Behind the Image: Emergence Featured


I took this black-and-white on a shooting marathon at Mount Assiniboine a few years ago. I only had two nights in the area and the conditions were so good I went without sleep to make the most of the opportunity. I went everything over those 48 hours: in thunderstorms, fresh snow, aurora borealis, inversions, fogbows, you name it. And it was late September, that time of year when the larches are glowing gold – arguably the best time of year for photography in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.

After a night shooting the northern lights and running around to try to find breaks in the cloud cover, I finally decided to return to the Naiset Huts to catch a nap since I could no longer escape the clouds. Just as I was about the enter the cabin (which was already nearly full of fast-asleep people), I spotted a few stars glowing above the mountains. No rest for the wicked! I realized the clouds were an inversion and that a sunrise at the Nub (a nearby spot which is the most photographed backcountry location in the Canadian Rockies) could offer great potential.

As I made my way past Assiniboine Lodge, I did a double-take when I caught a glimpse of the pyramid of Mount Assiniboine floating in the dawn sky, all lit up in alpenglow. It was an absolutely incredible sight. I was pretty determined to get up to the Nub, but felt the scene that was immediately available guaranteed an image more unique than anything I could hope for at the popular vantage point higher up.

I set up the tripod, pulled out the long lens, and took a few frames of this scene, as the clouds were constantly swirling. This was my favourite one. The fog below kept the base of the mountain quite dark, while the alpenglow lit up its higher sections. The dark blue sky above bookended the composition, and made it look like the “Matterhorn of the Rockies” was doing a levitation act.

Shot with the Canon 5D Mark III and the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens, at ISO 400, 30 seconds, f/11. I often use this image in workshops as an example of the power of compressions and isolation of the long lens in landscape photography. I hope you like the image and the story!

This image is available as a custom, limited edition print.

Resources for Photographing the Canadian Rockies Featured

Each week I get emails or messages from fellow photographers asking where they should photograph in Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies. Others ask me where to go hiking or scrambling so that they can get off the beaten track. I love getting these questions and seeing people’s enthusiasm for shooting these beautiful mountain landscapes.

Considering that each person’s physical fitness differs, as well as his or her comfort level in mountain terrain, I’m not too comfortable directing people to specific locations. And while a glance at my own photos will give you some clues as to my favourite locations, I thought I’d compile a list of resources that will help you photograph the Canadian Rockies – books, websites and apps you can leaf through for yourself to identify your next photo sweet spots. Read more

Journey to the White Continent Featured


It always seemed so unattainable to me. But after two days at sea, and a year of anticipation, I was mesmerized when we first caught sight of a few rocks off Elephant Island through the thick fog – harbingers of our imminent arrival on the fabled White Continent. There is no wilder place on Earth, nowhere more remote, more inhospitable.

And as I found out over the six weeks following that moment in early January 2017, you’d be hard-pressed as a photographer to find another location on the planet that is more overwhelming. The photo opportunities just kept on coming, and I’ll never forget the sense of remoteness, the way life thrived on a whole other level, and the scale of the land down there. I’m thankful for One Ocean Expeditions for bringing me on board.

Read more

Introducing: Clouds-B-Gone Filters Featured

I’m proud to announce that I’ve teamed up with NiSi Filters to create a custom product for the astrophotographers out there: the Clouds-B-Gone filter! The cutting-edge optics of this filter cut through cloud cover and allow you to photograph what’s hidden beyond. You’ll never miss a display of aurora borealis or a meteor shower ever again!

Available in 67mm, 77mm, and 82mm diameters.



At Paul Zizka Photography we aspire to bring you innovative products that will take your photography to the next level:


A behind-the-scenes from the now-famous Lake Minnewanka bubble shoots a few winters ago. This is how we did it.

And now you can do it, too! Introducing “Bubble-O-Matic”, a set of convenient, lightweight carpets that will allow you to take the methane bubbles with you wherever you go.

Also available in “Hoar Frost” and “Spreading Cracks” varieties.

Starts at $19.99 per square foot.



Having made the most of ice-free, reflective lakes throughout the summer, come November we struggle to find open water that will mirror those surreal skies. But, why wait until the spring to shoot reflected scenes when you can do it year-round?

Insta-flections are so simple to use: simply unroll the mirror-like mat across the iced up water body, and watch the magic happen. Available in the following sizes: 10 square feet, 100 square feet and 10 square miles.



We’ve all been there: conditions are perfect, except you can’t find a foreground to make the shot a winner. Well, search for that foreground no more and order one of our portable, inflatable foregrounds!

