Award-winning action sports photographer Lorenz Holder doesn’t do things by halves. When his imagination was captured by the awe-inspiring Westeros locations from Game of Thrones, it sparked the idea for an epic BMX photography project. Holder fanned that spark over the course of many months, flying to Northern Ireland to scout out the filming locations in person. Also key to the project was getting friend and BMX pro rider Senad Grosic on board. An opportunity he literally jumped at. The plan? Spend ten days capturing shots of Senad’s tricks against the backdrop of GOT locations.
The team used two bases during their project. One near the small town of Bushmills to capture rougher coastal locations, and the second near Tollymore Forest Park for the Haunted Forest. From avoiding tourists getting in the shots, to working around unpredictable weather and hauling gear across a variety of tricky terrains, it wasn’t a shoot without its problems. But conquering problems seems fitting for a project named Riding Thrones. Go behind the scenes of the shoot and discover the photographer’s packing list that helped make it happen…
About the gear
We spent a lot of time in the forest on this shoot so the Sukha was perfect for carrying the Phase One and all my lenses. The camera body and lenses are larger than my DSLR gear so I needed a larger pack to protect everything.
Loka & Ajna
It looks pretty funny trying to carry three backpacks around, but my setup for this shoot required it. I used the f-stop Ajna to carry my battery packs and a Loka to carry my strobes. Both packs were also full of cables and other accessories.
The packs also helped weigh down the light stands so they didn’t fall over in the wind!
For this project, I carried the Phase One IQ3 100MP in my Sukha because I thought the large format was the best way to truly capture the beauty of each Game Of Thrones location. The camera captures so many pixels and has an incredible dynamic range. Because of the large sensor size, all of the lens focal lengths are different than traditional DSLR cameras. I had a range of medium format lenses from 35mm to 240mm. The 240mm was my favorite because it really allowed me to compress the space for the Dark Hedges shot.
– Sukha Backpack
– Camera:Phase One IQ3
– 35mm f. 3,5 Schneider Kreuznach LS
– 55mm f. 2,8 Schneider Kreuznach LS
– 80mm f. 2,8 Schneider Kreuznach LS
– 110mm f. 2,8 Schneider Kreuznach LS
– 150mm f. 3,5 Schneider Kreuznach LS
– 240mm f. 4,5Schneider Kreuznach LS
Flash Unit: 2x
– Ajna Backpack
– Elinchrom Ranger RX Flash
+ f-stop Loka (old edition)
f-stop’s XL Pro ICU is a great option for protecting and organizing very large gear setups. The customizable dividers adapt to a variety of loads and keep gear easily accessible when you’re working out of the pack’s back panel opening.
Like the ICU above, this is a good way to protect larger camera gear setups while keeping them tidy throughout the day. The water-resistant material also adds that extra layer of protection when you’re dealing with inclement weather.
Manfrotto’s 055 Aluminum Three-Section Tripod offers excellent versatility, easy adjustment and long-lasting durability. Well worth considering if you want to shoot from multiple angles and on a variety of terrains.
The Elinchrom FreeLite A Flash Head is both compact and lightweight. It offers a good balance of portability with a short flash duration to get those perfect shots, with up to 2400 w/s output.
The Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS is a portable battery pack. It can be fired by remote control and pairs with the Elinchrom FreeLite A flash head to provide a fast flash duration.
These were important for long-range remote triggering, particularly useful for the challenging environments we were shooting in and the kinds of photos we wanted to achieve.
In damp, muddy and rocky conditions, a trusty pair of boots is important to keep your feet dry and grippy throughout the day.
Airline travel isn’t kind to camera gear. But Pelican’s 1510 Protector Carry-On Case provides some much-needed peace of mind that your gear will survive the journey as well as harsh use environments. It’s waterproof, crushproof and dustproof and meets maximum carry-on size. It’s also easy to transport with its inbuilt wheels and extension handle, as well as top and side carry handles.
If you’re wanting to add an aerial element to your shoot, this camera drone is a worthy pick. It can shoot 4K/60fps video and offers up to a 7-kilometer control range. Additionally it features inbuilt 5-direction obstacle sensing and 4-direction obstacle avoidance, so you don’t need to worry so much about sending your expensive piece of kit on a solo journey.
When you need compact, durable and waterproof lights for demanding conditions, Lume Cubes will get the job done. The Lume Cube provides up to 1500 lumens of dimmable light and includes a rechargeable battery.
The Rylo is a 360-degree camera with a host of features in its compact, unassuming design. It records in every direction in 4K and includes stabilization technology, with easy editing via a smartphone app.
This 12.2 MP camera provides 4K video output, image stabilization and a variety of additional features to adapt to changing environment conditions. All in a lightweight, durable and compact design.