You see a great photo. And it is great – iconic even – tugging at your eyes with its peculiar gravity.
In that instant, you probably don't imagine the photographer fitting a roll of film into his camera, adjusting the settings, framing the shot – did he use a tripod? You probably don't think about his work in the Darkroom, how he processed the negatives, the filters on the enlarger, the countless attempts it took to get the image just right.
You don't immediately think about the person behind the lens and his process, because in a truly great image, all you see is the subject: Five Marines and a Navy Corpsman hoisting the American Flag, steelworkers taking lunch 69 stories up, Ali shouting at a defeated Sonny Liston, "Get up and fight, sucker." Great photographs speak for themselves. They broaden our experience and make it more interesting to be human.
We believe the same is true of great gear.
In the last eight years, our clan of artists/engineers/designers/hunters invented – and continue to elevate – technical clothing for mountain hunters. Then we did it for whitetail hunters. And then again for waterfowl hunters.
Back in the beginning, we started this blog called Sitka Insight to give you an inside look into what we were up to, how we were forever changing the hunting industry. We kept at it as long as we could, but your insatiable demand for gear gave us more work than we could handle, and for us, the gear always comes first. We eventually passed Insight on to our Athletes, Prostaff and Ambassadors, and with it they keep us updated with their incredible stories of the gear in the field.
But we've really missed having you behind the scenes.
So this is the Darkroom, where we'll show you who we are and how we develop the gear that changes how we hunt: hunting in every condition imaginable, identifying a problem, envisioning a solution, sketching it out, building prototype after prototype, testing both scientifically and experientially, and arriving either back at the sketching table, or hopefully – miraculously – at a piece of equipment that will serve you for many seasons to come.
Just like an iconic photo, great gear speaks for itself. You can enjoy it without looking beyond to the ingenuity, sweat, design and testing that went into it. But for those who want to peer into the murk…
Welcome to the Darkroom.
– Sitka Founder, Jonathan Hart