• Marcello Cavalcanti is a pro landscape photographer, teacher and tour leader for photography workshop trips.

    Recently he led a tour with 9 photographers to beautiful Guatemala, where you can get up and close with Fuego’s Volcano (Vulcán de Fuego), a stratovolcano with 3.763 meters high (12,345 ft) that spills ash, plume and lava every 10-15 minutes, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter.

    To shoot this volcano with the best possible view, he took his group to hike another volcano (this one, inactive, of course), called Acatenango, that gives you amazing views of Fuego, and in a very close position - they are aparted 2 km (6500 ft) away! 

    So, one important thing to know about volcanoes is that if they don’t make a lava river (like Fuego) you can’t see much during the day, unless a lot of smoke comes out of its mouth; the pictures of this huge column of plume are cool though. 

    As there’s a lot of light illuminating the whole scene, you can make these pictures with the camera in hands, without a tripod (as long as you use a high shutter speed like 1/500 or more) which gives you more freedom to create different angled shots searching for an interesting foreground.

    But, it’s at night that the real spectacle begins. Without the sunlight, the explosions of Fuego bring up amazing red lava, rocks flying and smoke. That’s when the really cool images starts to reveal, as long as you follow some basic tips:

    Tips for Shooting Volcanos from Marcello

    It’s really hard for any camera to autofocus in the dark, so rely on the manual focus, make it at any part of the volcano that you will be fine when the explosion occurs. Newer cameras like the mirrorless ones that have the live focus peaking feature are even easier to achieve the perfect manual focus. But, remember, if you change the lens or even change the focal length using the same lens, you will need to redo the manual focus.

    In this experience we tried different focal lengths to have different shots every time Fuego gives his show. As we were really close from it, the longer length i used to frame the whole scene was 135mm, so a 70-200mm lens is more than enough to do the job. The results are impressive! On the other hand, if you want to make an image with the volcano plus the starry night sky (or with the long and tall smoke column) a wide angle focal length between 15 and 24 mm will work perfectly. 

    Picking a pack

    To make any active volcano pictures you will be around a lot of ash. Every explosion releases tons of ashes in the air, that falls within a radius of dozens or even thousands of kilometers. So my pick would be any f-stop with the Duradiamond exterior, to prevent ashes coming inside the backpack. 

    We spent the night at the base camp of Acatenango shooting Fuego, so you also need to bring warm clothes, gloves, water, some food, so think about a larger backpack than you usually use on your daily photo shoot sessions. 

    I used the Tilopa 50 during this trip and it was for sure the right choice not only because of its rugged exterior protection but also because it fits everything i needed for this adventure, including a 100-400mm lens that i used for closed shots of the volcano (i had this lens in Guatemala to shoot the quetzal bird, but that’s a story for another post! )

    For any further questions, you can find Marcello on his instagram profile: https://www.instagram.com/marcellocavalcanti1/

    Nikon acquiring RED - RED V-RAPTOR camera pictured in an urban environment by f-stop Ambassador Nick Leavesley
    RED V-RAPTOR camera pictured in an urban environment by f-stop Ambassador Nick Leavesley

    News of Nikon acquiring RED certainly sent a few shock waves through the photography and cinematography circles last week. Nikon posted a press release on their website. Red President Jarred Land shared the following in a press release on his Facebook page:

    Who knows what the future holds for both of these giants of the visual storyteller world. But rest assured that whether you use Nikon or RED camera systems to capture your visual stories, our camera bags carry both!

    Which f-stop bag is best for your Nikon or Red camera systems?

    Our Mountain Series camera bags and backpacks are used by countless visual storytellers around the world. They have been used by various production crews to carry their valuable storytelling tools from location to location while working for major outlets such as Netflix, Disney+, National Geographic and much more!

