13 Nov 2017

CONTRIBUTORS: TRISTAN TINN

WORDS & PHOTOS x Tristan Tinn

We’d like to introduce you to Tristan. Tristan is the next contributor we’re featuring in our regular series which honours those who bring you our content. Tristan lives in the Lake District, UK and is studying to be a dentist – but we get the sense he’d be rather out shooting instead. His contributions to Eskapee show both his love of landscapes and his home.

Read on to find out more about what makes Tristan tick and some of his favourite images – each with their own story.

Who is Tristan Tinn?
Tristan Tinn is a wannabe photographer come dental student in his mid-twenties.

What makes you happy?
When the shot you’ve meticulously planned for months on end comes together after you’ve put the legwork in. Oh, and family and friends of course!

What is your greatest fear?
FOMO – Fear of missing out. As I write this I’m watching colour spread across the sky as the sun sets, kicking myself for not venturing out.

Remember – “don’t go, won’t know”.

This was taken just as my passion for photography began to re-ignite. It was on a trip to Tenerife where my girlfriend and I were lucky enough to witness a spellbinding sunset from the summit of El Teide at 3,718. Admittedly this photo isn't a photo of us, but I like it as it is a reminder of the experience we shared together. If you’re reading this, thanks for putting up with the early morning alarms and supporting my passion.
One from the (failed) sunrise mission with Sam Flanagan I mention. It's not the image that made print in MBR but one that I feel evokes the best emotions from the ride. The image is Sam and Pete, doubting their life choices on the side of Helvellyn in the small hours. We were out hunting a cloud inversion, and didn’t give up hope till we topped out!

Tell us something about yourself that no one knows (yet).
I fell asleep in a nightclub toilet, woke up locked in at 9am. I tripped the alarm before escaping via a fire exit, and ran home to the safety of my duvet.

How do you escape?
Getting outdoors alone with the camera in the ends of the day and shooting some landscapes. The more golden light the better.

What must you carry with you at all times?
I hate to say it but – iPhone. At least it doubles up as a camera.

A breakthrough image for me; it evoked a sense of adventure in a lot of Lake District lovers. It was nice to gain recognition from the online community for capturing the Lakes in a different style to the usual chocolate box landscape images. Thanks go to Matty for dragging me out that morning and posing on this precipice.
I’m sure you if you read Eskapee you'll recognise this one. This was published in my first short in the relatively early days for Eskapee. This was a new ride we’d been saving for the summer months, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Strike we did - as you can see it was sublime!

How did you get to this point in your life and what/ who influenced your life?
My life is kind of split into two halves.

Lets get the boring part covered first: to get to this part of my life in Dentistry it has been 8 years of university. It’s been a slog but I’d be lying to say it’s not given me some of the best times of my life. This pathway was inspired by my father who was a dentist – and always told me not to do it!

Photographically I started shooting mates riding in the local spots in 2007 on a DSLR inspired by Dirt and Southern Downhill photography forum. I kept the game strong until 2010 where it died off and university studies and partying dominated my life, more of one than the other – I’ll let you figure out which. By 2013 with my first degree complete I saw sense. My rediscovered passion for bikes and photography began to take off, including a newfound love for shooting landscapes. Admittedly it was the landscapes which got me investing in new gear and back on the photography bug. I went on a chance (unsuccessful) sunrise mission with Sam Flanagan and before I knew it my first shot was in print in MBR – thanks Sam & the guys at MBR. That trip set the ball rolling…

What would you tell the 10yr old version of yourself?
Don’t listen when people push you to follow a pathway in academia – higher study is optional, you can (probably) do just fine without it. Follow your passion and the means to live will come.

How do you describe your work?
I strive to capture not just my subject but also the surrounding it occupies. I like to capture scenes in unusual light, at their best, even if that means ignoring a conventional daily routine.

I’d been striving for a way to combine my love of astrophotography and bikes. Nan Bield was the perfect pass for a light trail and we headed out on a tight time scale in biting cold, the forecast had lied and cloud was rolling in as we neared the location. Not to mention the rising moon drowning out the stars. I set up and Pete headed up with time for only one descent. The plan came together; the snow was the icing on the cake. We were ecstatic riding back to civilisation beneath a full moon crushing frozen turns and squirming about on iced puddles.
It’s not over till its over. I headed out solo for this one, paranoia setting in as I passed abandoned mine shafts on total darkness enroute to this spot. With ten minutes till sunrise thick hill fog began to shroud the once clear summit. Luckily when the light hit it was strong enough to set the fog alight giving some stunning views.

What does your crystal ball show you about the future of MTB media?
Marketing departments are always quickly moving away from standard studio shots and striving to create a storyline for their products. This increases work in the industry – such as the trend of ‘influencers’, which can only be a good thing. Hopefully the resurgence of print continues, because you can’t beat seeing your work in the flesh.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Being tied to education for so long has definitely got a fire burning in me to travel new places and explore, but I think as long as my family remain in the UK it would be difficult to break and disappear for more than an extended holiday. We’ll see, I’m still young – although my girlfriend disagrees.

What do you do to make flying and travel more comfortable?
Enjoy the phone free zone – read a book and bring something to eat. Extra points for local cuisine – extend your trip by savoring the flavors on the trip home.

The aurora is elusive, anyone who’s tried to see or photograph it will know. Especially in the UK, it can simply fade away in a matter of minutes. I’d had the shot in my head for months; Milky Way stretched overhead with the aurora dancing on the horizon. This shot really pushed me and required a lot of drive; I’d say it paid off.
A true fleeting moment, we’d headed up Snowdon beneath cloudless skies. Nearing the summit the storm clouds rolled in, conditions up there can change in a flash. Reluctant to leave without #lightbro we persevered. Like a smile from god the clouds parted and this stunning light burst through and defined the ridge, just as quickly it was gone.

What’s the most expensive mistake you’ve made?
Following fresh tracks on a powder day off-piste in Tignes during a ski season. I ended up wedged headfirst on a 45-degree sloping plateau at the base of a 2m ledge – above some rocky cliffs. The piesteurs had to come and rope me out; the insurance wouldn’t pay out because I wasn’t injured.

What is your greatest memory from working in the world of mountain biking?
There have been hundreds of incredible moments and epic rides. But as a photographer, it’s got to be walking up to a magazine stand and holding my published work for the first time. It’s every child with a cameras dream and the feeling never gets old.

Why is telling stories and/ or taking photos important to you?
I like taking photos to inspire; to know an image I’ve taken has had the power to make someone go out and explore the location for themselves is the biggest compliment I can receive. I also like taking photos for myself, it’s important to appreciate moments for what they are. But to be able to revisit them again and again through a set of photos is really powerful and a great reminder of the emotion you were feeling.

If you’d like to see more: www.tristantinn.com

Admittedly I occasionally dabble in the dark side, as do my friends who quit their day jobs three years ago and set up their own shop. Many 7-day working weeks have rolled by and what they’ve created is a true gem. This one is for Ben and Lloyd (pictured) fighting an uphill battle and concurring. Thanks for all the cheap parts and free labour!
Dawn breaks on a new day in the French Alps, I couldn’t resist ending on this. The sky is one of the most intense I’ve captured and the peaks have so much definition, something that many UK peaks lack.

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