Hey Wicked Hunters!
So excited to introduce the 50th episode!
Today I will be talking with Paul Zizka – our first guest who became part of The Art of Photography Podcast.
Paul Zizka is a passionate explorer who shares his journey through his art and photography.
He uses his journey to create a positive impact by inspiring and helping other photographers who are looking to follow his journey, as well as spread awareness.
If you want to get to know more about Paul Zizka, you can listen to the first interview on – https://podcast.thewickedhunt.com/e/ep2-with-paulzizka/
Today we will ask Paul Zizka how he use photography to create positive impact and chat about his upcoming project The Cryophilia
You can get involved and learn more about the project on: https://www.zizka.ca/cryophilia
For those of you who want to check out Paul’s photos, you can find him on:
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Paul Zizka 0:00
really the goal is is to raise awareness of how quickly those places are changing, and how beautiful they are. And I feel like we hear a lot about the vanishing ice and the rapidly receding glaciers. Over the last few years we’ve seen some glaciers lose 100 200 metres in one year.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 0:30
Hey, wicked hunters Welcome back to The Art of Photography podcast, where we share artist journey and show how photography given us hope, purpose and happiness. And today, I’m very excited to have someone who is in the very first episode of this podcast, and I want to have him back because there’s a few different things that he has in the horizon, as well as you know, Canadian Rockies in its prime season for wild skating. And I think Paul’s is is one of the best capturing those so I really want to chat to him about it. I’ve met Paul’s has got back into Rockies. And it’s been such a pleasure to not only follow his journey, his adventure, but also to learn from him about the creative process about how to give back to the community and about how to help other photographers. So I’m sure you will get a lot of benefit from today. Well, without further ado, Paul, how’s it going? Welcome back to The Art of Photography podcast.
Paul Zizka 1:34
Thanks so much, Stanley. It’s great to be back. I guess I did okay, the first time around, because you’re you’re having me over again. Always a pleasure chatting with you and connecting with your community. So I’m excited to be here. Thank you.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:48
Oh, fantastic. Yeah, I mean, like, it’s so much has been going on right? Or we had, we had a pandemic and we had everything that’s going on and travelling is opening again. But before we started for the listener who haven’t really hear about about you and your journey, just give us a quick you know, cliff note because I know that we the first podcast, talk a lot about who you are and stuff like that. But just give us a little bit you know, a cliff note about who you are so that if they don’t if they want to hear more about you, they can go to the first podcast,
Paul Zizka 2:23
for sure. I am a outdoor photographer based out of Banff in the Canadian Rockies and I shoot pretty much anything outside. I’m interested in Adventure photography, Astro photography, travel photography, landscape photography. Yeah, wildlife, anything outside. Works for me. And yeah, I’ve been doing photography full time for gosh, I guess over 12 years now probably and there’s nothing else I’d rather do. And yeah, it’s that’s sort of the gist of it. That’s, that’s where I’m at in my journey. Yeah, if anybody has any questions, they’re welcome to reach out or check out that first episode.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 3:03
100% Yeah, look, you know, when I first moved to Canadian, Rocky, so let’s just starstruck with your with your photograph, right? Because I feel like your photograph is, it’s like no other, you know, I haven’t seen that kind of style, the way you use human element in through your, your, through your adventures, you know, through the ice, the winter, the summer, as well as when you go out through hiking and stuff like that. So when you create this image, what is your thought process? You know, what is your creative process that make you come up with all of these images? Because, like I say, it’s not something that’s very common, I could say, you know, when I see a photo gets shared on Nat, Geo, or, you know, some of the Rockies account, I know exactly, that’s your photo, because, yeah, no one else have that sort of concept. So how do you create this sort of what’s your thought process to create this inspiring photograph?
Paul Zizka 4:06
That’s a good question, Stanley, I think part of it comes down to, to me there’s, for me, there’s two ways to approach photography, you can approach photography more from a spontaneous with a more spontaneous approach. Or you can plan things out and pre visualise images and stage things out if you will, a little bit more. So I think, a lot of the photos that, I guess people just have ended up associating me with or maybe at the pre visualised end of the spectrum where an idea will come up in the field, maybe even while I might be at a location with the family in the daytime, and then something will sort of pop in my mind’s eye and I’d be cool to come back at that time of year at night with a certain person Doing this doing that when conditions align for a specific type of image, and then sort of make a, make a wish list of everything that needs to happen and then wait for the conditions to come together, arrange the logistics and then go create that image and image that would not be possible to create in a spontaneous fashion, because you’re just not going to go to a place like that at that time and found some find someone doing that certain thing in that exact spot. So some of those images that are more like, Can, that are constructed well ahead of time, require a different approach than those images where you know, you go to a beautiful place at a time of day where you know, the light is likely to be nice, and you don’t really know what you’re going to come up with, which I think is most different. The approach that most photographers most outdoor photographers go with is the sort of tried to align a whole bunch of ingredients that are likely to yield really cool opportunities, but they don’t really know what they’re going for when they sat out that morning. And I liked that approach to it, I try to bounce from one to the other, because I find that they really tap into different parts of their creativity. So I’ll go, I’ll go and create more of the spontaneous end of the spectrum for a few outings. And then I’ll feel the need to sort of plan something out, dream up an image that wouldn’t happen spontaneously, and then try to make it happen. And it just bounced back and forth. And that’s sort of been the process for me for gosh, over a decade now.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 6:36
So where does all of this inspire inspiration come from? Because you know, some some of your photograph. I know what you mean, with, you know, waiting for the right moment. I mean, one of the photo that we use for the thumbnail for the podcast was ice climbing on this beautiful thing. It was a glacier. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was a glacier and Aurora right behind it. And, you know, like, like, you say that things like that is very difficult to come by. Right. So where does the inspiration come from? You know, you kind of share that, okay, well, maybe you’re going on an adventure. And then you go to this place, and like, things kind of pop up here and there, right? It’s like, Oh, that’d be cool to do this, and that, and this and that. But where does the inspiration come from? Because I know there are a lot of photographers out there a lot of listeners who are, you know, like, well, it’s really easy for you to say, but I could never think of it that way. So yeah, I’d love to hear a little bit where the inspiration come from.