    Whether you are a Nikon shooter or a RED user, we have you covered. Our Tilopa 50L DuraDiamond® and our Shinn 80L DuraDiamond® outdoor adventure camera backpacks are the perfect tool to keep your Nikon and Red systems safe and protected.

    Visual Storyteller Nick Leavesley trusts the Tilopa and Shinn to keep his Nikon and RED systems safe

    We caught up with f-stop Ambassador and friend Nick Leavesley to get his take on the news of Nikon acquiring Red. We also get into his insights into his hybrid Nikon and Red camera setups and why he trusts the Tilopa and Shinn camera bags to keep his gear safe.

    Nick had this to say:

    Flat lay image of the f-stop Shinn 80 liter DuraDiamond® outdoor adventure camera backpack with RED camera systems and Canon lenses taken by f-stop Ambassador Nick Leavesley
    f-stop Shinn 80 liter DuraDiamond® outdoor adventure camera backpack with RED camera systems and Canon lenses taken by f-stop Ambassador Nick Leavesley
    Flat lay image of the f-stop Tilopa 50 liter DuraDiamond® outdoor adventure camera backpack with Nikon Z6ii camera and lenses taken by f-stop Ambassador Nick Leavesley
    f-stop Tilopa 50 liter DuraDiamond® outdoor adventure camera backpack with Nikon Z6ii camera and lenses taken by f-stop Ambassador Nick Leavesley

    f-stop Ambassador Nick Leavesley with his Tilopa 50 liter Duradiamond® camera backpack in the Magma Red color option and carrying his RED V-Raptor camera system
    f-stop Ambassador Nick Leavesley with his Tilopa 50 liter Duradiamond® camera backpack in the Magma Red color option and carrying his RED V-Raptor camera system

    Nick Leavesley is a visual storyteller and an f-stop Ambassador. He is the Director of Photography for Beyond Content.

    You can check out more of his work and connect with him at the following places:

    IG - https://www.instagram.com/beyondnick
    IG - https://www.instagram.com/beyondcontent
    Website - https://www.beyondcontent.com

    We were delighted to hear that our Pathfinder Ambassador and Astrophotography specialist, Monika Deviat won the Aurorae Category of Astronomy Photographer of the Year with her image "Brushstroke". She was also then featured in a mini documentary by the Royal Museums Greenwich, which explores her experiences and highlights her creative process, perfectly showcasing her talents behind the camera with her favourite backpack: the Tilopa 50L DuraDiamond®.

    Monika loves astrophotography as well as night photography in general and shares her passion with others through workshops. But there is more than meets the eye to the Alberta-based photographer. She is a metalhead, pole and aerial instructor, educator, and speaker, which are all personified in her work.

    The quality of Monika’s work speaks for itself. Her level of experience is evident in every frame she captures, which is why she is the perfect person to give you essential tips on shooting the Northern Lights:

    Essential Astrophotography Tips For Shooting Northern Lights:


    f-stop Ambassador and Astrophotography specialist, Monika, states that her two go-to backpacks are her Tilopa 50L DuraDiamond® in the Magma Red color option and her Ajna 37L DuraDiamond® in Anthracite Black. Her Tilopa travels with her for most adventures, including visiting ice caves in glaciers in the Canadian Rockies, hauling night photography gear up mountains and road trips to badlands. The Ajna is usually her travel pack pick when she needs to stay agile or deal with space restrictions on vehicles or with groups, but does occasionally go on mountaineering trips with her.

    For more adventurous trips, Monika uses the Medium Slope Camera Insert to keep her kit safe and organized. This still gives her enough space for a camera body or two, two or three lenses and leaves room to add things like Avalanche Gear, cookies (Essential!), water bottle, thermos, extra Layers, first aid kit, and various small accessories. Her crampons/micro spikes, ice axe and tripod attach securely to the outside of her pack using the Gatekeeper Straps and the other various attachment points. 

