Paul Zizka

My interest in photography grew from my love for the mountains when I moved from Quebec. I knew straight away I wanted to spend as much time in the outdoors as possible, so I became a certified guide but began thinking more and more about taking photography really seriously.

Even though I has almost no experience in photography I decided to buy a DSLR camera and got a license for a photo business. That was eight or nine years ago now and I haven’t looked back!

I mostly photograph in difficult conditions and hard-to-reach places. I have a passion for shooting alpine sports and backcountry experiences, capturing the spirit of adventurers and finding unusual angles of common mountain subjects.

As a landscape photographer, I particularly enjoy the challenge of capturing nature’s beauty at night and the unique features that come with a dark sky – Northern Lights, stars and dramatic silhouettes. The interplay of light, weather and landscapes fascinates and inspires me. Photography allowed me to observe nature more closely and make me more aware of my surroundings.

I find that sometimes including a person in a landscape scene adds to the photograph – that it conveys a different story. I like the idea of the person giving a sense of perspective and reinforce our connection with the landscape as humans

My gear is what makes my work possible, and as I shoot in such extreme conditions, I need to know it’s going to perform when I need it to.

My tripod is the Manfrotto MK055XPRO3-BH Aluminum Tripod. I love it because it’s durable, reliable, easy to operate in adverse conditions. I’m constantly shooting in extreme cold and the darkness so it’s important I can rely on it to stand up to the elements.

I shoot with the Canon 5D Mark III because it’s such a great all round piece of equipment. I love that I can go on a trip with the one camera and shoot astro, fast action, and landscape all with the same camera! It’s Super durable and performs very well in the cold as well as being easy to operate and handle, which again is important in the dark when you can’t rely on vision.

My “go to” lens choices are:

The Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 – My workhorse. Fantastic for landscape and adventure work, and also does extremely well in low light. Also gives off an amazing sun flare.
The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 II is for those telephoto scenes. It produces incredible sharp images and has a fantastic zoom range.
Finally, the Canon 24mm f/1.4 is my top choice for very dark nights. Amazing light gathering ability and consistent razor sharp clarity.

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