Paul Zizka 7:39
For sure, I think it comes from just wanting to keep photography fun, and interesting, especially if you’ve been doing it for a relatively long time. I just get bored doing the same thing over and over again, frankly, and so I feel like I need to. And that’s purely for myself, that’s, you know, what the audience may or may not like the result, but just purely for myself, I find that I just get I just lose interest, repeating the same ideas, and I’m sure fellow photographers will relate eventually it becomes it’s easy to get a little bit robotic with photography and sort of start microwaving the same ideas over and over again. And then it’s just, yeah, then you don’t get anywhere on your journey as a photographer, because you’re not, you’re always staying within the realm of what’s comfortable. So I think those ideas come out of just wanting to keep photography fun and interesting. And, and just to go out there and try to play around with some new ideas. And sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t work, but I find that for me, it’s the only way to keep photography sustainable is to really just get away from what’s familiar at least once in a while.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 9:06
Yeah, no, that’s, that’s a great advice. You know, just keep it interesting, keep it fun, keep it you know, dynamic, and we definitely can see on your photography, because you live there year in year out, but every year you keep coming up with this new photograph, you know, with a different concept from the same place, right. And one thing that I was wondering was like, you know, when people can go to that process and you know, try to think about a different way to create different images and when, you know, to have that condition or line up, it’s very difficult to come by, right. So, how do you like I’m just wondering, like, how do you go after that moment, because I know a moment like that, you know, it can be difficult Um, do you just like, drop everything when that moment come? Or, you know, cuz life happens, right life happens, everything’s, you know, it’s, it would be nice if all we we have in our life is just adventure and we can go anytime anywhere whenever we want but that’s not that’s not the reality. So how do you make things happen when a rare condition, you know, like the Aurora lining up with the composition that you want or the frozen lake at a certain point, you know, at a critical point before the snow up full on it and ruin the whole surface. How do you chase after this
Paul Zizka 10:43
moment? I would say yeah, you looking at social media, you you’d be, you know, I can see how people think you’re looking at each other’s accounts that everyone’s always in a position where they can drop everything and go, it’s just not true. I’m sure for myself and other people, I’ve got a wife, two little girls and, you know, other life commitments, and I’m just not able to chase absolutely everything that I would ideally Chase. But I think I’m very, very fortunate that my wife is very, very supportive of what I do. And so, and she understands that some of the conditions rely on phenomena that are fickle, right that you don’t, you can’t really plan a couple of weeks ahead with wild ISO rora, or things like that, that are time sensitive, and that are hard to read and are very, very dynamic. And so I’ve been very fortunate that ever since I began in this field that my wife has encouraged me to just drop everything and go, at least, you know, within the realm of what’s reasonable. If conditions align for an image that I’m excited about, and I’m home, and I’m able to rearrange the schedule, or you know, or we just take a rain check on something we had planned and do it the next day instead, then it’s I’ve had the flexibility to do that. And I think for Yeah, I think, you know, just to expand on that, I think for anyone who’s in a relationship and wants to really pursue photography seriously. I mean, we’re talking about the ingredients that make that possible. And I think one of the ingredients that is sort of that’s not talked about enough, is just having support from your, from your friends, from your family to just go out there and get after it. When, when things are when the timing works out. So I’ve been I’ve had an amazing Circle of Support since the beginning. And that’s been huge for me.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 13:01
No, that’s yeah, that’s, that’s a really good point, you know, being able to find people that support you in your journey. And, yeah, I’m glad that you’re able to do that. Because you know, some of your photos just absolutely incredible. Like, you know, people can look at it and just think, how do you even like, know, that’s gonna have it, you know, and share, you know, there is a lot of uncertainties goes with it as well. But you take that chance you go out there anyway. And, you know, you get rewarded by this, this beautiful phenomenons, one way or another. So and
Paul Zizka 13:35
I think Stanley just just to add one thing to that, I think a lot of it comes with being very familiar with the playground that you operate in, right, like because I get, you know, when I travel, I get what I can, I don’t know how to read the desert, or the ocean, the way that I know how to read the Rockies, having lived here for 15 plus years and having kept a close eye on why do these things happen? What set of conditions lead to those phenomena to happen, and being able to just anticipate a little bit, whereas I get totally thrown off an environment that I’m not familiar with. So I think a lot of it comes down to really knowing your subject. Really, really try to get to know your subject as best as you can.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 14:25
Yeah, no, that’s a really good point. You know, I, I learned a lot from you. And when I met you in chat about the condition in the Rockies, and that really helped me to kind of predict and understand what what could happen and what, what when to go and you know when to wait. So I think that’s really good advice. Now, you know, it’s been, gosh, I don’t think we’re about two years I think about a year and a half to two years since I have you last in the podcast. So I know you have some project coming up. I know that travel open up again. So What exciting project, I know what it is. But you know, I just wanted to introduce it, what exciting project have you got into horizon at the moment,
Paul Zizka 15:09
