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Peak Design Blog

Posted on 04.01.2015 Under Blog, General

Marc Gasch used to be a lawyer.

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Yes, that guy used to be a lawyer. He is now a professional photographer and member of the PD Pro Team. Much of Marc’s work focuses on extreme/edurance sports, which he both participates in and photographs. That explains why every photo he sends our way involves him doing something exceptionally badass. In the shots above (credit: Sportograf) Marc is racing in (and shooting) the SNOW EPIC, Switzerland’s first multi-stage fat bike endurance race.

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More recently, Marc was shooting in the Spanish Pyrenees Mountains (photo by Jamie Rio). Gasch was teaming up with Jose Felix Martinez (part of the ORBEA Enduro Crew) and taking some snaps for their social media. So you know, typical ex-lawyer stuff.

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You can stay up-to-date with Marc’s shenanigans on Instagram.

Posted on 03.31.2015 Under Blog, General

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A good friend of ours (and PD Pro Team member) Martin Förster recently returned from a 3 week trip to India. He spent a week shooting the Holi Festival in New Delhi, then spent some time working on a personal portrait project. He finally moved onto Darjeeling, where he completed an assignment for the Glenburn Tea Estate. Some of his work is below, as well as some great shots of Martin in action.

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Apart from being a great partner to throw down a few glasses of Kolsch with, the Cologne-based Förster is one of our favorite photographers to follow. His job has taken him to some of the most war-torn places on Earth, including Syria and Afghanistan. Yet wherever he goes, he seems to maintain a knack for making friends and connecting with people – as referenced by this selfie stand he setup for a group of children in New Delhi:

 

we just set up a selfie machine for the kids. They love it! #selfie #machine #photoshoot #india

Posted by Martin Förster Photography on Saturday, March 14, 2015

You can follow Martin on his Facebook Page.

 

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That’s just a wee sample for ya. We’ll share some more details in future posts. Martin, thanks for sharing!

Posted on 03.09.2015 Under Blog, Tradeshows

Home of the Birmingham City Football Club, The Blues. If you can get tickets for the entire Peak Design team, we’ll totally set you up with a lifetime supply of camera gear.

 

For the first time ever the PD team will be nabbing our own booth at the Photography Show in Birmingham, UK. We’re already practicing how to say “burr-ming-umm” so we don’t look like a bunch-o-yokels. We’ll probably still look like yokels though.

You’ll be able to find us at Booth #G58. The show runs from March 21-24. Or, wait. That’s 21-24 March. See? We’ll fit in great.

Posted on 03.06.2015 Under Blog, General

Christian McLeod probably has the best accent we’ve ever heard. He grew up in the Rockies, then moved to Ireland. The most concise way to describe the way he talks is “Irish Cowboy.” And in a sense, that who he is.

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That’s Iceland. Christian is a surf photographer who spends most of his time going to places like this. In Christian’s words:

“3 days of blisters and crippled backs to see a view like this was more than worth it.”

We agree. Not to spoil the surprise, but Christian is the newest member of the Peak Design Pro team. We’ll be launching his profile in coming weeks. But for now, we’ll tease you with some shots he recently took on a hike from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk​, in Iceland. The contrasting light and dark veins in these images are not the work of some hyperactive Lightroom filter – they are black dirt and sulphur mud that coat much of Iceland’s volcanic landscape.

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Posted on 02.25.2015 Under Blog, General

A couple years ago we met a fella by the name of Stefan Beaumont at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City. He’s a pro photographer and filmmaker and he has a helluva good time while doing it.

Stefan’s company, Red Vault Productions, is based in New York. But it seems like every time we hear from the guy he’s anywhere but at home. He’s got a long history of shooting in New Zealand (home to our friends Trey Ratcliff, Graeme Murray and Peak Design Pro Camilla Rutherford) for projects like the Lake Hawea Epic mountain bike race and the Kiwi Connection documentary.

But man, his latest shots from the beaches of Mexico just make us wish this Northern Hemisphere winter was a little bit shorter.

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Stefan was shooting for a custom surfboard company, using CapturePRO to carry his Sony a6000 camera. All three of these shots were taken with the a6000.

Posted on 01.15.2015 Under Blog, General, Inside Peak Design, Tradeshows

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Entering into 2015 we’ve managed to establish a decently impressive Kickstarter track record:

  • 4 successful projects since 2011
  • 13 individual products launched via Kickstarter
  • $2,260,691 in total funding
  • 25,911 backers
  • #101 and #110 on the list of the most funded projects all-timed

We’re not trying to get all gloaty on you, we’re just making the case that crowdfunding has enabled our company grow quickly and sustainably. It’s also kept things fun as hell. So fun that we’ve decided we need to do a better job of showing other folks how to build their business using Kickstarter.

Therefore, we’d like to announce that our Founder and CEO Peter Dering will be presenting a 1-hour short course on the ins and outs of building a successful brand through crowdfunding next week at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City. If you’re lucky he might even share some of his fashion tips.