    Monika uses her Pro Large Camera Insert for photo-focused trips that need less adventure gear. For an "easy" night hike up a mountain, Monika will take two bodies, three lenses, two tripods, a star tracker, extra layers, water, thermos, snacks, a first aid kit, and camera accessories. 

    Competition: https://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/astronomy-photographer-year

    Website: https://monikadeviatphotography.com/

    We recently got the chance to catch up with Staff Pro and more importantly, a long-term friend of f-stop, Jesper Grønnemark. Jesper trained in photography at the Media College Denmark in Viborg and specializes in shooting sports for advertising. He loves the storytelling aspect of photography, and for more than 10 years he has been traveling the world, shooting exciting events and sports with big brands for advertising and editorial customers. Alongside all this, Jeper somehow finds the time for personal projects. He uses these personal shoots to push the limits of his photographic imagination, and in the last few months, these projects have gone viral.

    Read on to learn about the reality of making these shooting projects happen, the theme he is following, and his plans for the next one...

    Jesper, your main area of work is in the sports industry and we often see your work featured in big events and with great athletes, but today we'd like to talk a bit more about your personal projects. How often do you get to work on these types of projects, and how do you combine this with your regular work?

    I put a lot into my personal projects. To me, they are a good way to try new techniques and evolve as a photographer. It doesn’t matter that much if the shoot doesn't go as planned, because there isn't a paying client who needs the images. It’s all for myself. In that way, I feel that I can go right to the edge and sometimes across. That is how I evolve the most in my opinion.

    I set a goal for myself at the start of 2017: I wanted to undertake 6 personal projects within that year. To me, a personal project is a shoot where I shoot for myself and not for a paying client. I can do what I want, without being held accountable. It can be a large setup that takes several days to execute or a small shoot that is done in a couple of hours.

    Actually, by the end of the year, I reached 19 different personal projects in 2017. I’m pretty impressed by that myself! I think I had the greatest year of my life as a photographer so far. Combining these personal projects with my regular work isn't always easy, but I think it’s a question of prioritizing - I don’t spend much time hours watching TV or doing things like that.

    Skydiver Emil from FLUX heads down above the clouds at Sunset
    Shot with: @sonynordic a7r II | Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM | Profoto B1X | SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1600, APERTURE: 10.0, ISO: 640 © Jesper Gronnemark

    In the last few months, you had two very interesting projects. One was the Wake Boarding in the canals in Copenhagen and the second one was the Sky Diving Shoot which attracted a lot of attention and was shared by Red Bull, Fstoppers, Petapixel, etc. How did those projects get started?

    I wanted to shoot skydiving ever since I did my first skydive. To be honest didn't I want to do the jump again, but the idea was stuck in my head. I got the chance to do the shoot with the help of the Danish national skydiving team, Flux Free Fly, Michael Boe Laigaard, and Aarhus Skydive Club.

    Actually, when the time came for the shoot, it had to be postponed because of too much wind. I had already gathered together an awesome team to document it all. So instead of disappointing everyone, I went back to my shooting idea list and picked the next idea - the wakeboarding shoot. The wakeboarding shoot went really well and the weather got better, so I was able to do the skydive shoot a few weeks later.

    You just released your explosion photoshoot. You seem to be pushing the limits with every new project. Can you give us some behind-the-scenes insight into how you managed to organize this one? I’m sure there must be an interesting story from the logistics of trying to blow things up!

    Thank you! At least, pushing the limits is what I’m trying to do. The idea was already there and I had already asked the athlete, Mike Jensen, if he wanted to join the project... so it really came down to finding three more things to pull it together; the right location, special effects guys who wanted to be a part of the project, and a day were the weather was good. It can be quite hard to find a day when it isn't raining in Denmark in the winter time and the special effects guys need to ask for approval from the police 14 days before they can do an explosion. So you are taking quite a chance to pick a shooting day 14 days ahead and collect the entire team together when you can’t predict the weather 2 minutes ahead of time.

