Chris Burkard: "Iceland is one of the most beautiful locations in the world"
“Íslandsvinur” is a term you will be familiar with if you’re Icelandic. It means “friend of Iceland” and basically applies to anyone who visits Iceland more than once.
By Kári Gunnarsson
Chris Burkard has spent much of the last ten years chasing the perfect wave, scenic vista, and inspiring hike. During that time he has traveled to Iceland more than twenty times to find some of the last quiet places in a world that is constantly getting louder. Burkard believes it’s his blessing and responsibility to share these images and to inspire others to seek out wild places for themselves.
First of all, how many times have you been to Iceland?
“22 times so far and I have two more trips planned for this year!”
When was your first trip to Iceland and how did that come about?
“I had been traveling around the world photographing surfers on scenic beaches with warm comfortable waters. I became restless just doing the same tropical photography that everyone else in the industry was doing. I wanted something more. An opportunity came up in 2009 to explore Iceland’s remote surf and I didn’t hesitate to take advantage.”
Iceland doesn't have a rival
In your TED-talk you describe the fulfillment of photographing in a remote and cold environment. What’s Iceland like for you as a photographer?
“I truly believe that Iceland is one of the most beautiful locations in the world. In terms of photography, it really doesn’t have a rival. From volcanic mountain backdrops to the northern lights and perfect surf, it repeatedly blows my mind.”
What is the most memorable experience you have had photographing in Iceland?
“I’ve been working on a special project recently with the goal of capturing surfing under the northern lights. I got some epic shots for the project on my recent trip back to Iceland so I’m really excited to release them in the near future. There’s so much work that goes into each of these trips that being fortunate enough to not only have insane swell conditions but score northern lights is a dream come true.”
When’s your next visit to Iceland?
“I’ll be heading back in late April and May for a commercial project and workshop respectively. I’m so stoked and can’t wait to get back!”
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