Chris Burkard: The joy of surfing in ice-cold water
Chris Burkard - Surf photographer
Chris Burkard travels to remote, risky and often icy locations to capture stunning images that turn traditional surf photography on its head. Full bio
this was the face of pure joy,
Arctic selfie, I shiver just a little bit.
a little bit about this photograph.
in the Lofoten Islands in Norway,
right at freezing.
trying to leave my hands,
to protect my vital organs.
and cheeks flushed red,
is somewhere I can find great joy.
psychologist Brock Bastian
of everything in the environment.
of the world much like meditation."
then I would consider myself a monk.
in freezing cold water?
a little perspective
we were hoping for good waves,
that was going to happen.
surf photographer, right?
if it's a real job title, to be honest.
my job to pursue this dream career:
and a tan that lasts all year long.
Life could not get any better.
in these exotic tourist destinations.
to these exotic locations,
and what I was finding was only routine.
and a constant cellular connection
of places heavily touristed
for me to start feeling suffocated.
others had written off
and too dangerous to surf,
against the mundane,
one thing I've realized,
as surf photography,
this monotony, I realized something:
of the Earth's oceans that are warm,
around the equator.
to happen somewhere cold,
exactly what I was looking for.
by the natural beauty of the landscape,
we were finding perfect waves
part of the world.
had piled on the shoreline.
between us and the surf,
through this thing like a maze
trying to get into waves.
one I'll never forget,
one of the last quiet places,
and a connection with the world
on a crowded beach.
and unforgiving environments,
Norway, Alaska, Iceland, Chile,
and a lot of places in between.
about these places
the creativity it took just to get there:
of beach or reef we could actually get to.
the vehicles were just as creative:
Soviet troop carriers,
bumpy boat ride
to this kind of remote surf spot,
helplessly from the water
and bits of our tent,
were at the bottom of the food chain
I traded for those touristy beaches.
to Norway -- (Laughter) --
to appreciate the cold.
the most violent storms in the world
into the coastline.
just inside the Arctic Circle.
of sheep than people,
was nowhere to be found.
taking pictures of surfers,
you're getting out of the water.
exactly what you've been waiting for:
with perfect waves.
my finger to push the trigger,
I shook it off, whatever.
the valley and hit me,
quickly became a full-on blizzard,
perception of where I was.
out to sea or towards shore,
was the faint sound of seagulls
for sinking ships and grounding planes,
I started to get a little bit nervous.
had to help me out of the water.
delirium setting in or what,
where I really began to feel
it was something I was forced to earn.
had actually taught me something:
is going to require us to suffer
that I did for my photography,
that was so much more meaningful to me
the pages of magazines.
in these places,
I had always been searching for.
and cold wetsuits
that it took just to get there,
what I see is just joy.
About the speaker:Chris Burkard - Surf photographer
Chris Burkard travels to remote, risky and often icy locations to capture stunning images that turn traditional surf photography on its head.
Why you should listen
For most people, surfing evokes sunny sand and warm, blue water in tropical locales. In his book Distant Shores, self-taught photographer Chris Burkard detours to the coastlines of Norway, Iceland and Alaska, shooting surfers as they ride waves on icy beaches that have rarely been photographed -- let alone surfed.
Traveling to often dangerous extremes to discover unknown landscapes, Burkard composes images that transcend the simple action shots of action photography, placing nature at the center of his compositions.
Chris Burkard | Speaker | TED.com