If you’re an adventure photographer, the Canadian Rockies provide ample opportunity and inspiration. That’s why I live here; I’m surrounded by beautiful peaks and passionate people. I love to photograph people enjoying the mountains, especially when they are “in the zone” and pursuing the sports they love the most. Add the magic of nighttime to the photography and it takes the whole experience up a notch.
I love the challenge. Technically-speaking, these images are difficult to execute. Photographing adventurers at night requires an incredible amount of patience. I can visualize the images as much as I want, but otherwise have to wait for conditions to align in order to capture them.
When I get that window of opportunity, I have to make the most of it. And when the stars align it can be a surreal and exhilarating experience, both for me and for the subjects in the frame. Imagine ice climbing on a glacier at night when the aurora borealis starts to dance, or paddleboarding on a mountain lake when fireworks go off in celebration of Canada Day. It takes precise timing and models who can perform under challenging conditions, whether it’s darkness, cold, or holding positions for long exposures.
What this style of photography has taught me is this: Don’t stop doing what you love just because the sun went down. Darkness gives us the opportunity to experience our passions in a new way.
Paul Zizka is an award winning mountain landscape and adventure photographer based out of Banff, Alberta. Zizka specializes in taking photos of difficult to reach places and backcountry landscapes. To find out more about his photography and workshops, check out Zizka.ca.
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