Adventure photographer and filmmaker Nick Bondarev discusses the inspiration behind his iconic travel images and his favourite locations to shoot.
What inspired you to start taking photographs?
My biggest inspiration is stories. I create stories, fill up my life with them and then of course I share them with others. Photography is one of the best ways for me to tell my stories. There are two things in life that I love the most and they are people and nature. We live in a beautiful world and with my photography I aspire to show its beauty as much as I aspire to show the beauty of the people who live in it.
Apart from doing photography for the last 9 years, I have also been developing my skills in videography. Since 2015, I have been working on the my largest project: the book 'Northern Winds'. More information about this project can be found on my website.
Where is your favourite location to shoot, and which of your images so far would you say have been the most significant for you?
This year I fell in love with Greenland. The landscapes there are absolutely amazing; wild and clean. It is a place where the power of nature is incomparable. I have two famous photo series. My first is the one with the eagle hunters in Mongolia. Shooting there was an unbelievable experience and I was fortunate to be able to capture so many great pictures, especially when the first snow storm came. My second set of memorable images is the story showcasing our journey around the eastern fjords of Greenland on a 100 year old sailing boat.
How would you say social media contributes to your work?
Social media is an important tool for all artists who are trying to find their creative way in our world. It is not an easy path to take. For me, it helps me share what I do, as well as creating a way of helping me generate a form of income. I have no sponsors, so I need to find ways of paying for my adventures!
Which places would you like to photograph in the future?
I would love to focus on northern regions; North America and Canada, as well as Scotland. I also want to continue to capture Greenland wherever possible as there is something captivating about the landscapes there.
What camera do you use and what kind of tools do you use for post-processing?
I’m always working with different cameras, but right now I photograph mostly using a Sony a99ii with 24-70 lens. I think I use the same editing tools as everyone else; Lightroom and Photoshop.
What reaction do you aim to inspire in people when they view your images?
To put it simply, I’m just trying to show how beautiful our planet is, and how vital it is that we take care of her. I hope I am also demonstrating how important it is to always be yourself; to listen to your heart and to keep following your own path no matter the cost, financial or otherwise.
Whose work has influenced you most?
I am influenced by so many people; mainly painters and movie directors and, of course, other photographers. A couple of photographers who really inspire me are Steve McCurry and Joey L. Nicole Mason has also had a huge influence on my vision of colours.
What advice would you give to another photographer?
I don’t really like to give any advice, but in my opinion, and this is true for all artists I think, is that we have to be confident in ourselves and follow the path our own decisions have led us down. We have to keep to our own way regardless of cost and it is important we fight for our work and opportunities. Something that is so important, and yet can be so easily forgotten about, is that we have to remember the importance of our health and to spend more time with the people we love. That is the best advice I can give.