Action Woman: Interview with Desré Pickers

Action Woman: Interview with Desré Pickers

Photographer Desré Pickers won the lifestyle category of Red Bull Illume 2007, plus the athletes' choice and peoples' choice awards. We asked her what it takes to be successful in action and adventure sports photography.

Desré, you won the lifestyle category of Red Bull Illume 2007. What was it like to be part of this contest and winning a category?

D: It was an absolute privilege to be part of a project that not only recognizes the top action sport photographers in the world, but brings them together in such an awe-inspiring way. To walk away with one of the category's top spots was surreal: there I was standing in a crowd with people who I’ve drawn inspiration from and admired for years, to receive top honors for my catagory.

You also won the athletes’ choice and the peoples’ choice award. What did it mean to you to have your image chosen by the athletes and the general public?

D: To me the two greatest honors are the athletes’ choice and the peoples’ choice, after all that’s essentially who you are taking the photos for. It isn’t always easy to capture the essence of what athletes experience in a still photo but when you do and you get to share those moments with the public, it makes all the grueling work of getting it so worth while. But the most rewarding achievement is getting the nod of approval from the very people who have trained so hard, who put their lives on the line for that single shot. To have their approval is one of the highlights of my life.

Why do you think there are very few women in action and adventure sports photography?

D: I think because of what it takes to be involved in the industry and what you have to do to get the shot. You’ve got to get to places that not many people can get to and do things that most people wouldn’t dream of doing. Not only do you need to "suck it up" and get out there and do it, but you have to have the respect of the athletes you are dealing with.

What are your experiences? Do you face a lot of prejudices or obstacles?

If an athlete has to choose between a photographer who they have to help carry all the gear and help set them up and assist getting them to the shooting vantage points, and someone who can get there on their own, its obvious who they are going to choose. And an unfortunate fact about shooting action sports and adventure is that it is outdoors in some pretty hostile environments and the camera gear is heavy. It’s tough, no doubt about it. However saying this, I’ve been fortunate enough to be dealing with a sport where there are very few photographers in general so am granted a little leniency. I don’t pull the "I’m a girl" card, but I always accept any help that is offered.

Was it special for you, as a female photographer, to win those awards ?

As for being female and winning a category, in general I’m not about "girl power" so I didn’t really notice the huge difference in gender until it was pointed out to me. But somewhere deep down I do think I did the "yeah baby – show ´em how its done" air punch!

What have you been up to since the last Red Bull Illume? Did the competition and your success in it change your work?

D: It definitely gave me more confidence in my ability and when times were tough made me pull it together a lot faster than before. My style of photography hasn’t changed, or my attitude towards it. However being mentally and physically very challenging, I actually took a year off shooting to recoup. I’m just about ready to get back in the saddle and shoot again – can’t wait to get my new gear.

What are your expectations for Red Bull illume 2010?

D: I’m hoping that it will become more of an international event. Although the photographers were from around the world, I would like to see the actual exhibition get out of the USA. I think that the power and full impact of a competition like this is harder hitting when shown to a culturally diverse audience.

Are you planning to submit? If yes: Do you already have some pictures in mind or will you work on a special concept for a winning shot?

D: I’m not sure yet. At present I don’t think I have a photograph that I think 'has what it takes', but I’m working on it and if I do, I’ll definitely submit.

What do you believe is the value of such a contest for the whole adventure and freesports photography scene?

D: I believe a contest like this that brings together such diverse categories in sport and photography style, creates creative competitiveness that can result in the photographers pushing limits in their own creative styles and push them to experiment in areas outside of their comfort zone. Not just for self-satisfaction but for the recognition an event like this can bring.
Personally I found this competition opened up portals that normally would have been closed to an action sports photo. Using the name 'Red Bull Illume Photography Competition' as a guise, kayaking, mountain biking, base jumping, climbing and other fringe-sports found themselves published in magazines and newspapers they normally would never have been given the recognition for. And the response was overwhelmingly positive.

Traditionally there isn’t a lot of money in action or adventure sports, maybe getting it out there and more in demand will change that, and that in turn will attract more photographers and increase the creative pool.

You and your partner in life, Red Bull athlete and kayaking professional Steve Fisher seem to be the perfect couple: An extreme sports photographer and an extreme sports athlete. Do you work together a lot? Do you inspire each other?

