• 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

    f-stop Ambassador Alexandre Gendron visited us in Portugal during our Pro Hangout. While he was with us, he walked us through his travel setup, using his AJNA 37L DuraDiamond®. Read more below about the tips and tricks that make his life as a working professional easier!  

    Photos in the Video: by Richard Bord, Droneshots: by Leo Domingos, Video and edit : f-stop LLC by Lena Oberhofer 

    "When it comes to packing and organizing for any photo shoot, whether it is real estate, adventure, or travel photography, I believe in thorough preparation and attention to detail. Firstly, I have my checklists for all the necessary equipment, depending on what I will be shooting. This ensures I have my key equipment, such as camera body, lenses, tripod, spare batteries, memory cards, and any other specific gear required for the shoot.

    I prioritize lightweight and versatile gear for adventure and travel photography that can withstand various weather conditions and rugged environments. In terms of physical organization, I use my f-stop AJNA for shorter trips, or my Tilopa for longer journeys with the Medium Slope - Camera Insert to safely store and transport my gear. This ensures everything is easily accessible and protected from any potential damage." - Alex Gendron

    ALEX'S PACKING TIPS

    To organize and prep for a shoot, I have three top tips and tricks that could enhance your travel experience.  

    ALEX'S KIT

    Alex's equipment consists of the Ajna 37 L DuraDiamond® (Magma Red) along with the Medium Slope Camera Insert. 
    He shoots with the Canon EOS R5 and R7 bodies, the Canon RF 15-35mm f2.8, Canon RF 24-70mm f2.8, Canon RF 100mm macro f2.8 and the Canon RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1 lenses. 
    The additional gear he carries when needed includes his Binoculars for wildlife (vortex 10x42), a Drone (DJI Air 2s and DJI Air 3), and a tripod which is attached to the outside of the pack. For overnight trips, he uses an insulated mattress (thermarest Neoair Xtherm) and a sleeping bag. In our video, Alex has brought his travel kit, consisting of the Canon EOS R5 with the Canon RF 24-70mm and the Canon RF 15-35mm.  
    He uses the f-stop Filter Case with his K&F Filter kit ( ND and Graduated ND filters) and sees his Navin Pouch DuraDiamond® as a must-have for hiking.  

    Alex also uses the Tilopa 50L and occasionally the Sukha 70L along with his Pro Large Camera Insert. His main setup is the Pro Small Camera Insert or the Medium Slope - Camera Insert paired with either his Ajna 37L or his Tilopa 50L backpacks. 

    About f-stop Ambassador Alex Gendron

    As a professional photographer for more than ten years, Alexandre has a taste for adventure and the great outdoors. In 2013, he left Paris for Australia, where he honed his skills as a photographer.  

    Seeking new challenges and adventure, he returned to Europe in 2016 by bicycle. He cycled 14000 km and travelled a further 8000 km, mostly on sailing boats, hitch-hiking from marinas and boat yards, to Vietnam where he ended his bike trip and trained to become a yoga teacher. He then travelled through France, Italy and Switzerland by van, before returning home.

    He now teaches photography and explores the natural spaces of the Annecy region. His work has a refined style that often emanates a mystical ambience.

    Alex's Recap from the f-stop Pro Hangout Portugal

    https://www.instagram.com/agphotofr/

    About Life on the Dāsh

    Everything is constantly moving and changing. When you are always transitioning from one assignment to the next, life can be hectic. Saving space, distributing weight, and planning ahead for a day in the field are all essential considerations when you are on the go. Join us as our Ambassadors share tips and tricks they have learned over years of traveling, with Life on the Dāsh.

    Learn how to reattach sternum strap on your f-stop legacy or classic Mountain Series pack.

    If your sternum strap was snagged and become detached from your legacy or classic Mountain Series pack, reattachment is simple, easy and secure.

    All you need to do is follow these simple steps to get you ready for your next adventure:

    1. Make sure that your strap/buckle is facing outwards from the pack

    2. Position the sternum strap attachment point against the rail on your shoulder strap at around a 45 degree angle and push towards the rail

    3. Wiggle the sternum strap attachment point as you push in a downward motion. This will encourage the attachment point to wiggle onto the rail.

    4. Keep pushing and wiggling until the attachment point is firmly on the rail. That's it. You're ready to get back out there.

