When it comes to captaining the ship of everyday carry objects, look no further than Kirk Lucas. Captain Kirk’s sails are constantly set, catching the headwind of all things creative when it comes to shooting the items that make a difference in our lives. When this swashbuckling badass is behind the lens, you can guarantee the result is gear and adventure-worthy eye candy of all kinds. In our eyes, Kirk Lucas is a prime example of a Modern Explorer, so the team here at CYTIES was thrilled when the Captain himself agreed to be our latest Sit Down. We dive into his favorite equipment, camera tips, and what it means to Fly the Flag with fellow matey Peter McKinnon. Arrrrrr you ready? Avast Ye!
CYTIES: You have a phenomenal gift for capturing incredible product photos of your favorite gear, what camera are you currently shooting on? What’s your setup like?
KIRK: My setup is very simple. I shoot with a Canon EOS R6 and a Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 lens. Nearly all of my photos are taken with this setup. The glass is affordable and serves all my current photography needs though I’m looking into getting more RF lenses (Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 and RF 50mm f/1.2) to add variety to my photography.
CYTIES: Stranded on an island. What three EDC items are you bringing?
KIRK: I’d probably have my Benchmade Bugout knife, iPhone, and a Bellroy Apex Slim Sleeve wallet – with my knife being the only legitimately useful thing I’ll have on me (and maybe my phone for posting my last EDC flatlay before I die of starvation). Well, at least my ID will be in a sleek leather wallet when they need to identify my body!
CYTIES: Ha! We feel like you’d totally survive. When did you first realize you had a bit of a fascination with unique gear and objects?
KIRK: I’ve always been into organizing my keys and slimming down my wallet but didn’t know there was a whole label behind it. I never realized EDC was a thing until I was given my first pocket knife. I fell deep into the rabbit hole of pocket knives after that! I never seriously got into the other EDC paraphernalia though – flashlights, pry bars, pens, and collectibles. I own a few of those things, but it’s mostly props for photos. I rarely carry them around with me.
CYTIES: Kirk, you have a serious watch collection, what are you currently donning on your wrist the most?
KIRK: I wouldn’t say that I have a serious collection. Have you seen what the other watch guys have on?! Despite my growing collection, I usually rock the humble G-Shock “Casioak” GA2100. It’s simple, discreet, and the perfect everyday beater.
CYTIES: For anyone just starting out with a lens and an urge to shoot up close, what advice would you give?
KIRK: Everyone always talks about gear, camera, and lenses, but what’s most often overlooked is lighting. It can make or break your shot. You don’t really need a complicated lighting setup. Most of my product photos were actually just side-lit with a tiny window in my home office.
CYTIES: If you could visit a city you haven’t been to or seen, which one would it be? What draws you there?
KIRK: Definitely Tokyo. Aside from the perfect fusion of modern and traditional and holding the title of being the largest city in the world, everyone I know who’s been to Tokyo somehow comes home ten times cooler than they used to be!
CYTIES: We can’t wait to get our Tokyo City Guide live, this last year stalled its progress. Hopefully, we can see the light at the end of this challenging tunnel with COVID, how important was it to you to stay creative in such a trying time?
KIRK: I actually started my Instagram account because of the COVID lockdown. Being stuck at home, I needed a creative outlet to keep me productive and sane. However, it’s admittedly becoming more challenging photographing “things on my desk” after a year into it. With the weather being warmer now though (and since we can’t travel anywhere yet), I’ve been exploring the local outdoors a lot more for some creative photo opportunities.
CYTIES: Naturally, you are a Modern Explorer, what’s life like as a Modern Pirate? And tell us more about your Captain persona.
KIRK: It’s amazing that a lot of folks really embraced the whole Pirate EDC lifestyle, which is just EDC with a bit of grunge. I’d like to tell myself that I live and breathe this stuff, but instead of carrying a knife to the rugged outdoors, I carry one to a post office. Instead of cutting up kindling, I cut up Amazon boxes. For real though, this Modern Pirate lifestyle is just a different angle on EDC with some leather, wood, and grunge (and hot sauce) thrown in.
When I started my Instagram account, I needed a persona to go along with @petespiratelife. Captain Kirk was just perfect because whenever I’d meet people for the first time, there’s a high chance that they’ll reference Captain Kirk from Star Trek. It was always fun so I figured I’d actually use it.
CYTIES: What does it mean to “Fly The Flag”?
KIRK: There’s actually a whole story behind the “Fly the Flag” phrase, and it’s just so fortuitous how it came about. I won’t tell you or anyone though. Maybe if you met me in person and surrendered a Pete’s Pirate Life coin to me, I’ll tell you…
CYTIES: What’s the coolest photoshoot you’ve been on?
KIRK: When I traveled with Peter McKinnon to Norway for a brand shoot, I experienced the most unique stuff – a glass cabin in the Arctic, a fishing boat in the Arctic, a seaplane in the Arctic. Did I mention that this was in the arctic?? The best part though was seeing the Northern Lights!
CYTIES: Who do you have on your playlist lately?… Does music inspire your work?
KIRK: Hmmm, does my son’s Nursery Rhymes Playlist count? Kidding aside, I actually don’t have a specific playlist though I’ve been into a lot of funk lately. When it comes to my video editing work, I tend to use funk because it’s fun, upbeat, and overall just gives a feel-good vibe.
CYTIES: Always down with the funk. Nerd question only because you brought it up a few questions before. It can’t be by chance that you have a Star Trek and Star Wars name. Which galaxy cruising space franchise do you prefer?
KIRK: I’m surprised that my mom allowed my dad to name me after two huge sci-fi franchises, but I’ve always loved Star Wars more. Stormtroopers, starfighters, Jedi knights, Lightsabers, and the Force – What more could you ask for?
I’ll be honest, even though Captain Kirk is my namesake, I’ve never watched a single episode of Star Trek. I remember seeing a few scenes here and there growing up, but I’ve never sat down and watched a single episode. Even more shocking, when I was a kid, Captain Picard was the face of Star Trek for me, not Captain Kirk.
CYTIES: Here’s your chance. Rep your city. What’s it like living in Toronto and for our readers, in your opinion why is it one of the coolest cities in the world?
KIRK: Toronto has so many different sides and personalities to it, but that’s why I love it. It has authentic cuisine from different cultures, unique architecture, and great urban trails. Plus, it’s home to some of the most talented creatives in the world! The spirit of the city somehow breeds creativity. Toronto is where it’s at!
Thanks for letting us board the ship, Captain. Here’s to new travels and exciting times ahead for you and the whole crew. Thanks to you, we’re probably going forego work to press play on Star Wars and purchase another pocket knife. Smooth sailing to you, we will work on copping one of those epic Pete’s Pirate Life coins. May Kirk Lucas and his sharp mind inspire you to set your compass to the next project that can soon become your life’s adventure.