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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.

Celebrating One Year + Wild Places e-Book

Words by Stephen DesRoches
Feature image by Paul Zizka

My introduction to OFFBEAT began in a hotel room in Whitehorse, Yukon, after a workshop in Kluane National Park and Reserve. It was from this hotel room that Dave Brosha and Paul Zizka launched and announced the first version of the OFFBEAT website to the world – the beginnings of a community of photographers geared towards pushing each other further.

No Dress Rehearsal

I’m a huge music buff and one of my favourite bands is a band that is no stranger to Canadians: The Tragically Hip. The Tragically Hip have many brilliant songs with many brilliant lyrics, but one of my favourite lyrics from the song “Ahead By A Century” has this little lyrical gem:

“No dress rehearsal, this is our life.”

The sentiment of this line – that you only live once, so make the bloody most of it – is what drives me not only as an artist but as a human being as well.

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.

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.

OFFBEAT Community: What to Expect

What is this new online photo community all about? The main goal for OFFBEAT is simple: to create the most supportive, relatable, helpful, engaging photo community out there!

For many years, the OFFBEAT Team has been involved in many aspects of the photography industry, including other online communities. We have greatly benefited from being involved in other web-based platforms – so much so that we wanted to create a platform for others where we could put our own twist on the things we love the most!