for sure my big project is going to be a project that spans several years. So I’m going like, I’m diving really headfirst into this. It’s called cryo failure, which means an affinity for cold places, which I’ve always had. But and I’ve always been drawn to shooting ice and snow and the high latitudes and cold places in winter. But now I’m going to do that with quite a bit more effort and intention, and and really, really target that part. That field of photography. And really, there’s two purposes to the project. One of them is to document how dynamic those places are speaking more specifically about glacier. So I’m fortunate that I live within, you know, you’ve lived here, so I live with him, if I left the house. Now, within a couple hours, I can be at five different glaciers, looking at how they change how they’ve changed since last time, marvelling at the features that are on display that are always always different. So one of the purposes is documenting the changes in the ISE, both locally and abroad as well. And the other purpose is to document just purely the aesthetics, the incredible beauty of those rapidly changing places that are glaciated areas. So that’s a project that in a way I started many, many years ago, but now I’m really that’s got a lot more purpose to it now a lot more direction. And the idea is that it would culminate in a book and an exhibit, maybe three or four years down the road, a lot of the details remain to be determined. But for now, really the goal is is to raise awareness of how quickly those places are changing, and how beautiful they are. And I feel like we hear a lot about the vanishing ice and the rapidly receding glaciers. And a lot of people have a scientific approach to how they demonstrate that and I think that’s wonderful. But I’m not going to pretend I’m a scientist, I’m an artist, and I think I can contribute, the best way that I can contribute to the conversation is really showcasing the changes, and the aesthetics of those absolutely incredible places. So that’s where I really want to focus. Let other people do the talk around the science. And I’ve got unfortunate, I spent a lot of a lot of time close to that ice on that ice on the side under that ice. And so that’s where I can bring something new to the conversation.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 17:54
Yeah, I think that’s really great. You know, I love I love the cause behind it. And for, you know, for someone like me who never been who never live in winter places like Canadian Rockies until I was there, it was a big eye opening, right? The fact that glaciers doesn’t usually lasts more than a year that usually, by the time the summer comes, it gets too warm, and most most likely it’s gonna crumble, the fact that the glacier actually receding, and I think you told me about 1510 to 15 metre a year, you know, that’s just mind blowing, right. And for most people who are living in tropical country, for example, or in, in Australia, where there is no direct access and see the to see this, we don’t feel the climate change as much, right. But when it comes to ice, you know, zero, I stay in tech, one degree, it started to melt, all it takes is just one degree difference to melt the ice. So I love the project that you’re doing. And I think I think it’s really cool to be able to show that because, yes, the scientific approach is great, but a lot of people are visual. Right. So just being able to show that and see the difference. I think that can tell a lot tell the story, a lot of story behind that. Now.
Paul Zizka 19:27
I think also just to add one thing to that Stanley, I think, you know, there’s there’s a lot of fatigue that I think there’s a lot of fatigue with the scientific argument right now right like people whether we like it or not, I think people are tired to have numbers thrown at them. And and sometimes I find that where where other methods can fail perhaps to reach people photography, because it’s so visual can really be The help people connect with an environment or a cause. So I feel like, yeah, I feel like that’s why I feel like I’m so I’m so drawn to showcasing those places for people. And we’re, you know, and in a way, it’s almost like, as someone who lives, whereas a camera and lives really close to those places, it sort of feels that I owe it to the rest of the world to go out and document those places. And the changes are been astonishing, like we are seeing. Over the last few years, we’ve seen some glaciers lose 100 200 metres in one year. So we’re talking about changes that are happening like on human timescales, we’re not talking about stuff that happens over hundreds or millions of years this, you can go to the Athabasca glacier, the dome glacier, from one year to another, it’ll feel like a completely different place. It’s happening very, very quickly here in the Rockies.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 21:02
Yeah, no, that’s, that’s really sad. And I absolutely agree with you, you know, like, we often say, seeing is believing and you know, sometimes having the number of backing up with you know, the photo can really make a big difference. And hopefully, more people are aware about this. Now, I find it interesting, right? And then we kind of you know, have a chat about this before the podcast, but people like war, people go to Bali because they enjoy the warm the tropical but you chase after the winter, you know, the ice skates when the wild skate? So where does that passion come from? Do you actually enjoy the winter? Or is it do you like to go out there? Because it’s just so beautiful. It’s is there one or the other? Or is it does it complemental
Paul Zizka 21:57
I do really like winter. Frankly, I find it’s a little bit long here in the Rockies. Like I find that I absolutely love November, December, January. By the time you know, when April rolls around, and you’re still getting snowed on, I start to look forward to summer adventures, to be totally honest with you. But I find that winter just brings along with it so many elements of magic, like, like the ice to snow. Just I love the silence of winter. So it’s not just not just the visual appeal of winter, but I love the silence just there’s less people here in the park. For one, you can go to those iconic locations and have a more more of a solitary experience. But also, a lot of the sounds are muffled in the winter, you just go out on a windless day in the winter and just sit there and you can literally hear the silence, right you don’t hear anything at all. And that’s not something that’s possible in the summer. I find that the landscape is all is simplified, it’s a lot more there’s a lot less clutter. And so I think like photography photographically I think that makes for a very different experience than does the summer. And so I think winter has so so much to offer. Being able to shoot stars at 5pm is pretty awesome not having to wait till midnight as an astro photographer is quite nice. And yeah, I love the winter activities. I love documenting people enjoying winter whether it’s on skis or ice climbing or on skates and so yeah, there’s there’s so much that appeals to me about the winter especially here in the mountains and then I would just gladly swap one month of winter for an extra month of summer but for the most part I’m a big winter lover for sure