D: Ah yes, the "power couple" as we have been dubbed. I don’t think it would be possible to be in a relationship with each other if we didn’t do what we do. Unlike golfers, kayakers don’t make absurd amounts of cash and in order for us to both travel on the budget that we are on, we both have to be on the same page and working towards the same goals. It’s no accident that we do what we do as a couple. It was an active decision to focus my photography on kayaking, to help Steve achieve his goals, and to allow me to be with him on his travels. Steve has been tenacious in getting me to the best shooting places (I don’t paddle) and running and re-running waterfalls and rapids in order for me to get the perfect shot. In return, he has a selection of photos second to none that he can promote himself with. The epitome of a symbiotic relationship.

If witnessing some of the worlds best athletes do what they love most, doesn’t inspire you, then nothing will, which is what I give credit for helping me go from never holding a camera in 2001 to winning two categories in 2007.

What equipment are you currently working with?

D: I’d probably surprise most people with the equipment I use. With kayaking as my main focus most of my gear gets smashed around and wet constantly. I have to be prepared to send my camera down rivers, tie them onto boats and stand in very wet environments. Because of this, I use a Canon 30D because its cheap enough to not break the bank when it breaks.... and they do, often. My next camera is going to be a Canon 7D as I’d like to start moving into the filming side of things and this is the perfect tool to do just this.
I have a range of canon lenses from the 10mm range to the 400mm range. However, my favorite piece of equipment is a canon timer remote control which I shoot time lapses with.

Visit www.photosbydes.com for more information and images from Desré.

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Gallery: 7 Shots to Illuminate the Darkest of Nights

As an adventure and action sports photographer it pays not to be afraid of the dark. Night time provides a natural backdrop on which photographers can manipulate the light to create something truly epic. We have selected 7 nocturnal images to inspire those who can’t sleep and yearn for adventure.

© Jara Sijka / Red Bull Illume

Feel inspired? Tag us on Facebook or Instagram to show us your own night photography.

Kelvin Trautman's Arctic Expeditions

While being based in Cape Town, South Africa, adventure photographer Kelvin Trautman is no stranger to the Arctic regions and the polar circle. In 2017, he spent time in Svalbard, Greenland, the Canadian Arctic and got closer to the North Pole than ever before. Read his fascinating take on working in the Arctic regions below...

© Kelvin Trautman

You’ve been in the Arctic for a few months for a few expeditions. How was that?

The Arctic is a place of such raw and magnificent beauty that in truth it's very hard to do justice to in words and images. It really is one of those places that needs to be seen and experienced first hand.

My take home sentiment from this time in the high northern latitudes though was that as raw and beautiful this wilderness is, it’s also extremely fragile and rapidly changing.

We know you’re big on environmentalism. Why is it important to share these expedition stories?

I truly believe we will only protect those things that we feel connected to. And there are few mediums more adept at invoking an emotional connection than photo and film. Under this guise I feel compelled to use my craft to tell stories of environmental and social importance. With my personal adventure sport background, I’ve been drawn to the narratives of sportsmen and woman turned activists and campaigners.

For the most part, the idea here is to use pioneering expeditions involving these adventure activists performing extreme physical feats as a way to put the spotlight (spark dialogue, connect, campaign for and against) on some of the planets most pressing environmental issues.

We imagine shooting in the Arctic is tough on body as well as gear. How do you stay “Arctic-Proof”?

Working in harsh and remote conditions like the polar regions, where the margins for error are very small, demands that you have the right gear and knowledge of the risks that the surroundings present. This may go without saying, but something I think is overlooked when proofing yourself here, is your mindset or approach. You really need to be comfortable with the idea of adaptability and resourcefulness - things are going to go wrong and break and you need to be ready and happy to change tack and fix the problem. In many ways this is the same approach that we need to adopt when dealing with environmental problems.

From all the places you visited in the Arctic and shot, what was your favorite and why?

I’m not much into favorites as it’s such an all encompassing word or concept but one of the stand out experiences from my time in the Arctic this year was a day spent with Narwhal scientists and Inuit fisherman in the narrow reaches of Eclipse Sound, high up in the Canadian Arctic. We were there filming a super pod of Narwhals. With a drone we could see and document the whales sparring with their tusks and feeding.

