FIND CREATIVITY IN THE WILDERNESS

Nature photographers are artists. They seek out unique angles and particularly stunning landscape compositions. They fine-tune settings and click, check, click, check for hours on end. At the end of the day, they have thousands of shots that prove how passionate they really are about photography.

 

But sometimes photographers also get caught up in the everyday routines, giving themselves less and less time to enjoy the art and sending their creativity down a black hole.

 

And that is exactly what led Canadians Paul Zizka and Dave Brosha to start up Offbeat photography workshops a few years ago.

Offbeat’s mission is to get photographers out into the wilderness where their love for nature - and thus, their creativity - can flourish anew.

PHOTO WORKSHOPS IN GREENLAND

Not just any wilderness will do. Only the most undiscovered, exotic and bucket list-transcending destinations in the world are worthy for Offbeat. Think Faroe Islands, Namibia, Antarctica. Therefore, we are so proud that Zizka and Brosha also chose Greenland as a workshop location in 2016 and are coming back for more. Is an Offbeat photography workshop something for you?

Check out their Pioneer Series workshop coming to Greenland from 11-18 September 2017.

PAUL ZIZKA

Paul Zizka has many claims to fame, but most recently, his work made it in National Geographic’s list of fifteen Best Adventure Photos of 2016. Not one but two photos!

 

IN ZIZKA’S WORDS

We caught up with Zizka a few months after returning from Greenland to hear about his favourite moments and to collect a few insider tips for other photographers out there.

 

“I totally fell in love with Greenland. Outside of the Rocky Mountains, it is my favourite place on Earth.” - Paul Zizka

Visit Greenland: What was your favourite part about being in Greenland?

Paul Zizka: “[Greenland] is such a land of opportunity, and you guys nailed it with the Be a Pioneer thing. That is how it really feels to be there! It feels like I have discovered this place that not many other people have. In 2017, there are just not that many places that feel that way. For example, I have seen Iceland transform completely, and it just emphasizes even more how much of a gem Greenland is. It is so wild and untouched.”

 

VG: Which are your personal best shots from the 2016 photography workshop in Greenland?

Zizka: “Two to three come to mind, like the underwater shot on the Greenland Ice Sheet and the ones where we lit up crevasses in the ice cap at night. These were the most meaningful when we finally got them because we dragged all the waterproof equipment up to the ice, and, believe me, it takes physical work to get to those places - especially with a harsh environment with winter coming early. We envision all of these shots - some of them we could not actually get, but we were finally able to get the underwater one and the crevasses. We really had to EARN these images!”

 

Find more stunning photos from Paul Zizka at @paulzizkaphoto and from Dave Brosha at @davebrosha.

VG: Do you have any funny stories, or even scary stories, from the workshop?

Zizka: “We had a participant who went for an (intended) swim around icebergs on Disko Island - that was documented pretty heavily! No, in all seriousness, the main moments that stay with me are when there was just silence - when everyone was so in the moment and in awe. These moments of complete beauty and silence and people thinking, “THIS is what I came here for!” are what stay with me.

 

VG: What tips would you give to photographers planning to come to Greenland?

Zizka: “Number one - BRING THE LONG LENS! If you do not have one, buy one. Or rent one. Do whatever you have to do to get one because the iceberg photography opportunities [in Disko Bay] are endless. If you go with only a wide lens, you cannot get up close and personal with the icebergs.

 

Second, consider braving the colder temps of the off-season to capture the night skies - they are just unbelievable. There is so little light pollution and not very much cloud cover, in our experience. Whether or not the northern lights come out to play, that is up to them, but the night sky in general is just one of the most beautiful things to document. On the other hand, if you go in the high season [summer], there is the Midnight Sun and no night at all.

 

Finally, go for a boat tour. It was a favourite all around with the incredible colours and icebergs and whales - we saw it all. Plus you get a different perspective and sense of scale on the boat. From shore, you cannot always tell how high an iceberg is; you can only really grasp how big it is from being right next to it. With Ilulissat Water Taxi, in particular, the captain had such a good spirit and true passion for the place. He was genuinely excited to show us what he must have seen a million times before.”


 

Second, consider braving the colder temps of the off-season to capture the night skies - they are just unbelievable. There is so little light pollution and not very much cloud cover, in our experience. Whether or not the northern lights come out to play, that is up to them, but the night sky in general is just one of the most beautiful things to document. On the other hand, if you go in the high season [summer], there is the Midnight Sun and no night at all.

 

Finally, go for a boat tour. It was a favourite all around with the incredible colours and icebergs and whales - we saw it all. Plus you get a different perspective and sense of scale on the boat. From shore, you cannot always tell how high an iceberg is; you can only really grasp how big it is from being right next to it. With Ilulissat Water Taxi, in particular, the captain had such a good spirit and true passion for the place. He was genuinely excited to show us what he must have seen a million times before.”

 

Want to see Paul Zizka’s experience photographing in the Arctic in real motion? Watch Mathieu Le Lays film “Indlandsis” that documents the 2016 Offbeat photography workshop in Greenland.