• In outdoor sports photography, being prepared is not just about skill, creativity and having the right gear. It's also as much about your level of organization and how you pack. Join us as we explore the world of Pro Photographer and f-stop Ambassador Frien Harald Wisthaler, as he navigates the demanding and exhilarating world of the Ski-Cross World Cup in Ineichen. 

    Nestled in the Dolomites, Harald's home in Italy (South Tyrol) offers the perfect canvas for his 15-year photographic journey. His latest challenge?  Only capturing the high-speed action and raw emotion at the Ski-Cross World Cup. 

    The Gear:
    The toolkit at Harald's disposal is as diverse as the sport itself. With his Mirrorless Nikon camera bodies, his range of lenses from wide-angle to super telephoto lens sets, alongside protective gear and outdoor wear, he geared up for a vast range of shooting situations. But it's not just about having the right gear; it's about knowing how to pack it. Harald emphasizes the importance of being consistently organized, but also flexible, often changing the equipment he packs based on the day's conditions and location scouting insights.  

    Proper Preparation: Harald told us that his number 1 tip is to not only make yourself familiar with your camera and lenses but also get to know the features of your bags. Look at all pockets and ask yourself why these are there and for what scenario you can use them for yourself! Make the gear yours and really get to know the equipment you're working with. This will help you work smarter and faster in almost every aspect when you're in the field and will make dealing with issues and obstacles a breeze. 

    OV German - Turn on the Captions for English translation

    Overcoming On-Site Challenges

    In the fast-paced world of sports photography, being prepared and flexible is just as important as having a keen eye for the shot. At the Ski-Cross World-cup, Harald faces unique challenges. His Office is situated just next to the ski slope, which for him has its pros and cons: He is always right in the middle of everything, no matter what.  

    To shoot an event like this effectively, you must always be ready to go, constantly aware of the schedules and factoring in the time you need to get up and down the slopes; and of course, adjust to the weather. When the race starts, everything is finished in 50 minutes. Choosing the right spot to bed in is crucial. Getting the shots you need requires strategic planning and sometimes a bit of luck. You need to be aware that moving positions during races is often not feasible and you cannot cross the race areas, so choose your position based on your goals.  

    Be Prepared

    Harald's passion for photography stems from far more than simply clicking the shutter.  The journey to each shoot is just as important to him. Whether it's World Cup events or serene mountain vistas, Harald knows that each adventure starts with a well-packed bag. Harald swears by his f-stop Tilopa DuraDiamond® 50l pack, a reliable companion on all his escapades.

    The key, he says, is consistency and preparedness. He packs the same way every time depending on the situation, ensuring he can find everything in a flash - be it his trusty 50mm lens or a crucial first aid kit. By keeping his pack consistently organized, ensuring he can quickly grab the right lens for the shot without a second thought. His advice? Keep your setup routine and familiar, so you're always ready, regardless of the conditions or the rush. 

    Pack Like a Pro: 5 Core Principles

    1. Adaptive Gear Choices Based on Location Scouting: Prior to each shoot, Harald conducts thorough location scouting. Based on these observations, he adapts his equipment to his needs. Sometimes that means making last-minute changes between wide-angle and telephoto lenses to suit the specific needs of the shooting environment. 
    2. Strategic Use of Accessory Pouches: Harald utilizes accessory pouches as a methodical approach to organization. He assigns specific items like batteries and memory cards to designated pouches. This strategic placement allows for efficient retrieval, especially in time sensitive scenarios. 
    3. Be Ready for the Elements: Acknowledging the unpredictability of outdoor environments, Harald prepares for a range of conditions. His gear includes protective items like rain covers for wet weather and thermal clothing for colder climates. This ensures both he and his equipment are shielded from the elements. 
    4. Be Consistent With Your Organization: Harald maintains a consistent setup for his pack, which is crucial for high-pressure shoots. This consistency in organization means he knows exactly where each piece of equipment is, from camera bodies to lenses. Reducing the time spent searching for items in the field means he can focus on getting the shot.
    5. Pack for Diverse Photographic Conditions: Emphasizing the need for versatility, Harald packs equipment that can handle a variety of conditions. His approach involves selecting the right gear for the job, also ensuring that he has backup gear and essentials like lens cleaners and protective covers. 

    A Strategy for Every Shoot: Whether travelling by car or tackling unpredictable terrain on foot, Harald appreciates the versatility of his f-stop Camera Inserts. They allow him to switch lenses, gear and setups quickly, adapting to changing scenes and moments. This flexibility is crucial, especially when pre-event scouting isn't an option. He usually brings a second Camera Insert with him in the car filled with potential other lenses he might need. Depending on what the location offers, he has the option to adapt and get the best outcomes.