We estimated there were over a thousand animals, and knowing the worldwide population sits at a lowly fifty thousand - due in part to climate change related habitat destruction - made the spectacle even more precious. The footage captured that day forms part of a Sky News documentary, called Arctic Peril premiering on the 20th December.

We read about United Nations Patron for the Oceans and cold water swimmer Lewis Pugh biting your arm to climb out of the freezing Arctic waters on a recent expedition. Can you recount the story?

Lewis Pugh swims (in a speedo) in the freezing waters of the planets polar regions in order to urge world leaders to help protect these wildernesses. My role on these swimming expeditions is not only to take photos but also swim safety.

In July, Lewis did a 1 km swim up at 80˚ North, along the edge of the Arctic sea ice. We were 1200kms from the North Pole, and the water was -0.5˚C water. By the time Lewis had completed the swim distance, he had spent just over 20 minutes in the water. This was right at the edge of what he has done before, and you could see it in his body movements. His swim stroke was severely labored, and he hit the water with clawed, cramping hands.

As he came up to the back of the boat at the end of the swim I handed him the rope loop to put his hand through that would aid him to climb into the boat. He missed it completely. He screamed “get me in the boat”. His words were almost indecipherable, as his lips, mouth and tongue were numb. For the next few minutes I wrestled to get him out of the water - the small and awkward confines of our boat meant I was the only one that could help. We teetered on the edge for what seemed like an age, until Lewis, in desperation, used the only other means of aiding his exit, and that was with his teeth. He bit down into my forearm (luckily I had a drysuit on) and hauled himself up.

It worked, and he was bundled into the boat.

For someone from South Africa, you spend a whole lot of time in Arctic regions. Any plans to head back to the Arctic?

I live in Cape Town, and currently the city is going through the worst drought for over 300 years - the city may well run out of water. This is in no small part due to climate change. Having seen and documented the polar regions over the past few years, I have come to understand how these places are the proverbial canary in the goldmine when it comes to climate change - and what happens there will affect all of us, wherever we live. So yes, I have plans to head back to the Arctic, and soon.

Make sure to check out Kelvin Trautman's work on his website and give him a follow on Instagram to make sure you don't miss a shot from his upcoming work in the Arctic!

Red Bull Illume Announces European Indoor Exhibit Tour for 2018

The world’s greatest adventure and action sports photography is hitting Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic

© Robert Fritz

As part of its entirely new exhibit tour, Red Bull Illume is bringing the world’s greatest adventure and action sports photography to premium SES retail outlets around Europe. The 55 finalist images from the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2016 will be displayed at 15 different European locations in stunning 4K resolution thanks to the Memento Smart Frame™, the most advanced Digital Smart Frames ever developed.

All of the exhibitions are free to the public and can be visited during the usual opening times of each individual venue. The first stop kicks off on January 02, 2018 at Q19 in Vienna and will be on the road until October 02, 2018, travelling through Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

Whether you’re a devout photography fan, or a shopaholic who's in the area, be sure to stop by and take in the world’s greatest adventure and action sports images. Check out the full tour schedule below; we’ll see you there!

  • Q19, Vienna (AT) 02.01.2018 – 12.01.2018
  • MAX.CENTER, Wels (AT) 15.01.2018 – 27.01.2018
  • WEBERZEILE, Ried im Innkreis (AT) 29.01.2018 – 10.02.2018
  • SILLPARK, Innsbruck (AT) 19.02.2018 – 03.03.2018
  • ZIMBAPARK, Bürs (AT) 05.03.2018 – 17.03.2018
  • EUROPARK, Salzburg (AT) 02.04.2018 – 14.04.2018
  • VARENA, Vöcklabruck (AT) 23.04.2018 – 05.05.2018
  • MURPARK, Graz (AT) 07.05.2018 – 19.05.2018
  • ATRIO, Villach (AT) 21.05.2018 – 02.06.2018
  • FISCHAPARK, Wiener Neustadt (AT) 04.06.2018 – 16.06.2018
  • CITYPARK, Ljubljana (SI) 18.06.2018 – 30.06.2018
  • CITYCENTER, Celje (SI) 02.07.2018 – 14.07.2018
  • EUROPARK, Maribor (SI) 16.07.2018 – 28.07.2018
  • HUMA ELEVEN, Vienna (AT) 20.08.2018 – 02.09.2018
  • EUROPARK, Prag (CZ) 15.10.2018 – 28.10.2018

 

 

"Passion is the only thing that will get you through the rough spots."