    There were a lot of people involved in the explosion project, and it took quite a lot of time to organize a shoot that required so many people. First, I needed to get hold of the special effects guys (Nordic Effects), then Mike Jensen. Then Nordic Effects needed to get approval from the police to do the explosions, and I needed approval for the location, videographers needed to book the date, and so on... We were going back and forth, making a lot of phone calls and writing a lot of e-mails. I guess it took up a week of work to make all this happen.

    If we take your last few projects, the first one was in the water, the second one was in the air and now you’re playing with fire! Is there a sequence you’re following here?

    Do you see a theme here? I noticed that I could take this further by making it into a sequence with the theme of the four elements after I made the wakeboarding- and skydive shoot. Water, wind, fire, and earth. So that is what I plan to do. I “just” need to do the last shot in the sequence which is Earth, now that fire is done too.

    What should we expect next from you? There must be a grand finale to this project series... Are you able to reveal some details for us?

    I’ve slowly started to work on the next shoot, but it isn't 100% finalized yet. But I think that I might need to travel to another country to get the right location involving Earth - outer space could be cool as well.

    Is there anyone who could get me to a space station or the moon?

    For this project we teamed up with Dockyard Stores and a badass Hungarian athlete Viktor Zicho. Through this weeklong adventure we hiked up to Patundas Meadows in North Pakistan in order to shoot Viktor riding his mountain bike at 4,500m altitude and hike on the spectacular ridge towards Passu Peak (7,478m) and the mighty Shispare (7,610m). 

    Stunning views from the Patundas Meadows in Northern Pakistan

    This scenic highland is wedged between two giant glaciers called Batura and Passu. Dockyard provided Viktor with all the required apparels including gears from Mountain Hardware and Scarpa. 

    We carried a portable solar system with us in order to shoot the whole weeklong. Weather was sunny therefore we had no problem with charging batteries and backing up data. Getting up to Patundas took us 2 days including a traverse through the Passu glacier and an elevation gain of 2000 meters. We had one local porter helping us to carry up our supplies for one week. Once we arrived, we stayed 2 nights in a shepherd hut then we moved higher up to Passu Peak's base camp and stayed in our tents for the rest of the time. 

    We carried our gear through the whole trip in ouir f-stop TILOPA 50L backpacks. The packs held camera gear and other essentials we needed for this high elevation hike.

    The only available water source was to melt snow during the entire week which worked fine. There was plenty of snow. From Patundas there is one of the most stunning views of entire North Pakistan due to the 360 degree mind blowing panorama of the Karakoram range. 

    Besides shooting a commercial photo series and video for our client, Viktor had an additional mission to climb a 6000 meters peak in the area which has never climbed before. His mission was not successful. He needed to turn back 500 meters before he could reach the peak due to a dramtic change in the the weather. After one week of constant sunshine, a snow storm arrived. The following day our team decided to leave Patundas and finish this photography and video adventure.

    Meet the Adventurers

    Cecilia Fazekas and Peter Toth are two adventure lovers from Hungary. Peter used to be a sales manager, and during weekends he performed as a DJ in underground house and techno clubs. Cecilia worked as a buyer for a medical equipment company, and she has always had that travel bug inside. Both have been camera geeks from the very beginning of their relationship, and that created a strong bond between them. Their images captured a lot of attention, and it did not take long for them to become professional photographers.

    After bidding farewell to their successful careers, they pursued their wildest dream to be full-time travel filmmakers and photographers. In September 2020, they have started their great journey and drove their camper van through 12 countries covering 70,000+ kilometers through the Balkans, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, and Iraq. Their next stop was Iran where they travelled more than four months with Peter proposing Cecilia along the way. She said yes. After Iran, the couple went to Pakistan for six months and spent most of their time exploring the incredible mountain ranges of the Karakoram and the Himalaya. 