    The Gear

    Harald utilizes a variety of equipment when he is out in the field. On this shoot he brought following gear with him:

    Learned Wisdom: The devil is in the details – or in this case, in the packing. Harald keeps his bag organized the same way regardless of the shoot, which makes adapting on the go a breeze. His approach is to make every slot and pocket useful to him! He also has a few more tricks up his sleeve. Also, he’s a firm believer in packing the little extras that you might not need. You never know when that ‘just in case’ item becomes a lifesaver.   

    The Final Day

    On the final day, the weather closed in. Ineichen offers a stunning mountainous backdrop, but with snow coming in, Harald had to adjust his approach. Instead of isolating individual participants with his telephoto lenses, he adapted to shooting on a wider field of view. He then incorporated long exposure to highlight the dumping of snow and the speed of the race. Finding a darker background and panning his camera with the subject helped Harald make the most of the situation and produce his usual exceptional standard of work.  


    Stay flexible, stay responsive, and prepared to adapt at a moment's notice.

    Harald Wisthaler

    Wouter Kingma is a filmmaker, a photographer, an author, a producer and an adventurer. He wears many hats within the creative industry and loves getting called upon for unique ideas and epic concepts. They all seem to overlap. They fill his passport with stamps and gets Wouter to tell real stories, which is what life is all about really; storytelling with different media, although film & photography will always lie at the heart of what he does. Adventure plays a starring role in all his projects (work & play) and pretty much sums up how he does business. Wouter is also a conversation partner for both international lifestyle brands and agencies, helping them to create content that’s real.

    Producing media that an audience can relate to and stirs up their lives. He particularly loves seeing how his work on athletes gets people off the couch and to make positive changes in their lives. Wouter started blogging in 2009 and it's become a source of inspiration, knowledge, images and stories. As mentioned, everything boils down to storytelling. Recently, Wouter has been producing more ‘behind the scene’ videos.

    They are a great way to share the love for what he does. There is rarely a boring day!

    Wouter Kingma 

    On the first of January I find myself making an early departure from our family ski trip in the Austrain Alps. Leaving the snow behind, seeking a completely different adventure in the wilderness of Saudi Arabia. After 40 years of exploring Africa and South America the iconic Dakar Rally has embarked on a new chapter in the Middle East, within its host country Saudi Arabia. I’ve spent part of my expat childhood living in Saudi Arabia (1983 to 1985) and from 2003 frequently been travelling there for work gigs. The magical Kingdom, how I call it, has gone thru an array of developments and changes. Specially the growth spurt under the leadership of HH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has put Saudi Arabia in a global spotlight.

    Bringing the epic rally to Saudi is just another great way to showcase the beautiful natural wonders they have on offer. I’ve seen lots of Saudi, mainly empty desert roads and flashy big cities, I even crossed the full country in 2019 with Khaled al Suwaidi who ran his 1755km pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. (https://wouterkingma.com/PROJECTS/Khaled's-Run-to-Mecca/thumbs). Over the years I was always moderately exciting about its landscape. Until…Yes! Dakar showed us all the good stuff by visiting all corners of this huge country. Stunning. Stunning. Stunning. From the Wadi Rum like mountains and ancient thumbs in the north to the breathtaking dunes in the south. It’s a gorgeous wilderness. Specially the mountains in the north are asking to be explored and climbed. Such a wild playground.

    Only the best of the best athletes and petrol-heads come to race, win or play. Regardless of their goals they are all striving for the finish medal near the capital of Riyadh. I found the Dakar community super nice. A unique pack of individuals, all in it for the spirit of adventure and that bonds people immensely.Now what does it take to shoot a beast like the Dakar Rally? If anything, it’s good planning and access information. In parallel its working by (possibly bending…) the French rules set by the organizers ASO (https://www.aso.fr/en/). It’s an oiled machine that runs on clockwork like the Tour the France (also their event).

    It works successfully yet it is hard to penetrate by outside creatives, specially me who seeks something different…. My first words of advice during registration was ‘Dakar doesn’t wait. So be ready.’ A message that set the pace and certainly lived up to its promise.The team at Professional Sports Group (http://www.profsports.com) made an engaging docu-series around the theme of #MySaudiDakar. I was stoked to be one of the selected few to share my personal experience. So, THIS is what it takes to capture the Dakar Rally.

