Travis Burke loves getting the shot. But he’s not there to observe
Travis Burke has an insatiable appetite for adventure. Growing up in California, he spent most of his time outdoors. “My parents took me camping a lot and I was into all the typical stuff: surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding,” he says. But he never committed to any active hobby until he found photography.
“Which quickly became ‘adventure photography,’ for me,” he says. “Because I kept finding myself in these amazing places, seeing and trying amazing things, but would end up with nothing to show for it. So it sort of began as a selfish thing.”
Yet as his behind-the-lens skills rapidly evolved, doors opened. Today Burke spends the vast majority of his time documenting adventure sports. But, being the curious cat he is, he’s not satisfied sitting on the sidelines. He likes to partake in the action too, which is what separates him from the rest and gets him into some pretty sketchy situations.
Whether surfing an outer reef in Oregon, sail-boarding through Death Valley, or hiking a 300-mile stretch of the Pacific Coast Trail—which he did with his parents last fall—after nailing a few shots, Burke will try anything once. To his credit, he’s chalked up a variety of exploits touring the American Southwest over the past few years for GrindTV.
Last summer, Burke stopped by the office of yours truly claiming his most intense mission yet. He’d just spent a few days with Jerry Miszewski, one of the world’s best highliners, on a trip through Arizona and Utah, where they were hunting scenic places to walk their lines. Highlining, in case you’re wondering, is exactly what it sounds like: Find two high points, connect them with what appears to be a scrawny little slackline, and get walking.