Boulders available in limestone and granite.


Iconic Rockies Photo Tour 2017 Featured

DATES: OCTOBER 1-6, 2017

Spend five luxurious nights in the majestic Canadian Rockies! Make the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise your ultimate base camp while you capture the beauty of the Canadian Rockies and fine-tune your skills under the guidance of experienced photographers on this once-in-a-lifetime photography workshop. Read more

Paul Zizka Photography: Top 16 of 2016 Featured

As a photographer, I love to take some time each December to review what was created over the last year. I know I’ve taken a few images that are compelling to me if I can look at them and re-live my year through them. So, please allow me to share 16 images that are special to me, as well as the stories behind them. These are not necessarily images that others liked or that made a killing on social media, but they’re shots that got me fired up creatively. Enjoy!

Click on any image to enlarge and start the slideshow.

Journey Through the Torngat Mountains Featured

The Torngats.

The name alone evokes a sense of mystery. Tucked into one of the most remote parts of Canada lies one of the last frontiers for landscape photographers and explorers alike: the Torngat Mountains. The area is an incredibly wild mix that fires up the imagination: Norway-like fjords, glacier remnants (and the associated turquoise lakes), a healthy polar bear population, jagged icebergs freshly arrived from Greenland, aurora-filled skies, cultural treasures, archeological gems, rich marine life, and some of the highest, most rugged peaks in all of Eastern Canada.

“Forgotten World” Of all the images I have posted from the Torngat Mountains National Park, this aerial view of the Southwest Arm is probably the one that is most representative of what the place is like. Part Norway, part Canadian Rockies, part Nunavut, yet unlike anywhere else I have gone before. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Best of all, all that incredible wilderness is now protected through the national parks system, and it is accessible to the adventurous-minded via the recently-established Torngats Base Camp. Read more

Photographer’s Review: Why Manfrotto Tripods Stand The Test of Time Featured

The Rockies can be tough on a photographer, not to mention on the gear needed to capture incredible landscapes and skylines. Cold, wind, dark nights and snow up to your knees can be merciless, especially without solid equipment to help get the job done well.

As a nature photographer who has ventured around the globe, confidence in my gear is crucial. I need to know that my tripod will not underperform, fall apart or inhibit me in any way as I head into the backcountry for days on end.

Enter Manfrotto. A company I’ve come to rely on over many years for several reasons. Here’s why:

1. Durability

I’ve shot in salt water in French Polynesia, on glaciers during the winter in the Canadian Rockies, and in desert-like landscapes in the Yukon. These harsh conditions allow for no compromise when it comes to the quality and durability of my equipment. Plus, I’m not the kind of photographer that’s easy on gear or has the time to stick to the maintenance schedule. When I come back from a trip, I can toss my Manfrotto tripod in the car or the corner of the office and not pick it up again until I head back out.

The salty seas of French Polynesia made for a good test for the Manfrotto tripod. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

The salty seas of French Polynesia made for a good test for the Manfrotto tripod. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

2. Reliability

I often shoot in spots that are far from the road, which can mean several days from a gear shop or any kind of product support. Weight is a concern during these trips, so bringing a backup is not an option. I need peace of mind that my one tripod will last over several days, through extreme humidity, landscapes submerged in water, dusty, silty environments and the bitter cold of Northern Canada. I’ve had little issues with Manfrotto in places like these.

Textures in sand, Kluane, Yukon Territory. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Textures in sand, Kluane, Yukon Territory. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

3. Ease of Use

Timing is everything when you’re shooting adventure photography. You don’t have time to fight with your gear – you need it to be on your team and to make your job easier. And no one wants to take their mitts off when it’s -40 degrees Celsius.

Manfrotto’s ease of use allows me to operate my tripod while shooting auroras during dark winter nights. My gloves get to stay on, and I can easily switch on my headlamp to see and adjust the height and angle of tripod legs while rotating the ball head to achieve the composition I’m after.

Shooting in colder conditions in Greenland. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Shooting in colder conditions in Greenland. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

4. Versatility & Range

With just one piece of Manfrotto gear, I can work in a variety of environments. I take a lighter weight version with me into in the field and a heavier duty version for the extreme places. But every photographer is different. Chances are they’ve got a tripod that closely suits what you do as a photographer; all you have to do is ask them.

Manfrotto and I are in it for the long haul. Bring on the arctic temps, star-lit skies and long exposure.

Curious what I use?