    Days start early, well before the crack to dawn, leaving camp in beefed up 4x4’s and solving the mystery game of location finding. Dakar is a fierce global competition and advance route info may benefit some, therefore no course info is shared in advance. For registered content makers there is a secret code group who, at the very last minute, receive just enough course info to than race thru the darkness trying to find a magical viewpoint, ideally with multiple angels to broaden the mix. It’s a stressful morning game of hide & seek racing against the clock of live rally route closure.

    Once the race is live, it goes incredibly quick. First the motorbikes shoot by, followed by cars, side by sides and finally the monster trucks. In three hours they have all passed and catching up later in the day is near to impossible as 700km+ road transfers were not uncommon. Location finding in the mountains is a little easier as competitors should be on gravel roads, in the sand dunes however it’s a different story. In the desert there is only a mass of virgin sand, without any tire marks or  indication where the rally route will be. The best tool is a good set of ears and fast legs. I had all my basic camera equipment in my f-stop backpack ready to unpack and start shooting. A nice feature about my Satori pack is that I access my gear from the backpanel, keeping the sand out and it quickly zips back up

    Creating varied work is the icing on the cake! As I was feeding the official Saudi Dakar channels with fresh daily content my goal was to produce different types of images everyday. Yes the landscape changes over time, but the race is a repetitive format (at least visually). For those who are stuck in the process of shooting mixed work I’ll share my tips on how to keep on delivering varied magic. So what’s the spicy mix?                                                    

    Admittedly some days were better than others. Weather, landscape, sun angle, deadlines and access had a big impact on how visuals worked. With most elements out of my control, there is still no option of returning to base empty handed. I had some days where the morning location just didn’t work and it is a tough call to leave early in the hope to catch competitors later in the day with better conditions. During the early mornings you get to see all competitors just after the starting line when they are close together in racing order. Later in the day they spread out massively leaving big waiting times in between. As mentioned good planning is key. The Dakar Rally camp (or bivouac as the Frenchies like to call it) is an interesting bubble. For photography, it’s a possible to get in close with international athletes and their crew, to pick up stories and hang out with follow creatives.

    Camp is a daily roving village of 3,000 competitors, mechanics, medics, media and organizers who call it home. Assembled at a new place every day, the logistic behind the daily rebuild is mind blowing. During the day the competitors play and at night the mechanics get their time to work their magic. We sleep in tents or campervans, cramped in small spaces and there is no hiding from the noise. During the few much needed hours of sleep we are treated with revving engines, noisy power tools, banging hammers. A hidden treat at the Dakar Bivouac. I took little over 40,000 images, many went global thru the different social channels. There is talks about a coffee table book and keen to see what the final media clippings will be. I picked my top 60 for my own website (https://wouterkingma.com/PROJECTS/My-Saudi-Dakar/thumbs), trying to find a balance between RAW action, stunning landscape, rich culture & hospitality and the human spirit of the Dakar Rally. Got check it out.

    No surprises, days were intense. Just imagine spending three wild hours shooting on location than drive a distance similar from Paris to Milan. Upon arrival edit your content, upload the best select, eat followed by a noisy night sleep. The next morning wake up super early do it all again including the drive back to Paris. And repeat this 14 days in a row… It’s nuts! I did about 9,000km of travelling, mainly by car with an occasional helicopter ride. A big shout out to Meshari my personal driver for getting us thru the course safely! Despite the hard work it was an epic experience. I loved it. As a team we had a blast. We over-delivered on content and stories so all big smiles in the end! Would I do it again? For sure, book me in! I love this kind of expedition style content creation, looking for real RAW stories and constantly being on the move. I seem to be at my best with very little sleep, limited showers and no comfort. Always up for an adventure.

    Camera Kit:

    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.                           

    Every year Red Bull Rampage produces some of the most jaw-dropping images of mountain biking. f-stop Icon Scott Markewitz breaks down his gear and talks us through what is going in his bag for the Red Bull Rampage, along with some shots taken with that setup over the years.

    Mountain biker flying over cliff photographed from below

    Words and photos: Scott Markewitz

    About the Red Bull Rampage

    In 2018 f-stop Icon Scott Markewitz documented the Red Bull Rampage as the Event also moved to a new zone with riders building entirely new features and lines. Just like the riders, the photographers have to navigate the vertigo-inducing terrain to find their angles on these new features. In order to navigate the Rampage course and still carry a two-body setup, Scott grabs the slimmest of the Mountain Series packs for this.

