I recently had the pleasure of getting to know the work of Paul Zizka, a 34 years old professional landscape and adventure photographer from Banff, Alberta, Canada. This fall, he released his first book, Summits and Starlight, a collection of mountaineering and nighttime photographs from the Canadian Rockies. Last year, he also co-directed and released Mountains In Motion, a time-lapse film set in the Canadian Rockies.
Paul says he did not initially set out with a specific plan in mind, but discovered night photography only after some time shooting landscapes in the Canadian Rocky Mountain parks. What made him discover the beauty of the night skies were the pre-dawn starts that are required for mountaineering. That led him to start photographing more and more at night, both in familiar locations and in new ones as well.
About his including himself in some of the images, again it started casually, as a way of adding more interest to the scenes and to solve composition issues, like the lack of foreground interest. Many photographs require long exposure times and the need for him to stay still for prolonged periods of time, a fact that makes it hard to stand up. As a consequence, he is often portrayed as sitting or lying down on the ground. This is a brilliant example of how an artist can use constraints to his own advantage.
Yesterday, Paul kindly consented to recording a short video interview that I present you here in its entirety. I hope you will appreciate it as I plan to do more interviews in the near future. Stay tuned!