    Remember: Enjoy the Journey. Be safe. Keep telling stories!

    Note: This applies to legacy or classic series f-stop Mountain Series camera packs such as the Lotus, Ajna, Tilopa, Sukha and Shinn.

    How would you carry all of your camera gear plus a lot of camping gear? You might do what f-stop Ambassador Pia Steen does when she wants to pack camera gear and camping gear. She loads up her Shinn 80L DuraDiamond® with everything from cine setups to long lenses.

    “If I sometimes just need that little extra space I have it and don't need to worry” 

    Intro

    One of Pia’s passions is landscape photography which requires a lot of planning, time, and patience. Pia is often on multiple day tours and workshops. So she needs a pack with the capacity to carry EVERYTHING for several days, including clothing, a jacket, a sleeping bag, a camping stove, food, etc.  Then, when planning short hikes away from camp and plan, Pia unpacks, reorganizes and just takes the essentials for that day’s hike.

    Nature has always been an important and big part of her life. Pia has used f-stop for over a decade and uses multiple Packs - each one for a different purpose! However, the Shinn is a pack she regularly chooses over her Tilopa 50L DuraDiamond® for trips or excursions.  . 

    Pia Steen with the Packing Cell Kit and Camping Kit
    Pia Steen with the Packing Cell Kit and Camping Kit next to her the Shinn DuraDiamond

    One of Pia's mottos to get the best light is "Better to be two hours too early than just two minutes late". She has been using f-stop for more than 10 years now and her newest addition is the Shinn 80L DuraDiamond® ⁠
    Today, she brings all with her that she would need to wait for the perfect light. She pulls out her stove and boils water to make some tea while watching the day’s light develop.

    “The emotionality of every moment is like a breath of life. Creating a memory from that ephemeral is a gift.” ​ 

    Pia’s Kit

    The Shinn 80L DuraDiamond® might be designed to accommodate cinema gear, but its biggest strength is its versatility, which Pia takes full advantage of. She utilizes the Shinn’s spacious capacity and all-day comfort on her multi-day hikes and workshops. "Better to be two hours too early, than just two minutes late" she laughs.

    Often running multi-day tours and workshops, Pia needs a pack with the capacity to carry everything for several days. This often includes a change of clothing, a jacket, a sleeping bag, a camping stove, and food, all packed alongside her photography gear.

    The usual ”Landscape Outdoor Kit":

    For her multi-day trips or Landscape Photography where she is expecting to carry more than usual, she is using the Shinn 80L Duradiamond® to give her enough space for a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, Bivy Tent, food, etc. 
    On this occasion she used the Shinn 80 L along with the Slope Medium Camera Insert which gives her additional room to fill with camping Gear from Stove, Gas, and cups in her Packing Cell KitAside from this, she brought a small box of Cookies (or other snacks) Tripod ( attached to the front of the pack with Gatekeepers), Gloves, a Down Jacket, Memory Cards, a Card Reader, a Cleaning Kit, Batteries and an f-stop Accessory Pouch Small and Accessory Pouch Medium.

    f-stop Shinn 80L DuraDiamond®  camera backpack and the f-stop Pro Small Camera Insert
    Pia with the Shinn 80L DuraDiamond® with the Slope Medium Camera Insert 

    Tip's from Pia: 

    The Shinn DuraDiamond 80 L with the XLarge Insert and the Medium Slope on the side
    the Shinn 80L DuraDiamond® filled with the Pro XLarge Camera Insert and the Medium Slope Camera Insert next to the bag. See more f-stop Camera Inserts

    Whether you pack a Shinn 80L DuraDiamond® like Pia or a smaller Mountain Series backpack, you will find multiple attachment points across the entire Mountain Series range. ⁠ One of the things that Pia loves about her Shinn and our other Mountain Series packs is the multiple attachment points, which can be used to carry and attach larger items such as sleeping bags and tents to the packs. 

    Join us as our Ambassadors share tips and tricks they have learned over years of traveling, with Life on the Dāsh, and check out how fellow Ambassadors get organized.