Jonathan Mehring is a name many skateboarders as well as Red Bull Illume fans will recognize. The theme behind Mehring's photography is often much more than just skateboarding: it’s a representation of spirit, mindset and instinct - all at the same time.

© Jonathan Mehring

First off, it’s been a while since we last spoke. How have you been?

I've been good man, been living in Brooklyn still but working and traveling a ton this fall. Can't complain a bit!

Working on any cool projects?

Mostly I've been doing commercial work lately, which is a nice change from the traditional editorial hustle. But it has still been a mix of both. I did a Volcom trip for Thrasher recently that was super fun. We did a traditional demo tour from Atlanta to Kansas City but traveled in their 1981 Wanderlodge RV which added a different flavor. It's in the latest issue. I've also been trying to shoot more personal work lately, a lot of street photography, which I love, but it's the most difficult type of photography out there in my opinion, so it's cool to give myself that challenge.

As a skateboarder yourself, how has skateboarding influenced your photography?

I've always been keen on freezing action moments. If there's no energy in a photo it seems less interesting to me for sure. I think that's what drew me to skating, in addition to the fact that I skated before shooting photos. I guess the main thing is that you always need is a frame of reference in skate photography, to show where someone is coming from and going to. Or at least imply it. It other types of photography that doesn't matter as much. That's why the skatepark story in everyone's hometown newspaper usually had a "guy in the sky" with no reference to height or difficulty. That kind of thing is pretty essential in action sports photography but may actually hinder you in other types. So it's been interesting, branching out and not necessarily needing to think that way to make a photo that makes sense.

You’ve often been praised for finding spots for photo shoots that others would miss. Is there a secret behind this skill?

Ha! I think there are two main factors. One was growing up in rural Virginia where there wasn't much to skate. We had to get creative and think outside the box. Also because I love to explore new areas and new things, when I follow that instinct, I end up in new and unusual places. I've found that nearly everywhere has spots to skate, maybe not too many, but there's always something. You just have to be willing to take a step into the unknown.

How important is location for a photoshoot? Are there any go-to locations you find yourself going back to for photos?

Location isn't everything, but it's a major factor. I get super inspired by good locations. If it's a strip mall in the IE or something it's probably not that cool looking no matter what the spot is. But never say never... I actually rarely go back to spots. In NYC I do because I live there but in other places not so much. NYC also looks so damn amazing that I don't mind repeating spots occasionally. I could go to the Bond St. gap again and again and not get tired of it.

How would you say your work differs from other skate photographers/more traditional skate photography?

Oh man, that's a tough one. I guess I take kind of a photojournalistic approach that most people probably don't do. I like to show the whole scene, so a lot of wider pulled back shots. I love sunrise photos... I find that all my favorite skate photos aren't lit so I try to limit my lighting as much as possible while still creating successful images. When I do light a shot, I try to do it in a cool way, or a subtle way, or something special about it. I try not to be too formulaic.

What’s one piece of gear you never leave your house without?  

Lately my Fuji X100F is always with me. For skate photography in particular, I'd say my 85mm 1.4 is an absolute must.

Any plans to release a new book following your Skate The World book?

I'd like to do another book with a bit narrower of a scope. The world is a big place. It would be cool to do one that just focuses on something smaller, like a single trip, or variations on a theme.

And last but not least, any advice for aspiring photographers?

Do it for the love. It's an uphill battle and passion is the only thing that will get you through the rough spots.

Make sure to follow Jonathan Mehring on Instagram and check out his website!

Azerbaijan has been Illuminated (Photo Gallery)

The Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour continues its journey around the world, this time stopping in Baku, Azerbaijan. With the breathtaking Heydar Aliyev Center as it's backdrop, the exhibit can be visited daily until January 15, 2018.