    After 2+ years of roaming the world and creating content for international brands, they ended up becoming professional freelancers making videos and photography. They manage social media accounts on various platforms, and they build content strategies for clients. As adventurers and camera nuts, they've neen fortunate to serve as brand ambassadors for multiple world-wide brands. Cecilia is in her element when taking photos while Peter is in love with creating videos. They have no intention to stop travelling anytime soon and after leaving Pakistan their planned destinations for 2023 are India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.

    f-stop Ambassador, James W. Fortune, explored an incredible abandoned sea fort with a full set of gear in his Tilopa 50L DuraDiamond® Adventure and Travel Camera Backpack

    When James got the chance to explore a long abandoned sea fort, he knew it was an offer that he could not refuse. Built between 1850 and 1852, Stack Rock Fort has been unoccupied and left to the elements since around 1929. The fort provided endless opportunities for stunning photography, but also endless opportunities for equipment to be damaged.

    Q. What do you consider when you chose your gear for this adventure?

     It was very difficult not to pack for every eventuality, but I was painfully aware of how active I would need to be while I was on the fort. I knew that there would be so much to explore across varying situations, so I wanted to make sure I could stay as agile as possible. 

    In the end, it came down to what would practically maximise my creative output while I was there. This included not only camera gear, but also extra layers, my warm jacket, waterproofs and (most importantly) food and liquids. The boat wasn’t coming back for around 10 hours, so once we were on the island, there was no going back for anything I forgot! 

    Q. You used the Tilopa 50L DuraDiamond®, what about this bag made it a good fit for this trip?

    I actually took two bags with me, but only one made it to the fort. My Ajna stayed back at the hotel, but looked after everything else that I took to Wales with me. I paired it with the Small Pro ICU and the Packing Cell Kit to keep my personal items (and everything else that I couldn’t take to the fort) organised and safe. The laptop even fit snugly and safely in there too! 

    For me, the Tilopa was the perfect balance between size, weight, capacity, and agility. It was big enough to carry what I needed without becoming cumbersome. When paired with the Pro Large ICU, I was able to pack my core camera equipment (Main Body, 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, tripod, batteries and cards, filter pouch), my drone, lighting, spare clothes, food and water, while still maintaining enough agility that allowed me to explore all day with minimal discomfort.

    Q. What was the most challenging aspect of this project?

     The biggest challenge was actually the drive from my home to the hotel. My departure was delayed due to needing to get a tick bite checked out (make sure you stay safe with those things to avoid Lymes disease!). I left much later than I planned, so hit the rush hour traffic. What should have been around a seven hour drive took around eight and a half hours and I arrived well into the night feeling very hungry! Getting up at 04:30 the next morning for an early departure after that drive was almost as challenging as the drive itself, but anticipation quickly melted away the grogginess.

    Q. What was your biggest surprise on this trip?

    A. The biggest surprise was when the boat to take us back to land didn’t turn up when it was supposed to. I didn’t panic after the first hour, but beyond that I must admit that I was beginning to become a little concerned. It turned out that the tide times meant the harbour couldn’t open to let our boat out, which gave me more time to explore and make use of the late afternoon light. I think I got some of my favourite shots during that window!

    It did make a long day even longer, but issues like this become inconsequential factors to absorb when getting the opportunity to explore such exceptional locations.


    f-stop Ambassador, Chris Greer, and his partner Jason Clemmons, host a program about photography and photographers - Renewed for a Second Season!

    Chris Greer is a new f-stop ambassador and part of our Pathfinder Collective. Chris owns Chris Greer Photography, and you can find his work on Instagram, too. We met Chris about a year and a half ago as he was in the process of developing an idea which turned in to television program – View Finders. The show is about outdoor photography at little known, but beautiful places, in  Georgia. The show is also about the photographers on those adventures, and this type of content is rare on broadcast TV. Chris agreed to answer a few questions and tell us more about his work and the Georgia Public Broadcasting TV show.

