Category Archives: Travel

My 2016 Red Bull Illume Photo Submissions

The Red Bull Illume is the world’s premiere action sports and adventure photography competition. This month marked the closing of the fourth year of submissions, and of course I entered a handful of photos.

I was fortunate enough to have one of my photos in the top 250 entries for the first two Illume competitions, but unfortunately on the third go round I was left out of the upper echelon. Hopefully I’ll get back into the top percentile in 2016!

Below are my submissions to the 2016 Red Bull Illume! (Click here to see my submissions from 2013.)

*Note: Photographers are allowed to submit up to five images into 10 different categories.

Photos are only be re-posted if proper credit given. If you’d like to license any of these images, please contact me directly. 

 

2015 Year In Review

It’s the first of the year and that means it’s time for me to reflect back on what I did throughout the past 12 months. 2015 was a really interesting year for me… While I didn’t achieve all of the goals I set for myself in January, I had a great year and made some monumental changes to my lifestyle design that will help shape the rest of my life.

The first big change was that I made a conscious decision to distance myself from the BMX industry and focus my career in the fitness industry. BMX has been my livelihood since I graduated college 10 years ago, so to change directions now was a really big deal for me.

The next giant shift in my life was that I decided to stop traveling and concentrate on my new career path. In 2007 I went on my first international trip, and since then I’ve been trying to travel as much as possible. In that time I’ve been to 35 countries and have thousands of incredible memories, experiences, and adventures.. I’ve done a lot, and to honest I just decided that I had done enough for now and I was ready for a change.

With that said, there had been a void in my life for a while that couldn’t be filled with worldly adventures. I needed more personal connections and sincere human interactions, and I needed to be in a relationship with someone I loved. I stared by getting a dog…I figured that was easier and cheaper than finding a girlfriend, so in January I got an incredible Yorkie named Hercules. Luckily for me it wasn’t too long after that when I found the woman of my dreams and the void was filled. My life feels so different in so many ways than it did a year ago and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

My life may not be as exciting as it once was, but I still hope to inspire people simply by setting a good example of how I live—through my fitness, my vegan lifestyle, my career, and anything else that I can do to show people a positive message.

I want to thank everyone for their support over the years and show my appreciation to those who have taken an interest in my life’s path. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016!

Fat Tony Family Photo

Family photo with Darlene and Hercules.

2015 By The Numbers:
Days Spent Traveling: 60
(*The least amount of days in the past six years.)
Trips Taken: 16
Foreign Countries Visited: 0
(*First time not leaving the U.S. since I started traveling in 2007. Technically I crossed the border into Canada for about two hours, but I’m not counting that.)
States Visited: 9
CrossFit Competitions Competed In: 3
– Placed 2 out of 54 individuals at NLI
– Placed 2 out of 6 teams at WAGL
– Placed 29,271 out of 165,000(ish) in the CrossFit Open
Instagram Posts: 907
Blog Posts: 32
Fitness Competitions Photographed: 18
BMX Competitions Photographed: 1
BMX Photo Shoots: 1
New Companies Formed: 2
Audio Books Listened To: 9
Books Read: 1
Podcasts I Was Featured On: 5
Days Spent Teaching a Photography Workshop: 2
Videos Produced for PurePharma: 9
Workouts Recorded: 217
– PR Achieved on a Max Height Box Jump: 49.5”
– PR Achieved on a Max Weight Clean and Jerk: 230lbs
– PR Achieved on a Max Front Squat: 275lbs
– PR Achieved on a Max Weight Dead Lift: 375lbs
– PR Achieved on a Max Weight Overhead Squat: 225lbs
– PR Achieved on a Max Set of Pull-Ups: 43
– Max Number of Pistols Completed in Two Minutes: 67

 

Here’s a photo from every trip I went on in 2015…

Related Posts:
– 2014 Year In Review
– 2013 Year In Review
– 2012 Year In Review
– 2010 Year In Review

 

5 Photos of Niagara Falls

This past week I took a trip to Buffalo, New York, to spend some time with my girlfriend’s family where I had the opportunity to go back to Niagara Falls for the first time since 2007.

This go round I was fortunate enough to not only have enough time to shoot a few photos, but I also had Mother Nature working in my favor with some really cool lighting and moody skies.

Contact me if you would like to license or purchase any of these images. Please do not use without my permission.

CLICK THE PHOTOS TO MAKE THEM BIG

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

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2 Epic Photos from the Grand Canyon – Lightning and a Double Rainbow on the Same Day

I’ve posted a handful of galleries and photos from my recent hiking trip to the Grand Canyon, but these two photos are by far the most exciting couple I have to share.

