Being a snowboard photographer means being a sherpa. Here’s what legendary lensman Matt Georges takes up the mountain for a full day’s shooting.
DaKine Reload 30L Camera Bag
This is the biggest model they do. I can fit tripods to it, there’s a sleeve for my laptop, and loads of pockets for stuff.
Oakley Airbrake XL Goggles with Prizm Sapphire lens
I can see loads more detail with Oakley’s new Prizm technology – it’s almost like seeing a processed shot. They have great contrast which is really useful for scoping lines and different features to shoot. This tint works great in both sunny and cloudy weather.
Spare Prizm Technology Lens in Rose
The Prizms are good for a wide range of conditions so I don’t have to change lens much, but if the light gets really poor I’ll switch to a brighter tint.
Canon EOS 5D SR
My main camera. It’s a full frame digital SLR and super high resolution, like 50MP, so there’s loads of detail and you can crop in if you need – although it’s always better to get the photo framed straight up.
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
This is my B camera in case the first one dies, and it’s also good for sequences. If I’m shooting technical tricks on a rail or first tracks in powder, it takes 11 frames per second.
Hasselblad 205 TCC with 150mm lens
I use this a little bit for action but mostly for portraits. I love it. It’s high quality medium format film, 6×6 instagram style. It’s just one shot so you can’t fuck it up – you have to have the right timing, the right framing… You’re looking down which is a different way of shooting, and it’s just nice to use – the sound of the shutter, the feel of winding the film and so on. It’s a craft.
This is my pocket 35mm film camera with a built-in flash. I usually fill it with black-and-white film for just snapping around. I don’t have to set anything up so it’s fun for parties.
“The Hasselblad is just nice to use – the sound of the shutter, the feel of winding the film and so on. It’s a craft”
Canon 70-200 IS f2.8 L
This is the lens we call The Moneymaker, cos you can do everything with it – portraits, landscape, action, close-up. You can just sit down from your ‘BBQ angle’ and cover the whole session! I’ve had it for 11 years and it’s still – how you say? – mint!
Canon 24-70 f2.8L
Some people say it’s for lazy old people but I really like this lens. It’s not as sharp as a fixed focal length but it’s sharp enough, and 24 is pretty wide. The zoom is useful to change your shot quickly between riders; you can get a lot of different shots in a short period of time. You’re pretty much good to go with this and the 70-200.
Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro
It’s really nice for portraits and close-up shots of snowflakes, for instance. I don’t use it too much but it’s really sharp. It was pretty expensive – I spent a thousand euros because I wanted to shoot snowflakes haha! But yeah, I mostly use it for studio style portraits, with flashes.
Canon 50mm f1.4
I use this mostly for travel stuff, it’s small and light, and the field of view is pretty much what you see with your eyes. It’s just nice to snap around.
Canon 90mm f2.8 TS-E
This is a tilt shift lens, which is normally for architecture. You can play around with the depth of field so most of the shot is blurred – it makes the world look like a toy town. It was a trendy look a few years ago, and I got it because I wanted to be trendy as well!
Canon 15mm f2.8 Fisheye
This is a classic for skating and snowboarding – it lets you get close to the action, which can be a bit sketchy sometimes! I really like it cos you can be a bit crazy with angles, not necessarily using it in the traditional way (close-up) but making the rider small and the landscape big, with interesting lines.
“The tilt-shift lens was trendy a few years ago, and I got it because I wanted to be trendy as well!”
Elinchrom Quadra Flashes x 3
These are good for night shoots, not really daytime. I use these on street spots a lot, and sometimes in the backcountry.
Elinchrom Ranger Flash
This thing is like 10 kilos, so I don’t bring it all the time, just the street. You can light up a whole stadium with this thing!
Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 Tripod with 322RC2 ball head
Pretty expensive cos it’s carbon. This one goes 2m high and you can shoot straight down, bird’s eye style.
I like to set up second angles in the street, so I’ll use these to trigger a second camera as well as the flash. That way I can get two different shots of the same trick and the rider can get featured in two different mags or websites.
Contax TLA 200 Flash
This is really small but really bright. It’s nice for in-your-face, Terry Richardson style portraits.
Canon 600 EX Speedlite
A good all round flash.
This is a classic polaroid with the white frame. They don’t produce film any more but I still have a big stack of it. It’s too slow for action but it’s good for lifestyle and landscape. You can play around during the development process – if I put it in the snow it gets a blue tone because of the cold, or if I put it under my arm it gets a warm orange-yellow tone.
Oakley Latch Woodgrain Sunglasses
When I’m shooting at a spot rather than riding it’s more comfortable to protect my eyes with sunnies. These have Daily Prizm polarized lenses which are awesome for all light conditions and make everything brighter and sharper.
“I can see loads more detail with the Prizm lenses – it’s almost like seeing a processed shot”
You can never have enough.
Useful for night shoots and backcountry safety.
First Aid Kit
In case anyone gets injured and I need to stitch them up.
Film from 35mm BW to 120 Color
I carry a stack for the Hassleblad and other analogue cameras.
I got this from my good friend Blotto.
Memory Cards x 8
They’re in waterproof cases, just in case. I use a mixture from 16GB to 64GB, nothing bigger because if the card got corrupted I’d lose everything.
Photocopy Of My Passport
If I got lost on the mountain or died(!) it’s good to have ID with you.
Transceiver, Shovel and Probe
In case of avalanche. And I’m always helping riders to build stuff.
Cereal Bars, Suncream, Water
Essential stuff for a long day on the mountain.
Got it in Japan, from the Car Danchi boys – and of course they know how to stay warm and use the best camping stuff.