Elusive Graffiti Artist Swampy Captures the Clandestine World of Freight Train Hopping - Feature Shoot

“Riding freight trains is the perfect crime; you get to break several laws without ruining anyone's day. Meanwhile you're experiencing something historically American, an activity people have been taking part in almost as long as freight trains have been

The elusive graffiti artist Swampy, who was born and raised on the Californian coast, is no stranger to breaking the rules. The title of his newly released photobook NBD (shorthand for ‘Northbound’) relates to a journey he made five years ago across the United States. In the 132 pages, he shares with us the photographs he took during this year-long journey from Mexico to Alaska illegally riding the tops of freight trains.

Wanderlust-Inspiring Views From Swampy’s Year Riding the Rails | American Photo

It was the “absence of a price tag” that initially sparked Swampy’s interest in hopping trains as a teenager, but a decade later the elusive artist says he continues to travel by rail because of the solitude. “There is a calm to the environment surrounding the tracks,” he writes in the intro of his recently released photobook, NBD. “It lacks the stress of being corralled by commerce and advertisements, like on the streets and highways where capitalism anticipates people will accumulate.”

Juxtapoz Magazine - Juxtapoz Editions: Photography Zine

Our newest Juxtapoz Editions release is Photography, a 32-page zine featuring some of the most influential names and talents in contemporary photograp...

Our newest Juxtapoz Editions release is Photography, a 32-page zine featuring some of the most influential names and talents in contemporary photographer. Starting with cover artist Roger Ballen, our Photography zine includes Mike Brodie, Alex Prager, Tim Barber, Swampy, Jennilee Marigomen, Bill Daniel, Tod Seelie, Daniel Arnold, Asger Carlsen, Austin McManus, Yumiko Utsu, Gregory Halpern, and Peter Sutherland