Chris Burkard is a self-taught photographer and artist, based on the Californian Central Coast. His images are characterised by exuberant landscapes and moments of bliss – where humans and nature overlap in majestic form. A trip through Burkard’s portfolio is liable to awaken the free spirit in you – encouraging adventure and the travel lifestyle that ensues.
We caught up with Chris for a conversation about photography, surfing, adventure and the things that fill time in between.
Hey Chris! How are you – and where in the world are you at the moment?
I am doing great. I am currently in Grover Beach, which is home but I just returned from the Faroe Islands a couple of weeks ago. It was a great trip full of adventure and great surfing conditions.
We’re loving your recent nature and adventure images. What have been some of the best moments you’ve had lately?
This year in general has been an incredible journey. I have travelled to Iceland a few times, Norway, Alberta Canada, the Faroe Islands. I am very lucky to be able to travel around the world and document these incredible adventures. Alberta was an incredible trip. The raw natural beauty of that place is incomparable.
One thing that people notice about your images is the absolute clarity and detail from edge to edge. What’s your secret and what is your favourite lens?
There aren’t any secrets really. I shoot on Sony cameras and I have to say that they are some of the best cameras on the market. They have the fastest autofocusing system out of any camera I have ever used and they are great in low light conditions. Some of the best cameras I have ever used. My favorite lens would probably be 24-70mm f/4.
The relationship between nature’s majesty and human courage or adventure shines through your work… what got you started on this path of creative expression? And what inspires you to keep searching?
I have always had a deep love and passion for nature and the planet we live on. There are so many incredible places around the earth that I want to visit and document. With the ocean as my main muse, I have consistently captured this subject in timeless and expansive photographic impressions, utilizing the tool of surfing to approach the ocean’s intricate personality and then extending out to include the human personalities that draw meaning from this same source. Searching for wild, remote destinations and offbeat landscapes.
Which art form besides photography do you relate to or appreciate most?
I love film but I never seem to dive into it myself. It is something that I am not good at but love and respect. I have no doubt that I could shoot something but I feel what I lack is the creativity in editing. Editing is an art in and of itself that is hard to master.
Arctic Swell is a masterpiece. Any plans to venture to the Antarctic?
Thank you for the kind words about that film. It was a blast filming it and an incredible adventure I will not forget! I have a few ideas about my next destination but nothing is set in stone. Haha.
You’ve followed your passion and created an incredible lifestyle for yourself. Any words of advice for someone debating following their creative calling?
Of course. Keep pushing. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make it in this industry. I’ve had countless sleepless nights and days but if it is something that you have a deep passion for then keep striving and pushing yourself every day. You will be surprised with the photos that you create.