© Andrey Pronin / Red Bull Content Pool

In A Flash: Heart Racing, Adrenaline Gushing

Jesper Gronnemark is known for pushing the boundaries of traditional adventure and action sports photography, if you can call it traditional, that is...Check out how he went around planning and executing his latest shoot and how he incorporated some classic studio photography techniques. Make sure to check out the video and read the story behind the shoot in Jesper's own words...

The rush

His heart is racing, adrenaline is gushing into his veins as the door of the airplane opens. 10.000 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…

The boundaries

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.

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 air. The original plan was that they would all have their parachutes out, Jesper with the camera and Benjamiin with the Profoto B1X flash. Like this, it would be 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 Jespers 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.

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 work flow 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´s parachutes out and touchdown. Fingers are crossed on all parts. How did it turn out?

The 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.

Shot in the Dark: Alessandro Belluscio

Skiing is too often associated with sunny blue skies and awesome white snow, says adventure and action sports photographer Alessandro Belluscio, who chose to take a radically different approach to doing a brand shoot in the snow. Time to check in on how he made magic happen!

© Alesandro Belluscio

The location was Prato Nevoso, a nice resort by the sea in the South Piedmont Region. And I had the honor to work with big names that made the history of Ski Racing like Giorgio Rocca, Kristian Ghedina, Daniela Ceccarelli and Paolo Dechiesa.

What setup and lighting did you use during the shoot?

To light the set, I opted for the Siros 800 L Outdoor Kit, one RFS 2.2, one Para 88 and a standard reflector. A very basic and simple setup. To make the shoot spicy, we were gifted a snowstorm and some real cold powder at -8°C. And I have to say I was able to complete the shooting with a single Siros battery.

After deciding the track and the angle of the turn, I placed two lights, one on the back right and one on the back left. The para 88 was on my left, inside the turn while I used the Siros with a normal reflector on the right as a backlight. Shooting on the snow is like shooting in a “white room.” The snow can reflect light better than a panel. The difficult aspect of this shooting was to keep the bounce under check to avoid drops in intensity.

During the shooting

The decision to work with a backlight was taken because the outfit were perfect for this light. A dark blue jacket at night on the snow can really be valorized by a backlight flash. If I'd only use one front flash, there would probably be a lot of uneven light, which would result in an overexposed area in the front (on the ground), right light on the subject (even if a little bit flat) and a dark – but not too much – background. Plus the white room of the spray of snow.

The skiers had to ski through the “Bron gate” like a racing track, and the first laps were perfect to take the right line. The HS mode was essential for this shooting. Modern skiers achieve a big acceleration during their turn, and the speed was at least 60km/h at the point where I was shooting. On icy slopes, the acceleration was even higher than on fresh snow, so I was probably lucky!

The slopes had the added effect of illuminating the night sky, but to be clear and safe, I also used the continuous LED light of the SIROS and I have to say it was a very useful plus to the shoot.

The effect of the snowflakes lit with a backlight was amazing, basically it was something like magic, and the skiers were super professional. They didn’t make mistakes during their runs, which meant a 100% focus on the shoots in a very "safe mode." Within a few runs, I was able to say “GOT IT!”.

Then after a few portraits, we finally celebrated the shoot with some beers at the White House.

I hope you enjoy the backstage, cheers!

Follow Alo on Facebook and check out more of his work on his website.

This article was originally published on broncolor.com

7 Snow Photographers You Need To Know About

The holidays are fast approaching in the northern hemisphere, and that really only means one thing: it's shred o'clock! To get you stoked for the rad times that are ahead, we've compiled a list of seven snow photographers you need to know about!

© Tim Kemple / Red Bull Illume

Scott Serfas

Chasing the boys. #BackcountrySnowboarding #AlaskaSnowboardGuides #ValdezAK

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Tim Kemple

Elliott Bernhagen

Gabe Rogel

Never stop snowing (or exploring). Japan. #sonyalpha #skiing #winter #pillowmania

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Lorenz Holder

Soon...

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Clark Fyans

Grant Gunderson

Got some snowshots we need to see? Use #redbullillume and tag us on Instagram!

The Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour Is Coming To Baku, Azerbaijan

The world’s greatest adventure and action sports photographs visit Baku for the first time ever.

