The Role of Discomfort in Photography

I have long been convinced that putting up with momentary discomfort – even misery – can often lead to more compelling images.

Many times, finding a better composition can be achieved by taking the shoes off and shocking the feet for a second, or bushwhacking for a couple of minutes, or walking uphill for 50 metres. The vast majority of photographers can physically accomplish those things, but they shy away from getting out of their comfort zone for a moment. And I believe that going that extra mile is what makes the difference between a good image and a powerful one, and by extension, between a good photographer and a much better one.

Discomfort is very underrated in photography. I bet it’s one of the main limiting factors for a lot of people, whether they’re aware of it or not.

Finding Opportunity in Creative Ruts

By Elizabeth Gadd 

Creative ruts.

We all experience them. (If you don’t… you’re probably not human and I need to know your secret. Seriously.)

Some ruts last only a few days. Some are much longer and more intense. I often experience a 2-3 month hiatus in my work every year, usually during the late winter to early spring months. I suppose it makes sense in a way, when everything’s dark and rainy (in Vancouver, at least) for days on end. It can easily affect one’s mood, which can bleed into the creative process as well. With 90% of my work being self-portraits, it can be a rather draining process to get in front of the camera when I’m especially feeling down and out of sorts (also, changing outfits and modeling in the cold rain and snow gets a little wearisome at times!). This being said, every time I HAVE pushed myself to get out there and create (even if I end up hating the photos), in all honesty I’ve never regretted trying – not once. I have to remind myself of this often.

10 Tips for Taking Photos from Airplanes

In our OFFBEAT Community, we post a variety of content – from educational resources for all genres of photography, to tips, opportunities for critique, and photo challenges for our members. This is just a sample from our content that usually gets posted ‘behind the scenes’ in our private online community. Curious about joining? Check out all the details and benefits here.


I have no doubt that a lot of us will fly this year, and most of the time it’ll be on a plane, going from A to B, rather than on a pricey heli-tour. While a bird’s-eye view provides interesting photographic opportunities, if you have ever tried to take photos from a plane you’ll know that an in-flight photo session can be quite challenging.

Journey Through the Torngat Mountains

OFFBEAT Co-founder, Paul Zizka, recently posted a gallery of images from the Torngat Mountains. We’re thrilled to be taking a crew of enthusiastic photographers to this incredible region of Eastern Canada next year! Bring on the wild landscape and photographic potential.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL POST AND PHOTO GALLERY

 

Paul Zizka Photography

The Torngats.

The name alone evokes a sense of mystery. Tucked into one of the most remote parts of Canada lies one of the last frontiers for landscape photographers and explorers alike: the Torngat Mountains. The area is an incredibly wild mix that fires up the imagination: Norway-like fjords, glacier remnants (and the associated turquoise lakes), a healthy polar bear population, jagged icebergs freshly arrived from Greenland, aurora-filled skies, cultural treasures, archeological gems, rich marine life, and some of the highest, most rugged peaks in all of Eastern Canada.

"Forgotten World" Of all the images I have posted from the Torngat Mountains National Park so far, this aerial view of the Southwest Arm is probably the one that is most representative of what the place is like. Part Norway, part Canadian Rockies, part Nunavut, yet unlike anywhere else I have gone before. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography. “Forgotten World” Of all the images I have posted from the Torngat Mountains National Park, this aerial view of the Southwest Arm is probably the one that is most representative of what the place is like. Part Norway, part Canadian Rockies, part Nunavut, yet unlike anywhere else I have gone before. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Best of all, all that incredible wilderness is…

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Taking Flight

Wow.  So, here we are.

Today is the day that OFFBEAT launches. 

OFFBEAT – an idea that both Paul and I have been talking about for over a year. An idea that we’re finally putting “out there” to the wind, and the world, to see if it will take flight.

OFFBEAT came out of us talking about building a community of like-minded people. We have so many passionate, amazing people who have attended our workshops, or that we’ve met on or offline over the past number of years who we feel truly connected to. People who share our love of creating, our love of the world around us, and share in the belief that you can only raise everybody up by having a positive, sharing, compassionate outlook on life, and by default, photography.

Workshops: Get Off the Beaten Track

OFFBEAT is all about tapping into that spirit of adventure and keeping life exciting by venturing off-the-beaten-track. Founders Dave Brosha and Paul Zizka have designed photography workshops that help you explore new frontiers in your photography and new corners of the globe.

The first two stops, Greenland Grandeur and Nights of Wonder: Faroe Islands, are prime examples of the far-flung destinations we’ll be exploring. From bobbing icebergs and dancing auroras of Greenland to the seaside cliffs and fjordland of the Faroes, these workshops will help participants reconnect with the wilderness and their creative side. These first two workshops are already sold out, but keep your eyes out for more great stops.