The seminar, which is part of the Outdoor University speaker series at OR, is called Kickstarted: Building an outdoor gear brand from scratch through Kickstarter. It’s going to cover our crowdfunding experience and best practices from soup to nuts. Here’s the deets:

  • Date: Thursday, January 22nd 2015
  • Time: 2pm – 3pm
  • Location: Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek, Salons A-C
  • Event Page: http://n1b.goexposoftware.com/events/orw2015/goExpo/user/listSeminars.php?ci=40

Rough presentation agenda:

  • The Peak Design story – who we are and how we built our company.
  • Crowdfundability – Why crowdfund your business? How do you know if your idea is crowdfundable? How do you know if you are ready to launch? Is crowdfundable a real word
  • Kickstarter 101 – Best practices for your video, Kickstarter page, rewards setup, backer communication, buzz generation, and troubleshooting when things go wrong.
  • Post-Kickstarter – Getting your stuff out on time, and transitioning to retail. Also, tips for doing your 2nd (or 3rd, or 10th) Kickstarter campaign.

No need to register – it’s a free session for all those attending OR. Not going to be at OR? Don’t fret – we’ll hopefully record the session and post it up on our Youtube page. We’re also planning on adding a section to our website to share Kickstarter best practices.

Posted on 07.30.2014 Under Blog, Hot Press, Inside Peak Design

Folks who have known us for a long time also know that we’re not in the camera gear game to win trophies. We see and experience problems, we do our absolute best to solve them and we try and have a damn good time doing so. That being said, it always feels good when somebody recognizes your hard work. That’s why we’re proud to announce that Peak Design has won our first ever design award – the prestigious IDEA Silver Award – for the Capture Camera Clip v2.

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The IDEA Award (International Design Excellence Award) is one of the oldest and most respected product design awards in the world. They are awarded every year by IDSA (the International Designers Society of America). The awards apply only to consumer products that are presently available, meaning that they are being manufactured and sold to folks (i.e. not just great ideas on a napkin). Among the criteria used to choose winners are…

  • Innovation in design, experience and manufacturing
  • Benefit to the end user
  • Responsibility to the environment and society
  • Visual appeal and aesthetics
  • Design strategy and insights gained from design research

Capture v2, the revamped version of our original Capture Camera Clip, won the IDEA Silver for exemplifying the above criteria. This accolade carves out a tiny little spot for Peak Design alongside design leaders such as Tesla (makers of gorgeous electric sports cars), Nest (makers of revolutionary home thermostats) and Nike (you know what they do – they won in 2012 for their FuelBand fitness tracker). So yeah, we feel pretty darn great about ourselves right now.

 

Inside The Capture v2 Design Process

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Art Viger is our lead designer, which means he’s constantly measuring things with digital calipers.

It goes without saying that lots and lots of work went into designing Capture v2, especially when you zoom out and look at the objective problem we were trying to solve – namely that SLR cameras are a pain to carry. Hence, when we submitted our IDEA application, we spent considerable effort to tell our story as meaningfully and holistically as possible.

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Initial concept sketches for Capture v2, done by our lead designer Art Viger.

For a product based business like us, the process of boiling your product down into the specific value it presents to society is great way to reacquaint yourself with what it is you’re actually doing. Not that we think that we’ve ever veered too far off track, but it’s always good to take a step back and reflect on the underlying roots of our brand and our products.

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Refined product renderings and packaging concepts.

Putting together our IDEA application reinforced some key truths that have continually governed our business and our design process over the past four years:

  • At the heart of all of our products lies a passion. In Capture’s case, it’s a passion to document our adventures, our world and ourselves through photography and film.
  • Ubiquitous problems have diverse audiences. Cameras are hard to carry – that’s a big problem for a lot of people. When designing a one-size-fits-all solution to that problem, you’ve gotta take a wide range of needs into account.
  • You never get everything right on the first try. The story of Capture v2 started as soon as Capture v1 shipped out to our first wave of Kickstarter backers in 2011. Once people start using your product, you immediately learn how you can make it better. If you want to be a successful design company, you need to be comfortable with going back to the drawing board.

We thought you might be interested in checking out our full design award submission for Capture v2, so we made it publicly available here:

Peak Design 2014 Capture v2 Design Award Submission

Download it, read it, and tell us what you think! 

Posted on 06.30.2014 Under Blog, Hot Press, Inside Peak Design

Last weekend some gnarly shizzle happened, and we’re proud to say that Peak Design got right up in the mix. Behold, the 2014 Arc’teryx Alpine Academy:

This year Peak Design sponsored a couple of Alpine photography workshops – a classroom session taught by PD Pro Alexandre Buisse and an on-mountain overnight workshop taught by photographer and alpinist Peter Mathis. These photo workshops were the first to get booked up, so we knew we were in for a good time. Our friends at F-Stop Gear loaned us a couple of their brand new Loka UL packs for the trip too, which made for excellent ultralight companions in the demanding alpine environment.

