15th Anniversary StoryWhat is your first memory of f-stop or f-stop bags?
I think it was at the Red Bull Rampage back in the days, I was using a bag that I customize myself, it was not perfect but had some personal features I loved. I saw a F-stop and I thought it was a pure alpine backpack customize as well by his owner I took a picture of it to buy one and customize it also, but at the time it was only a prototype and internet didn’t help me much to find it. I didn’t even think it could be a proper photo backpack.
What benefits do you get from f-stop bags you can't find in other bags?
A proper mountain backpack, is the first thing. Then the fact you can organize it the way you like, depending on the kind of day or job you have. I Love to change ICU, to organize it my way. I can be in the backcountry with the needs of a minimalist set up or on a big production which required tons of gear. Then of course, the quality, I don’t treat my bag well, but imagine if you broke a zipper at the top of a mountain? how do you come down? with all the lens in one hand the cameras on the other?
What is your favorite f-stop bag?
I have and use only 3 bags. A Loka (definitely my favorite) an Anja (it fits my 500!) and a Dyota. But I don’t have any other bag, meaning I use them every day, I remove the ICU and it becomes a « normal » bag. I use the Dyota every single day (to commute to the Studio by bike, just as a computer bag) and I use it maybe only 10 times a year as a proper camera bag.
Tell us something you discovered about your f-stop bag(s) you didn't know until you got the bag into use or in the field?
[That's a] complicated question… I don’t think there is one single thing I don’t use on my bag. As I said I always took very seriously my photo backpack. I’m not that picky with a camera itself, because I can’t do anything. But a bag is different. I used to build my own bag. It is the most important part of my equipment with my gore tex. I hate to be cold or wet and I have a very special way to get dressed when I’m in the mountains. My bag it’s the same.
Which bag and ICU combo do you use most frequently, and what do you carry in it? (you can send a photo of your loaded/packed ICU)
Impossible to say, every day is different. This winter I totally changed my set up. Ski resorts were closed in France, so I had to do almost everything by foot, meaning touring about 1800 vertical drop to get a couple of turns. You must be light and efficient. Also, I have a new camera set up so I totally changed my habit. I start using a camera holster and reorganize my ICU in order to put only lenses.
What is your favorite project you've worked on in the last few months, and why?
My main current project is something totally crazy. I’m living in a very little country, Switzerland. It’s basically a mountain country, and that’s why I moved there as skiing is probably the main sport here. There is no access to the sea, but the surf community is huge. They are crazy about it. They surf everywhere, on rivers, on lakes, in swimming pools etc. They even have their own championship and federation. So I had that in my mind for a while and then the Covid Shows up, and everything stopped. With two other friends, a journalist, and a cameraman, we came up with a unique plan. We realized that the boss of the Freeride World Tour, one of my most important clients in winter and with whom I worked for over 15 years, was coming from surfing and was one of the swiss surf pioneer. As the whole Europe was locked down but not Switzerland, we decided to start filming with no money but a clear vision of our documentary:
Dom's home town is Marseilles, which is where he grew up. Dom now works and lives in Switzerland.
Alongside Jeremy Bernard, he launched neufdixieme.com platform, which all about outdoor story telling.
Images from Dom's recent Swiss Surfing Adventure
(really - Switzerland)
Continued from prior column.
- Craziness. We wanted a Las Vegas Parano look to the project, nothing less than breaking the rules. When the Swiss national TV refused it (we arrived in the final selection among of 250 other documentaries) we knew we were taking the idea in a good direction
- Solid journalistic work. There is no discussion, the people we met, the are very precise in their thinking, and we worked on this subject with the same amount of professionalism as if it was a political film or crime investigation.
The first webisode will be released in May but the teaser and the first making of are already online on YouTube, it’s 100% free, with no sponsors so we feed ourself with the satisfaction of doing something different.
A link to the trailer is above.