Q & A with Travis Burke

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Travis Burke’s diverse and creative approach to action and adventure photography stems from his own perspective on life. He approaches it with a dedication to conquering anything thrown at him and to not living with regrets. Whether hanging from a 500’ bridge, riding a jet ski over shark infested waters or hiking alone in the dark of night to remote locations, Travis is constantly pushing himself and the limits of his photography. Travis’ client list includes working with world-class companies such as ESPN, Skullcandy, GoPro and more. His drive for adventure and mastery of photography has earned him the staff photographer position for GrindTV.com. He is currently satisfying his thirst for adventure shooting stories for Grind’s featured blog called “The Bucket List”.

 

Tamrac: How did you get into photography?

Travis: Back in 2008 I was planning a solo road trip to Yosemite National Park and decided to pick up a DSLR camera to try and capture the experience. I had no knowledge of shutter speeds, Aperture, ISO or any other camera settings at the time. After spending a week camping, exploring, and hiking to the top of Half Dome with my camera, I knew I had found something I was passionate about. Its been an amazing journey ever since.

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Tamrac: You were recently featured on Yahoo for your assignment into the Antelope Canyons in Arizona.  Can you tell us more about that?

Travis: A few months ago I took a ninety-five day road trip around the Western United States and got to explore some amazing places. I wrote a story for GrindTV about one of my favorite locations, the Antelope Canyons. The unique shapes, light, and pure beauty of these slot canyons make them some of the best in the world. My boss at Grind submitted the story to Yahoo News and it ended up being featured on the front page. It brought some great exposure and we’re currently working on getting some more featured stories up soon!

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Tamrac: Not only do you love to photograph Action Sports but you also love to be a part of them yourself!  Do you have a favorite sport and why?

Travis: Ever since I can remember I have had a love for all action sports. I started skateboarding at age 3 and as a teenager skateboarding took over my life. I got to the point where I was attempting tricks that few very skaters in the world were trying at the time, but after multiple ankle injuries I basically had to give up the sport. That left me with a very empty feeling inside and it wasn’t until I started pushing myself again in multiple other action sports that the feeling went away. Now any free time I have is spent devoted to trying to progress in every sport. From rock climbing, mountain biking, surfing, kite-skateboarding, slacklining and a million others.

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Skateboarding and action sports in general have taught me a tremendous amount about life. If you have confidence, dedication, willpower and a positive attitude you can accomplish just about anything in the world.

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Tamrac: What advice would you give to aspiring photographers who want to shoot action and adventure photography?

Travis: Be passionate about what you’re shooting! I have found that if I participate in the activity and know it well, it gives me a better understanding of the angles, tricks, timing, and overall representation of the sport.

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Tamrac: Tell us one place that you have not been but would love to photograph and why?

Travis: There is a little place called Havasu Falls in Arizona that I am excited to check off my bucket list later this year. It’s a mixture of backpacking, breathtaking waterfalls, remote locations, and cliff jumping. Everything I could ask for in an awesome adventure.

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Tamrac: How has Social Media helped you as a photographer?

Travis: Social Media has played a huge role in my photography. It’s a great way to share my images as well as follow other creative individuals that inspire me. I have met new clients, made friends, sold images, and obtained sponsorships because of it. It’s a great tool that everyone should be utilizing these days.

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Tamrac: What is your favorite action movie?

Travis: The Art of Flight. It’s a snowboarding movie that has incredible cinematography, extreme progression of a sport, adventure and an awesome soundtrack.

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Tamrac: What do you love about your Tamrac bags?

Travis: I’ve been using Tarmac bags since my first exploration into Yosemite. The diverse selection available makes it easy to find a bag that fits my exact needs. They are rugged enough to handle the elements while protecting my gear and still making it easy for me to access everything I need.

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Tamrac: What Tamrac gear do you use?

Travis: Expedition 7x, Adventure 10, Jazz Messenger 2 and Explorer 15.

