'The best landscape work I have,' says Mitchell photographer who will display Iceland gallery
The exclusive photographic exhibition opens free to the public at 6 p.m. Thursday at 215 N. Lawler St.
MITCHELL — Allison Russell has been embarking on a new challenge to her photography.
Russell is known for taking family and senior photos as the photographer behind the lens at Twisted Wire Design in Mitchell.
But her photographic exhibition of the dramatic beauty of Iceland will be on display at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9. The free event, which will be her third gallery show, will be at 215 Marketplace, located at 215 N. Lawler St. in Mitchell, to show her growth in landscape photography.
In the beginning, Russell spent a lot of time honing her portrait photography knowledge and skill, but was looking for a way to push her abilities even further. As a person who loves to travel and a self-proclaimed "national park junkie," Russell began her journey into landscape photography in 2017 with a trip to Yosemite National Park in California.
"I had all of these beautiful pieces," she stated about her trip. "But what do you do with them?"
Her love and excitement for art galleries combined with the lack of galleries in South Dakota influenced her decision to host one of her own. The art galleries brought purpose to her photos rather than having them sit on her computer.
"Look at our iPhones,” she said. "They're loaded with pictures that we never do anything with."
Accompanied by a group of like-minded photography friends, Russell does not travel alone. Russell and her cohorts spend up to a week and a half traveling and photographing whatever speaks to them.
“If I don’t have that moment that I am in awe, then I won't even take a picture. I’ll just be there and enjoy it.”
"This is definitely the best art show I've ever had.” Russell said it's “the best landscape work I have in my portfolio.” Not only is the gallery full of beautiful photos, she also pairs them with a note of history or her experience in the location.
Russell has also found a benefit from her travels while photographing for her business when she's shooting portraits.
“Now when I look at the scene, I see the landscape as a secondary focal point.” She is able to look beyond just the subject and also incorporate the landscape behind the person, creating two photos in one.
Not knowing how she is going to improve on her photos from Iceland, Russell is already planning her next trip. This time to check off a top location on her list, and a much warmer place, in Amalfi, Italy.