    Q. Tell us a little about your passion for photography?
    A. My love for photography stems from my desire to get out and explore locations near and far in search of beauty. I love hiking and being outside, and I think landscape photography is a perfect activity that can motivate someone to get up early, stay out late, and take the road less traveled in search of a unique composition or a tucked away location that few have seen. While I have traveled the world and experienced some truly incredible places, I also appreciate the simplicity of just getting out and finding locations near my home that I never knew about, and that offer tremendous potential. It is calming, peaceful, and a fantastic way to decompress from the stresses of everyday life.

    Q. What got you started as a photographer?
    A. When I was 12, my dad handed me a Pentax K1000 with a few rolls of film. This started my photographic journey and forced me to learn things like aperture values, shutter speeds, ISO ratings for film, and so much more. I think shooting film really made me appreciate the small nuances of compositions and forced me to be much more deliberate with my photography. All those images were going to cost money, and so I really thought about each click of the shutter. Now I am strictly digital and can enjoy the luxury of unlimited captures, but my roots are in film, and I think it made me a better photographer. 

    Story continued below.

    Q. Tell us about View Finders Television? What inspired the concept for View Finders?
    A. Here in Georgia, there is a TV show called “Georgia Outdoors” that takes viewers to locations all over the state and educates them in some way. I was watching it one day and thought, “My friend and I could do something like this, but with a very different approach.” I had a contact at Georgia Public Broadcasting (“GPB”) which is the PBS affiliate for Georgia. I set up a meeting to pitch the idea to the station. The concept is to tell the story about two photographers who were in search of beautiful locations to photograph. Along the way they would meet with experts who would talk about why these places need to be protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy. The team at GPB loved the idea and told us to bring them 5 episodes for the first season, and that is the genesis of “View Finders.” Soon after, we had REI, Troncalli Subaru, Explore Georgia, and Terrapin Beer Company all signed on as sponsors, which gave us the funding to make the show great. It was a very exciting whirlwind couple of months. GPB has been very encouraging about the project from the start, and they are excited about developing the show even further which means there will be a season 2. 

    Q. You are preparing for season two, so can you tell us a little about some season one highlights?
    A. Season one was very exciting and a bit nerve-wracking. I don’t have a background in TV production, much less hosting a show. The good news is that my buddy Jason was with me the whole time, and he served as a fantastic co-host (and is an outstanding photographer). We get along very well, and so I think the audience feels that connection in each of the episodes. From trekking all over Cumberland Island to paddling across the Okefenokee Swamp in search of a camping platform, we had a lot of outdoor adventures and plenty of fun as well. We joke around with each other a lot and so the audience gets to see our personalities as well as our love for photography. I think that it really created a strong connection throughout season 1. A few memorable moments included camping in the middle of a swamp surrounded by 15,000 alligators and hiking all the way to the top of a mountain to find the Chattahoochee River headwaters, which is truly just a small bubbling spring coming out of the ground. 

    Q.  How does View Finders fit into your photography mission or vision?
    A. I love to take photos, and I want others to see and appreciate my work. I strive to get better every day, and I am always pushing myself to try new things or step outside my comfort zone to try to improve my photography. Also, I want to just put myself into the position to take a great image, which means getting out into the landscape often and searching for great light and great compositions. View Finders fits into that perfectly, because the entire show is driven by the desire to take great photographs, and it also exposes my work to a large audience. It has been a tremendous project and I am very hopeful about where it might lead over the coming years. 

    Q.  How can readers watch season one?
    A. Readers can watch the entire first season by visiting View Finders

    Watch the entire Episode 5 - Okefenokee Swamp https://www.pbs.org/video/okefenokee-swamp-b759q9/

    Photographers are often referred to as story-tellers, but what of the stories that inspired them to pick up the camera? For f-stop Amabassador, Maria Sahai, the tales of the far North she was told as a child have stayed with her, and underpin her love of exploring the Arctic. In this feature, through her words and images, Maria takes us on a journey into the deeply personal relationship she has with the Arctic she photographs.

