Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Have you ever struggled with how to bring all of the photo and outdoor equipment you need in the field under your own power?
I do all of the time. It is part of what makes adventure photography what it is. Throw video production into the mix and you are in an entirely different category of, "oh man, how much can I bring?" Go even further and make it a mountain biking project accessible only by mountain bike and the equation gets even more tricky.
You need fluid movement tools for the camera (jib, slider, etc...), a tripod, adequate layers, spare bike parts, water, food, a first aid kit, camera gear, radios, GoPros, and heavier lenses than I would normally bring for a still project with the same parameters (f/2.8 lenses instead of f/4).
These are all of the things I was thinking about as I racked my brains on how in the world I was going to bring everything I would need and ride a mountain bike.
Good friend and fellow Novus Select photographer Rachid Dahnoun and I were heading to the Yukon Territory in northern Canada to shoot a video project for an international mountain bike tour operator. We had all of the tools and grand ideas for a great project, but were struggling on exactly how to streamline our gear and how to get it where we would be going.
We approached the good folks at Lowepro with our predicament and to our absolute fortune, they were on the verge of releasing a new backpack built just for this sort of scenario, the Rover Pro. They sent a few our way in hopes that their newest addition to the lineup would solve our problem and let us focus on shooting.
And they did!
I used the Rover Pro 35L AW and was able to pack everything mentioned above, plus a prototype lightweight camera crane / jib and Manfrotto 745 CX3 tripod with a 701 HDV head. The camera gear in the bag still needed to be slimmed down to the bare essentials, but here is what I was able to put in the bag:
- Canon 5D Mark II
- Canon 70-200mm f/2.8
- Canon 16-35mm f/2.8
- Canon 15mm f/2.8 fisheye
- 5D Batteries
- Genus 8-Stop ND Filters
- LCD View Finder
- Sandisk Extreme Flash Cards
- GoPro + Multiple Attachements
- First Aid Kit
- Spare Tubes
- Tire Pump
- Leatherman Multitool
- A Few Cliff Bars
- Water Purifier
- 2 Liter CamelBak Reservoir
- 2 Motorola Radios
- Spare Parts & Weight Bag To Balance The Crane / Jib
- Patagonia R1 Pullover
- Patagonia Houdini
- Patagonia Super Cell Jacket
I’ll say this, the bag was still a bit heavy on the mountain bike, but that is due to everything else I brought, and is just the nature of it for all of us that shoot self-supported projects outside (and especially video).
With the pack on the heavy side (for mountain biking), the new trampoline-style suspension system really helped alleviate the stress points of the pack on my torso. That is something we have come to expect in the outdoor world, and now it is available in an outdoor photo bag too.
On top of all of that, it held up really well. I certainly put the attachment points to the test by carrying a medium sized tripod and lightweight crane on the sides while bumping over boulders at high speeds. No rips, tears or indications of wear which is HUGE when you are somewhere like the Yukon Territory.
I even took a really nice, over the handlebars digger off of a five-foot drop onto large boulders and everything was okay, including me! In that scenario, the pack probably saved me from what could have been a serious injury.
In the end, our mountain biking video project in the Yukon Territory was a great success, and it was due in part to the fact that Rachid and I could focus on the content instead of how to deal with our stuff.
- Posted by Trevor Clark
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