I began corresponding with Travis through the Push It A Stop Flickr page after noticing his extensive use of film- most notably shooting some riding shots on large format. He let me know that he’d be at Texas Toast with his 4×5. Sure enough I saw him there lugging around the behemoth of a camera, complete with tripod and dark cloth, and a Hasselblad slung around his neck. We spoke and it soon became clear to me that Travis is both a camera fanatic and dedicated film user. He is informed, experienced and well-traveled. Sitting down and discussing all aspects of photography with Travis opened my eyes to some things I hadn’t considered regarding technology and the lack thereof required in the art. He is someone who understands the power of the camera and loves every part of it- from the equipment to the process to the ethereal qualities of a Polaroid of his daughter. I introduce to you the Ansel Adams of BMX, Travis Mortz.
0:30 – How was shooting at Texas Toast with a 4×5 camera?
2:25 – Travis’ shortened life story and first rolls of film
5:18 – When has film failed you?
6:32 – When has digital failed you? (pretty crazy story involving Tony Hawk)
9:50 – Travis’ formal education in photography and the arts
11:58 – Favorite photographs?
12:42 – Crazy story about Dorthea Lange and a Linhof
16:06 – Online portfolio?
17:05 – Your favorite film?
17:45 – Your lighting setup?
19:19 – Travis asks me about my film-use frequency
22:03 – Travis describes his darkroom setup in the mountains
25:04 – What are your film buying habits?
27:02 – “People are scared of film for some reason”
27:28 – You ever been fucked by a lab?
28:56 – Recent camera purchases?
31:59 – “My results will always be different”
32:39 – Favorite developer?
34:02 – Travis’ theory on preservation
35:20 – REMEMBER TO START UP YOUR EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR
(A great discussion erupts here and some really good points are made.)
40:02 – We go through the gear that Travis brought with him
48:54 – Shooting at Woodward Camp
51:30 – Travis talks about his recent trip to Sweden and how Hasselblad wrote a story about him
54:06 – “My biggest project is documenting my daughter’s life”
Posted in Art, BMX, Gear, Interview, Photo, Podcast, Tech
Tagged Film, Graflex, Hasselblad, Linhof, Travis Mortz
“The idea was to shoot an entire BMX “edit” in one day on a 100′ roll (2.5 minutes) of 16mm colour film. Since we only had 1 roll of film we kept the riding simple as each trick needed to be landed on the first or second try.
KODAK VISION2 250D Color Negative Film
Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative (AFCOOP)
Dead Horse Beats- Homegrown”
There’s a really good chance that this is the most interesting concept video BMX has seen in a while. Will Evans teamed up with some incredible riders and talented set designers to bring you this video that, if digested properly, will excite the senses and inspire the soul. I can’t even remember what tricks were filmed- I just know they looked fascinating.
“I’m Rob Perry, I ride BMX and I study photography at college. I had started to create a small collection of my favourite photos that I had been shooting and I thought that it would be cool if I could make a small book or layout design to show these photos and also show off our BMX scene in Milton Keynes, England to everyone. However, I didn’t know how to create this layout/book.
Then luckily in college a few weeks later, a project came up where we had to create a photo journalism piece and straight away I knew I could use BMX. I could work with these images while learning a way to create this small book. This decision meant that I could be out riding, shooting more and having a good time with the different people that ride from our crew in the Milton Keynes area. Throughout this project while shooting the photos, it helped me to think more about the photos I was taking and to look into them to see what is actually happening around the BMX rider to do with the background and the framing of everything. This helped my photos as it meant the viewer would feel more involved with the atmosphere of the whole photo and the people. I took all of these photos on a Canon 500d and an Olympus OM-10.”
The best at what they do- Chase Hawk and Joe Simon– teamed up and made this masterpiece. Not much more description is necessary, but… Chase Hawk. Joe Simon. Masterpiece.
As always, this issue of ART BMX is filled with foreign words and great photographs. Check out the photo on page 63- definitely one of the most spectacular flatland photos I’ve ever seen but also one of my favorite riding photos ever (shot by Christian Vanhanja). Also on that note, our good friend Josh McElwee has a photo piece starting on page 142.