Bag Check is an all-new TransWorld SNOWboarding series dedicated to the many photographers and videographers we work with on a daily basis to bring you the premier snowboarding media that you have come to know and love. Each week we will be showcasing a different contributor by taking a look under the hood of their camera bag to see what each of them rely on in the field, before diving a bit further and tapping their brains about what it takes to create the work we celebrate. Make sure to check back next week for another installment of Bag Check with today’s leading photographers and videographers.
In our third installment of Bag Check, we catch up with the film director who has brought you the last three TransWorld SNOWboarding films, Theo Muse. He createdOrigins, Insight, Arcadia, and coming to a screen near you soon, The Future of Yesterday. Dive in below to see how he made it happen.
How long have you been shooting for, and how did you get involved with shooting snowboarding?
Well, let’s see. I started filming snowboarding about 8 years ago now. It all started back in Utah filming my friends and Mr. Ozzy Henning. The first time I picked up a camera was because I had broken my wrist and I used the camera as a kind of insurance so I wouldn’t do anything to hurt my wrist while it was healing but I could still go ride. Funny how it worked out, since then I haven’t put a camera down when I’ve been on my snowboard.
Which photos/videos that you saw inspired you to become a photographer/ videographer?
When I got into it, it was sort of the beginning of the internet web video era. I got a lot of inspiration from other web videos that were being made at the time, and of course I was influenced a lot by the snow films I grew up watching as a kid, Picture This and Follow Me Around were big ones for me. I also got a lot of inspiration from the films that the Isenseven guys were making from Germany, really good vibes.
List and describe what camera & other gear that is featured in the overview image.
The stuff in the picture is a very short list of equipment I carry with me at all times, but it’s the main cameras/lenses I use:
What’s your go-to setup?
I shoot all my snowboard stuff on the Sony FS5. It’s an incredible camera, light, versatile, and really can help you create good-looking images in a fast-paced environment. When I’m shooting I always try and have a kit that will never make the riders have to wait.
Anything you are looking to add to the collection?
Honestly, I’m more looking to get rid of stuff. My back is pretty messed up from carrying too much gear all winter.
What’s one piece of gear (apart from camera gear and avalanche gear) that you couldn’t live without in your pack?
Why do you carry that selection of lenses to shoot snowboarding?
With this selection of lenses, I’m always carrying everything from 8-200mm. Smallest and lightest package I can think of for that range of focal lengths.
What are your most exciting environments to shoot in?
Ahh, that’s so tough. I love to shoot in all different environments of snowboarding. Backcountry is so grand and pristine. Urban is so hectic and engaging. Impossible to choose one for me.
What environments are toughest on your gear?
Japan. So much snow.
How do you protect gear from these elements?
I’ve got all sorts of nifty tricks, I have a c-clamp arm that can hold an umbrella above my camera and I use trash bags a lot.
Any packing rituals the night before a big shoot?
Test everything to make sure it still works and make sure batteries are charged.
Flash vs. Natural Light
Natural, but I love it when you get a chance to play with some light when filming night stuff.
Any favorite people to shoot with? Why?
Anyone that lightens the mood and keeps it interesting. The whole crew I worked with this season on The Future Of Yesterday was insane, so, them.
What projects have you been working on this past season?
THE FUTURE OF YESTERDAY! It’s going to be a wild, wild movie.
Style is important in both riding and photography. Tell us how you identify your own personal style with photography.
I always like to try and tell a little mini-story with each trick or spot I film.
What influences your approach in photography?
The people I’m filming. As a filmer, you have to be very aware of the personalities you are working with and tailor your approach and the shots you get to match that person’s attitude.
What’s the best line or trick you’ve nailed with your camera pack on?
Probably a solid Tomahawk, It always surprises me what your camera pack/gear can endure without breaking anything… especially if you’ve got an f-stop bag…
Who are some of your favorite photographers / filmers?
Anyone who doesn’t get caught up in what’s cool or not. It’s great to be opinionated but always remember to be appreciative of everyone’s work.
What’s your Instagram/ handle and website?