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 23:59
yeah no that’s you know when like you said the winter just bring the magic in in Canadian Rockies and you know the snow the snow tops it just makes it absolutely different right now I know that you you like to wander you like to explore you like to look for new places and you know from what you say it’s what keeps things interesting because you keep looking for the new thing keep things dynamic. Now when it comes to winter it’s you know the atmosphere especially in Canadian Rockies can become very extreme and and yet you from time to time again you would go you know solo exploring these things now, just take us through like what goes into your head and what you know what what makes you want to go out there during this extreme conditions.
Paul Zizka 24:54
I find that a lot of the magic in photography happens on the edge of extreme conditions sometimes right in the middle of extreme conditions, but typically on the edge of weather systems on the edge of those nasty periods of weather is when you’ll find the unusual in the landscape where I, especially if you go to places that you’ve been to hundreds of times. I mean, as I’m sure you know, and you have those places that all your listeners have those places close to where they live, you know that you can show up at a place that you’ve shot three 400 times, and you feel like unless Mother Nature gives you a little something to work with, you’re kind of out of ideas, like you feel like you’ve, you’ve experimented, you’ve done it all, you’ve shot it from a variety of perspectives. So then I find that you’re kind of maybe in a way forced to rely on the weather a little bit and go out in dynamic weather, basically. So I find for me in the winter, it’s not, it’s not hard to find dynamic weather in the Rockies, you see it coming three, four days ahead of time in the forecast, and you can plan around it and rearrange the schedule. And so much of the magic happens when yeah, there’s this front moving and or front has just moved out and or the winds are high. And that’s when you can go to those iconic locations and see them in a way you’ve never seen them before. And so I feel very much compelled to go out when the weather is, you know, a little bit more harsh, I suppose. But now that the gear is so good, both the photo gear, the clothing, the apparel, there’s no really reason to not be comfortable out there, there’s a way that you can shoot and pretty much any kind of condition in relative comfort if you’re prepared. And if you have the proper gear. And so I find that less and less as photographers, we can use weather as an excuse to really to not go out there and try to catch the the the edge of that those weather systems.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 27:00
Yeah, no, that’s I 100%. You know, when you it’s important to have the right gear because it can make or break the experience. And yeah, I love I love, you know how you share that, that passion of yours and pushing, you know, the comfort zone, because, like you say that’s, that’s when things can happen, and interesting things happen. So, you know, hopefully the listeners are out there are, you know, taking notes, you want to create something unique, go out there when no one else goes out there. So that’s incredible. Now
Paul Zizka 27:35
you’re sure it’s been, I think it’s you know, it’s something that you hear all the time in photography circles, right, get out of your comfort zone and get out and it starts to get repetitive, of course, but I don’t know how else to put it. I mean, it’s so it’s so important. And I think especially in the age of social media, where it’s very, very easy to go and recreate similar images over and over again, that will automatically please a large audience. But for you as a photographer, they don’t really get you anywhere, because you can shoot them with your eyes closed pretty much, right? They’re very comfortable to you. And, you know, these are the settings and this is the composition and I go to a beautiful place at sunrise and I can shoot something that will, you know, gather mass appeal for sure. But I think you can’t keep photography sustainable that way, you have to just please yourself first. And I don’t know how you can please yourself first, if you just repeat the same ideas. I mean, everybody goes through a period of just learning and perfecting their technique and emulating the work of other people. And I think that’s totally normal, as on your journey as a photographer, but eventually I find that everybody will hit that wall sooner or later, where photography just gets boring if you keep doing the same things over and over again, it’s the same in all aspects of life. It just gets monotone after a while. So I think just if only purely for yourself, eventually you just have to find ways to innovate. And that just requires trying new things and getting away from what comes easy to you know, that’s
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 29:15
100% you know, true and it’s interesting that you say that because I feel like for you know photographers who are already in it for a long time, that phrase get repeated a lot, right, create something different, create something new. Go outside of your comfort zone, but when I first started photography, I wish I had listened to you know what you just said because I never heard that phrase. You know? It’s it’s so common that people go like you say the immolation is it’s more popular where people just go to the popular places right take and a popular time so that they get that popular plate shot and get that one They call it adoption from from the social media user, right? But over time, I think people that’s, that’s when people can start to realise. So honestly, when I first started photography, I wish I had heard that a lot sooner. So it’s really good that you mentioned that, you know, hopefully, listeners out there who are in their photography journey can take inspiration from that. Now, when it comes to, you know, your project, cryo Philia, and you have been to a lot of different places, you know, Canadian Rockies being the most predominant, but also Greenland, Nepal, Iceland, Antarctica, is there any place any, any, any favourite place, or any favourite moment from dos adventure that, you know, if I were to ask you, you know, what was the top, you know, experience from all of these places? Is there any one experience that literally just pop up your head? And yes, this was it? And if there was one, what is it?
