How We Got That Shot - Matt and Agnes Hage


Based in Anchorage, Alaska Matt and Agnes Hage work together to produce high-caliber active lifestyle and adventure travel photography for clients worldwide.  While they shoot plenty of work in the Chugach Mountains out their back door, they have been known to haul an obscene amount of gear to far away places.  The couple looks forward to collaborating with clients that will push them creatively.  HagePhoto has been recognized for outstanding work by ASMP and Photo District News. They are currently represented by Aurora Photos Novus Select and Wonderful Machine. They were kind enough to give some hints on off-camera lighting, using an image they produced in the foothills of some of the world's most famous mountains.

Matt and Agnes Hage:  "We were traveling around Patagonia to photograph a new line of backpacks, tents, and accessories for our client Black Diamond.  Over a period of six-weeks we hit some of the most iconic locations on earth: Torres del Paine, Frey, and Fitzroy.  The plan was to do a weeklong trekking shoot in each national park and showcase the new gear as we went along.

This photograph was made during our stint in Parque National Los Glaciares, home to the spectacular granite spires of Monte Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre.  We had just spent the day punching a weather hole up at Laguna de los Tres where we enjoyed an entire hour with Fitzroy before it closed.  It’s amazing how quickly the skies in this region can go from thick cloud cover to blue bird to rain.  Increasing winds and threatening rain forced us back down to our campsite at Campamento Poincenot where we enjoyed the protection of the beech forest.  Park rules regulated camping to designated areas, which were rarely very scenic.  Fortunately, we were able to set-up right on the edge at this camp and get a view of Fitzroy through the only opening in the beech canopy.  But as the storm moved in, we were certain that was the last we’d see of Fitzroy for a while.

Just after sunset we were surprised to see partial clearing in the skies just over the Fitzroy massif.  Quickly, we came up with a shoot plan and put the pieces in place.  A Nikon SB-800 wired to a Pocket Wizard Plus II went in the tent.  After a couple test shots we gelled the speedlight with a CTO and made a small adjustment to the color temperature on the Nikon D700.  It was getting darker by the second, and we decided to lock the exposure to what we wanted for the strobe-lit tent.  Having set that with the aperture, we just kept adjusting our shutter speed as the ambient light fell.  We got about a half-hour to photograph a handful of variations on this set-up.  No matter how much we wished for them to move a bit further, the clouds hiding the Fitzroy’s summit wouldn’t budge."


Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon 24-70 mm f/2.8 G-type lens
Settings: f/5.6 and 1/30th of a second
Other: Nikon SB800 with Pocketwizard Plus II's, handheld

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Adventure photographyApril 2012Black diamondHagephotoJoel addamsLighting a tentMatt & agnes photoNikon d700Nikon sb-800Off camera lightingPatagoniaPhotographyPicturelinePocket wizard plus iiStrobesTravel photography