Tag Archives: Travis Mortz

Travis Mortz Explains The Sunny 16 Rule

Our recent podcast guest Travis Mortz explains basic daylight exposure for his local film lab. It’s like learning to read light instead of words.

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TCU TV – Travis Mortz Interview

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”

Photo of the Week: Travis Mortz

travis mortz potw

“This photo of Brad Thomas was shot on my first trip to Woodward West as a visiting photographer. This hip was very intriguing to shoot because of it being isolated and outdoors i was able to control my light exactly how i wanted too. I waited till about 15 minutes before the sun set and starting setting up my lighting. I used two Quantum T4d Q flashes raised up about 6 ft at half power both placed right outside of the frame at 45º facing the center of the hip to provide even lighting across the quarters as well as on the subject. This photo was shot on my Nikon D3 with a nikon 85mm lens, My settings were 1/250 F4.5 @ 400 iso.”

Check out more of Travis’ work here. Follow him here.

Follow Brad here.

Join the Push It A Stop Flickr group.

Photo of the Week: Travis Mortz

PAU_0271

I was immediately drawn to the colors of this photo- the way the red frame plays off the blue sky. I also really like the green in those plants. The rider is nicely framed between the two trees and the brick triangles in the wedge point to the action. The timing is pretty great for a downside whip. The sun to the rider’s back creates a beautiful highlight and the balance with the flash on the front of the rider is nearly perfect.

“This photo of Neal Richardson was shot in Loomis, CA at a small skate plaza. I originally planned on shooting a bar on this wedge and it just didnt work the way I wanted it to. Neal then suggested a downside whip and I was all for it. After moving to the opposite side of the skatepark I realized that the sun was extremely harsh on the bank and Neal’s entire face and body was shadowed from the sun at his back. so I grabbed a Qflash and set it to full power and had my friend hold it right underneath Neal just out of frame to fill the shadow on his face and chest without lighting the already bright wedge. This photo was shot using a Nikon D3 paired with a Nikon 105mm F2 DC lens. My settings were 1/250th @ F9 with a Quantum wirelessly triggered by a Pocket Wizard.”

Check out more of Travis’ work here.

Join the Flickr group and get inspired.