Through the Lens – Zach Dischner Photography

Travis Gneiting Videos

Outdoor Adventure Photographer
Adventure images are arguably the most captivating and inspiring photographs in the world.  Artistic without staging, and an authenticity that sucks you right into the moment the outdoors.  This is the kind of talent that has brought an underground following behind outdoor adventure photographer Zach Dischner. By profession an Aerospace Engineer, but a passion for adventure and a talent to capture nature that has many living vicariously through his epic photographs and hobbies.  With a humble perspective and realistic approach to his work – the end result is down to earth and so real it almost feels like you are there.  Check out just a glimpse of his portfolio here – and the rest of it on flickr.

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“What’s it like shooting in the backcountry? Do you bring equipment with you specifically to shoot, or are you there to have fun too?”
I’m definitely there for fun first! I rarely bring more than my camera and a single lens, just tossed into my pack, and it normally stays there until we get the adrenalin flowing. The memory cards start filling up only when I get stoked about the moment.  

 

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It’s this kind of attitude that enables Zach to create such amazing photo’s. He has the perspective as a participant. He knows the moments that are climatic, and when to pull out the camera. Not having a crew, and only having the equipment you can strap  to your back (along with all the real important adventure gear) forces you to simplify and shoot with what you have. Working within constraints, as Zach says, works to the advantage as the true moments of value and fantastic content is what gets captured.

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“You’ve photographed many extreme action sports and you’ve gained a following that have watched you grow, did you ever anticipate this?”

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Can’t honestly say I did. I just bought a camera on a whim, and had no idea how to use it. It turned into a passion that  I’ve been really lucky to share with my followers/co-photographers. Some of the people I’m closest with now from the photography community have been with me from the start, which I think is really awesome.

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“What is your goal with photography? Is this your area of study”
My goal? The most eloquent way I can put it is that I try to bring the stoke! I really just want to communicate and capture the excitement of the moment. Sometimes I’ll see an intense landscape shot and it gets the heart pumping as much as seeing someone slay a gnarly section of single track. Regardless, its that excitement that I want to get across. My unofficial slogan is “Shoot to stoke, stoked to shoot!”. Pretty much sums it up. 

“What is you favorite sport to shoot?”
I’d have to say skiing is the best sport to shoot. The lines are huge, the scenery is always epic and intense, and its all so dynamic. Just endless possibilities! 

“What is your favorite sport that you do by hobby?”
Kiteboarding. Hands down. Its the coolest thing I can find to occupy my time. Shooting it is also a blast. It can be the most tranquil or adrenalin-fueled thing you do, and I love capturing all those moments.

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“What would you say distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?”
I mean, there are a couple million other people out there with fancy cameras, and a lot of people take awesome shots. I think what I bring to the table is the feeling of adventure. I am a visceral shooter, if I’m not feeling inspired I don’t squeeze the trigger. Normally once I start shooting something I like, the excitement builds and 

“What is the biggest challenge when you shoot?”
A lot of the time all I want to do is get in on the action. Its hard to pull off to the side of an epic back bowl and try to photograph other people getting face shots. I definitely feel like I miss out on what I’m photographing sometimes, but for the most part I think the moments I capture are worth it. 

What are your future career ambitions?
Well I’m about to start a career in Aerospace Engineering, but I want to find a way to incorporate some sort of semi-professional photography into my income and lifestyle. Whether it just be stock photography, selling prints, or what have you, its the goal. 

” What else do you do, besides being a professional photographer?
Everything I can! I have two part time jobs in engineering and am finishing up my masters degree. When not doing the boring stuff I’m always trying to run, bike, hike, hunt, camp, ski, kite, and climb my time away. I’m pretty much down for anything, and never say no to an offer for adventure. Despite funds being pretty limited as with most graduate students, I do try to travel every chance I get. Around the world or just in my state, there are too many amazing things to see just to sit in my apartment and play video games (which I do also enjoy from time to time). Its a big world I just want to go experience it!