when filming low level footage in Scotland.
“When you start doing the low level stuff when you’re out on the hills and not spoiling anyone’s weekend with the noise, you can get a bit lower and get some very dramatic shots over the mountains,” says Pete.
“The only thing about coming low is sometimes you pick up the bugs and Scotland is very well known for the midges. We have to jump out and wipe the lens on a frequent basis when we are doing the low level stuff.
“They are quite persistent. They tend to have an argument with the camera but they always come of worse and get stuck to the lens.”
Filming for Scotland Revealed has extended Pete’s library of aerial footage of across our country, so does he have a favourite spot he always looks out for when taking to the skies?
“I like the Western Isles the best, it’s beautiful, it’s incredible. It is stunning scenery and the beaches are excellent.”
With a CV overflowing with credits filming for a large number of broadcasters and shows, Pete is bound to have a favourite from the list and it’s little surprise that the one that sticks in his mind the most is working with survival enthusiast Ray Mears on a show in the highlands.
It was the challenges presented that keeps the memory fresh in Pete’s mind, with Mears’ clothing causing big problems for him watching on the monitor up in the sky.
“Ray Mears was a good programme to do. He was a very interesting guy and because of the type of clothing he was wearing on this particular shoot we did up at Applecross – he was in a forest – he was very difficult to find.
“We were 300 feet up above him but due to his camouflage clothing, I couldn’t find him! It was a challenge anyway.”