© Red Bull Content Pool

The Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour continues its world tour and will be making a stop in Baku. True to the theme of illumination, the 55 finalist images of the Image Quest 2016 will be exhibited on incredible 2x2 meter lightboxes. Alongside the world’s greatest adventure and action sports photography will be an additional 5 photos from the local National Mobile Contest. The winners of this category will be unveiled at the official Opening Night on December 19, 2017.

The exhibition will take place at the stunning Heydar Aliyev Center in the heart of Baku. Its elegant architecture is both a symbol of innovation, and a testament to the fascinating history and rich cultural heritage of the nation. Surrounded by towering skyscrapers, contemporary landmarks and the original medieval walls of the old city, the Heydar Aliyev Center is a truly unique venue.

The Baku tour stop promises to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. The exhibition runs from December 19, 2017 to January 15, 2018 and will be open daily from 17.00 to 23.00. Admission is free to the public, so don’t miss out!

Shoot. Fail. Repeat. Succeed

Snowboarding beats office life, right? That's what Marc Gasch thought as well, making a quite drastic change from life as a lawyer to becoming adventure and action sports photographer, starting out with an analog reflex camera back in 1998 with a little help from his snowboarding friends. Nowadays, he shoots a lot of bikepacking adventures, so we decided to pick his brain on the topic.

© Marc Gasch

How did you get started in shooting adventure and action sports?

Well, it all happened around 1998, when I was working as a lawyer (yep) after finishing university, but it quickly bcame clear that I was not going to be sitting in an office for a long time. I was snowboarding all the time with my friends back then, and I had a reflex camera. My grandad was a photographer...so all the pieces just kind of came together and I decided that I had to make a change…

When it comes to bike packing adventures, what’s the biggest challenge when it comes to shooting?

I still shoot some snowboarding, but my focus has somehow shifted to bikes and more specifically gravel and bike packing. As the photographer for the XPDTN3 project, the main challenge is that those trips, even if some of them are short, are fully self-supported and self-documented. There are no support cars and no photographers on vans. I have to carry both my bike packing gear and also my photography gear, so the goal is to have a kit that is as light as possible.

3. How about challenges when it comes to packing?

I carry a lot of stuff to the destination, just in case, but once we set up “basecamp” in our first hotel,  before starting the bike trip, I choose only the gear necessary for the next 3 days on the bike.

This usually means I'll bring 1 pro camera (the Sony A7RII) + 1 extra backup P&S (Sony RX100IV) and a couple of lenses. The ones I use most are a wide angle and a 85 1.8mm.

Of course I also need to carry all chargers, batteries, cards, mics and accessories in my pack. Sometimes I move those to the bike packs to get some weight off of my back. A good backpack is key for this, and I normally try to get the smallest one possible. Right now, I'm using the GURU UL from the guys at F -Stop Gear.

What’s the coolest bike packing assignment you’ve been on, and why?

Hard to say, but Iceland and Israel have probably been two of my favorites. Everything just comes together in those places and you travel through some amazing landscapes and very remote areas. It's just pure nature!

You can check out Iceland here: xpdtn3.club
The trip through Israel can be experienced here: xpdtn3.club

What makes shooting bike packing different from other adventure sports?

I think it all comes down to the compromises you have to make when it comes to gear selection. With only one body and two lenses (for photo and video!), you definitely need to get more creative when it comes to composition and really work on the angles.

On some trips, one of the other riders help me carry the a drone for some aerial footage, but to be honest, video makes everything much more complicated! (hahaha).

You can check out a video I did in Galicia, Spain on YouTube.

What is one piece of gear you never leave home without?

A dust blower and the “Capture" clip from Peak Design, which lets me have my camera strapped to my backpack strap, so I don't have to stop all the time and get off from my bike to get photos. This makes for a smoother workflow and allows shooting on the go instead of having to stop the action and the crew every 10 minutes to take my backpack off my back in order to get some shots.

Any cool projects coming up?

All XPDTN3 trips are cool (can you tell I’m in charge of choosing the destinations? :-) and we are already working on a couple of trips in Asia for next spring, in 2 countries where I have never been before, so that’s always cool!

Any tips for starting photographers?

Shoot. Fail. Shoot. Fail. Shoot. Succeed. Non stop.

Check out more of Marc's work here.