„In life, there are no shortcuts to joy. Anything that is worth pursuing is going to require us to suffer just a little bit.” In his recently published TED talk surf photographer Chris Burkard talks about his love for remote locations, cold-water surfing and the challenges and creativity it sometimes takes to get there.
Burkard is one of the world’s most known surf photographers. Something, that not only his luscious some 741k followers on Instagram state, but also the fact that upon seeing one of his images one already somehow knows it is his without even having seen the credit. Whether it is the distinct color correction or rather the iconic great outdoors themed settings that make his work so utterly recognizable in the great ocean of others’ is up to the observer. Most likely though, it is a little bit of both.
When at the age of 19 young Chris presented his idea of pursuing life as a surf photographer to his parents, they were quite understandably not so sure it was just such a great idea. Now, about ten years later, it has become pretty clear that it was the best one he could have had. While during the early stages of his career Burkard did mostly commercial work, it soon dawned on him that shooting on crowded beaches in exotic tourist destinations would not satisfy him for long. “Any career, even one as seemingly glamorous as surf photography, has the danger of becoming monotonous.” he states at TED. So he decided to broaden his horizon and look a bit further than the tropical waters around the equator. Ever since he has been focusing his work on shooting at some of the most remote and rugged locations on earth, including Iceland, Russia, Norway, Chile, Alaska and the Faroe Islands, places he describes as being able to provide a clarity and connection to the world that could never be found on a crowded beach.
Although we at Atlantik Surf do not dig the cold waters quite as much as Burkard does, we do appreciate the solitude that can be found on late season weekdays on any of the Ajo beaches. Whether you’re more into the excitement and diversion of the high season or would rather enjoy the peacefulness of September is up to you. So check out our camp in Cantabria and select your favorite!
If you want to find out more about Chris’ life as a surf photographer and his road to cold-water solitude watch the TED talk below or check out his Instagram profile.