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.
Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Kuske has made a name for himself in the snowboard filming world through a continued presence at Folgefonna, Norway over the summer months, and by filming fellow Scandinavians over the winter months. After a series of smaller projects, Kuske graduated into larger productions when he filmed a large portion of Halldor’s ender in Arcadia, and has since continued his partnership with Halldor and friends by filming much of this season’s upcoming project, The Future of Yesterday. Continue below for a peek into the gear Kuske uses while in the field, and a window into how he makes it happen.
How long have you been shooting for, and how did you get involved with shooting snowboarding?
For as long as I can remember. There was always a small video camera (not a digital one) when my friends and I were out snowboarding. I was the one who ended up spending the most time behind the camera. (Probably like many other filmers/photographers cause we sucked at snowboarding.) I have been shooting semi-professionally for about 7-years now.
Which photos/videos that you saw inspired you to become a photog/videographer?
I remember that I had Steak & Lobster on VHS which I watched over and over again. But it wasn't until I saw Pony Tale that I realized this was something I wanted to do myself. I think it helped that it was a bunch of Swedes because I saw that making a career could actually be done–it wasn’t just limited to big-budget productions from America.
List and describe what camera & other gear that is featured in the overview image.
- Sony FS 5
- Sony 18-105mm f/4
- Sony 70-200mm f/4
- Samyang 7,5mm f/3.5
- Samyang 20mm f/1.5
- Samyang 50mm f/1.5
- f-stop Tilopa bag
- Sennheiser EW112-P G3-G Wireless Lavalier Microphone
- Lacie Rugged 4TB Portable harddrive
- Aputure On Camera Light
- Sony RX100 IV
- Kodak Single Use Camera
- Beyer Dynamics Microphone
- Mammut Avi Shovel
- Mammut Probe
- Mammut Barrywox Element
- GoPro Hero5 + Pole
- Manfrotto 755XBK Tripod
- Energy drink (guilty pleasure)
What's your go-to setup?
My Sony FS5 with the 18-105 kit lens. It's actually not that nice. Focus pulling is horrible and the look is pretty basic. But I end up using it 90% of the time just because it can cover it all.
Anything you are looking to add to the collection?
Need to get me a nice Super 8 cam again. But also I want a nice sharp 18-35mm, maybe?
What’s one piece of gear (apart from camera gear and avalanche gear) that you couldn’t live without in your pack?
My energy drink. I know it's horrible to drink that stuff, but it gets you going and I actually like the taste of it.
Why do you carry that selection of lenses to shoot snowboarding?
It covers it all. From the fisheye to the zoom lenses. The 50mm and 20mm are mostly for interviews and portraits. You don't need fast lenses when you are shooting in snow.
What are your most exciting environments to shoot in?
I love getting into a new town where none of the people in the crew have been before and start scoping. You are always hoping to score gold, but mostly you just end up sitting in the car and getting frustrated–but I love the feeling at the beginning of a trip.
What environments are toughest on your gear?
Definitely being in the backcountry with lots of snow, and even worse; wet snow. I'm terrible at dealing with that kind of situation.
How do you protect gear from these elements?
I have recently purchased proper rain protection, but when I put it on it just makes handling the camera a nightmare. So I usually suggest that we should take a break or call it a day if the conditions are horrible.
Any packing rituals the night before a big shoot?
Remember. To. Charge. Batteries!
Flash vs. Natural Light
Natural light for sure. I hope I never have to do another night mission in my life.
Any favorite people to shoot with? Why?
I have to say Halldor. He always walks away with something amazing after every session. Back in the days when I started shooting snowboarding, I loved to film with Erik “Kire” Karlsson and Viktor Wiberg from Umeå. That whole crew worked really hard and we had some great moments together. Oh yeah, Len Jørgensen is always a treat to shoot with as well.
What projects have you been working on this past season?
I went to Japan with Alek Ostereng filming for his Void project. Then I went on The RV Euro Tour of Depression with the Cozy Bois of Tomorrow filming for The Future Of Yesterday movie. The snow turned into shit everywhere we went, and when we finally found some decent snow, I managed to slam over some rocks on the first lap of the day and broke my back. So after that, I've been chilling on the couch for the rest of the winter. But now I'm back in business working on a documentary with Sven Thorgren that's going to be released this fall.
What's your favorite TransWorld cover of all time?
I have to say, my favorite cover is of Ingemar Backman's Bs Air from Riksgränsen back in 1996. That photo is still incredible and it gives me goosebumps everytime I look at it. I was I was there to witness it but I was still a bit too young.
Style is important in both riding and photography. Tell us how you identify your own personal style.
I guess I would have to say just not being too serious and not too artsy. Pretty straight to the point to make sure I capture the tricks and then I always try to mix it up with some funny lifestyle things and other random stuff.
What influences your approach to photography?
Music videos, memes, snowboarding in general, and just being around creative and funny/random people.
What’s the best line or trick you’ve nailed with your camera pack on?
None. But I sure wish I had my camera bag on me when I fell on those rocks and broke my back. It was one of those warm-up runs with no cameras allowed. From now on I'm going to be rocking back protection.
Who are some of your favorite photographers/ filmers?
Kasper Häggström, Pierre Wikberg, Per-Hampus Stålhandske and Hayden Rensch.
What's your Instagram/ handle and website?
@kuske / @scandalnavians / www.kuskeproductions.com / www.scandalnavians.com