    Words and photography: Maria Sahai

    I always have a problem explaining where I come from. I am of Ukrainian descent, was born in the Russian Far East, grew up in Kazakhstan, and lately have been living in New Zealand, Singapore, and Norway. And the most confusing part? My heart always belonged to the Arctic and only after I started traveling to some of the most remote regions in the north, I found my true self.

    During the Soviet Union times my family lived in Kazakhstan, the land of vast steppes and deserts, where the temperatures in the summer get as high as 50C. My mother always had this dream of going as far North as possible, she was attracted by how remote and unexplored the Arctic region was. Therefore, one day in the 1970s she just packed her bags and flew to Magadan, a small settlement on the shore of the Arctic Ocean in the Russian Far East. A decade later I was born there; shortly after my family moved back to Kazakhstan.

    But the Arctic never left my mother’s heart. My nighttime stories were legends of Russian Eskimos. I still remember the old books with illustrations of igloos, polar bears, whales, seals, northern lights, and Icebergs.

    Iceberg during Midnight Sun, Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland

    Iceberg during Midnight Sun, Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland

    Many years later I became a professional photographer and my work took me all over the world. But not North enough. After meeting my husband and fellow Nature and Wildlife Photographer Karim Sahai, I joined him in leading Photography Tours in Norway, Iceland, Svalbard, and Greenland. That’s when I started feeling like home.

    When I drive through a snowstorm in Svalbard, I remember my mom telling me how some winters she had to miss work because the wind was so strong, that she couldn’t walk out of her home.

    Driving through Adventdalen, Svalbard Archipelago, about 650 miles (1,050 kilometers) from the North Pole
    Driving through Adventdalen, Svalbard Archipelago, about 650 miles (1,050 kilometers) from the North Pole

    When chasing the famous Northern Lights and sometimes spending hours in freezing temperatures, I hear my mother saying “During the Polar Night (6 months with no daylight) Northern Lights were so strong and bright, many people couldn’t sleep and hung blankets over their windows at home”. What an irony!

    In Winter in the Svalbard Archipelago, you can observe the Northern Lights 24/7
    In Winter in the Svalbard Archipelago, you can observe the Northern Lights 24/7

    There are two main lessons my mother taught me about life in the Arctic:

    1. Polar bears can be anywhere, never let your guard down. Check!
    2. Always make sure that the windows are closed properly. I never understood the second one until I saw this scene in Longyearbyen, the northernmost settlement in the world. Check!

    Why Greenland

    Of all the countries that I organize Photography tours to, Greenland is my favorite. Greenlandic people are closely related to the indigenous population of the Russian North. They share many common legends and customs. Growing up with similar stories, I learned how to respect ice and snow and how to treat Mother Nature as a living creature, with care and gratitude for all we have.

    Back when I was a child we didn’t have internet and I couldn’t google how Arctic landscapes looked like. All I had was old soviet books and my imagination. But when I first landed in Greenland, I realized that nothing could have prepared me for the grandness of the icebergs and the purity of the ice.

    hiking photo backpack, adventure photo backpack, camera travel backpack, modular photo backpack, hiking camera bag, f-stop Ajna DuraDiamond

    AJNA 37L DuraDiamond® Travel and Adventure Camera Backpack

    $349.99 - $699.99


    f-stop Pro Large Camera Insert (formally known as ICU or Interchangeable Camera Unit) with dimensions

    f-stop ICU (Internal Camera Unit) - Pro Large Camera Bag Insert and Cube



    Hong Kong-based Staff Pro, Henry CK, came over to Japan when we took the Urban Series out on the Tokyo PhotoCrawl. Here we look back at Tokyo through the eyes, or rather through the lens, of Henry CK and look ahead to his PhotoCrawl in Hong Kong.

