All images by Travis Burke. Used with permission.
Photographer Travis Burke has 140K+ Instagram followers, and it’s easy to see why. Travis is all about capturing and finding beautiful areas in the great outdoors; and he tries to photograph it all with a unique perspective on life. Travis is tenacious and tries to conquer whatever the world throws at him.
It started when he bought a Nikon D300–which made him slow down and appreciate beauty in nature a lot more.
Phoblographer: How did you first get into photography?
Travis: The initial spark was while my parents were hiking the Pacific Crest Trail 6 years ago. I met them in Yosemite National Park and had decided to buy a Nikon D300 to document as much as I could. Having a camera made me slow down and appreciate the beauty, and really search for ways to capture it. When I got home, I decided to enroll in a few photo classes at a community college, participate in various workshops and listen to guest speakers to start learning the basics and gain all the knowledge I could. From there I worked as an intern and assisted professional photographers in multiple fields to get hands on experience before slowly taking off on my own.
Phoblographer: What made you want to get into travel photography?
Travis: Traveling allows me to constantly shoot in diverse locations and meet up with different types of adventurers around the world. Choosing the “van life” made the most sense for me because it fits all my essentials (My surfboard, skateboard, slackline, camera gear, mountain bike, etc.) yet can still get me everywhere I want to go.
Phoblographer: Talk to us about business: how do you go about marketing work like yours and making sure that it’s in front of the right eyes and you have the right clients?
Travis: It’s a mixture of social media channels that have the target audience I’m looking for as well as working with different companies that have the same passion.
Phoblographer: Where do you get your creative inspiration and sense of composition from for the images that you shoot?
Travis: My inspiration comes from all different types of platforms but the biggest factor is just being inspired by the landscape when I’m at a location. Certain scenes can really take my breath away and make me feel so small, it’s challenging yet extremely rewarding to try and capture that perspective and emotion within an image.
Phoblographer: Talk to us about the gear that you use.
Travis: My go to set up is the Nikon D800 with the 14-24mm lens, and the GoPro Hero 4 Silver Edition with the 3-way mount. But I always have a 24-70mm lens, a tripod, an intervalometer, neutral density filter, and multiple GoPro accessories in my backpack ready to go.
Phoblographer: If you had to choose five of your favorite locations that you’ve shot in, what would they be and why would you choose them?
Travis: 1. Columbia River Gorge, Oregon/Washington – It has the densest population of waterfalls I have ever seen, wildflowers in the spring, secret lava tubes, cliff jumping and endless amounts of hiking trails.
2. The back roads of Vermont – The most amazing fall colors and unexpected extremely dark night skies.
3. The Wave, Arizona – The BLM district only allows 20 people per day to enter into this beautiful but fragile location, but if you’re one of those lucky 20 it will definitely be the experience of a lifetime!
4. Havasupi, Arizona – With a year round water temperature of 72 degrees and campsites right next to the river it’s a great getaway for any time of year.
5. Moab, Utah – Home to two incredible national parks (Arches and Canyonlands) and a short drive to some of the best mountain biking, rock climbing, petroglyphs, rafting, base jumping and slacklining imaginable. You will never run out of things to do.
Phoblographer: Every photographer is always looking to do personal work to evolve. Where do you see yourself creatively by the end of the year?
Travis: There is always a way to improve your skill or make your business more successful, but my main goal is to keep people inspired. Keep them wanting to explore mother nature on their own. I constantly try to push myself to the next level and I hope that I can creatively encourage others to do the same.