As an Adventure photographer, Zachary Brown captures his experiences through a lens. He recently accompanied fellow adventurer Mark Brown on an epic journey that both soared above the clouds and dove below sea level. In the interview below, Zachary shares a little bit about what life as an adventure photographer is all about, what inspires him and what he has learned along the way.
How did you get into photography? Is it your full time job?
When I was 8 or 9, I saw this guy who had a canon underwater camera and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I used to cut out photos from surf magazines and glue them to my notebooks and laminate them with masking tape, I think that was the first interest I ever had with photography. Since then it just kind of grew with me and fortunately now it is my full time job.
Are you a pilot as well?
Unfortunately no, but hopefully someday. For now I’ll stick to drones.
How did you get into aviation/adventure photography?
I’ve always been interested in aviation and adventure, so I think that interest just led to me wanting to capture those adventures as I went on them and share that with others. Pretty much whatever I was doing, I wanted to be able to capture that and share it.
The first time I shot aviation was in 2017. I met Mark Brown in Hawaii and he asked if I wanted to come fly and shoot some photos and video and I wasn’t about to turn that down.
What is your favorite thing about being an adventure/aviation photographer?
I think I just really like fast and extreme things. Being able to capture the energy is really exciting and fun for me. I think I would have to say the excitement of being there in the moment and capturing people doing what they’re really good at and passionate about is my favorite.
What camera do you use?
Currently I’m using a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K for video and a Canon EOS R for stills. I have a Panasonic GH5 that I use in my water housing as well.
How did you learn to shoot underwater? What's the most challenging aspect?
Shooting underwater or in water is hard. I learned mostly by trial and error, the first water “housing” I had was basically a thick plastic bag. I think the hardest part is positioning. Getting into the right position that I want to be in to take the shot, communicating with the talent to get them where I need them, all while maneuvering the elements whether it’s current, wind or waves.
What draws you to shooting adventure type photos?
I think I get excited about shooting in remote locations, there’s something about exploring new places and capturing images to share.
Tell us a bit more about your recent Torgoen adventure to Florida? How was it different from any other adventure?
This trip was really fun because we got to see several different areas of Florida, which gave us diverse looks to shoot in. Being from Florida, I enjoyed showing the crew around some spots that I frequent and sharing why I like them so much. This one was different because we spent a lot of time in the water, which added a good balance to the flying.
Are there any photographers who inspire you or types of photos you take?
Absolutely! I follow several photographers and cinematographers that I look up to for inspiration. I really like Bradley Wentzel, he takes some stunning aviation photos. Mike Biggins is an incredible adventure photographer, and there’s a local photographer near where I live who is really amazing as well, Walt Harden.
What do you like about Torgoen's new Diver watch?
I really like the way it fits and the way it looks. I love the silicon band and the way the body contours with the curve of my wrist so I can wear it comfortably over a wetsuit or on my bare skin.
What kind of adventure seekers would you recommend it for?
I think anyone that spends time in or near the water that needs a good looking timepiece that is rugged and can get wet would benefit from it.
Have you owned other Diver watches and how does Torgoen's compare?
I’ve owned a few before and I think Torgoen’s is a really good balance of functionality and aesthetics. It looks just as good on me when I’m diving as it does when I go to dinner.