    Henry enjoyed the adventures on the streets of Tokyo so much that he will lead one of the next PhotoCrawl events in Hong Kong. You can participate either in person or via Facebook live video. Scroll down for more information on how to get involved!

    What is a PhotoCrawl?

    A PhotoCrawl is the combination of two of our favorite things: a decent glass of beer, and taking photos:
    PHOTO WALK x PUB CRAWL = PhotoCrawl

    Like shooting analog film, the drinking part of the PhotoCrawl is about quality rather than quantity - enjoying the experience. The drink stops provide an opportunity to meet and mix with like-minded visual creatives in a relaxed environment. At the same time, the photo walk part brings the fun of exploration and street photography led by an f-stop Staff Pro photographer.

    PhotoCrawls are also a chance to check out the new Urban Series, with a limited number of the new Urban bags available for hands-on test and try - and special discount purchase at the event! A proportion of the profits from all sales will go to a charity nominated by the Staff Pro leading the PhotoCrawl.

    Dany Eid, 45 years old, married & living with his wife in Dubai. He is professional photographer, specialized in landscape & architectural photography. Born and raised in Lebanon, studied interior design and painting. He is passionate to travel exploring the world and runs different workshops sharing his experience with those who are starting out as hobby photographers, might remain hobby photographers or follow their dream and take it to the next level. Dany is a Carl Zeiss global Ambassador & part of Nikon school Middle East & North Africa.

    f-stop: How are you keeping up with the current situation? What tools are you using to “normalize” your life considering all the changes caused by coronavirus?

    Here in Dubai & since implementing the curfew or a partial lockdown, I have been working more on sorting my photography archives & post processing old images, that were forgotten. I was quite surprised & happy to stumble upon old memories related to images I shot. What I missed the most is leaving the house at sunrise or sunset (my favorite shooting timings) to shoot. I started appreciating my balcony more & more & it became my one & only shooting location. I’m lucky to have a good view & was eve luckier with some great sunsets & a thunderstorm (they don’t often happen un Dubai), where I was able to capture the thunder.

    f-stop: Do you have anyone close to you who works in healthcare? How has their lives been impacted?                                                                        

    Not really, the only one I know working in the healthcare section is a dentist, who is taking all possible measurements including protective gear, while treating a patient. It’s quite challenging for him. However life goes on.

    f-stop: What are you doing to improve the situation in your community, your family, or your surroundings?                                                                 

    I would say everyone is dealing with the situation in a different way, some are quite pressured & others are cooping & dealing. The most important thing is to respect each other & not to underestimate other’s fear or anxiety feeling. On the contrary maybe give a helping hand & draw their attention to how they can fill up their time doing something creative. As a photographer I would recommend to make use of your camera, not necessarily your professional camera, but any camera you have. Cook & shoot your food, look out of your window or balcony, check out the view. If you have a garden or plants capture a picture then check tutorials, work on old images you once took, compare old & new images you took. I just came across one of the first images I shot years ago & would very much like to re-capture the same lighthouse again. I’m sure the image will be different

    f-stop: What tools did you use for post-processing the old photos you found? Are you planning on publishing those?                                               

    I used Adobe Photoshop. I regularly post my images on Instagram, especially when I come across old images that bring good memories. The  images that I am referring to can be found on my Instagram.

    f-stop: What's your plan for the near future / do you have anything special you'd like to achieve in the coming period?                                              

    I would start with what I miss the most during the pandemic crisis & that is traveling. So once the border restrictions are lifted, I would like to ride in my car Obelix & travel. I almost got stuck in Saudi, where I had my last trip before the border closure, exploring the Saudi desert & planning for the launch of new photography overlanding workshops. So until the borders open, I’m exploring my destinations & mapping the routes & stops I would like to take / visit.

    Dany Eid, 45 years old, married and living with his wife in Dubai. He is professional photographer, specialized in landscape & architectural photography. Born and raised in Lebanon, studied interior design and painting.
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