Evo 9 and ZipShot spend 11 days in Yosemite

Hey folks! We recently partnered up with Chadwick Trentham, the Visual Storyteller at Azusa Pacific University, for an 11 day filming project that took Chadwick and his team over the mountains and through the valleys of California’s Yosemite Nation Park. We set him up with an Evolution backpack and a few ZipShot tripods to use and abuse on the trek, and abuse he did! We’re excited to share with you the visual story of Tamrac in Yosemite and Chadwick’s detailed account of the adventure! Enjoy!

11 days in the wilderness with the Tamrac Evolution 9 and a ZipShot tripod from Chadwick Trentham on Vimeo.

Chadwick in the wilderness
As a storyteller for Azusa Pacific University, my job includes producing films covering a range of topics: alumni, academics, campus events, and student life. That’s a pretty diverse task for a filmmaker—you never know what you might shoot next. One week I’m in the middle of the African bush filming an alumnus, and the next week I’m running alongside APU’s football team as they take the field for a home game (and trying not to get hit). As you can imagine, what I carry my gear in is very important; it has to be able to travel and function well in any situation.
The Crew
My most recent project took me on an 11-day backpacking trip with students into the Ansel Adams Wilderness in Northern California. I love to hike, so I was excited about this trip. Capturing the beauty of the outdoors would be the easy part. But 11 days on the trail also presented a few challenges. No showers, for instance. No outlets to charge my batteries either, which meant packing in plenty of extra batteries. Packing light? Not really an option.

The biggest challenge was finding a bag that would hold all my gear and keep it dust free, dry, and ready to go at a moment’s notice. The bag also had to fit inside the main compartment of my large backpacking pack, and be easy to use as a daypack. After researching my options, I landed on the Tamrac Evolution 9. It offered all the compartments and pouches I wanted, and looked like it was built for the rugged outdoors, including a rubber bottom to protect it from the dirt. It even came with a rain cover, and how could I say no to that? (That rain cover came in handy.)

It looked sturdy enough to hold all my gear, which included:
2 Canon 60Ds, 2 GoPro Hero2s
Canon 24mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4, 24-105mm f4, 70-200mm f2.8
Tokina 11-16mm f2.8
2 ZipShot tripods with a set of  ZipShot quick release plates
Manfroto 190XDB tripod with 701HDV head
Manfrotto 561bhdv1 monopod
Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier
Zoom H1, H4n
Evo next to river
The Evolution 9 was a perfect fit. Other than a few strap-ends being a little too long, it met all my needs and kept the gear safe, clean, and dry. I could set it down on the damp ground by a lake and know the gear was well protected. Toward the end of the trip, we got trapped in a three-day rainstorm complete with thunder and hail. As soon as I felt the first raindrop, I put the rain cover over the Evolution bag, put it in side my pack, and put another rain cover over that. When the rain stopped, I took the bag out of my pack and it was completely dry.

The pack also functioned really well for day hikes. On the day we repelled with the students, I needed to shoot from the bottom, so I used the chest and waist straps, put my tripod on the back of the bag, and repelled with all my gear on my back. Dangling about 100 feet off the ground, I knew that pack wasn’t going anywhere. After traveling with this bag, I’m not sure I would trust any other bag company. Tamrac’s lightweight, well-constructed bag met all my expectations. If it can survive 11 days in the wilderness, it can handle just about anything I throw at it.
Zipshot, how it worksZipshotQuick Release
I also used the ZipShot tripods, a new item for me. I needed a second option for filming but wanted something lightweight. The fact that it’s so light, compact, and can be set up in about a second sold me instantly. I used them almost daily on the trip, including once for an interview when I used my second 60D. It supported the camera’s weight, stabilized quickly, and got the job done. But the ZipShots really shined when I used them with the GoPros for time lapses, filming, and as a pole for a higher shot. They provided perfect support for the weight and were really easy to use with the ZipShot quick release plates. These will be a must have for any future trips.

Chadwick Trentham
Visual Storyteller for Azusa Pacific University
www.youtube.com/universityrelations
©Chadwick Trentham 2012, www.chadwicktrentham.com

For more information on the Evolution Series backpacks, visit: www.tamrac.com

For more information on the ZipShot Tripod, visit: www.zipshottripod.com