Paul Zizka can most often be found in the wilderness with a camera bag slung over his shoulder, a tripod in one hand, and an ice axe in the other.
Fully dedicated to his photography and to pursuing his own outdoor adventures, Paul strives for a delicate balance between capturing the outdoors and simply experiencing them. He will enthusiastically run ahead of his hiking or climbing party, anticipating his photo opportunities and setting them up with expert precision. He is known to his friends as both the ‘mountain goat’ and ‘sherpa’ – two titles he has been granted by reputation. It is not unlikely to see him poised precariously on a ledge, hanging upside down, or lying in the grass to get the shot he is envisioning.
Paul first came to the Rockies in his mid-teens, and eventually returned to work for many seasons at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge on Bow Lake. He has always considered the Bow Lake region as both his niche in the world and his backyard playground. After exploring every corner of the area, and climbing every mountain in view, he began expanding his horizons and reaching for higher goals.
In the Rockies, Paul has climbed dozens of peaks and explored hundreds of kilometres of local and backcountry trails. His adventures have also taken him overseas where he has toured Europe and South America and a number of individual countries. In 2004, he ventured off on a 1400 km unsupported double-crossing of Iceland on foot, which is believed to be the first of its kind. In winter of 2007, he embarked on a 1488 km solo-crossing of the South Island of New Zealand to raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS, a journey that was recently featured in a book, Expedition to the Edge: Stories of Worldwide Adventure, by Lynn Martel. Recent adventures have taken him backpacking in the Caribbean and trekking in remote corners of Scandinavia.
A graduate of UVIC’s Earth and Ocean Sciences program, Paul has a keen interest in the geological world, which both inspires the composition of his photos and fuels his passion for the mountains.
Paul is currently based in Banff, Alberta, where he enjoys easy access to the mountains of the Canadian Rockies and also works as a day-hiking guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.
Although I honestly believe that great shots can be taken with virtually any equipment, in the field, I often carry the following:
Canon EOS 5D body
Canon Zoom EF 17-40 mm, f/4L USM lens
Lowepro Mini Trekker AW backpack
Bogen / Manfrotto 468MG Hydrostatic Ballhead with RC2 Quick Release
Bogen / Manfrotto 190XPROB Tripod
Singh-Ray 84mm Graduated Neutral Density 2-Stop (Soft and Hard) Filters
Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer
Remote Switch for Canon EOS 5D
LowePro Toploader AW 65
For editing purposes, I use:
Expression Media 2