    Kurt Sorge sends a backflip over the media pack at last year's Rampage, shot with the trusty 70-200.

    Kurt Sorge sends a backflip over the media pack at last year's Rampage, shot with the trusty 70-200.

    The Rampage is one of the most incredible events in action sports. It brings together the world’s best freeride mountain bikers for a contest and a show of massive jumps and insane riding skills on the rugged terrain around Virgin, Utah. I’ve been to every Rampage since the beginning and it’s definitely one of the shoots I look forward to every year

    On the road to Rampage 2018: Packing 2 full frame pro body DSLRs, 4 lenses, and daily essentials in the 32L Lotus pack to stay agile working shooting among the Utah cliffs of the Red Bull Rampage course

    On the road to Rampage 2018: Packing two full frame pro body DSLRs, 4 lenses, and daily essentials in the 32L Lotus camera bag to stay agile working shooting among the Utah cliffs of the Red Bull Rampage course.

    Challenges at the Red Bull Rampage

    One of the challenges of photographing the Red Bull Rampage is moving around and getting set up to shoot the riders during the event. The venue is spread out and every athlete takes a different line down the mountain. There’s not much time between runs, so you have to have to know where you’re going to shoot and move fast between each run to get in place. I like to have a pack that is large enough to carry everything I need for the event but light and agile when I’m running up and down the mountain between shots. For this year’s Rampage, I’m taking a Lotus.

    What to bring - A gear breakdown

    The Lotus is a great mid-size camera pack that still fits a Large Pro Camera Insert but is lightweight and most importantly easy to move around with. This is especially important on an Event like the Red Bull Rampage.

    I always have two full-size DSLR bodies in my camera backpack, a Nikon D5 for the majority of my work with a Nikon D4S as a backup just in case the D5 fails. For lenses, I bring a 70-200mm 1:2.8 GII, 24-70mm 1:2.8G, 17-35mm 1:2.8D, 12mm 2.8 Fisheye, a 1.4x converter to extend the range of my 70-200, as well as extra camera batteries, lens cloths and more than enough CF cards for any day of shooting.  

    Cam Zink doing what most of would want a parachute for, on his way to 2nd place at Rampage 2017, shot with the 12mm fisheye giving a sense of the wide open space the athlete is launching into.

    Cam Zink doing what most of us would want a parachute for, on his way to 2nd place at Rampage 2017, shot with the 12mm fisheye giving a sense of the wide open space the athlete is launching into.

    The Southern Utah desert is hot, dry, and dusty and the sun beats down on you when you’re out there all day. A water bottle is obviously important to stay hydrated, but I also bring a hat, a buff for extra cover, and sunblock (not shown), as well as a few GU energy gels and chews for a quick energy boost when I need it. 

    It doesn’t seem possible that the riders can go any bigger or do anything wilder, but at every Rampage the athletes continue to push the realm of what’s possible to new levels. I’m really excited to see what they are going to pull off in the future.  

    It’s going to be another incredible event!


    Portrait of Scott Markewitz

    Scott Markewitz

    https://scottmarkewitz.com

    Scott Markewitz is recognized as one of the most influential outdoor photographers in the industry. His passion for photography and the outdoors comes through in everything that he shoots, whether it’s action sports, active lifestyle, or environmental portraits. His images have appeared in advertising and promotional campaigns for many well-known outdoor and consumer brands



    Recent Posts:

    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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    Ever since his first skydive, f-stop Staff Pro Jesper Grønnemark had the idea of doing a photo shoot while in the air. This is how it went. Even though as he says, his first skydive was more than enough for him, this idea remained stuck in his mind. 

    The idea became a reality when Jesper teamed up with the guys from Flux Freefly, gave them a Profoto B1X, and jumped out of an airplane at 13,200 feet to take his photography to new heights.

    THE RUSH

    His heart is racing, adrenaline is gushing into his veins as the door of the airplane opens. 13.200 ft. (4 km) under him the ground stares back. This is it, one chance, one shot. His grip on the Sony A7R II tightens as they move out the side of the plane, 45 seconds of free fall awaits, 3, 2, 1…

    FLUX: Benjamiin Laudrup, Jacob Lundsgaard Madsen and Emil Landeværn Kristensen; Head of the project: Michael Boe Laigaard; Lights: Profoto; Camera equipment: Sony Nordic; Video: Kasper Sveistrup - Frame2film; Graphics: Niels Borup - Saftig; Article: Kira Andersen; Pilot: Fillip Højlund Aarhus skydive club Red Bull Denmark

    THE BOUNDARIES OF PHOTOGRAPHY WHEN SKYDIVING

    The eternal strive to push the boundaries of what people believe is possible in sports photography has put Jesper Grønnemark in a position he did not imagine himself in again. After his first skydiving experience, some years ago, it wasn´t an immediate love story. Now, here he is again on account of his own creative thinking. Why would he do it again you might ask. Well, the answer is, he needs to. In order to push those boundaries, he is more than willing to put himself in extreme situations.