MT055CXPRO4 legs with the MHXPRO-BHQ2 ballhead (heavy duty setup).

190 Carbon Fibre 4-Section camera tripod (lighter setup)

Here’s the list of all my gear. 

Paul Zizka Photography is proudly sponsored by Manfrotto. However, this article was posted without any review or input from Manfrotto.

Classic Canadian Rockies Calendar (2017) Now Available! Featured

I’m excited to announce that you can now PRE-ORDER the 2017 Classic Canadian Rockies Calendar, by Paul Zizka!

We’ll be printing these in the coming weeks, and by putting in a pre-order you can guarantee to get your hands on one (or however many you choose to order!).


→ Order yours here

2017 Classic Canadian Rockies Calendar by Paul Zizka


Enjoy the best the Canadian Rockies have to offer through a collection of Paul Zizka’s classic photographs from this spectacular region. This large-format (11″ x 13″), 12-month calendar features a dramatic and varied array of Rockies landscape images – from aurora-filled skies to fiery sunsets, snow-capped peaks and jaw-dropping mountain vistas. 

Choose from one or a bundle of two calendars! Optional add-on to have the calendar signed by the photographer himself.

Size 11″ x 13″

Shipping/duties and taxes extra. Ships worldwide.

You can place an order in our online store here!

Climbing and Photographing the Ten Peaks Featured

This summer, I climbed the tenth and final summit of the famous “Ten Peaks” that tower over Moraine Lake. I didn’t originally set out to climb all of them, but after I completed the first few it grew into a side project to climb the rest and photograph from their summits. The resulting photos from this journey have recently been featured on Crowfoot Media in an interview with Kyla Jacobs!


From the summit of Mt. Bowlen, with Moraine Lake far below. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

From the summit of Mt. Bowlen, with Moraine Lake far below. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

KJ/ Did you originally set out with the goal of climbing the Ten Peaks?

PZ/ Not at all. A few years ago I had the opportunity to stay in the Neil Colgan Hut, Canada’s highest permanent structure between Mounts Little and Bowlen. This was a chance to climb some of the peaks that I’d been photographing for some time, but from one thousand meters higher. It was the perfect occasion to shoot in the opposite direction, down onto Moraine Lake.

After this first trip, climbing the remaining peaks to photograph from their summits became a side project that took seven years to complete, the last peak being Wenkchemna, which I climbed this past July.

KJ/ Which was your most memorable climb in the Ten Peaks?

PZ/ Deltaform Mountain (Peak 8). I climbed with a friend, the conditions were spot on and I was able to head home having captured several images I liked.

On this particular climb, we spent the night at one of the most stunning bivy sites I’ve ever experienced. Perched up between Peaks 8 and 9 on a crystal clear night, the auroras came out. After looking at these peaks from below for quite some time, it was memorable, to say the least.

KJ/ Which peak was the most challenging?


CONTINUE READING on → Ten Peaks, Seven Years, Countless Steps: Q+A with Paul Zizka


Fairmont Photo Workshop in Banff and Lake Louise with Paul Zizka Featured

DATES: OCTOBER 2-7, 2016

Spend five luxurious nights in the majestic Canadian Rockies! Make the Fairmont Banff Springs and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise your ultimate base camp while you capture the beauty of the Canadian Rockies and fine-tune your skills under the guidance of experienced photographers on this once-in-a-lifetime photography workshop.

Catered towards intermediate and advanced photographers, here’s your chance to explore the Rockies’ most iconic locations and hidden gems with award-winning landscape photographers Paul Zizka and Wayne Simpson. This workshop will bring you new confidence in many aspects of photography – including composition and techniques you can use in the field and in post-processing – and will help you maximize everything your mountain subjects have to offer.

Photo by Paul Zizka.


• Five (5) nights accommodation in a Fairmont room for up to 2 adults
• Two (2) nights at Fairmont Banff Springs and Three (3) nights at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
• All photography sessions with Paul Zizka and Wayne Simpson
• All meals listed in the schedule, plus early morning coffee (or hot beverage of your choice) and snacks on  the bus
• Please advise us of any dietary preferences at the time of booking
• All transportation between hotels and to shooting locations on a comfortable 24 seat tour bus
• Simply arrive in Banff on October 2nd and you won’t have to drive again until we return to Banff on October 7th. If you bring a vehicle, parking is included in Banff for the week.
• Snacks, pillows and other comforts always available
• Hotel History Tours, Canoe Rentals and Guided Hike listed in the schedule
• All taxes, gratuities, service charges and regular wifi
• Incidentals are not covered in the package

Paul Zizka Workshop Itinerary and Information 


There is only space for 15 photography participants, so you will have plenty of opportunities for one-on-one instruction from Paul Zizka and Wayne Simpson. There are a few spots available for spouses/friends that would like to join the package, but not participate in the photography sessions.
• $3,279 for a single photographer in a room
• $4,259 total for two people sharing one room (one bed) and only one participating in photography sessions
• $5,129 total for two photography participants sharing one room/bed (no two bed room options available)

Rates are available for a limited number of guests wishing to join the group but not partake in the photo sessions – first requested, first reserved. Upgraded room accommodations are available for additional rates (no two bed room options available).

