Welcome to Backcountry Journeys - featuring the inspirational artwork of Montana based photographer Russ Nordstrand. My work features the landscapes and wildlife of the American West & Beyond to places such as Hawaii, Nepal, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and the Rocky Mountains.
As far as I can remember I've been captivated by the raw beauty of nature and I feel that photography allows me an outlet of expression and creativity I haven't been able to find anywhere else. My photography is also a collection of my personal experiences and journey through life. I can look back on my portfolio from time to time and reminisce on the amazing places I've been and the experiences I've had along the way.
Growing up in western Washington I've always had an appreciation for mountains. Although it's really more like an addiction or a calling. I find solace, peace and joy in the high and lonely mountain ranges of the world and I try and convey those feelings through my artwork.
The purpose of Backcountry Journeys is to draw awareness and instill appreciate of wild places through my photography. I frequently tour the country giving slideshows, showing my work and giving talks to help support and draw people's awareness that there is a need to preserve and protect our remaining wilderness areas and to help create new sanctuaries when possible - be they National Parks or Congress Designated Wilderness Areas. Why? Because we as humans NEED these places for our survival, happiness and ability to thrive.
I also work as a backpacking guide throughout the western United States taking people into wild places such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain National Park and the Sierra Nevada. Photography based backpacking trips are occasionally offered for free to owners of my "Expedition Series" of prints. Click for a schedule of trips and to read about the Expedition Series prints.
All of my work can be purchased directly through this site as Fine Art Prints, Gallery Wrapped Canvas or infused on high grade aluminum as metal prints. My work is printed as Limited Edition runs regardless of medium. Each print is signed by myself, numbered and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity so that they will appreciate with time. All proceeds from prints sales help me to fuel my mission and go towards the support and protection of our wilderness areas, national and state parks. See my Fine Art Collection here.
I'm pretty active on Facebook, Pinterest, 500px, Flickr, Twitter & of course my blog here on this site. New work is released fairly randomly as I have time but the first place it will be available is on the Backcountry Journeys Blog.
Well if you must know I'm fairly eccentric and would mostly consider myself a liberal independent and an agnostic of sorts. I don't care if there is a god or not but I believe that there probably is some sort of spiritual greater good out there. My temple is the great outdoors and the spirituality that comes from being alive outside is ten thousand fold to any church.
Besides photography and backpacking I like to be outdoors as much as possible. I mountain bike, kayak, surf and I'm an avid skier and snowboarder - I live in the best ski area in the U.S specifically for that purpose - Big Sky, Montana! If it's winter I'm on the slopes or in the backcountry touring and the rest of the year I'm guiding backpacking trips, giving slideshows, showing my artwork and traveling when I can. I have a degree in Outdoor Recreation from Western State College of Colorado and my photography is entirely self taught through painstaking experimentation, trial, error and luck.
I shoot entirely digital and use the Canon 5D series almost exclusively and my post process involves Lightroom, Photoshop & other software. I don't believe that the camera is a perfect tool and I also don't believe that any camera can capture an experience equivalent to what a human being sees and feels. I edit my images to reflect an expression of what it was like to be there and also to create a piece of artwork that conveys what I saw and not necessarily what the camera was able to reproduce. My photography is my art.
I wear a big Stetson, carry a huge backpack, drink an amazing amount of coffee and I love Thai Food. If you ever join me on one of my Photography Backpacking Trips I'll probably cook some Pad Thai for you while I'm sipping on a fine Scotch next to a roaring campfire. Heck I'll probably even share the Scotch...mabye!
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the site. It is being updated and improved upon constantly as I run it sort of blog style. Keep it real and don't cut down any trees!
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- Flagstaff, Arizona, USA