WE ARE F-STOP: Northern lights with carmine gammarota

This We Are f-stop is a story of overcoming the challenges of traveling, to reap the refreshing rewards of new landscapes. f-stop customer Carmine Gammarota is an amateur photographer from a little town in southern Italy, in the Apennine Mountains, who loves the freedom of landscape photography to escape the stress of everyday life. In Carmine's own words, "I just love being alone in a place and capturing with the camera what I see. And when I do, I’m at peace with myself."


Words and images by Carmine Gammarota



My name is Carmine Gammarota, and I started taking pictures 3 years ago, with a tiny GoPro. I was obsessed with long exposures and night photography, so in May 2017 I bought my first professional camera, the Fujifilm X-T2 and for one year I shot only landscapes. Photography saved me, and for me is an escape... Depression and poor mental health can creep into your life without you realizing. And we’re all susceptible to it.


Taking more doesn't always mean taking a bigger bag - Carmine uses the f-stop Gatekeeper straps to carry extra layers.



As a landscape photographer, one of the places to see is Iceland, the land of fire and ice. I started to plan my visit Iceland in February and in October the dream came true! 10 days, 3000 kilometers across the Ring Road ...but a mishap was around the next corner.

When I landed at Keflavik, I realized that I did not have my baggage. During the layover in Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport had lost it! No warm clothes, no snow boots, no underwear, no medicine, no crampons… and no tripod!



I battled with high winds and the low temperatures, but the worst this was not having my tripod. In Vik I bought some clothes and only when I arrived at Hofn, I was able to buy a cheap tripod. But I did not give up, and I tried to do my best. In fact, at my first night I was able to see and capture, for the first time, the Northern Lights - by putting my camera on my f-stop Tilopa backpack!




My luggage was eventually located, but by then I was in the North (8 hours from Keflavik by car) so it was put on an internal flight and in the evening I was reunited with all my stuff!!!  ..and my tripod!  




The f-stop Tilopa allowed me to carry two Fujifilm bodies, lenses (telephoto, wide angle, 3 primes), square filters system and the necessary for the Icelandic trip (gloves, food, rain jacket). Last but not least, I was able to use my Tilopa like a carry on luggage!*


*(Ed. note: The Tilopa isn't within international carry on sizing, but if you pack wisely, don't stuff the outside pockets, and are friendly you can often get lucky like Carmine!)

My next trip? I don’t know, maybe come back to Iceland - unfortunately, on this trip I could not shoot in the southern region, which is in my opinion, the most beautiful and famous area of Iceland - so now I have an excuse to return to this magical place!
Maybe also to go to the USA for the deserts and National Parks next …stay tuned! 

Currently I’m editing more Icelandic pics, and you can see them in my galleries on Instagram, Facebook and 500PX.





"We Are f-stop" is a for all f-stop users to share their stories from the field, whether small daily adventure or epic travels. Get in touch with your story on Facebook or drop us an email to [email protected] and let us know on where your photography takes you and your pack! 


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