At Ikan, we enjoy meeting people and learning how videographers, filmmakers, and photographers use our products on various projects. It’s interesting to see and/or hear about their experiences. Sometimes, their stories can even take you to the most unexpected places. Philip Grossman, a cinematographer, camera geek, and historian, has an interesting story that takes place near the city of Pripyat (formerly located in the USSR).

In 2011, Philip left his job in corporate America to pursue photography. He got a once in a lifetime opportunity to photograph the Chernobyl Nuclear Exclusion Zone which has now turned into a long term passion project. Philip was looking for high quality gear that would last so he reached out to us. He had chosen Ikan products in the past and most recently, chose to use the E-Image 2 stage carbon fiber tripod with GH15 head. On his first trip, Philip Grossman and another photographer, Arek, were allowed to access the control room of Reactor No. 4, ground zero for the infamous 1986 accident. Since that first expedition, Philip’s passion for the story and the people of Chernobyl has grown. Philip has made 7 visits and spent nearly 100 days exploring the zone. You can see his comprehensive collection of over 300 rare and unique photographs from his four day excursion in November 2011 to the site of the world’s worst and most infamous nuclear disaster on the Chernobyl: Zone of Exclusion site.

Philip Grossman Visits Ikan

We got a chance to interview Philip Grossman at Ikan when he was in town. He talked to us about his experience visiting Chernobyl and his project, Exploring The Zone. He first visited Chernobyl in November 2011 during the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. He later visited again and his trips turned into the project, Exploring The Zone. What started as a photography project has since evolved into over 60 hours of material and over 20,000 photos. On his trips, he needed equipment that had value and was high quality, but didn’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars. He decided to use Ikan products. Philip had learned about Ikan at the 2012 NAB show and was getting ready to go on his 2nd expedition. He wanted to get a bit more adventurous and get more video as well as photos. He came across the Ikan booth and saw exactly what he needed. He needed to go from a camera on a tripod quickly to a shoulder mount because of the shooting environment at Chernobyl. He liked that he could mix and match products. Afterward, at every NAB and IBC, Philip would stop by the Ikan booth to see the creativity and designs of the new products.

When asked about his experience with Ikan and our products, Philip responded that he believes in Ikan’s products and likes that the team has been good about taking feedback seriously and incorporating it into the products.

“It’s been a great relationship…I started in 2011 and it was the second trip in 2012 where I started using Ikan products and it’s just through the years, I’ve seen the product line expand, the value proposition of the products has increased, the quality has increased, and the prices haven’t necessarily increased…the breadth of the products from shades and follow focuses and tripod lines and everything else…I can’t say enough about how happy I am to have a company that I can pick up the phone or send an email to and say I have this issue and get a response within less than 24 hours.”  – Philip Grossman


To watch our full interview with Philip Grossman, see the video below:

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