It’s been a dream and goal of mine for years to photograph lightning—specifically at the Grand Canyon. The first two days my dad and I spent there were beautiful with perfect weather, but that also meant that the sky was crystal clear with no clouds in sight. This was great for hiking, but down right boring when it came to the photos I was shooting.

When we found out that our last day at the National Park had a gloomy forecast and could potentially yield some moody skies and rain storms I was mentally prepped to make my dream come true. I would finally get the opportunity to photograph lightning!

Just as the forecast predicted a storm rolled through in the afternoon and the second I spotted lightning off in the distance over the canyon I put our hike on hold, set up my tripod and held the shutter on my remote so the camera would continuously shoot until the memory card was full. I did this for about 20 minutes and had to erase the memory card more than a handful of times, but never caught any lightning. I finally filled the memory card one last time and decided move on just as the storm had.

Eventually another storm reached us from a different direction so we waited out the rain under shelter and then went back to the rim of the canyon to see what kind of post-storm beauty nature had in store for us. I was absolutely astonished when I spotted a double rainbow stemming from the middle of the canyon and literally ran to start shooting photos before it disappeared. Luckily the rainbows stuck around for several minutes and I was able to shoot plenty of photos before the sun went down and we headed back to camp calling it a day.

The following evening when I got home I decided to look through my memory cards, including the one that was nothing but the same image over and over again from my attempt to capture lighting. I crossed my fingers with very little hope that I had actually somehow managed to get lucky, but to my surprise and excitement there was in fact a single frame out of the 500 or so images on the card that had two lightning bolts in it. I could not believe my eyes…my dream had come true and I didn’t even know it until a full 24 hours later.

My photo of lightning at the Grand Canyon may not be the most epic shot of all time, but considering the back story of it, and paired with the photo of a double rainbow in the canyon from the same day, it’s certainly one of the most epic photo couplings of my career, and I hope people reading this get a glimpse of how special these shots are to me.

Click here to see other photos from my recent trip to the Grand Canyon.

Contact me if you would like to license or purchase any of these images. Please do not use without my permission.

Lightning at the Grand Canyon Rainbow at the Grand Canyon

Below are some of the other shots I got on my trip…

5 Panoramic Photos of the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is impossible to do justice in photographs, but shooting panoramic sometimes help to show just how expansive it really is.

Here are five panoramic photos of the Grand Canyon from my recent hiking trip—three from stitching together several frames taken with my Canon 5D MKIII and two taken with my iPhone 5. Can you guess which photo is from which camera?

Click here to see other photos from my recent trip to the Grand Canyon.

Contact me if you would like to license or purchase any of these images. Please do not use without my permission.

Panoramic Photo of the Grand Canyon by Fat Tony

7 Photos of Antelope Canyon

I’ve seen photos of Antelope Canyon for years and have always been intrigued by the mysterious place, so I couldn’t wait to go there for myself to see what the canyon was really like with my own eyes (and lens).

Although the canyon was beautiful and extremely photogenic, it was also what I would consider to be overly touristed for its size. I didn’t find much helpful information online about how to visit Antelope Canyon before I went, so I didn’t know that the “photographic tour” is only offered at one specific time throughout the day. Needless to say, I missed that tour that would have allowed me to bring in a tripod and given me extra time in the canyon.

The tour I went on lasted about an hour, and in my group alone there were about 15 people—that’s not counting the eight or so other tours equal in size that were walking through the canyon at the same time. To say the narrow canyon was crowded would be an understatement.

Although I’m extremely happy I got to visit the canyon, I would have loved to see the guides charge higher prices and limit the number of people they bring in at a time.

Being so rushed I only got these seven photos that are worth sharing, but hopefully they can scratch the surface of showing how beautiful Antelope Canyon is!

Click here to see other photos from my recent trip to the Grand Canyon.

Contact me if you would like to license or purchase any of these images. Please do not use without my permission.

Photo of Antelope Canyon by Fat Tony

20 Photos of the Grand Canyon

As mentioned in my last gallery, my dad and I recently went on a trip to the Grand Canyon so of course I came back with a ton of photos.

We camped at Mathers Campground on the South Rim and hiked a few different trails down into the canyon. We had two super clear days with blue skies, and then one rainy day with really dramatic skies that made for some incredible shots.

I’ll have a few more posts and galleries coming your way, but here is the first set of 20 photos from the Grand Canyon!

Contact me if you would like to license or purchase any of these images. Please do not use without my permission.

Photo of the Grand Canyon by Fat Tony

 

Sitting at the Edge of the Grand Canyon – 15 Photos

A few years ago I posted a gallery of photos of me standing and sitting on picturesque rocks around the world. Well, after spending a few days at the Grand Canyon with my dad last week I came home with a grip of new photos with the same theme so I figured I’d make another gallery.

