From the home town of Margaret River, Western Australia, Russell Ord, steers clear of the crowds. Instead, he will venture out into secret spots on the rugged WA coast or locations more than 15km offshore in the Southern Ocean, where he is at peace swimming into some of the heaviest waves imaginable.
His shots provide a unique view into the depth of the impact zone.
"The last few years I've kind of gone away from capturing every single moment, and now I'm just trying to get that one moment that's challenging to myself.
“So that means swimming right into the thick of things and seeing what we can do.! Your whole life revolves around that; what you eat, how you breathe and how you train." - Russell Ord.
As a surfing photographer, Russ is a special kind of maniac. He lives out there on the boundary between shootable and deadly, and too often has risked his neck to swim out and immortalize some of the heaviest water ever shot. But plonked out there in the middle of a wild old ocean, he also has a subtle skill for giving that chaos certain poignancy and feeling, and that skill doesn't come easy.
Sean Doherty, Editor & Journalist.
When water gets rough, Russell Ord gets going. A fireman by trade Russell knows risk management better than most, yet he will still happily lay his body on the line to get the shot. It’s for this reason alone that companies like Red Bull approach Russell first for serious water shoots with no room for error. It’s why Hollywood came knocking when Drift was filmed in Western Australia. And it’s why you can pick up any surf magazine in the country and find Russell’s work on the front and back covers, and filling spreads and adverts in-between. A laid-back cat from Margaret River Russell’s ability to understate what he gets up to in waves of consequence is, like his photography, incredible. Not just a one-trick pony, Russell is also a fine shooter of lifestyle and portraiture on dry land, when not saving cats from trees or off surfing himself.
Chris Binns, Editor & Journalist.
Russell Ord's spectacular images have won him worldwide recognition, and deservedly so. Based in Western Australia, Russell is renowned for his awesome images of super-thick empty peaks and heavy sessions at reefs like The Box and The Right. He’s one of those guys who are always working on something new.
Chris Power, Editor & Journalist.
In pursuit of his version of the perfect shot, Rusell Ord puts himself in situations which would make most frontline, war photographers shudder. However, he is not just a gung-ho maverick with a camera in hand.
Russ is well versed in all of the technical aspects of his craft and isn't afraid to try an angle or a shot that is boldly creative. In short, there is nothing ordinary about Russell Ord.
Luke Kennedy; Editor.
Russell Ord's photography stands alone. Nobody else in the world swims in the heaviest slab waves in the world, putting life, limb and limb on the line to capture such dramatic and fantastically composed photos. Not to mention, the water he's swimming in is cold, sharky and unforgiving. When it comes to surf photography, Russell Ord is one of the few lensmen out there will to put personal safety aside to get the shot.
Jake Howard, ESPN.
"Moments”, Sean Doherty
“Australia’s Century of Surf”, Tim Baker (Cover)
“Incredible Waves”, Chris Power
"Surf 100 Greatest Waves” Transworld U.S.A.
"Surfing WA 50yrs" Margaret River Press (Cover)
"Advanaced Surf Fitness" Lee Stanbury (Cover)
Independent documentary - “One Shot” with filmmaker Darren McCagh
Ongoing exhibition “3 Masters of Surf Photography" - Witzig Gallery, Maclean, N.S.W.
“Exploration 2015”! exclusive small team trips throughout the Pacific Ocean on board a fully refitted "ex NZ Navy Fast Attack Gun Boat"
Witzig Gallery, N.S.W. Jahroc Gallery, Margaret River, W.A.
Exhibition, Gravy Gallery, Nedlands
“Raw Motion” Exhibition, Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, Bunbury
Yallingup Surfilm Festival, Dunsborough
“Deep Water Series” Margaret River
O’Neill - “Loose Yourself Somewhere” National Exhibition, Free Range Gallery, Perth!
“3 Masters of Surf Photography” Ongoing exhibition, Witzig Gallery, Maclean, N.S.W.
"Emptiness" Team Digital Perth WA.
Units Stills Photographer and Promo Poster image - “Drift”
Stills Photographer, Mago Films, “Recipes that Rock”
Surfing stunt double - “Kill me three times”
K38 Heavy Water Award Saving Jacob Trette, California, U.S.A.
Letter from Consulate General of the United States of America
Oakley Big Wave Awards - honored award for rescue efforts, N.S.W.
Top 20 Finalist Nikon Surf Photographer of the Year
ASL Oakley Big Wave Awards - Finalist
AIPP Awards - Illustrative and Weddings
Ion; The Barrel Competition, 1st place
3rd place, International Loupe Awards
2016 International Sports Photographer of the Year.
The Surfers Journal
Australia's Sth WSt
Ord Valley Muster
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
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