continental obscura


DAY 1 - Birmingham to North Alabama

After hours of packing, and then consolidating and repacking, I finally left Birmingham. I knew with the past couple weeks of prep it would be hard to switch from moving mode to photographing mode. I decided to come to Huntsville the first night to visit my Aunt and Uncle and photograph in around Green Mountain where they live. This shot is of the old truss bridge crossing the Tennessee river leading into Huntsville. Ever since I started shooting photographs 13 years ago, I think this bridge is the one of the most, if not THE most, thing I’ve photographed.

Continental Obscura update…

Preparing the final weeks of shooting for Continental Obscura, my first non-band photo book. This is a new shot taken on Mt. Baker. Hitting the Olympic peninsula this weekend to revisit some old favorite spots plus see some new ones. Feel free to message over any random spots in Washington or British Columbia you think I should check out for the book.

We are BEYOND STOKED to announce the upcoming photobook Continental Obscura: From Birmingham to Bellingham from our dear friend Ryan Russell. The new photobook will be a photo-documentary of his move from Birmingham to Bellingham and more. Look for more details and more soon.

Official Press Release

Huntington Beach based independent label No Sleep Records has partnered up with celebrated rock photographer Ryan Russell to release a new photo book titled “Continental Obscura: From Birmingham to Bellingham” this coming fall/winter 2013. 

Known best for his ability to brilliantly capture timeless photos of some of rock’s biggest acts, Russell will be tackling a different kind of project for “Continental Obscura.”  Later this month he will embark on a life-changing, cross-country journey, moving from his native city of Birmingham, AL to the Pacific Northwest town of Bellingham, WA.  Russell will be documenting his trip with photos, stopping at some of the countries most stunning national parks, monuments, landmarks and cultural attractions along the way collecting pictures for the new book.  

“After all 32 years of my life in Birmingham, Alabama and the past 13 years as a rock photographer, I’ve grown a need to explore nature and take my photographic aesthetics into a larger world,” says Russell.  “The Pacific Northwest has long been a place I am fascinated with photographing. Instead of simply just moving to a new place, I decided to photograph the experience as well.  Not only shooting the actual journey but also the days leading up to my departure from Birmingham and after my arrival in Washington.  Alabama and Washington are in most ways polar opposites of each other and what better way to show the transition than through the pinhole of the continental divide.”

Russell was born and raised in the Deep South town of Birmingham, where he found an eye for photography at a young age.  His style embraces predecessors of southern culture like William Eggleston and Ernest Withers as well as personal influences like Glen E. Friedman and Charles Peterson to create a bold new take on classic southern gothic photography.  Russell captures the grit and energy of today’s American music scene much like Lee Friedlander’s work for Atlantic Records in the 50’s and 60’s or Anton Corbijn’s work with U2 and Joy Division in the 80’s.  Today, Russell is a well sought after photographer who has worked with bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Paramore, My Chemical Romance, Green Day and Blink-182 and his photographs have appeared in such periodicals as Rolling Stone, Spin, Esquire, Playboy and New York Times.

Fans are invited to follow Russell’s journey via his Instagram account, where he will be posting daily photos over the course of the trip with the hashtag #continentalobscura.