Stunning Images of Man Challenging Nature from 'The Art of Adventure'

The world is brimming with adventure, and man has always craved to travel to unpopulated areas to seek it. To honor the spirit of exploration that drives people who push themselves to new places to seek new challenges, a book captures astounding moments of individual exploration with photographs taken in some of the most inaccessible locations on Earth. 

Frommer's presents some of the most arresting images from the book along with thoughts from photographers and editors about what drives them to seek and preserve moments in these incredible places. In some ways, their impressions are about more than just photography. They're also about the very nature of travel itself and what it means to visit an unfamiliar place and to learn the meaning of foreign experiences through open-hearted observation.

They may open your eyes to destinations you never considered before—and inspire you to tap new reserves within yourself.

The Art of Adventure (photographs by Tandem Stills + Motion, Inc.) is available at Insight Editions
 

(Above: Kevin Langeree and Kai Lenny stand-up paddle around a large iceberg in a glacial lake, Alaska, USA.)
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"Self-awareness isn’t what sets us apart from other animals; it’s the ability to turn it off. Turn it off and climb unclimbable mountains, kayak raging rivers, run fifty miles across rugged trails, or surf waves capable of swallowing oil tankers. To capture both a uniquely stunning landscape and a person at the peak of mental and physical achievement in wholly unique (and often challenging) weather and lighting, well that’s just beer and skittles. And it’s worth suffering a little to do those pursuits visual justice."

(Image: Climbing Inglorious Bastards M12 in Bozeman, MT, USA)
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"The art of adventure is the culmination of what I love about photography. Art and adventure are synonymous—people and place coming together in living compositions. Humans in motion interacting with the beauty of the natural world to create a resonance that is visibly transcendent." —photographer Ben Herndon
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"We call it 'River Time'—the feeling you get when purposefully abandoning civilization, at least temporarily, and you find that all of its stresses are blissfully forgotten. Here, the imposed notion of time fades, replaced by the diurnal cycles of sunrise and sunset, and constraints exist only in the form of weather and changing terrain. Your cell phone doesn’t work, and you might begin to understand what it means to 'food-ration.' But without the distractions of home you can become totally in tune with the environment; you read the light and learn to anticipate the mist as it rises off the water in the early hours of the morning. Perhaps rapids you would have considered portaging yesterday are easily charged today." —Aaron Schmidt, Canoe & Kayak magazine

(Image: Erik Johnson descends Outlet Falls, Washington, USA, while Todd Wells sits in his kayak below as safety for the descent.)
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"Those of us who photograph adventure and natural landscapes have an emotional connection not only to the images we create, but also to the subjects—and in many ways the photographs we capture connect viewers to the emotional resonance of that particular time and place and allow us photographers to relive the thrill and beauty we strive to convey. When a photograph achieves this—speaks to an audience on a personal, emotionally evocative level—it transcends the particular moment it documents.
 
"...I no longer took trips just to be in places that made me happy. I took trips to create images that would stir emotions in others. That became my driving force." —adventure photographer Stephen Matera


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"Skiing is more than just a sport. On the surface, we are all on the hunt for those perfect powder days. There’s no doubt that the ethereal feeling of carving that first set of tracks across untouched powder is hard to match. But the experiences in between are just as important to our enjoyment of the sport.
There’s a reason we bear extremely cold temperatures, high winds, icy snowpack, or crowded lift lines to do what we love. Skiing brings us in touch with the environment, each other, and ourselves." —Keri Bascetta, SKI and Skiing
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"As a photographer specializing in adventure, my goal has been to inspire and motivate the viewer. In the end, it is light that has the greatest impact. Above all, light is what shapes the viewer’s experience. Light can add drama or warmth, comfort or, perhaps most important to this genre of photography, uncertainty, because in essence, that’s what adventure is—experiencing the unknown and facing uncertainty." —photographer Tobias Macphee

 

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"Capturing these moments is no easy feat. It requires technical prowess, creative ingenuity, and some strange internal wiring. You must be willing to sacrifice your own moment to document someone else's. Soon enough, their moments become yours. Their failures, their triumphs, their 'best run ever'..." —photographer Adam Barker
 
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"Photography is, in general, about capturing the intricate dance between light and dark. Duality also exists on a route, climber and rock playfully challenging each other. Relationships develop between artists and their cameras, subjects and their environments, climbers and sequences of holds." —photographer Dan Holz
 
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"As a photo editor at Backpacker magazine for the last decade, I’ve seen tens of thousands of amazing backcountry pictures. But there’s one photo I keep looking for—a photo I’ve realized I won’t find. It’s of the best view I’ve ever seen. A view that changed my life. A view that, I’ve come to realize, may exist only in my memory." —Genny Fullerton, Backpacker magazine
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"The best photos tell their own stories, silently and vividly structuring the platform of dreams. As a child I would spend hours poring over images in National Geographic magazines, let my mind wander and revel in seemingly endless possibilities.
 
"At the time, I knew only that I wanted to participate in the world as revealed in those photographs—go on exploratory expeditions, search for unclimbed mountains, discover new skylines, meet people from different cultures, even grin and bear it through the toughest of environments. I didn’t realize until much later that my calling was to be behind the camera taking the very pictures that excited my imagination." —photographer Lindsay Daniels
 
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"As athletes reach into the depths of their courage and heights of their ability, there are moments in which the magnitude of their strength and will align, their “lightness of being” revealed. These fleeting moments often fuel athletes to push themselves even further. Witnessed from the ground, these achievements are exciting. As I dangle only a few feet above a climber, these moments are shared. And that’s pretty damn inspiring." —photographer Dan Holz
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The Art of Adventure is available at Insight Editions. Click the right arrow to see the images again.
 
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