    Timo Anis is a photographer who at the moment is focused on motorsport races, but he also shoots some wedding and portrait photography. In the motorsport field, he's one of the few FIA's World Rally Championship photographers who are following the championship in every continent it goes. His travels take him from Sweden to Australia and Chile. As you can see, that itself provides a great layout for images and gives him a lot of opportunities in his work. His 2020 season started with a legendary event in Southern France with an iconic Rallye Monte Carlo. We had the chance to talk with Timo about the event and the gear that he took with him.

    f-stop: You cover a lot of motorsport events, can you please tell us something the WRC Rallye Monte Carlo and what makes it different than others?

    Timo Anis 

    One of the oldest, toughest and most demanding events in the world rally championship calendar. What makes it so difficult? These are the roads and the climate in the mountains. It could be raining or snowing. There can be fog or sunshine. You could have the rain at the start and snow on the top of the super special stage. Which tires one should use? This is a big question for everyone! One never takes anything for granted in Monte Carlo rally. You can only learn and take the experience with you along the process. For sure this isn't an event where you can go flat out from start to finish. One has to be wise, and know when to take it more steady.         

    f-stop: What do you usually carry with you, and what are your essential pieces of non-camera gear that always go in your bag?                                  

    Timo Anis 

    On a daily basis, I'm using two Nikon d850 bodies. Those will go along with my Nikkor 70-200 latest lens and Sigma art series prime lenses. All together I have 3 of those (24, 35 and 85 mm). Now and then I use my Nikkor 16 mm fisheye. If I need/want to light up my subjects I use my two Nikon SB 910 flashguns.    Until now these have been helping me to produce my work. As I'm working simultaneously with two bodies I need some transmitters. For that, I have some PocketWizard's in my bag. For the remote, I tend to use some carbon lightweight tripod. As the gear that I'm wearing is quite heavy I need to think about my body. For that, I'm using Blackrapid's camera straps system. It distributes the equipment's weight quite nicely and there isn't too much pressure on my lower back. There are different products on the market in that field, but I haven't found anything better, to be honest!

    Here's an interesting fact for you. You know all the dust and dirt which flies around when motorsport events are happening.  Well, how do you secure your gear? Here's my secret: I use women stocking for it. The thickest you can get. For sure it's the best option on the market at this very moment, at least for me! As for the non-camera gear I always take my portable Lacie 2 GB hard drive, Blackrapid straps and some extra filters with me. For the gravel events where dust is an issue I always take some brush with me to keep the gear clean. I always take some lens cleaning clothing with me. It's the experience.  One of the most important aspects of shooting outdoors is your clothing. Like in Monte Carlo rally: you can have temperatures from -10 up to +15. So it's not easy to choose your clothing. I always go a bit lighter and with layers. Then I'm able to change things when the weather changes. As I need to walk a lot, sometimes more than 10 km in a single day, so I need to make sure my body can breathe!                           

    f-stop: Why did you select this gear?                                                                                                                                                                                        

    Timo Anis 

    As I have been a Nikon user for year's everything has happened very naturally for me.  The biggest change for me in recent years has been the fact that I changed all my other lenses for Sigma's art Series primes ones. I have been really impressed by the image quality they do and really pleased with the overall experience. With the gear I have, I can basically shoot anything I wish. I could say only my imagination is the limit. To give you an example: I can shoot motorsport, portrait work, corporate events and etc with all that gear easily.

    f-stop: Where do you put all of that gear?   

    Timo Anis 

    I'm currently using f-stop Ajna photo bag. For me, this is the perfect bag. It takes all I need for a shoot, even when it lasts more than a week. One of the major pluses about this bag is also a fact that it is suitable as cabin luggage across the globe. That's a very important factor for me, as I need to travel a lot. All the camera gear, lenses, and transmitters are going into the ICU unit within the bag. For the large pocket which is outside the bag, I tend to put my Blackrapid straps, all the adapters, and wires and etc. Into the top compartment, I tend to put my hard drive, headphones and my kindle. I like to read, but books can be big in their size, so for that, a kindle is a perfect solution!             

    f-stop: What is next for you?                                                                                                                                                                                                        

    Timo Anis 

    I have some portrait work planned to shoot in the next week. Regarding WRC, the next rally will be held in Sweden. This will be run as a winter event and on the roads covered by snow and solid ice. The cars will be using studded tires and it will be a very high-speed event. One of the fastest events in the calendar. 