To reserve this package or inquire for more details, contact Davina Bernard. Due to the limited spaces, online bookings will not be available. or 403-522-1638.

A 50% deposit is required at time of reservation with the remainder due 3 weeks before the start of the package (September 12, 2016). Refunds will only be available if the event is completely sold out and another participant registers for the open spot. Package will be cancelled if registration is less than eight people. Participation waivers are required to be signed upon package reservation.

20% Off Summer Print Sale Featured

We’re stoked that summer is finally here, and to celebrate we’re offering 20% off limited edition prints by Paul Zizka! If you have had your eye on any prints, this is a good opportunity to make an order.

Simply use the promo code SUMMER20PZP when you order before July 31, 2016!

Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

You can use this promo code in two places:

  1. Shop on our small format print boutique (all prints are 12 x 18)l
  2. Order a custom print! You choose the image, size, and format!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Thanks, and happy summer!


Behind the Image: Glowing Home Featured

Glowing Home - SUP at Two Jack Lake, Banff National Park. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Glowing Home – SUP at Two Jack Lake, Banff National Park. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Here is another example of combining two cool things to hopefully get something cooler than the sum of its parts.

I love to photograph people who are truly passionate about what they do. I don’t mind if my subjects are not the best in the world at what they’re doing. I just love documenting people doing what they enjoy most. (Although I gotta say – Sue, shown here, is pretty amazing at stand up paddleboarding!).

I’ve worked with Sue extensively on a SUP series over the last year or so. She has everything I look for in a model. She is dedicated to her craft. She is an overall awesome person. She knows what it takes to get good images and she is willing to stick it out and put herself through a lot to make an image happen.

The conversation eventually leading to this shot went something like:

Me: “Hey, Sue, you know that Milky Way shot we’ve been wanting to take? I think the conditions will be ideal tonight. The Milky Way will be in the right spot. They’re calling for very little wind. And we’re nearly guaranteed a clear night.”

Sue: “Perfect. I’m in. Meet you there after work. ” (typical Sue response)

Me: “There’s only one thing. The shot can’t happen until at least 3 AM because that’s when the galaxy shows up beside Mount Rundle.”

Sue: “No problem.”

Yeah, that’s how keen Sue is.

Read more

11 Dream Locations Photographers Should Know About Featured

Well before I started in photography I already had a passion for exploring lesser-known parts of the planet and remote landscapes. When I picked up the camera, it was only natural that I use photography to document some of my experiences in these kinds of destinations. As much as I believe that good photos can happen anywhere, even in the backyard, I feel fortunate to have spent time photographing those locations that have so much photo potential, yet generally fall off the radar. The world is full of these gems – the underdocumented, rarely visited or overlooked. While some places will remain that way for some time due to difficulty or costs of access, for others it may be only a matter of time before they become as popular as the current photo hot spots. There is much, much more to explore, but here are eleven locations that hold a special place for me and that remain largely obscure.

1. Greenland

Greenland, by Paul Zizka Photography.

Ilulissat, Greenland. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Greenland has off-the-charts natural beauty, remoteness and variety. Between the dramatic seascapes, icebergs, volcanic landscape, incredible night skies and biggest glaciers outside of Antarctica, you’ve got more than enough material to fill your memory card.

2. Vanuatu

Vanuatu, by Paul Zizka Photography.

Matavai Blue Hole,Vanuatu. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Vanuatu is another destination that offers a ton of variety: cultural opportunities, volcanoes, lush forests banyan trees, caves and incredible underwater photography.

3. Saba

Saba. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Saba. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Saba is a place like no other. If you think all Caribbean Islands are the same, think again. Here a rugged landscape combines with a unique ‘urban’ culture, where the exterior paint on homes is standardized island-wide, creating a surreal feeling. Throw in thick forest and lava floes and you’ll have a lot of fun exploring.

