I live in the Canadian Rockies for a reason: I love to photograph people enjoying the mountains, especially when they are “in the zone” with their sports and passionate about what they do. These reasons alone are good enough for me, but adding the magic of nighttime to the photography takes it up a notch.

Why? I like the challenge. Technically speaking, these images are difficult to execute. Photographing adventurers at night requires an incredible amount of patience. I can visualize the images as much as I want, but otherwise have to wait for all the conditions to align in order to actually capture them.

When I get that window of opportunity, I have to have to make the most of it and act quickly. It can be a surreal and exhilarating experience, both for me and for the subject in the frame. Imagine ice climbing on a glacier at night when the aurora borealis start to dance in the sky, or paddleboarding on a mountain lake when fireworks go off in celebration of Canada Day. It takes precise timing and ‘models’ who can perform under challenging conditions, whether it’s darkness, extreme cold or holding positions for long exposures.

What this style of photography has taught me is this: Don’t stop doing what you love just because the sun went down. Darkness gives us the opportunity to experience our passions in new ways.

More info: zizka.ca

Icy Cathedral

Ice climbing under the aurora borealis at the Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta (Climber: Mike Stuart; Image: Paul Zizka)

Astro-Boarding

Snowboarding on Mt. Norquay, Banff National Park, Alberta (Model: Sue Shih; Image: Paul Zizka)

Galactic Glide

Kayaking at Goat Pond, Kananaskis Country, Alberta (Self-portrait; Image: Paul Zizka)

Cryophilia

Ice climbing at Haffner Canyon, Kootenay National Park, British Columbia (Model: John Price; Image: Paul Zizka)

A Skier’s Dream

Skiing under the aurora borealis at Lake O’Hara, Yoho National Park, British Columbia (Self-portrait; Image: Paul Zizka)

Canada Day Paddleboarder

Paddleboarding under the fireworks at Vermilion Lakes, Banff National Park, Alberta (Model: Sue Shih; Image: Paul Zizka)

A Daunting Sight

A climber looks up at the Kain Face on Mt. Robson, Mt. Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia (Model: Jesse Milner; Image: Paul Zizka)

Twilight Warrior

Yoga under the stars, Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta (Model: Vanessa Siltanen; Image: Paul Zizka)

Haffner by Moonlight

Ice climbing at Haffner Canyon, Kootenay National Park, British Columbia (Model: John Price; Image: Paul Zizka)