      Follow Timo's adventures on InstagramFacebook, and his website. 

    f-stop Ambassador Ishaan Bhataiya recently came back from the 2020 Dakar Rally which was the 42nd edition of the event and the first edition held in Saudi Arabia. The event started in Jeddah on 5 January and finished in Al-Qiddiya on 17 January after 12 stages of the competition. He was the first Indian photographer to shoot the grueling Dakar Rally in 2019 and also various rounds of the FIM Cross Country Rally Championship. He has worked with every automobile publication in the country, creating various editorial features and has finally made a foray into the world of advertising. We had the chance to catch up with him after the 2020 Dakar Rally, and talk more about how he prepared for this amazing event. 

    f-stop: This is not your first time shooting the Dakar Rally, can you tell us more about what do you usually take with you for this kind of assignment?

    Ishaan Bhataiya 

    I’d carry 3 camera bodies, with 3 lenses ranging from super-telephoto to telephoto to an extreme wide-angle one. Three memory card cases with identical Sandisk 32GB Extreme Pro CF cards for each body. Batteries would generally all be charged the night before, so you don’t really need to carry one with you, unless you’ve had a hard night of partying and you know you have 4 spare batteries fully charged, so you’ll swap them out in the morning when you leave the car. That sorts out all your shooting needs. Apart from this, I'd have a Camelbak with about 2-3litres of water, energy bars, some candies, sunglasses, a few layers and a jacket depending on the weather conditions and a few buff’s and such stuff to wrap around your neck and then later to cover your nose when one of the mammoth trucks pass by blowing tons of dust in the air (thankfully though, not in the dunes). 

    f-stop: What are the challenges that you faced during this event?                                                                                                                                        

    Ishaan Bhataiya 

    Action Sports, specifically shooting a rally out in the desert does not give you the comfort of having a marked place for all your gear in close proximity. Yes, there is the car that you come in, but it also has 2 other photographers. The main aim is for all three of us to move in different directions, to get different images and not end up with the same shots/composition as the other. Once the stage is live and the first rider crosses you, it’s going to be a continuous chain of bikes, quads, ssv’s, cars and trucks one after the other, and the only significant break you’d get would be between the bikes and the cars, or between the fast and the really slow competitors. In such a case, it's definitely not feasible to leave your place of shooting, to go back to the car to pick up those extra memory cards, or water or even an extra battery/lens.  So, it all has to be on you at all times.                                         

    f-stop: You mentioned that you carry 3 bodies and 3 lenses with you at all times, can you tell us why?                                                                          

    Ishaan Bhataiya 

    Typically a rider/driver stays within shooting range for some seconds on an average, with 3 bodies with 3 different lenses, you maximize your possibility of making different shots of that rider and you normally choose places to shoot accordingly. 

    f-stop: Can you walk us through your gear and tell us what did you carry inside of your Tilopa, and also tell us why did you pick this specific set of gear? What else do you carry in the pockets?  

    Ishaan Bhataiya 

     I had 2xCanon 1Dx Mark2, Canon 7D Mark2, Canon 10-18mm, LP-E19 Battery Charger, External Flash and Trigger, Tamron 150-600mm Sport G2, Canon 17-40mm, Sigma 18-35mm, Sandisk Extreme Pro CF Cards, ADATA SSD, ADATA External HDD, Large Accessory Pouch, Canon 70-200mm, Sandisk Extreme Pro CF Cards x2, Sandisk Memory Card Reader, Passport, Notepad, Red Bull, Blackrapid Sport Breathe, Dakar 2020 Accreditation, Pen Drive, iPad, MacBook Pro, Wacom Intuos, Polaroid Filters, Polaroid Sunglasses, SIM cards, iPhone X Pelican Case. Almost all of the camera equipment goes into the XL ICU inside my Tilopa, accessories like filters, camera straps, hoods, lights would go into the Large ICU inside a hard-case. The side pockets normally are pretty empty, I’d stock an extra Ortholite sole for my shoes and some extra buffs, scarves in the other pocket. But usually, I keep them quite empty, cause the car has only limited space for all the bags, and you’d like a tall bag, not a fat one.                                                                                                                           

