What Travel Can Be When There's No Limit to Your Imagination

by David Miller Aug 22, 2013

RUSSIA: The Outpost Vol. 01 is a new 100-page color photobook and 25-minute short film by Chris Burkard and Ben Weiland that shows what travel can be when there’s no limit to your imagination. The crew, which included Ben and Chris, plus Cyrus Sutton, Keith Malloy, Trevor Gordon, Dane Gudauskas, and Foster Huntington, journeyed through Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula, a region formerly closed off to the rest of the world.

To traverse the terrain, among the most volcanic on earth, they traveled by military troop carrier and helicopter, pioneering new surf spots, fortifying camps against Siberian brown bears, and fishing pristine Salmon rivers along the way.

Reading RUSSIA, and watching the vid, I was reminded how few writers, photographers, and others whose work intersects with travel, have an effect like Chris Burkard. It’s not just that his work is inspiring; he creates entire worlds you don’t want to leave. My first instinct was: “I want to watch this again with the kids, for them to see what travel can be.”

I’ve thought about why Chris’s (and in this case, also Ben’s) work has the effect it does. Part of it is their crew. It’s obvious these aren’t just ‘photogs’ shooting ‘athletes’ but a group of very close friends, brothers. Another part is the respect they transmit for the place itself. It’s something that can’t be faked: These guys aren’t the kind of travelers who just cruise through a place, but could spend days, months, absorbing it. In spite of their ridiculous surfing skill levels, there’s an underlying feel that nature is always in charge, and that even at this outer edge of what’s possible in travel, we’re all still really just tourists visiting and (hopefully) respecting a place and its land, wildlife, culture, and people.

RUSSIA: The Outpost Vol. 01 will completely stoke your day. To order, email prints@bukardphoto.com.

[Feature photo: Keith Malloy and Dane Dane Gudauskas jamming on top of troop carrier. Image by Burkard.]

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