Heading to a national park for some outdoor adventures? Chances are, photographer Galyna Andrushko has already conquered it – and has the photos to prove it.
Galyna is a landscape photographer and has been selling photos on stock photography (or ‘microstock’) websites for over a decade. Recognized as one of the leading nature photographers in the industry, Galyna became interested in landscape photography while hiking in the mountains when she was a student. There, she found a desire to capture and share the places she saw.
“The beauty of unspoiled landscapes amazed me, and I wanted to share that magic with my family and friends,” she explains. She says she loves the beauty and perfection of natural shapes and details. One of her favorite photography subjects is desert landscapes, which she calls the “art of nature – shape, color, light, and nothing extra.”
For Galyna, creating and selling stock photography allows her to share her vision with the world. She’s now a best-selling stock photographer, with over 20,000 photos in her portfolio. Although she’s travelled around the world, she returns to the national parks in America often (12 times and counting!). She describes national parks as “like a perfect art gallery, where the best paintings are put all together… each of them is unique and worlds apart from each other even if they are only a hundred miles apart, like Bryce Canyon and Zion.”
Originally from the Ukraine, Galyna travels often to take photos. We asked her to tell us the story behind a few of her favorite photos in her portfolio:
Photographing in nature is different from a controlled photography studio. “Usually I tend not to book anything for my trips, because when you’re a nature photographer, you don’t have a studio – you have to cooperate with Mother Nature,” says Galyna. “She provides proper light (or not); I provide ‘promotion’ for her with my photos (as well as I can). But it means you have to be flexible in your plans.”
This flexible approach paid off during a trip to Katmai National Park in Alaska. She was heading to Brooks Camp, the most popular destination in the park. Katmai National Park is volcanic landscape, and it’s also home to thousands of brown bears. After an unsuccessful attempt to book a campsite at Brooks Camp, Galyna and her team (of two) had planned to camp in the backcountry just outside of Brooks Camp.
At the last minute, Galyna found a campsite in the park – and it’s lucky they did. In the early morning hours, they woke up to a curious brown bear tearing through their tent!
This experience might scare off some, but not Galyna, who says it’s “real magic how people and bears can live next to each other.”
“But we were not so lucky everywhere in that trip,” says Galyna. With foggy weather and lost luggage, their trip to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in south central Alaska was less than ideal, and Galyna was already planning her return trip when she returned home to the Ukraine.
Armed with a car from Seattle and some flexibility to wait for good weather, Galyna went back to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, which she says was a ‘dream come true’: huge mountains and glaciers, blue ponds, and wildlife all within a few miles of town.
Galyna and her team climbed Donoho Peak (pictured above), a steep day hike with rewarding views and some of the most majestic mountains in the world.
What’s next for Galyna? She’s not sure about which park to head to next, but says her plans include a hike into the deep wilderness. And we’ll be looking forward to the photos!