Sense Of Adventure

Passenger ambassador and Escapism specialist Russell Ord has followed his lens all over the world. Guided by a call to tell stories through photography and a code of appreciation and gratitude for all the journeys that come his way.

Russell reflects on days spent in search of the remote, the unfamiliar. Why does he choose not to speak about the locations in his photos? Simple, really; Respect for the people, respect for the places and a sense of adventure.

Words & Pictures by Russell Ord

Sense of adventure: A view of the ocean as sunset begins from a cliff top
Sense of adventure: A surfer walks to the waterline as the waves roll in to shore
Sense of adventure: Water and sea mist roll over boulders on the shoreline

“Over the years, I have been asked on numerous occasions "where is that"? A simple question to answer in the end. However, my response is usually "I don't give out location names".

This offends some people; I’ve even had a client decline purchasing a large print because I would not divulge the directions. So why not just title images with exact locations?

A surfer exits the water ready to scramble up the rocks to the field above
“Over the years, I have been asked on numerous occasions "where is that"? A simple question to answer in the end. However, my response is usually "I don't give out location names".
A surfer walks along a beach shrouded in mist as another figure approaches from the distance
Respecting the people and places.

A local can look at the image even if reversed or a headland cut out and can instantly recognise their favourite surf spot. That's because they have seen it numerous times in the raw, I’m not tricking them in any way.

The last thing I want to do is congest that spot not only for them but also for myself. There’s nothing better than floating out to sea on your own with peace and serenity, catching a few uncrowded waves in the process.

I could never understand why photographers & surfers might want to showcase a newly shaped sandbank on social media, only to have it shared and shared again bringing masses the very next day.

A surfer rides a beautiful wave with a mountain in the distance
Sense of adventure: A surfer walks across an exposed rock shelf as horses search for food near by
Sense of adventure: A crayfish poses for the camera on a rock shelf
A sense of adventure.

It's not like I was the first to discover such a fantastic wave or place. When you stumble or search for an area off the beaten track it gives you incredible satisfaction. It's a feeling like you're the first to lay eyes on this beauty and the images mean more personally.

Imagine making it easy for the next adventurer with names and directions. Surely they are robbed of such feelings? Maybe some don't care but I think it’s worthwhile. It’s not just about the finished product, there’s a journey and a story behind the image and that’s most important.

I have so many countries and spots that I want to photograph, the list is endless. Meeting crusty old fisherman, locals, the town butcher who gives you a tip that leads to a new find. In my eyes, that’s an image that communicates adventure, tells a story.

Sense of adventure: A view of a perfect barrelling wave from a cliff top
Sense of adventure: A blurry photo of a surfer a they perform a top turn on a wave, throwing water spray behind them
Sense of adventure: A surfer stands on the shoreline looking out to see, getting ready to enter the water.

"My only tip to find the surf spots in these images: Fly into NZ, drive to the coast, head out 100-200m and turn left, you're bound to run into it.”
Russel Ord's Instagram