For most of us, adventure travel photography is basically the coolest thing you can do. So naturally we’re desperate to find out a bit more about it, which is where Jack Lord, Max Ostler and Simon Chuck come in.
The trio met on their first day at Northumbria University in 2008, and thanks to similar interests they’ve been good friends ever since.
They recently hosted an AMA on Reddit revealing what it’s really like taking photographs of their intrepid travels. Best yet, they do everything on a shoestring budget, so maybe it’s not as inaccessible as you might have thought.
On the AMA they said: “Travelling to epic places, spending the least amount of money. If you would like any advice on places we have visited on our Instagram, do not hesitate to ask.” And here is everything we learned, as well as a few extra burning questions we had for them.
How they first got into photography
“We all did design related degrees which occasionally involved some aspects of photography, but we really got in to it when we started going on these adventures.
“On the first trips we did we were occasionally snapping photos on our phones and when we looked back at the images it didn’t really capture how epic the place was, we wanted to really show how amazing these places are, so we all chipped in together and bought a half decent camera and learnt how to use it.”
How they manage to travel on such a low budget
“The usual plan is to choose a destination, use Google flights or Skyscanner to figure out the cheapest times to go…often with a budget airline so not always the most comfortable trip, and we camp.
“A lot of the countries we visit allow you to wild camp anywhere within reason, camping allows you to stay closer to landmarks and gives you a lot more flexibility when you travel.
“We generally eat camping ration packs and tinned food cooked on a camp stove, the only real costs are the flights and car hire which we do a lot of research into to get the best prices.”
Photography as a paid job
“Photography doesn’t provide any income as of yet, we are hoping that with more coverage we will eventually start generating some revenue, at the moment it’s a very fun hobby.
“I currently have a full time job, that has 25 days a year holiday, fortunately because I live in London there is a lot of cheap flights going to various destinations around Europe, so often we will fly Friday evening and fly home Monday morning straight into the office at 9 am, the longer adventures I use my paid holidays for.”
The top places they want to visit
“I really want to do the Pacific Northwest, then drive up to Canada, also Patagonia is a massive must for me, hopefully they should be in the pipeline for the new year.”
Where they’d want to live
“It’s hard to say because when you are travelling round you are experiencing the good side of the places and aren’t necessarily seeing the negative part.
“The west fjords of Norway and Iceland are some of the most epic places I have been to, but for just a chilled out happy lifestyle I would live in Sweden, Scandinavians have life figured out.”
How they choose their destinations
“I’d probably say from watching countless nature documentaries…the amount of times I see somewhere epic and I then go and Google it.”
The most dangerous situation they’ve been in
“There has been a few…driving in the desert in Morocco, the driver’s side window smashed when we were travelling 100km an hour…it was a stone flicked up by a passing car.
“Another car incident driving round Iceland’s ring road in winter we hit ice on a bridge spun out of control and were a few feet away from going into the river.
“Mountain climbing in Wales I fell about 30 ft because I got too cocky and tried rock climb without the correct equipment.”
Their advice for aspiring photographers
“A lot of the time it will feel like hassle to get your camera out and take photos but just do it, you will regret not capturing it later.
“Get up early and shoot at sunrise, it’s hard but at that time the light is the best it will be all day, there is often an early morning mist and there is a lot less people around. Try to go to places that people haven’t captured before, that way you can really make your mark.”
Why adventure photography is the best
“You get to travel and experience some of the most beautiful places on the planet and then have the challenge of capturing it in a photo that does it justice. From a purely selfish perspective it’s an excellent way of documenting the places you have been, each image has a little bit of permanent nostalgia locked in to it.
“If any of our images can inspire anyone to go out and enjoy the outdoors and travel to these places then that’s great.”
You can check out more of their photographs on their Instagram page.