Home Travel Mesmerizing images capture daredevil climbers hanging from ice caves and rock faces against a stunning backdrop of the Northern Lights

Mesmerizing images capture daredevil climbers hanging from ice caves and rock faces against a stunning backdrop of the Northern Lights

by Merry
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Paul Zizka, 44, from Banff, Canada, specializes in photographing auroras in some of the region's most scenic parks.

These amazing photographs certainly take the saying “lights, camera, action” to a whole new level.

Photographer Pablo Zizka44, from Banff, Canada, specializes in capturing auroras in some of the region’s most scenic parks, but adds massive ice caves and daredevil climbers to the mix to up the magic.

One of his new images shows a climber on an arching ice wall, with the northern lights glowing purple and green amid a shower of brilliant stars.

Another photo shows the silhouettes of two climbers as they climb up a large rock face in the night sky, their flashlights illuminating their bodies.

Paul Zizka, 44, from Banff, Canada, specializes in photographing auroras in some of the region’s most scenic parks.

But the cameraman adds huge ice caves and daredevil climbers to the mix to heighten the magic.

But the cameraman adds huge ice caves and daredevil climbers to the mix to heighten the magic.

Zizka captured the images in the Canadian Rockies and in locations around Jasper National Park. The photo above was taken in Banff.

Zizka captured the images in the Canadian Rockies and in locations around Jasper National Park. The photo above was taken in Banff.

In this shot, also taken in Banff, a climber can be seen holding a flashlight as the lights of a road and houses shine below.

In this shot, also taken in Banff, a climber can be seen holding a flashlight as the lights of a road and houses shine below.

To achieve the compositions, Zizka used a variety of different Canon camera bodies.

His distance from climbers varied from 4 feet to a mile and in some cases he needed to communicate with his subjects via radio.

To achieve the compositions, Zizka used a variety of different Canon camera bodies. The climbers’ distance from him varied from 4 feet to a mile and in some cases he needed to communicate with his subjects via radio.

Meanwhile, in another capture, a climber tackles an ice-covered rock wall above water, with the scene reflected in the mirror-like surface.

Zizka captured the images in the Canadian Rockies and in locations around Jasper National Park.

To achieve the compositions, he used a variety of different Canon camera bodies.

His distance from climbers varied from 4 feet to a mile and in some cases he needed to communicate with his subjects via radio.

“The distance from the subject varies from a few meters to more than a mile, depending on what tells the story best and offers the best composition,” Zizka explained.

“When the climbers are at a considerable distance, I communicate with them by radio.”

The cameraman says that “the circumstances around each of these images varied quite a bit, many of them are taken in the moment during a climb.”

He continued: ‘While others are more pre-visualized with many factors coming together.

“The distance from the subject varies from a few meters to more than a mile, depending on what tells the story best and offers the best composition,” Zizka explained.

The cameraman states that 'the circumstances around each of these images varied quite a bit, many of them are taken in the moment during a climb'

The cameraman states that ‘the circumstances around each of these images varied quite a bit, many of them are taken in the moment during a climb’

At times, Zizka said the search for the perfect shot required him to move.

In other cases, he asked the climber to

At times, Zizka said the search for the perfect shot required him to move, while in other cases, he asked the climber “to move safely to a particular spot and hold a position for a few seconds” in order to capture it.

‘For example, I could follow the Northern Lights and then call my climbing models to accompany me on a photo shoot.

‘It’s a collaborative effort with the climbers and involves a lot of communication to get the position right.

“Speaking of composition, I need to look at the frame elements to see where I should place the climber.”

Sometimes Zizka said the search for the perfect shot required him to move, while in other cases he would ask the climber “to move safely to a particular spot and hold a position for a few seconds” in order to capture it.

Some of the images were more complicated to execute than others, and Zizka said this was especially the case for those “taken at night with artificial light sources illuminating the scene.”

While Zizka shot these particular images in Canada, he traveled to all seven continents documenting Mother Nature and extreme adventurers.

Some of the images were more complicated to execute than others.

Zizka said this was especially the case for those

Some of the images were more complicated to execute than others, and Zizka said this was especially the case for those “taken at night with artificial light sources illuminating the scene.”

“Speaking of composition, I need to look at the elements of the frame to see where I should place the climber,” says Zizka.

Revealing what motivates and inspires him, the videographer said:

Zizka has published eight books and his images have appeared on countless book covers and in a variety of notable publications, including National Geographic and Outdoor Photographer.

Revealing what motivates and inspires him, the videographer (pictured right) said: “Climbers love seeing the final image, and it’s a really fun process to collaborate with them to achieve it.”

Revealing what motivates and inspires him, he said: “Climbers love seeing the final image, and it’s a really fun process to collaborate with them to achieve it.”

“Seeing such small figures in vast, daunting landscapes shows how small we are in the grand scheme of things.”

Zizka has published eight books and his images have appeared on countless book covers and in a variety of publications, including National Geographic and Outdoor Photographer.

He says the general response to his images “is one of amazement and appreciation.”

“I often hear people say that the images are from another world,” he concludes.

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