4. Niue

Niue. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Talava Arches, Niue. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Like Saba, Niue has a surreal feeling, mostly due to its isolation in the South Pacific and unique geology. Here you’ll find caves, arches, incredible coral formations, and some of the clearest water on the planet. Being a raised atoll, much of the geology of the island is exposed instead of under water.

5. Dominica

Dominica. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Emerald Pool, Dominica. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Here’s a Caribbean Island with a truly Jurassic feel. It is incredibly rugged compared to neighbours Guadalupe, Martinique and St. Martin/Maarten. Dominica is waterfall central with a lush rainforest and the only remaining Carib culture in the Caribbean.

6. Baffin Island, Nunavut

Arctic Bay, Baffin Island, Nunavut. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

St. George Society Cliffs near Arctic Bay, Baffin Island, Nunavut. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Baffin Island hosts some of the most rugged terrain on Planet Earth. Incredible fjords and towering peaks gather here to create a sense of vastness that is difficult to grasp. If you ever want to feel insignificant in a landscape, go to Baffin Island.

7. Ethiopia

Ethiopia, by Paul Zizka Photography.

Ethiopia. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Beyond the caves and ancient churches, many people don’t know about the natural beuaty of Ethiopia. It has got one of the most varied landscapes on Earth, between desert, canyons, big lakes, volcanoes and mountains.

8. Maupiti, French Polynesia

Maupiti, French Polynesia, by Paul Zizka Photography.

Maupiti, French Polynesia. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Maupiti has an edge-of-the-world feel, with more shades of blue and green than I have ever seen. Here a rugged peak of the central island contrasts strikingly with sandbars and lagoons. If you don’t want the crowds and development of Bora Bora, make the trip to Maupiti.

9. New Caledonia

New Caledonia. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Baie du Santal, Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

New Caledonia has some of the most mesmerizing waters I have ever seen. It is a colourful nation to explore between the vibrant blue bays, red earth, and green vegetation. Here it’s easy to find your own little bay to photograph knowing that no one will show up for weeks.

10. Faroe Islands

Hiking on Vágar Faroe Islands. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Hiking on Vágar Faroe Islands. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Ruggedness, wild weather and various shades of green define these teeth jutting out of the middle of the North Atlantic – the Faroe Islands. With some of the largest sea cliffs on earth, this place is all about drama. When the weather breaks and you get the clear skies at night, you can also get the aurora borealis.

11. Anegada, British Virgin Islands

Anegada, British Virgin Islands. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Anegada, British Virgin Islands. Photo: Paul Zizka Photography.

Like no other island I’ve ever seen, Anegada rests only 28 feet above sea level and is encircled by a perfect (and I mean perfect) white-sand beach. In the interior you’ll find salt lakes full of birds and flamingos. When you’re on Anegada it’s easy to forget that the rest of theworld exist. A great spot for minimalist beach shots and night skies (and if you’re a diver, some of the best shipwreck dives on the planet).


→ CreativeLive offers fantastic online photography courses, including The Fundamentals of Digital Photography with award-winning outdoor and travel photographer, John Greengo. Check out all of their photography courses, as well as photography for beginners.


Thoughts on Adventure, Over-Documentation and Disconnecting Featured

As someone who has been doing adventure photography for a few years now, one of the most significant trends I’ve seen is the increasing external pressure to document. Everything. Everywhere.

Everything. Everywhere.

“You really need to start doing video.”

“Why aren’t you on (insert social media platform here)?”

“You should really do some more behind-the-scenes.”

“With this new device, you can update from way out in the backcountry.”

I appreciate it when an audience shows interest in whatever goes into the images, and the lifestyle that surrounds it. I can also appreciate the desire to see things documented; that’s what got me into photography in the first place.

So, why am I not doing all those things I could be doing?

Read more

Canadian Creatives: Our Favourite Images Featured

Just under a year ago I teamed up with fellow Canadian photographers, Dave Brosha and John Marriott, to launch Canadian Creatives, a collective that aims to celebrate creativity in Canadian photography, and that showcases the best images from across the country and across several genres.

The initiative first started out on Instagram, and has been quick to gather attention on there. Over the last few months, we added to our team of curators some of the most talented and versatile photographers in Canada: Joel Robison, Viktoria Haack, Wayne Simpson and Lanny & Erika Mann.

To kick off 2016, we thought we would create a joint blog showcasing an image by one of our fellow Canadian Creative curators. We were each randomly given a name and it was our task to choose a 2015 image from that person, and then say a few words about why we felt it was cutting-edge, compelling work.