    When trying to capture the emotions of a skydiving experience, safe is not part of the vocabulary.

    Jesper Gronnemark

    THE PLAN, AND THEN A CHANGE OF PLANS

    How do you make it happen then? In short, you need a man with a plan, and that man was Michael Boe Laigaard, head of the project in terms of finding the right people, and those people came in the form of the Danish national team in free fly - FLUX.

    They are the best when it comes to jumping out of planes and falling controlled through the air. The original plan was that they would all have their parachutes out, Jesper with the camera and Benjamiin with the Profoto B1X flash. It would have been easier to track the skydiver, or Mr. Bill as the “model” is called in skydiving, through the air. However, shortly before the jump, it was deemed too dangerous due to wind and the plan changed to free fall. This new challenge was going to put an even greater demand on Jesper's skills as a sports photographer since they only had one jump and now had to nail the shot in a fall going 200 km/h.

    Skydiver Benjamin from Flux at Sunset with a Profoto B1X Flash photographed by Jasper Gronnemark

    Benjamiin with the Profoto B1X flash

    THE FALL

    GO! As Jesper is falling through the air, he sees the skydiver approaching from above, he gets his camera in place and suddenly he is cool, calm, and collected. The workflow is such an integrated part of him, that even in a time like this, it overthrows the adrenaline rush. Furthermore, he only has one shot, so he better make it count! The skydiver is head down, shots are fired, and not long after it parachutes out and a touchdown. Fingers are crossed on all parts. How did it turn out?

    Skydiver Emil from FLUX in the air heads down at Sunset photographed by Jesper Gronnemark

    Emil approaches and gets into position for the desired skydiving photo

    I only have one Shot, One Jump..and that's it. Once I got my camera to my face while flying through the air at 200 km/h, I was focused. There was no sound, no sense of falling and I didn't feel @michaelboelaigaard on my back.
    My only mission was to get the shot!

    Jesper Grønnemark

    THE FINAL RESULT

    Once again Jesper proves that hard work and quite a bit of sacrifice pays off. A lot of planning went into this shoot and even so, they changed. However, it was for the best. Jesper got the image he originally envisioned! A man hanging in the air above the clouds, head down. It feels as if it would be safer if his head was up, but when trying to capture the emotions of a skydiving experience, safe is not part of the vocabulary.

    Skydiver Emil from FLUX heads down above the clouds at Sunset

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

    The Skydiving Team

    Three Skydivers from FLUX with an Airplane in the background, f-stop Ambassador Jesper Gronnemark

    The Skydiving Team from FLUX; From Left to right: Jacob, Benjamiin, Emil

    Benjamiin was the one holding the Profoto B1X at the free fall at Jesper's skydiving shoot. It isn’t normal to skydive with anything in your hands, but Benjamiin is an experienced guy, who already tried skydiving with fishing nets, fruits, and other crazy stuff

    Portrait of skydiver Jacob from FLUX infant of skydiving plain

    Jacob's role is to film Emil and Benjamiin from a close distance using a helmet-mounted camera while they perform. He usually does that by being flat in the air with his back facing the ground. He was also the one filming me from the air for the behind-the-scenes video for my skydiving shoot.

    Portrait of Skydiver Emil from FLUX in the Door of the Airplane

    Emil was the athlete in front of the lens at Jesper's skydiving shoot. Emil recommended shooting him while he is doing a trick easily described as a front layout from the belly - a reversed Jesus rising to heaven. Jesper loved the idea because it starts a lot of thoughts at the one looking at the image when a guy is flying head first towards the ground.

    EXPLORE THE f-stop GEAR JESPER GRONNEMARK IS USING:

    Portrait of Jesper Gronnemark with the Tilopa 50L DuraDiamond® Cypress opening bag panel of camera pack

    Jesper Grønnemark

    http://www.gronne.dk

    Jesper Grønnemark is renowned for his innovative approach to adventure and action sports photography, redefining the genre's conventional boundaries. See more of Jesper's work!



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