It goes without saying that the Grand Canyon is absolutely breathtaking, mind-boggling, and awe-inspiring, so to be able to experience its vastness up close and personal was a real treat! These photos will always remind me of what an incredible place the Grand Canyon is!

Photograph of Fat Tony at the Grand Canyon

This post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of me with my dad!

6 Things I Like About the Incase EO Travel Backpack

I recently got my hands on a dope new backpack from Incase, so I wanted to write up a review to let you guys know what I think about it.

The bag is Incase’s EO Travel Backpack that sells for $179.95 on their site. Incase has a ton of different backpacks, but I chose this one because it was different than traditional top load backpacks and I really wanted to try something new for when I go on quick trips.

There are essentially three compartments—the main compartment that opens up more like a book or a roller bag than a traditional backpack, the back section that’s made for a computer and/or iPad, and the front area that has a ton of little nooks and crannies where I can tuck away all kinds of stuff like my chargers, mouse, business cards, and portable hard drive.

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Here are the top six things I like about the Incase EO Travel Backpack:

1. The Overall Sleek Look
I’m not into flashy colors or bright logos (anymore), so this thing is perfect in terms of how it looks. It’s just straight black, looks super clean, the logos aren’t too in your face, and the materials they use have a pretty techy appearance. I’m not even sure why it looks that way to me, but when you look at the bag, you just know it’s a really modern and high-end product and not just an ordinary backpack.

2. It Can Hold My 17” Computer
I’ve been rockin’ a huge 17” Mack Book for several years now, and a lot of bags can’t even hold a computer that big. The EO Travel Backpack actually has two sections that can hold my monster computer though—one that’s soft and padded that’s perfect if I don’t want to use my case, and another that’s still big enough to hold the computer when it’s in my G-Form case. Since I do a lot of outdoorsy and adventure type stuff and tend to throw my bag around while on the go, I usually have the computer inside the case, and this backpack has no problem accommodating.

3. The Padding & Comfort
Anyone who has spent some time walking from terminal to terminal inside airports knows that backpacks can become a huge pain in the ass real quick. Thankfully the EO Travel Backpack has super good padding on the back and shoulders, and it also has the strap that goes across your chest so you can make adjustments here and there to make it more comfortable.

4. It’s Weather Resistant
Like I mentioned before, I do a lot of outdoorsy stuff, for lack of better words. I’ve been to 35 countries and have seen my fair share of rain and rough weather conditions along the way. Having a backpack that can take a little abuse from rain and everything else is a must.

5. The Side Handle
This is one of those things that might not seem like much, but it’s actually really rad and extremely convenient in certain circumstances. Seasoned travelers will know exactly what I’m talking about, but until you’ve spent a lot of time on the road you might not get it, so you’ll have to trust me on this one.

6. Attention to Detail
I guess you can say this bullet point is pretty much the same as number one listed above, but A) six sounded better than five when I was making my list, B) it brings the list full circle, and C) it’s my list, so I call the shots. The quality of the material and craftsmanship, the treatment of the Incase logos, and the thought that obviously went into the design are all on point. As a former graphic designer and as someone who has a smidge of OCD, I notice and appreciate the small stuff, and Incase is on dialed with everything.

This wouldn’t be an honest review without mentioning a few places where the EO Travel Backpack falls a little short in my opinion, so here ya go…
– It doesn’t have any side pockets, which is something I got used to on my old travel backpack. You know, the kind of pocket that you dump random junk into? For some reason I feel like it’s missing one of those.
– The main compartment doesn’t hold quite as much as I’d like it to, which limits the amount of stuff I can cram in there. This one is definitely for shorter trips or just romping around town with.

So there you have it ladies and gents… If you like what you see and want to check one of these bad boys for yourself, hit up the Incase website!

 

Introducing My New Podcast – The Expansion Project

I couldn’t be happier to share this with you guys! After many months of thinking, learning, planning, and executing, I have launched a podcast that is available on iTunes and Stitcher.

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The Expansion Project is just that—a project based on the idea of expanding. Expanding what exactly? My mind, and myself as a person. It’s also a way for me to do something fun and creative while delivering free content to the world that will hopefully help to motivate and inspire other people.

I plan to release an new episode every week, so please subscribe and help spread the word by telling a friend or sharing a link on your social networks.

Eight episodes are already available. The first is a simple introduction, and the others are interviews and conversations with professional BMX riders, a coach, business owners and entrepreneurs, an artist, and an author. Download one or all of them and please let me know what you think! Any feedback or criticism is welcomed and appreciated!

You can learn more about The Expansion Project from the podcast’s dedicated Web site (theexpansionprojectpodcast.com), and of course please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher, give five starts, and leave reviews!

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