    I selected this gear cause typical to shooting action sports are really challenging environments and locations which could take a toll on the cameras. With top-of-the-line camera bodies, you negate that risk cause they’re sturdily built with super-strong magnesium alloy bodies and weather-sealed lenses. Multiple bodies so that changing lenses would not be a thing I’d be concerned with, cause in such sandy and dusty conditions changing lenses is just a nightmare and you’d end up with more damage than Good sometimes. The top (outside) pocket would have an extra phone, a notepad, pen, earphones, microfibre cloth, keys, zip ties, and maybe some batteries or things I need to store for the time being and also an iPad. The inside pocket would normally have more important things like my passport, documents, Identifications cards, SIM cards, pen drives, another note pad, dog tags, lens cleaning solution and cloth, stickers.

    f-stop: Now when the Dakar Rally is finished, what's next for you?                                                                                                                                      

    Ishaan Bhataiya 

    India is going through an interesting phase with all the politics and laws being passed in the country. Jammu and Kashmir have always been at the top of the list of states being affected by these actions, so much so, that there was a 145 days+ internet shutdown in J&K. Amidst all of this the Kashmiri youth are finding their solace, 'mental peace' and spending their time productively by going out and skiing on the pristine slopes of the Himalayas in Gulmarg, and I've been told that they're rather good at it, so I'm heading down to Kashmir to shoot this Skiing story in about a week. Post that would be some more supercross, track racing and digital campaigns leading up to the Auto Expo in March.                                                                                                                                                                        

                                             Follow Ishaan's adventures on Instagram and Facebook.                           

    Words and photos by Alex Grymanis

    Three Snowboarders with bag packs and Snowboard attached to the pack at sunset

    Snowboard photographers traverse the globe following the best riders and searching for the most epic snow conditions in far-flung locations. However, sometimes the most meaningful experiences can be found closer to home, as f-stop Ambassador Alex Grymanis found. He explored the beautiful landscapes of Northern Greece through snowboarding.

    Greece might not be the first place that springs to mind for snowboarding, but for Alex, the trip gave him the chance to hit the road with close friends and re-experience what made them fall in love with snowboarding and adventure. 

    This trip taught us that we can achieve anything as long as we have the will and the aspiration to do our thing and we do hope that it will inspire you to do the same. 

    Alex Grymanis
    ALEX GRYMANIS

    Introduction

    Last February, almost a year ago, I traveled through northern Greece. This trip started with a few friends, in an RV, for 10 days in search of snow and new places in our country, Greece, where we could snowboard.  The fact is that it came to be a trip about creativity, relaxing, and being once again carefree. During these 10 days not only did we become children again and remember the feeling of being away from the concrete and loud city, but we also learned how to coexist in a small, confined space and we reconnected with nature.

    Now that a year has passed by, a book, a video, and these photographs keep that trip alive in our memory and make it possible to share this experience with you.

    Chapter I

    Hospitality

    Everything seems fun and normal until you wake up the first morning surrounded by snow and by your friends all in a tiny four-wheeled house. The sweet lullaby from the wind and the sound of the trees at night become your guide and sooner or later you realize that you need to adapt to this new environment along with all of your gear, cameras, and wardrobe along with its frustrations. You learn to respect other people’s privacy, needs, and weirdness and start working together as a team. In places without electricity and no internet, the real connection between you, your friends, and the people you meet happens.

    Chapter II

    Search

    Growing up and having to work more to make your living, tends to shift your mind away from the things that you really love and make you feel happy and free. The deeper search in locations already known wakes up that feeling of rebirth and connection with the mountain. We got blessed with a heavy snowfall in Vasilitsa in the middle of the trip and decided to explore the “already known” slopes but from a different angle.

    Chapter III

    Perspective

    Snoozing the alarm was our biggest fear for that night’s mission. It was the coldest night of the trip but at the same time the most beautiful of them all. The sky was clear and full of stars so bright that it seemed we were walking on the moon. Our motivation for the hike soon became stronger and we made it to the peak slightly earlier than expected. After a short rest, we strapped in our boards on the backpacks with Gatekeeper Straps and when the first sun ray hit the slope we dropped into the line that would shift our perspectives of snowboarding forever.

    Chapter IV

    Down days

    Making every day count was the main idea since day one. Downdays came with heavy rain on the mountains and it was time for us to hit the road. On the way to Metsovo, we made a 180-degree turn and drove even further north to the Prespese Lakes. We got to experience the life of local fishermen and saw farmers burning their fields to prepare them for the following season in a place that stood out from the rest of the trip. Needless to say, we had the best feast on the whole trip.


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