Paul Zizka 31:14
There’s a clear destination that comes to mind for sure. And that would be Greenland hands down. I, I’ve always said, you know, if you forced me to move outside of Canada, that’s where you’ll find me in Greenland somewhere. My I don’t know if my wife would be very happy to relocate to Greenland. But as far as photography goes, for me, it’s the ultimate playground and it’s the the landscape is just vast and wild. And the sense of freedom that you get wandering around Greenland is just incredible. There’s so so much to offer to the artist. It’s very powerful magnetic plays just like the Rockies and is becoming more and more popular for a reason there’s nowhere else like it that I know of. It’s it’s reunites a lot of the elements that I find the most exhilarating to shoot in photography, like ice and Aurora. And so for me, it’s it’s really a place that I’m just so thankful, whenever I get to just set foot on Greenland and walk around a little bit and document that place. It’s next level for me, I’ve had many of my most memorable experience of photography have happened in Greenland. With the icebergs on the glaciers on the ice sheet, or under under Northern Lights, the people are wonderful as well. I love the cultural the cultural aspect of Greenland I love how people make a go of it in one of the world’s most inhospitable places. And so yeah, for me, I think it’s the clear, the clear, standout location as far as where I’ve been outside the Rockies is clearly Greenland, just phenomenal.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 32:59
Wow, ya know, 100% You know, when I see your photo, and, you know, when, when you tell me about, you know, what, what, where to go and what to look for in Greenland. It become top of my bucket list ago, so 100%, you know, it’s just so beautiful. Now, something interesting that you mentioned earlier, you know, like, you love Greenland, for one of the reasons why you love Greenland is the playground for photography, you know, the different dynamic, different ingredients, I suppose, that you could find from that place. Now, when you look for destinations, or adventures or places to go? What is your main driver that makes you want to go to those certain place? Is it mainly driven by photography? or is there other experiences that you look for from this different destinations?
Paul Zizka 33:54
I look, I think for the wilderness first and foremost, Isla, I looked for places that yeah, that offer a lot of space. And a lot of, you know, they’re pretty low density in terms of population, and so that the main thing that I look for is just nature really. And so that’s the reason that I went to Greenland in the first place, and, you know, Mongolia and those other parts of the world where very, very few people live. And then so that’s first and foremost, secondly, would be Yeah, of course, as a photographer, I think just the aesthetic aspect. What what is there? There’s always something went wherever you have nature, there’s something wonderful to shoot. I’m very much drawn to the high latitudes and really big empty places I like I like emptiness and remoteness. And I think so those are other things that I look for in destinations. Especially now you know that the world is reopening to travel, maybe try to get into those places that have such that are so so special that it’s only a matter of time before they become a little bit more mainstream. So while I still have that sense of adventure, and an ability, trying to get to those places that require maybe a bit more physical effort to get into. So that’s another aspect that I look at as well.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 35:34
Great question really interesting. Yeah, that’s really interesting. And I would have thought ice was gonna be on the top of a bucket on top of that list.
Paul Zizka 35:44
Well, you know, what, I think what tends to happen is the places that reunite all of those factors tend to be the high latitudes, right, where not a lot of people live that are wild, that are beautiful, that are hard to get to. There’s, there’s there’s some that are, you know, what, that in other parts of the world, but a lot of high latitude locations, meet all those criteria, which is why you’ll find me often at the high latitudes.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 36:14
No, that’s, that’s really interesting. Yeah, absolutely. Right. You know, I think one of the inspiration for me to go to more difficult places in the Rockies was that principle, you know, when you when you kind of say like, well, you know, like Rockies have everything, you know, if it’s too busy, just go further and higher, and you got less and less people as you get further into it. And I love that, you know, because, I mean, there are time for everything, or the time where you just want to have that the sidewalk, car parks or a spot and just, you know, enjoy just being out there. And there are times where you want to feel that sense of adventure, and you don’t want to be, you know, feel go to a place that filled with millions and millions people. And actually, it’s, yeah, it’s one of the things that I miss about rock is because here in Indonesia, even you know, the highest the higher mountains or volcanoes is pretty accessible that we still line you know, line up. It’s like a traffic jam. So Oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s a bit crazy.
