Kevin Russ partnered with VSCO Artist Initiative™ to create The Western States, a 9x12-inch book of photos that chronicles Russ’ multi-year, vagabond journey through western America, covering parts of Washington, Colorado, California, Arizona, Montana and Baja, Mexico. Shooting exclusively on his iPhone and editing on VSCO Cam®, he captured wildlife, rural scenery and the quiet, contemplative moments that define life on the road. You can find the book by visiting artifactuprising.com/kevin-russ-western-states.
“Before the Colorado River flows west through the Grand Canyon, it makes its way south through Marble Canyon,” Russ writes. “An old photograph in a book I saw in the library was enough inspiration for me to go out and explore this land. There were many unnamed dirt roads and wild horses as I made my way through the Indian reservation to the rim of the canyon. This area is completely wild with makeshift cliffside campsites where you could literally drive right off the edge. I spent a couple days camping on the rim and exploring as much as I could.”
Another image from Russ’ The Western States was taken in late summer when the wildflowers around Mt. Rainier were in bloom. He explains, “All morning I had my back to the mountain with my lens pointing south shooting the Tatoosh Range. Those peaks kept going in and out of the fog while Rainier remained completely enveloped. My friend and I kept hiking higher and higher, shooting more wildflowers until the fog burned off and revealed this magical landscape. We stayed until sunset, stopping along the trail just to sit and look. Whenever it’s wildflower season at Rainier and I’m not there I feel like I’m missing out.”
“Before this wild horse encounter, my morning was spent driving around the bay exploring the outskirts of Bahía de los Ángeles, a small coastal town located on the Gulf of California,” says Russ of this image from his book, The Western States. “There’s one main road into town and you generally have to backtrack when you leave. I saw on the map, though, you could keep driving south on dirt roads that would eventually spit you out onto the main highway. A few minutes down the road on my way out of town these horses just appeared. They were curious and would come toward me, but then get scared and run away, only to walk up again. This cycle repeated for a few minutes before they disappeared into the desert and I never found them again.”