By Tom Dare
A SERIES of breath-taking photos documenting a young couple’s travels around North America in their converted van have given a glimpse into the true beauty of the continent.
Stunning images show the couple tending to a bonfire outside their van under the stars, exploring the deep valleys of Utah’s Zion national park and relaxing in a hammock in Yosemite national park.
The two have been travelling together and seeing the world for the past two years, spending the past 12 months on a ski season in Canada before travelling along the coast and down to the Grand Canyon.
29-year-old photographer Jess Bonde, originally from Tasmania, has been photographing his experiences with girlfriend Lova from the start.
But he didn’t take the traditional route into photography that many others do.
“I was working in the superyacht industry, and within that industry there is a really big drinking culture,” he said.
“I wanted to pick up a new hobby that would keep me out of the bars and get me back into nature, so I decided I would buy a camera. I hate being bad at things so I spent hours YouTubing everything from how to use my camera, composition, lighting, and how to post process.
“I grew up in Tasmania, a beautiful island state of Australia that has so much raw and rugged terrain. This is where my passion for the outdoors began, but photography brought me back to it.”
So far the couple have been all over the world, from visiting the cliffs of Moher in Ireland to seeing the Northern Lights in Norway.
And Jess says he feels like his photography really captures the sense of freedom the couple feel in their day to day lives.
“For me, what you see in our photographs is the essence of freedom,” he says.
“We have the ability to do whatever we want, when we want, wherever we want. We have no schedule, we just want to enjoy each and every moment we can in nature, together, and I think that is what my photography is all about, that freedom.
“It keeps me pushing outside and getting me to exciting places, and I get to share those places with the world and hopefully inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature as much as I do.
“It is my goal to inspire people to get outside and find something in nature that they really enjoy and can connect with. I am a big believe if there are more people going outside and connecting to nature, we are going to have more people helping protect our beautiful planet.
“So I guess the message is simply get outside and enjoy something nature has to offer.”