Escapism and The Exotic
Renowned photographer and traveler Kevin Russ takes The Unseasonal on a world tour. Fasten your seatbelts and let us take your breath away.
Words: Caroll Sun Yang
Images: Kevin Russ
Images: Kevin Russ
"Sure enough, they were digging for gold. Alex and Jim were their names and both quite friendly, especially Jim as he was under the influence."
Born and raised in California, Russ moved to Oregon, went to college, bought a camera, dropped out of college, and hit the road.
From his travel journals: 5:18pm: Made it to Nome and I am currently sitting on the beach looking out into the Bering Sea, sun and wind in my face, and a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. After I got off the plane, I stayed at the airport to charge my phone and make a tuna sandwich. Everyone was getting picked up or taxied away but the town was only 1.5 miles away. As I walked up, I went for the beach then I walked the town streets after taking some pictures. I waved to a couple guys at a truck partway blocked into a large hole in the sand. I had heard there is gold here from the lady who checked me in at the Fairbanks Airport so I decided to go up to them and see what they were up to.
Russ started traveling after he bought a house. He got restless. "I started going out for a week or two at a time until I realized I could keep going out and not come back ever if I wanted." He doesn’t feel it’s necessary to be a part of a creative community: "Sometimes feeling like a lone wolf is beneficial to the work I make."
"Lately, the most rewarding part of photography has been the amount of people who have told me they've been inspired to go out and shoot somewhere or do something they hadn't done outside of their comfort zone because they want to see new things and shoot good photos."
"I think part of the storytelling in my photos comes from the emotion I feel when I get to a place. The stronger that is or the more I'm moved by it, I have to capture that in the photos or the photos need to move me in the same way that I was when I was there in person."
"I will often run and literally chase light. I have to capture it. I'll also do hikes to tops of mountains, and the sun will be setting and I'll want to shoot it. I know it's going to be dark coming back, but it's hard to leave the mountaintop."
As humans, if everything is comfortable for us, we'll make drama because there is nothing else to do. But if you have more concerns about everyday living, you'll focus on something more productive." —Kevin Russ