We’ve got tons of great footage from the event, and we’re currently gathering, cutting and editing it all to make a sweet video for y’all. In the meantime, here are some shots of the fun…

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Clipped and ready to go. Peter and Stian awaiting the start of the Friday photo clinic. Peak Design provided CapturePRO units to most of the workshop participants, allowing folks to concentrate on their photography skills and not their backpack loading and unloading skills.

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The Friday photo clinic roping up to make a descent to the Refuge des Cosmiques.

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A small group from the Friday photo clinic moves across the glacier towards the Refuge des Cosmiques.

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A roped walkway provided access down from the Gondola to the Glacier.

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The Aiguille du Midi staging point looked like the secret lair of a super-villain. The Saturday clinic removing crampons and harnesses before making the descent via gondola to the valley floor.

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Clouds roll in as the Saturday workshop retreats back to Aiguille du Midi.

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Two French guides pose for an epic shot while traversing a ridge during the Saturday workshop.

Much more to come soon. Huge thanks to Arc’teryx for putting on a fantastic event!

Posted on 05.13.2014 Under Blog, Products

Pavel Richtr of OneFive distributes Peak Design gear in Czech Republic. That’s his day job, at least.

A Peak Design Cuff keeps Pavel's compact camera from biffing it on -40 degree snow in the Alaskan wilderness.
A Peak Design Cuff keeps Pavel’s compact camera from biffing it on -40 degree snow in the Alaskan wilderness.

In his spare time, Pavel is an extreme endurance biker. He scours the planet for the world’s diciest, most inhospitable environments, and then he goes and rides a bike through it. Be it mountain biking, fat biking though the snow or unsupported expedition biking in remote locations, Pavel has done it all.

On Feb 24, 2014 Pavel embarked on his most ambitious and downright scary race yet: the 1000-mile Iditarod
Trail Invitational, an epic trans-Alaskan trek following the entire route of the legendary Iditarod dog sled race. It’s the toughest and most dangerous winter race on the planet and during 13 years of its existence only 42 racers reached the finish.

Well, now 43. Pavel completed the race, enduring more than hundred-miles long stretches without any civilization, shelter and ways to get any food, more than 150 miles on the frozen Yukon river, 30 miles on Bering sea ice, extreme fatigue, sleep deprivation and permanent fear of aggressive moose and wolfs. All that in temps falling down to -50F. All that, while carrying 20 days of food, shelter and cooking supplies and (let the horn-tooting commence) a Peak Design Leash and Cuff. He made it in 12 days, 21 hours.

The photo gallery below (and accompanying captions from the mad man himself) chronicle Pavel’s trip. Not surprisingly, it sounded brutal. Highly worth a look and a read.

1. Food for 20+ days packed and sent to Eskimo villages. Everything including bars is cut to pieces so it’s edible when frozen.
2. Approaching Alaska Range toward mount of the Rainy pass.
3. Top of the pass, in the middle of Alaska Range.
4. Our checkpoint in the Alaskan Interior. It’s a heated tent so when it’s -40C, it’s like five star hotel, although it’s still freezing inside.
5. Dealing with overflow (open water) in the middle of night. Having thigh-high waders is a must sometimes.
6. Encountering remainders of Alaskan Gold Rush.
7. Inside the public safety cabin in the middle of 200 miles stretch
Fuel is slowly leaking on a table due to broken seal on fuel bottle. I’m woken to the table on fire in the middle night when another racer starts the stove. No way firefighters would have made it, we are in the middle of uninhabited 200 miles section.
8. Another cold but beautiful sunrise, after a very cold nigh out.
9. Frozen and tired selfie by the mile mark, shortly before I had to fix flat tire, which is not fun in -20C.
10. Probably the most mentally challenging part – 40 miles of frozen Bearing Sea (Norton Sound), facing brutal headwind all day with no shelter along the way.
11. Walking the Bearing Sea ice after being knocked down or turn around by the wind too many times.
12. Some more miles on the sea ice two day later. I definitely have enough od that.
13. City of Nome – selfie at the finish after 12 days 21 hours. I’m by myself, no cheering crowds. So glad it’s over, tears of joy and exhaustion.

Huge congrats to Pavel on this incredible accomplishment. On top of it all, you’re a fantastic distribution partner and we couldn’t imagine having a better ambassador of the Peak Design brand.

To connect with Pavel:

Website: pavelrichtr.cz
Facebook: facebook.com/pavel.richtr

Happy riding,
The PD Team

Posted on 04.30.2014 Under Blog, Inside Peak Design, Products

Cue the Weezer:

Okay, now pause that and check out the video below. The Peak Design team has temporarily setup office in the Steep Ravine campground in Mount Tamalpais State Park, CA.

1. We love California.

2. Less walls = more fun.

3. Our CapturePOV units are all wet now.

That’s all for now. If you happen to be floating through the area, stop and say hi. Also, please bring food.