Paul Zizka 37:21
Yeah. Yeah. It’s, I think it’s something that’s easy to take for granted. For sure. I think and like you said, you know, I’m, I’m, I sound like all I do is stuff that gets me away from people and away from the road, but it’s not true at all, you know, I love I love roadside photography, as well. And I don’t always have a full day or multi days to commit to getting away from people. And so sometimes I’m very thankful that in a place like Banff National Park, even a habit, even if I have a two hour window to shoot, while I can go go out with Lake Louise with everybody else and still witness a scene that is really beautiful. And see what I can come up with with the camera. It’s, it’s like you said there, there is a time for everything. And it’s just, it’s, frankly, it’s nice to not have to just, you know, drag all that stuff on your back for kilometres before you take a photo. It’s nice to do a bit of a bit of both.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 38:20
Yeah. 100%. And, you know, I think it goes back to what you said earlier, it’s about the dynamic, just keeping things fresh. Interesting, right? That’s, that’s really cool. Now, when it comes to a high latitude, and you know, like, all these black countries, places, extreme condition, you just mentioned that those are the ingredients to create something unique, like that’s the biggest opportunity. Because sure, you can go to Lake Louise and find a crazy condition. I think one time I had like, a thunderstorm passing to that. And I was like, you know, incredible, but it’s very difficult to find moments like that, right? So all of these new places that harder to get to harder condition give you a lot more opportunity. Now what are taking share with us some of your biggest challenges to go to some of those places and reach to those places and create a suppose a piece of art a photograph that, you know that that’s not only a whiteout, you know, because sometimes when it’s no, it’s just a white up. So how do you how do you, you know, what are the challenges and how do you push past those challenges?
Paul Zizka 39:35
That’s a really good question. I think the main challenge one of the main challenges anyways, I think would just be time management, right? When you go out in those places, and you’ve got to look after yourself, you’ve got to maybe pitch the tent and cook and see the scene through the camera but also without the camera and so you may need to make sure you Go home with an experience as well as the photos. It’s trying to constantly your brains on overdrive trying to constantly rearrange the schedule so that you can accomplish all of that and, and the more that we shoot, and I’m sure everybody here will relate, the more you shoot, the more you realise that good photography typically takes time, it takes commitment, you get lucky with an image on the fly once in a while, but most of the stronger images that we all have, the more that we shoot, they require us just committing that 1020 30 minutes plus to one shot if we’re really excited about a possibility. So it’s trying to find time for all that in the wilderness when the weather’s not that great sometimes, that’s that’s the main challenge for me is trying to get really good at time management, and really trying to trying to really just assess every scene, every possibility in terms of the return of investment on investment, if you will, you know, like, this is a shot that does this shot, Warren 20 minutes of my time, it’s a great shot, but at the same time, it would be worth it if it was like a one minute investment. But if it’s 2030 minutes, then it doesn’t really quite meet that ROI threshold that I’ve set for myself. So sort of trying to assess the scenes that way, you know, and then you find a shot that you’re really, really excited about, that does warrant you know, 30 minutes. And sometimes there’s a shot that, yeah, I’ll put the pack down for one minute, it’s not an amazing shot, prefer a one minute investment, it’s worth shooting. So trying to always like, assess, assess the different scenes, different possibilities that way, I think is one of the main challenges for sure. And another challenge, the other main challenge I can think of I think is just and goes along with that is just being adaptable. I think the best photographers that I know are very, very adaptable photographers, they respond very quickly to the stimuli around them, they they are very quick at bailing on an idea. If it’s not working out, if the conditions are not conducive to a certain image, they will quickly turn around and they won’t just turn get tunnel vision into wasting 2030 minutes on an idea that’s never going to happen. They are very, very quick thinking and they adapt to dynamic conditions, dynamic environments very, very well as, as we should. As photographers, we work with a subject that’s ever changing, especially, you know, working in mountain environments in rapidly changing weather, it makes no sense to have to stick to one approach, you have to just keep adapting. So I think that’s another one of the challenges out there. And I call it a challenge because sometimes I do very well at it, and sometimes not so much I get, I spent way too much time working on ideas that are never going to lead to anything in hindsight. And so I think being adaptable and managing your time properly, so that you can go home with the images, the experience and still, you know, look after your basic needs out there at the same time.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 43:19
That is incredible. advices you know, I think I’d never heard them, you know, those points being being told that way. And the time management, especially I know, we kind of have that running in our mind when you’re out there. But when you say it out loud, and when you you know, put it that way. I’ve become more conscious about about it now, you know, and I think that’s a really great point. Thanks a lot for sharing that. Paul. It’s, it’s a great piece of advice. Now, you know, you you do a lot of workshop, right. And you’ve been taking photography for a long time, and you have a lot of thought, a thoughtful approach to photography. And I think that’s why you, I feel that you are such a great mentor because of that. Now you have a few kind of like photography trips, you also do like a virtual mentoring, as well as, I think a mentorship that you just opened up as well. Now, I’m curious, you know, out of those whole thing, what are some of the different aspects that most photographers are missing in their in their photography journey that make a whole lot different to their photography?