Please take a moment to check out the Instagram and Canadian Creatives portfolio of each of my colleagues and don’t forget to tag your Instagram images with #CanadianCreatives for an opportunity to share your work with our growing community.

Joel Robison

 Image by Joel Robison  @joelrobison or Canadian Creatives Portfolio

Text by Erika Jensen-Mann of Two Mann Studios:

Lately, I’ve been spending a huge portion of my life researching creativity and the creative process. As a wedding photojournalist, I don’t feel like I “create” images. I photograph moments, as they unfold before my eyes. The only thing I have to “create” is the composition, and in some cases the lighting. Joel Robinson, on the other hand, is a true creative. He creates an image from start to finish, in every sense of the word. He creates the concept, the story, the props, the lighting, the execution, and something undefinable that I can’t quite put into words. Joel’s images have a dream-like quality that completely draws me in. In the image I selected he is sitting on top of the world (literally) casting a paper boat into the ocean. The interpretation of this image can go in so many different directions, depending on where you are with life. In my opinion, a true piece of art is defined by how it engages the viewer. A piece of art draws people in to think, not just about what they’re looking at, but about what it means. All of Joel’s images draw me in, in this manner. I have no idea why I selected this image as my favourite, probably because I’ve spent the year travelling the world with my family. Under different circumstances, I may have chosen a completely different image. That’s the beauty of Joel’s work.

Read more

Top 15 Images of 2015, by Paul Zizka Featured

2015 was one of the best years yet, with my travels taking me to some places on my bucket list, such as Arctic Bay, Nunavut, and Greenland (can you tell I like Northern destinations?). Additionally, I was treated to a successful ascent of Mt. Robson, family time in Belize, some spectacular sessions shooting the aurora borealis, and various adventures here in the Canadian Rockies.

It is difficult to summarize a whole year in just 15 images, but these were some of the ones that stuck out most for me or perhaps provide me with the strongest memories. Each image has a story unto itself (a story I offer each month in my newsletter). Here, I’ll tell you the story behind by far one of the most popular images of the year, as well as one from a skating trip I won’t soon forget! The Top 15 list follows below.

Read more

Photo Essay: An Ascent of Mt. Robson Featured

As a photographer, I’ve had a dynamic relationship with Mt. Robson. For my first summit attempt of the 3,954-metre peak in 2013, I was invited by Mike Stuart from Canadian Alpine Guides to document his climb with one of his long-term clients. That attempt ended at the base of the Kain Face, which never hardened enough to allow for safe climbing.

A shot from August 2013, when Mike Stuart, Randy Colwell and I were turned around by warm temperatures. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

A shot from August 2013, when Mike Stuart, Randy Colwell and I were turned around by warm temperatures. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Then in 2014, I worked with BC Parks to capture aerial footage of The King. I wasn’t there to climb the mountain, but the helicopter brought us so close to the summit ridge that I thought my dangling feet might touch down for a moment. The shoot gave me a new perspective on the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, and it was one of the highlights of my career as a photographer.

Then, this year, the stars aligned for me to be back on Mt. Robson for another attempt at the summit. This time, I teamed up with BC Parks Ranger, Jesse Milner, who is an amazing and incredibly skilled mountaineering partner (that and it’s hard to find someone else more knowledgeable when it comes to Mt. Robson Provincial Park!).

Here are some images from our 2015 ascent of Mt. Robson, Resplendent and The Helmet.

Read more

Summoning the Spirits: 10 Aurora Images from the Canadian Rockies Featured

The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, are by far one the most majestic and awe-inspiring natural phenomena we can enjoy during our time on this Earth. Like spirits in the sky, they enchant and entrance us, keeping us up for hours on end as they move through the sky, disappearing and reappearing again with sudden and surprising new patterns.

Capturing them involves a combination of factors: keeping a keen eye on the data (you’ll find a list of Aurora Watching Web Resources here), being ready when the light show begins (even if it’s 3am…), and finding clear, dark skies to optimize your chances of seeing them. Luckily, here in the Canadian Rockies, we have very little light pollution, so when conditions are right, you’ve got a good chance of seeing them.

Here are ten of my favourite aurora images from the past year! For me, having people in the shots adds scale and a sense of wonder for these magical, sometimes eerie, lights in the sky.

Awestruck by the auroras at Lake Minnewanka. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Awestruck by the auroras at Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Ice climbing under the aurora borealis at the Athabasca Glacier in Banff National Park. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Ice climbing under the aurora borealis at the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Read more

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