Photographing the Backcountry With Scott Osborn
This week we chat with Scott Osborn, a photographer from Utah. Scott got our attention on Instagram with his beautiful images of the Southwest. Make sure to follow him on social media!
Where are you located? I’m located in South Jordan, Utah where I bought a home nearly 5 years ago.
How did you get your start in photography? I had the opportunity to assist a pro photographer at the Red Bull Rampage competition in Virgin Utah, and bought my own camera shortly after, a Nikon D7000. Then fully immersed myself in everything photography, using YouTube, books and online articles I was able to teach myself everything I know now.
What is your favorite camera/lens setup? My favorite will always be my current which is the Nikon Z6 paired with four lenses. Nikon Z 14-30mm f4, Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8, Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 G2, and the Nikon 200-500mm f5.6. If I had to choose only one lens though it’d have to be my Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8, but they’re all fantastic at creating different looks.
You shoot a wide variety of images from portraits to landscapes to action sports. Which is your favorite type? Each genre brings its own challenge and joys but Landscapes take the cake for me. I’ve always loved the outdoors as I grew up going on family vacations to different National Parks around the West and I think photography just helped drive that passion for the outdoors and their beauty, ten fold. At times you’re rushing to get the shot based off of magical light, which might only last a few moments and at other times you’re able to really slow down and take your time to workout the best composition, settings and lighting.
What is your best tip for creating memorable images? It’s been said a thousand times before, but waking up early and staying out late to catch the golden hour lighting will forever be one of the best tips for a photographer. Not only will the lighting be the best but if you’re visiting popular spots, very few people are determined enough to wake up at the butt crack of dawn so you’re not fighting for your spot or worrying about needing to edit people out of your shot in post. Along with that, I always find the photos that carry a great story behind them will be the most memorable.
Which of your images are your favorite? There will be images that aesthetically I feel are my best and images that I consider to be my best due to having a great story behind them or requiring more work to capture. In this article I included a mix of both!
Tell us a little bit more about your most recent trip around the west. Were you on assignment? I put a couple hundred hours of research time into a trip through Northern California, Oregon and Washington and ended up going solo. This was a trip I planned solely for myself, to focus on getting some banger images and it provided exactly that. What I didn’t expect so much was all the people along the way that I met and became friends with. I think that traveling solo has its challenges but also makes you much more approachable as an individual. Throughout the 10 day trip I had these different strangers assist in taking photos of me or even had a few on them jump in the photos themselves to provide that scale of these awesome landscapes. Some of these new friends I even ended up spending a few hours with.
What trips do you have lined up for the rest of the year? In a couple days I leave to adventure my home state of Utah, down south with another photographer friend of mine. With 5 national parks and multiple National monuments or state parks, there’s no lack of places to explore in Southern Utah. Other than this trip I still need to plan a couple more to get me through the end of the year.
What trips are on your bucket list? It’s constantly changing, but right now I’ve got Alaska, Thailand and Costa Rica at the top of my list. I think all three of these locations really pack a punch and give you a ton of variety for shots while being some of the most beautiful locations.
What is your favorite backcountry food product? My go to food choices are Peak Refuel, Omeals (self heating), Clif Bars (Peanut Butter Banana), and Welch’s Fruit Snacks.
What is your best piece of backcountry advice? Simple. The Boy Scout motto, which is, “Be Prepared”. That means doing your research beforehand and having the gear, experience, and knowledge for whatever trail or backcountry hike you plan on doing.
What is your favorite piece of backcountry gear? Currently it’s my MindShift Backlight Elite 45L backpack. I’ve gone through a lot of different backpacks but to this date this one has got to be my favorite. It’s comfortable with my average 30-35lbs gear load, allows for quick access to my photography equipment, and has plenty of space for non photography gear like a jacket, food, bear spray, first aid and whatever else. I’ve got multiple other specialty backpacks but this has become my go to for the majority of my adventures.
How can people contact you to buy prints? Individuals can message me on my Instagram @ScottOsbornPhoto or email me at ScottOsborn89@gmail.com