Paul Zizka 44:45
Oh, wow. That’s an awesome question. And I think one of the in a way I think a lot of what and I think that comes down to like, it’s the same. Same question as asking you know what, what What takes a photographer from like, Good to Great or photo from good to great? I’m not saying I’m not saying like, I’m great. And I’ve got it all figured out, but just looking at other people’s work that surround me, the other people I shoot with. And I admire what takes them to the next level. And I always come back to the intangibles. And what I mean by that is like, everybody, sooner or later will have the math figured out behind photography, right? Like, this is what I do with, this is what I do with the shutter speed, the ISO, the aperture, eventually, that becomes second nature to everyone. Some people pick it up in one day and other people pick it up in five years. But eventually, you get that under control, you don’t even think about it. In a way, same thing with the composition, composition, I think it’s very mathematical. You know, it’s it’s the way that you rearrange the geometry and the shot. In a way it’s not, it’s not quite as sort of academic, or I suppose like, it’s not, it’s a bit more intuitive, I suppose, than the exposure triangle. But it’s still kind of like something that becomes second nature a little bit after a while. What takes people to the next level, and what a lot of people are struggling with, I think, is commitment, and intention. And I think, by commitment, I mean, through doing mentorship, and workshops, I think a lot of people are just like, they really want to take a different geography to the next level, or they want to make a business out of it. But when you dig a little bit, you realise they’re not that ready to make sacrifices. And I think it’s like, that’s like everything in life, you can’t eventually you have to make sacrifices to move on to the next level. Once you know, all the math, once you know your camera inside and out, you know how to assess good light, good opportunities out there, I think and you have you have your vision, you even have your style of photography, I think eventually you have to make sacrifices, and you have to really commit you have to want it more badly than everybody else, I think, especially if you want to run a business, right? So I think that’s something that’s something that I find went through mentorship workshop that people are missing. The other thing is, intention is I think, just really working with purpose to tell your story as clearly as you can, knowing what you want to say with the camera. And being very intentional, working with a lot of direction, a lot of purpose and being very deliberate about about all the micro decisions that go into making a photograph. Why why do you do everything that you do? That leads to a photo, I think you look at the photographs that great photographers take. And you notice that the breathe a lot of intention, Oh, I see why he or she did that. That’s clever. I love that they did this with a composition. I love that they chose those settings they chose to you know, use a filter or dis lands over a dat lands, everything is done for reason, I think and I love to see that in other people’s photographs. And those are the harder things to teach. I think like as someone who does a lot of teaching and mentoring. It’s not hard to show people the exposure triangle or even composition, those things can be taught but trying to get people to work with commitment and intention. That’s the real challenge. I think as as someone who likes to teach, it’s really, really trying to get people to work on those aspects, those more intangible aspects of photography.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 49:02
Wow, you elaborate that so eloquently. I love it. And I totally love it. It’s very true. You know, it’s, you know, I mean, people thing, like shooting manual is so hard. It’s not like it’s it’s a three step process. You know, it’s not that hard. And it’s only up or down. You know, if one goes up, the other goes down. It’s not that hard. And even a lot of how you say even the composition can be mathematical after a while can be rigid because there is a formula to it. But the thing that makes a big difference is that consideration, how do you mix between your gear and the settings and the composition and putting that together? And yeah, I love that perspective. And, man, that was that was a really, really great advice. Thanks a lot for sharing that poll. And, yeah, it’s one of the reason why I want you back here. You know, you have a perspective that no one else has, you know, it’s always it’s always a big eye opener when I listen to you and your your advice and your, your wisdom. So that’s really great. That’s really great. See, I’m
Paul Zizka 50:29
glad, I’m glad you can. I’m glad you connect with that. I figure, I figure you would, you know, I think I think a lot of people. And I see that in workshops, because people, I’ll go over to someone hunched over a tripod and say, what are you working on and their settings are perfect. The composition is, could be very good. But they still feel like, they still feel like they’re missing something, right. And sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on it. And sometimes it’s just, yeah, just just working with direction and intention and making sure that you’re going home with the most compelling rendition of the story that you can get.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 51:19
Yeah, that’s amazing. So you know, we’re coming into the hour mark. And I know you have another commitment after this. So I want to try to keep it within the leaner the hour. Now, one last question that I have for you is, so for the listeners, you know, you this this advice that you just gave, I think that is one of the most important thing in photography right now. Like you say, it’s really hard to get there, because it’s not, it’s not tangible. It’s not, you know, there, there are no formula to it. So for the listeners out there for the photographers who feel like, okay, I got the composition, you know, I know my composition, I know, my techniques, my settings, I know my camera, I know my post processing, but it’s just like, it’s never Wow, it’s just like, it’s great. It’s good, but it’s not Wow. Right? So what advice would you give to those people? What sort of exercise? Or how can they approach photography differently, so that they can apply what you just, you know, what you just said earlier on your wisdom, to their photography.
