Paul Zizka

Paul Zizka

Paul Zizka (@paulzizka) is an award-winning mountain landscape and adventure photographer based in Banff, Canada. Paul's passion for photography and documenting the "undocumented" translates directly into his work. Paul is one of Lume Cube HQ's favorite night-photographers, he posts and we stare.

man laying on frozen lake under the northern lights

What made you want to become a photographer?

Photography for me starting as a way of simply documenting the places I was visiting and chronicling the mountain experience. I simply wanted to show friends and family back home in my new environment. With time, however, I became increasingly fascinated with the interplay of light, weather and the landscape. I realized that photography could be a great creative outlet and that it could allow me to experience nature in a more intimate way.

How and why are you using Lume Cubes in your work?

My favorite genre of photography is astrophotography, and I find that adding light sources gets me going creatively and helps me problem-solve. Therefore I rely on the Lume Cubes heavily for my work.

Who are you inspired by?

I find the dedication of pioneers Frank Hurley and Vittorio Sella to be admirable, and their work, utterly fascinating. Here in the Rockies, the images of Byron Harmon and Bruno Engler remind us to pay attention and keep exploring. Finally, the work of Glen Boles epitomizes not only what life in the mountains means to me, but has also inspired my personal approach to photography.

northern lights abover snow covered mountains

You are a traveler and adventurer by heart, have you always been this way?

I’ve had episodes of my life where that child-like curiosity and drive to explore was obscured by the busyness, but otherwise, yes, it’s always me central to everything I do.

If you weren’t a photographer? What would you be instead?

A mountain guide.

If you could only shoot with ONE lens-type for the rest of your life, which would it be? Fisheye, wide-angle, prime, zoom, macro, or a telephoto lens?

Wide-angle, more specifically the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 III.

What is your go-to camera?

Canon R5.

Any advice for new photographers?

Stay curious. Don’t chase online stats. Experiment. Do everything you do with intention.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee hands down.

What’s your favorite photo you’ve taken and why?

I can’t pick one favorite, but one that I’m particularly proud of and that marked the beginning of my astroclimbing series is “Cryophilia”, shot at Haffner Creek, Kootenay National Park, a few years ago.

view of night sky through cave

You have a passion for photographing the “under-documented”, what is one thing that you wish you could capture on camera?

Aurora in Jan Mayen!

Where is the next place that you want to shoot with Lume Cubes at and how would you use the Cubes?

The Karakoram. I would use the cubes to light up the glaciers and climbers at night. Coming to you in 2022. :-)

Describe your photography style in 5 words.

I find it nearly impossible to describe my own style but we recently polled our audience about this and here were the answers: Exploratory, Alive, Dreamy, Dark, Adventurous

If you could go on an adventure-photography trip anywhere in the world with one other person… where would you go and who would you take (you don’t need to know the person… celebrities are fair game)?

With two little girls to keep us very busy, lately my wife and I haven’t had much time together to go and explore. We tend to take turns. I would see if she’s keen to come and try to catch the aurora in Antarctica.

You have published 6 books which is an amazing feat, why did you decide to document your photography that way and not digitally?

Simply because there’s nothing that quite compares to feeling the images between your fingers and seeing them in print. That’s when I feel the vision is complete.

Follow Paul Zizka on Instagram!