Go behind the lens with travel photographer Tyson Mayr

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It’s been a hot minute, but the trips are finally back. The hypothetical sabbatical has become a reality and so we are ready to book these flights and plan our next wilderness adventure.

Traveling nowadays goes hand in hand with capturing and sharing great photos and memories, so we asked a passionate photographer and adventurer Tyson Mayr for his best advice.

Mayr’s career as a travel photographer has been wild. After quitting his corporate job, buying a one-way ticket, and traveling to 28 countries on six continents on a budget of $ 25 a day, he went on to earn “The best job in the world” contest: a prize of $ 100,000 to travel the world for 12 months creating content for a travel agency. Most recently he traveled across Australia to host National geography TV shows, ‘Only in Australia’ where he learns about some of the most unique and bizarre natural phenomena that occur, only in Aus.

From his most outrageous adventures, like knocking on the door of a random Kyrgyz yurt, to technology he can’t live without, like the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G available at Optus — brace yourself for all its inspiring travel stories and photography tips.

You’ve traveled to over 100 countries, it’s a tough choice but what was your favorite destination and why?

[Laughs] It’s an answer that will change depending on when I’m asked and maybe what I want at that time. Brazil was the first country I fell in love with and hope to live in one day, if only for six months.

I also love the hidden underground subcultures that you can find in Tokyo and South Korea.

The most life-changing moments in my life were during my travels in Uganda – installing water filters with an NGO called RainCatcher – but also going out of the network to hike with gorillas and chimpanzees.

Anywhere I haven’t been, this is usually what turns me on the most. I recently took a motorcycle trip in the Stans which ended with a 14 day trek through Afghanistan. There is something quite exciting about being in a place that so few tourists have visited. There is something very pure about the locals you meet.

Can you share some favorite and underrated Australia destinations?

I have to say, Broome. Most know Broome for its white sand beaches where you can watch the sunset from the back of a camel – their long shadows make for an interesting drone shot – but if you venture out of town a bit, you will find bright red sandy beaches that contrast beautifully with a turquoise ocean that surrounds it. Located at the mouth of the Kimberly, Broome is a landscape photographer’s dream and a truly unique place in Australia.

Image taken on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G available from Optus

You have embarked on crazy travel adventures, can you share your favorite experiences, stories or memories?

As I rode my motorbike through Kyrgyzstan to one of the tallest lakes in the world, I realized as the sun set that I was far from where I had to sleep and the night sky quickly covered me with freezing temperatures. . To make matters worse, I took a wrong turn – you have to remember the roads here are just a little more prominent than a cow trail – and found myself several hours away from any safe place to sleep with a fuel tank that flirted with emptiness. Suddenly I saw a yurt planted a few hundred yards from the road and even though it was 11pm, I parked my bike to see if the nomadic inhabitants who lived there could sell me some fuel. I was greeted by a family of seven who promptly invited me in and shared a meal with me. They rolled a blanket on the floor right next to them – everyone is sleeping on the floor next to each other – and for about the next day I lived with them and helped them with it. their cattle, sharing as much as we could with each other without speaking the same language.

It’s times like this that make me love traveling. Often times, I share images of well-known destinations or beautiful places, but the truth is, it really is the travel and local experience that you come across that makes a region special. This is something I have to constantly remember when photographing a destination – the picture is only a small part of my trip, don’t forget to travel! That’s why I also like to travel less prepared. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to encounter something completely unexpected.

What was your greatest ‘pinch me’ moment?

The summit of Kilimanjaro is still one of the most surreal moments I have ever experienced. I was robbed at gunpoint in a violent attack days before in another part of the world so I’m sure adversity added to the whole experience. Being on top of Africa’s highest peak was one of the only times I was moved by a spectacle or experience.

Winner “The best job in the world” the competition was also a very defining moment. I had worked hard for photography and videography for two years before that, making a lot of sacrifices to work on my craft and this competition really fell off when I was most prepared – I was announced as the winner on the TODAY live show in New York and it was definitely a moment that changed things for me mentally. You never know when a life-changing opportunity will present itself, but you better prepare for it.

Can you share your must-have travel tips?

Make an effort to put yourself in new situations every day: stepping out of your comfort zone is one of the most beneficial things you will get from a trip and where you will truly discover who you are and what makes you passionate about life. life.

Couchsurfing.com is a game-changer. Staying with locals in a new part of the world is the best way to experience it in an authentic way. Some of my best travel moments and friends have been made this way. This is also how I was able to travel to 50 countries on $ 25 a day.

What are your three best travel accessories that you can’t live without?

Noise-canceling headphones. This is important for video editing and training, but it is essential for flights and working in busy cafes.

A camera in my pocket. They say the best camera you have is the one closest to you and I’ve found this to be true several times. Having a high-quality camera that goes with you everywhere like the Fold3 means you never miss an unexpected moment. And believe me, when you are abroad there are a lot of them! Before this phone I missed a lot of amazing moments like a wolf running around the side of my car just because my big camera was wrapped in my car.

My laptop. From emails and research to editing photographs and videos for clients, it’s an essential device in everything I do. The only downside is its size and weight in my bag – something you really notice on seven day hikes, so using the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G as a replacement for it on long trips will be a lifeline – it is already on the smaller ones. !

What are your best editing and shooting hacks?

Always shoot in RAW. the Fold3 is a photography beast and I love that it has a Pro mode, which lets you adjust all of your camera’s settings and shoot RAW photos. I’ve never had a phone that allows me to do this before and shooting in RAW means you really have the data in your footage to edit it as it should.

I was recently at Lamington National Park and with Pro mode I was able to slow down the shutter speed and really smooth out the waterfall behind me. Not only that, I didn’t need to set a timer to photograph myself, I could just shout “Cheese” and the camera took my shot for me.

Image taken on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G available from Optus

As soon as the international borders open, where can I buy a plane ticket?

My first trip will be to LA for meetings, followed immediately by Rwanda to hike with the gorillas and possibly Antarctica after that. Both are for a project I’m launching in 2022, where others can join me on these trips, some of them as specialist photographic adventures.

What’s the next step for you and your career?

Right now I’m in talks with a major streaming service for my own travel show in 2022, and I’m also working on a new travel agency that will also launch in 2022 – something others may join me in. adventures I participate.

Capture epic travel memories with the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G available on Optus. With its exceptional camera quality and the ability to shoot from epic angles, there are so many reasons why this is the must-have travel tech accessory.

And the best part is you can buy it now and pay over 12, 24, or 36 months on a device payment plan with OptusPay without any interest.

Image credit: Tyson Mayr

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