Climb your own mountain: NatGeo Photographer Cory Richards offers your weekly dose of inspiration


posted Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 3:20 PM EST


Adventure photographer Cory Richards might be just 33 years old, but take one look at his many achievements and it's clear that this is not a man who's afraid to stray outside his comfort zone.  Not only have his creations been published by the likes of National Geographic Magazine and the New York Times, but he's also an extremely accomplished mountaineer.

In ealy 2011, when Richards reached the 8,034 meter (26,358 foot) summit of K4 -- also known as Gasherbrum II, the 13th-highest mountain on earth -- he became the first American to successfully manage a winter climb of an eight-thousander.

On the descent, he and his fellow climbers almost lost their lives in a class-four avalanche large enough to destroy a rail car or bury a house. Overwhelmed by emotion on realizing that he'd survived, Richards' instinctively turned a camera on himself. The results: an iconic self-portrait that graced the cover of National Geographic, as well as video footage which appears in the short film, "Cold". (See a trailer for the film here.)

"A Tribute to Discomfort: Cory Richards," by Blue Chalk.

But what inspires a photographer and adventurer like Richards, and what was the genesis of the passions which he dovetails so spectacularly? An insight into the man's mind can be found in "A Tribute to Discomfort: Cory Richards", a four-minute short (above) created by Brooklyn-based digital media company Blue Chalk. The clip also highlights some of Richards' best photos, which serve as an awesome source of inspiration to get outside, live life, capture it, and most importantly to have fun doing so.

As an added incentive to get outside with your camera, Richards is running a one-week contest on Instagram that will see one lucky individual take home a limited-edition print of any photo shown in the video. To enter, upload your best "Life is fun!"-themed image to Instagram, using the hashtag #Lifeisfun, before midnight Eastern time on June 9th. Richards will be selecting the winner himself, and as well as receiving a signed print, you'll also get your moment of fame: Your image will be shown to his hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram and Facebook.

(via PopPhoto)