Top of the World Photography by Paul Zizka

Get ready to feel as though your problems are small and insignificant (in a good way, of course). There's nothing like an incredible view to give you a new perspective on life.

Banff-based photographer Paul Zizka will guide us not only around his home turf, the Canadian Rockies, but also to remote locations around the world. By specializing in adventure, travel and outdoor, he lets us experience this earth in all its gorgeous splendor.

“I have yet to travel to every corner of the world but from out of all the locations I have had the chance to see, the Canadian Rockies stand out as the best combination of access and beauty one can find today,” Zizka says when asked where he loves to shoot the most. “Yet there is still wilderness, plenty of it. I love that one can still walk through the mountains for days in complete solitude. And of course the scenery is unparalleled. Glaciers, turquoise lakes, wildflowers, crystalline streams, massive peaks, golden larches all within the same square kilometer. Add to that the definite seasons, the ever-changing light and the fickle weather and you get a photographer's paradise.”

How breathtakingly beautiful are these views?

When asked why he juxtaposed a person with a vast landscape, Zizka told us this: “Some of the images are meant to show that Nature still has the upper hand in most of the world's environments, that when one steps out of the urban setting and into the wilderness, he or she plays by a different set of rules. I find that relationship that one can develop in the wild most interesting. I like the vulnerability, the tremendous difference in scale, the drama of it all. And of course, the thrill of adventure and the downright sensational scenery.

“For me there is no place like the alpine environment. Life is so different above treeline. Photography opportunities are overwhelming, but life has a way of simplifying itself up there. Every chance to spend time is such a harsh, improbable environment is treasured.”

Finally, what are some tips he can give to us about taking adventure photography? “The main tip I would give would be to not miss out on the experience in order to get the photograph,” he says. “I am definitely guilty of this too! It is so easy to get caught up in camera settings, finding a good composition, focusing properly, etc. when the magic moments happen, but I think one has to enjoy those moments, soak them up as well. I don't think it necessarily means one has to forgo photographing a spectacular sunset in order to take it all in. I think it's approaching photography with a different frame of mind that leaves you at one with the scene, yet still allows you to take some memorable shots home.”

Paul Zizka's website

Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content