Soul id Photographer Spotlight: Tait Trautman

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One of the many epic photos taken by action sports photographer and world traveler, Tait Trautman.

Action sports photographer Tait Trautman blends his passion for photography with his love for kayaking, traveling, and action sports to create some of the most epic photographs from all over the world. Trautman comes from humble beginnings in the Pacific Northwest where his photography career began with his group of kayaker friends in college.

A shot from Trautman's recent kayaking photography trip to Norway.

A shot from Trautman’s recent kayaking photography trip to Norway.

Recently, Trautman has been hitting the road photographing various action sports and events and was in Norway, his first time traveling through Scandinavia. Trautman was shooting a group of professional kayakers and traveling long distances shooting a new river every single day for three weeks straight. Trautman shot 5000 photos over the trip and edited them down to a collection of 300 of the best action and lifestyle shots from his trip through the fjords of Norway.

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Soul id interviewed Tait Trautman about his trip through Norway photographing some of the most epic kayaking in the world:

Soul id- What camera did you use on your Norway trip?

Trautman- “I’ve had the same Canon 5D Mark III for the past five years. That thing is just indestructable, it such a workhorse. I’m pretty happy with Canon. It’s just works, it doesn’t let you down.”

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Soul id– Can you take us through the story of this photo?

Trautman- “That’s Double Drop on the Tiegdal River in Voss, Norway. That was the first week of the trip basically, we got there and it’s a really cool town of Voss. It has a Whistler feel of Norway, it sits on this massive lake and you’re surrounded 360 degrees by mountains and glaciers.”

Soul id– You took this with your Canon and what type of lens where you using?

Trautman- “Yeah, all of my photos from that day were shot using the Canon fixed 50mm.”

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Soul id– Where was this in your trip?

Trautman- “This was on the Jordalselvi River, this is the entry falls of the river. It was 35-40 footer that goes into a Class 5 for a couple miles. The crazy thing was getting into that town you take a left off the main highway out of Voss and you see a little sign that says Jordal 20 km. You go deep into this tunnel for like 15-20 minutes through this mountain range and you pop out on the other side in this gnarly little river valley totally boxed in with 1000 feet tall walls. It looks like your driving in a fjord boxed in on every side.”

“We were driving down this road, it tunneled up, out into the middle of nowhere, all of a sudden we pop out in this tiny little farming town, the cool thing about Norway is that as soon as your out of the city, it’s just all small very sleepy agricultural farmlands, most of the locals were sheep.”

Soul id– Were there other kayakers on these drops or was it just you guys?”

Trautman- “It was pretty much just us, we would run into a couple other groups here and there in towns. When we were in Voss, Our good friends Ron Fisher and Marian Seather let us set up a gypsy basecamp in there house that was currently under construction. The cool thing about kayaking is that it is such a small community, somehow everyone knows everyone. It’s a really tight knit family.”

Soul id– Do you do a lot of post editing work?

Trautman- “I do edit them, I don’t try to edit anything too severely. Just basic processing in Lightroom. I try to keep my images pretty real looking, mainly trying to remember the true colors and hues of that day and location, and try to portray that. It took me two weeks to whittle down 5000 shots to 350, and then edit them. I would say the great thing about being an action sports photographer is you get to travel all over the world, work with your friends and see some beautiful places. But, photography is actually 10% percent of what you do and the other 90% is sitting late nights in front of a computer.”

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Soul id– Can you take us through this photo?

Trautman- “That’s on the Jordalselvi as well, I think its called Tyler’s Drop. Due to Tyler Bradts 1st decent. You get sent 40 feet down this massive whale tale of a drop. This photo doesn’t give it the justice it deserves, it is so gnarly.”

Trautman is not only one of the premier action sports photographers in the world, he documents his experiences as he adventures into the some of the wildest and most raw places in the world with his Canon 5D Mark III:

"Heavy traffic on the morning commute out of the Sjoa Valley." -Tait Trautman

“Heavy traffic on the morning commute out of the Sjoa Valley.” -Tait Trautman

Welcome to Valhalla… Jordalselvi river valley. - Tait Trautman

“Welcome to Valhalla… Jordalselvi river valley.” – Tait Trautman

"Home is where you park it." - Tait Trautman

“Home is where you park it.” – Tait Trautman

"Evan Garcia clocking in for another daily grind on the Ula River." - Tait Trautman

“Evan Garcia clocking in for another daily grind on the Ula River.” – Tait Trautman

To follow more of Tait Trautman’s work on Instagram @taittrautmanphotography and follow him on Soul id here!

Produced and written by Soul id reporter: Lars Gustafson.

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