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Interview with BLACKFLYEYES. DIVERGE 9 winners

March 24, 2021

DIVERGE 9 Big Game category winners | @blackflyeyes

How is to win one of the most important outdoor photo contests.

It's a very big honor. To win a DIVERGE9 among 24K other images and between so many other talented guys out there it`s a huge thing for us. We are very happy about the win and it gives us more trust in ourselves and inspires us to push the limits of hunting photography we do even further. We are very thankful for all the support and to all who have been involved in this amazing contest.

Tell us a bit more about your work system... How do you split between hunting and photo shooting during these trips?

Most of the time it's two of us on the hunt and we are taking just one rifle and camera gear. So basically one is hunting another is with a camera and we are changing from rifle to camera gear on one-day hunt one-day camera work basis or if we have two tags then one is hunting until tagging out and then takes over the camera so another gets a rifle for his tag so the photography continues all the time.

Who is the hunter and who’s the photographer? Depends of what?

Probably I already answered a bit of this question above. But it might depend on the situation if for example there is just one tag or what kind of hunt it is, rifle or bow hunt, what type of scenario and story we can get out of it. And then we are making a plan and decision who is going to hunt and who is going to do the camera work. It might sound tough but for us is pretty easy cuz we had been working as a team since 2012. The hunting process itself, the rifle or bow shot, spot and stalk all of it requires effort, concentration and gives you lots of emotions but a great camera shot gives you very similar feelings also you are experiencing the same things as a hunter cuz you are often next to each other and see the same animals do same things so if you are with a rifle or camera you are hunting anyway.

How is to find the right picture on the hard disk? How do you make the final picture selection?

Well, sure there are a lot of images to go through. But long ago we had stopped shooting everything and nonstop. Probably there is a bit of experience we gained throughout the years so in the field we are trying to be creative and catch those interesting moments so we reduce the amount of the images by that. Then selecting images that got a look and are interesting even though there are a bunch of good images we are narrowing them down to a minimum by repeating the same process a few times to get out the best ones.

What about your equipment (photo). What and why?

Before we had been photographing with the Canon gear and shot the films with Sony cameras by adapting Canon lenses. With technology evolving so quickly we wanted to renew our gear so the decision was to go for Sony both for photography and videography to have more flexibility and combinations between the Sony cameras.

How is the relation with SITKAGEAR?

We are very happy to have such a great relation with Sitka Gear Europe and we are super proud to be their ambassadors.

When did you hear about Sitka Gear the first time?

Oh, that's a long-ago probably when we saw the first SITKA films on YouTube.

How did you get in contact with Sitka Gear ?

When we did the moose hunting film project in Newfoundland our guide and good friend Tyrone Buckle was one of Sitka's ambassadors and his fella David Bishop worked with Sitka Gear so they set up us with the basic gear for that project.

What’s your favourite Sitka item?

We like it all and not easy to pick just one but probably it is: timberline pants

What Sitka items did you bring for this trip?

Next to skin: Merino CORE lightweight top and bottom Mid-layer: Timberline and mountain pants, heavyweight hoodie Insulation: Kelvin light hoodie Rain gear: Stormfront jacket and pants Gaiters: Stormfront GTX Gloves: Ascent + Stormfront Hat: Sitka cap Bag: Mountain Hauler 4000

Do you have a Sitka item that you always bring with you, regardless of what kind of hunt?

Sitka bino harness

What’s the latest Sitka item in your collection?

One of the prizes is Sitka Gear items from DIVERGE9 contest so not sure what gear is there yet but we will know soon

Do you have any suggestions to Sitka about new product ideas?

They filled up all the gaps and Sitka's items are high-end gear with a fantastic performance in the field. Something like ONE TO GO and not a layering system for a one or two days hunt. And more items in fleece garments.

Do you use Sitka garments for other activities e.g. hiking or fishing or something else?

All Sitka gear we have is in camo and most we are using it while hunting, shooting a bow or rifle at the range, hiking in the mountains but also when we are out for our film/projects in the outdoor environment.

What’s the most important feature of a Sitka garment in your opinion s e.g. durability, sizing , versatility, packability?

Durability hands down! The lightweight layering system is easy packable and versatile to any weather conditions and it's the best hunting gear out there.

What’s the biggest difference between Sitka Gear and classic hunting clothing in your opinion?

Sitka is durable, lightweight, very comfortable, and has a unique layering system to fit any type of hunt in any type of weather while a classic hunting suit often consists of one robust heavy Jacket and Pants.

DIVERGE 9 Big Game category winners | @blackflyeyes