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“HODL”. A term coined (no pun intended) by Crypto Currency traders. It is an acronym for “hold on for dear life”. Something I hope that Matt, Luca and Cutu won’t be forced to do at any point during their Pacific Challenge. 

This summer, the team will embark on an epic journey from Monterey Bay, California to Hawaii. The catch being, they’ll be rowing. No engine, no motor, no sails or help. Just three men, six oars and an eight metre boat. 

Rowing approximately 2800 miles over the course of 50 to 60 days. Unfortunately I won’t be able to join them, nor capture their departure or arrival at the finish line. However I have been fortunate enough to document some of their training and capture interview footage with the team and more. 

Raising Awareness for The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup are a non-profit organisation working tirelessly to resolve waste issues that are affecting oceans, seas and rivers all over the world. In the Pacific Ocean there is the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. The patch is upwards of 1.6 million square kilometres in size. 

The Ocean Cleanup team are they key players in cutting down the size of this patch and bringing the rubbish back to land for recycling. Over 5 trillion pieces of plastic litter the oceans and Team HODL are doing their best to raise awareness of this issue.

During their adventure, they will be rowing past the garbage patch which is located between California and Hawaii. 

cutu serruys pacific rowing challenge

Team HODL Interviews – Multi-camera and Professional Audio Recording

The video below was recorded at various locations on the River Yare in Norfolk. Mostly around the Brundall are with the interviews filmed at the Coldham Hall Pub. The equipment used to produce the video is as follows: 

  • Camera 1 – Sony A7iv
  • Camera 2 – Sony A6000
  • Lens 1 – Sigma 56mm f1.4
  • Lens 2 – Sigma 35mm 
  • Microphone – Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Mic
  • Gimbal – DJI RS2
  • Drone – DJI Mavic Air 2

Sony A7iv Mirrorless Camera

Shooting the interviews and B-Roll footage for Team HODL was my first outdoor video project with the Sony A7iv. It performed beautifully with the battery lasting much longer than expected in cold conditions. 

The camera experienced no malfunctions. The interview take lasted upwards of 25 minutes with the Sony A7iv recording for longer. If you’re looking to purchase a fantastic hybrid camera, I cannot recommend this enough. 

Click here to read more about the Sony A7iv.

Sony A6000 Mirrorless Camera

I’ve been working with the Sony A6000 camera since Spring of 2021. It was my first digital camera and has served me well for almost two years. Despite upgrading to the A7iv I have decided to keep the A6000 as my camera number two. 

Unfortunately it isn’t a 4K camera. However, when combined with the Sigma 56mm f1.4 or Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG Art lenses, you get an incredibly sharp and clean picture.

Also note, that every photograph within this article was taken using the Sony A6000 and Sigma 56mm f1.4 lens. 

Click here to read more about the Sony A6000. 

luca feser pacific rowing challenge

Sennheiser MKE 600 Microphone

Unfortunately I’m less clued up on the technical terminology for audio recording equipment. But I can say the Sennheiser MKE 600 has done me well in a variety of situations.

I’ve used this shotgun mic for both indoor and outdoor projects. Capturing audio for commercials, interviews, voice-over work and real world sounds. 

Using the DJI RS2 Gimbal to record Team HODL

The River Yare on the Norfolk Broads may be calm, but for added stability I used my trusted DJI RS2 gimbal for almost all of the B-Roll footage. At one point I was on my front hanging off the bow of a yacht to capture Team HODL in action. 

This or similar is a must have bit of kit for any videographer or filmmaker looking to take their work to the next level. Both the Sony A6000 and A7iv fit with ease and will encourage further creativity on your videography projects. 

team hodl pacific row challenge photograph

DJI Mavic Air 2 Drone

The drone was flown by fellow photographer, videographer and friend, Daniel Gheorghe. With its 4K camera, incredible stability in the air and smooth handling made it a must have to include in this project.

Combining a number of shots from various heights, we could almost put into perspective how isolated the team will be during their challenge. 

matt siely pacific rowing challenge

Team HODL Project Summary

One of the biggest challenges we faced was time. Despite being limited to approximately 6 hours over the course of 2 mornings, we were able to capture everything that was needed. I cannot thank the team enough for being a pleasure to work with and involving me in this epic project.

If you wish to support Matt, Luca and Cutu throughout their epic challenge, please head over to the Team HODL website to find out how. Click here to visit

team hodl pacific row challenge photograph

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