Paul Zizka 52:34
Two things, I think, look at the photography, look at a lot of photography and look at the photographs of people you admire, look at what they do. And instead of scrolling past 500 shots a day, when you see a shot that stops you in your tracks, just take like five minutes to really deconstruct it and think about why it makes you feel a certain way and why it’s so impactful to you and why it works so well. And sometimes it takes a while to figure out what’s going on behind the scenes and the mechanics of it. But once you’re once you figure it out, then you get used to analysing images from other people. That way, I think you can get so much out of it. So once you see an image that you really, really like that you find is really powerful. Take time to stop and try to list out in your mind. What did they do that is just so cool. Try to put your finger on it on what’s the wow factor? What’s the the the intangible in that image, or the tangible could be the composition, a choice of settings. But what is it that makes that image so compelling. The other thing that I would highly recommend people do is just getting out with people that they may, that people get out with people that you admire, get get out with people whose work you respect. And see how they go about approaching a scene and just see even though you guys all went to the same location at the same time, just pay close attention to what they come up with when they post 510 days down the road. And just make a mental note. And I think that will really impact the way that you assess the scene, the next time you go out. And I’m not saying just start emulating your friends. But just like nobody works in a vacuum right pick and choose ingredients from other people’s strategies that you really like to form your own sort of approach to photography. So get out with other people who see the world differently. We all have a different view of the world. We all work differently as artists and look at a lot of photography that you really like and instead of like hating like and moving on deconstruct Hawaii that day. Marriage works so well for you.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 55:02
That is great advice. And I love how you say, you know, be you, you know, like, everyone is different. And you could use the same exact techniques, the same exam in the same exact shot. And I feel like, that’s what makes your photography very unique, very different. Because, you know, you put a lot of you try a lot of this landscape photography, with your passion with hockey, for example, with wild eyes with your love for going to extreme temperature extreme places, looking for that unique, unique conditions. And that’s, that’s what makes it different. So I think that is such a great advice that you share there. And yeah, we’re just very grateful to, you know, hear all of this wisdom from you. So, Paul, it’s been a great, you know, having having you back here having another conversation with you. So, let us know a little bit. Where does cryo philia go from here and let the audience know, if they do want to find out about this project or about your workshop? What is the best way to get in touch?
Paul Zizka 56:23
For sure, I think the website might be a good starting point is just my last name cisco.ca. Because then from there, you can quickly hop over to the cryo philia project, or you can check out the workshops, or the latest work, et cetera, you can have sort of everything in one place. Otherwise, we have separate social media accounts for the cryo philia project. So it’s easy to find on Instagram and, and Facebook everywhere you would expect. Yeah, so I would say just hop on the website and take a look and see if you. Hopefully you like what you see. And yeah, I’m always you know, I’m easy to find online, always looking forward to connecting with fellow photographers. And really, Ron, we want to thank you, Stanley, for just the just the work that you put in preparing, I think, for these types of podcasts because they have, you know, the questions are always very thoughtful. And the conversations have always been great. So I’m really, really thankful for the experience.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 57:31
You are welcome. And a little bit, you know, behind the scene fact, I actually don’t prepare a lot from this. I just been curious. Because, you know, being curious, make me ask this weird question that is interesting.
Paul Zizka 57:48
Your back, I think that’s a great skill to have as a, as an interviewer, I think is just seeing where the conversation leads, and taking it in the most interesting possible, most interesting direction possible. And so you’ve definitely developed that skill. So thanks for that.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 58:05
Appreciate it. Thank you. Yeah. So you know, with your project, how can we get involved? And you know, for people who want to get involved, or for people who want to support your project? What is the best way to contribute or to get involved with with your project?
Paul Zizka 58:23
I would say just for, I would say, just providing feedback, providing feedback, how do the images make you feel? You know, as you start maybe following along under one of the accounts, let me know how the images make you feel. Other people read the comments, things feed into one another, I think just trying to generate that conversation around the images is great. There’s a lot of talk about and a lot of arguing about the science and the numbers and the math and in the statistics. And those conversations in a way are already happening, which is fantastic. But there’s a lot of fatigue, like I said, relating to those conversations. And so if you have some feedback that pertain to more like more of the visual, then I’d love to hear
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 59:13
it. That is that is I think that’s great, you know, because different things appeal to different people. So yeah, if you if you have anything, it when you go to the social media and the website, if there is anything that you can think of it as anything that speak to you more than the other, please do let Paul know, you know, so that he can take that and do more of that and you know, think about what other ways he can do to you know, reach more people so that is fantastic. Thank you so much for doing this. You know, I think this project is so important. When I when I go to the Rockies and start exploring the ice scape is such a heartbreaking fact to know that. Geez like in I’m getting goosebumps right now. But in about 10 years, a lot of that would would go away. Right? And it’s it’s really sad. It’s really sad that a lot of the icebergs gonna break off and you know, melt it with the rest of the water. So, yeah, I, I admire you for doing this and I love that you’re doing this. All right, well, we can handle this hopefully you get a lot of benefit a lot of wisdom and hopefully you take a lot of notes from there. You know, these are some of the advices that you would pay hundreds of dollars if you want to work directly with Bose this guy and you’re getting it three years. Thank you very much for doing that poll. But yeah, with that being said, thank you for for Thank you very much for listening in. And if you haven’t subscribed, hit the subscribe button. And we do appreciate any feedback coming from you. So leave a review on in Apple podcasts or even email us you know, if you do enjoy this, it would mean a lot well poses God thank you very much for being here again, for sharing your, your project, as well as for you know, giving us all this wisdom and advices on how we can move forward, but also how we can find hope, purpose and happiness to our photography.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:21
It was such a pleasure, Stanley. Thank you.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:01:25
Fantastic. All right, we can do this. I’ll see you guys next week. Keep shooting and keep creating