Having been to the island 17 times, the rawness of the place that is set to a backdrop of powerful and unique landscapes is what draws him in over and over again. The surf is hard, so hard in-fact that when everything lines up the experience is so intense that you are gripped, an instant addict to the cold swell sets in. Though this was one of his many trips to the island, the distinctive unknown of where they went was still prominent in their journey.
As we have fanned out across the globe our attention has been brought to one specific area more recently; Scandinavia. Why? The draw for Chris, and in particular the reason he loves to shoot there, is the real experience that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Feeling a deep connection to the location you are in is not uncommon, Chris immerses himself into every shot he takes, plunging himself into the cold biting water of the Arctic because that is the true way to understand a place.
The draw of this foreign landscape can be felt in Chris’s photography, it inspires a sense of exploration and possibly alters your sites to a new world, almost untouched by the hand of man, raw, open and honest. Could this be what sits behind the new found fascination amongst the tribe with the land of the midnight sun?
The world has been made much smaller, we no longer need to think about the idea of going further and higher to reach new places, people have documented all corners of the globe already and someone has already been there, it’s the personal unknowns and challenges which drive our journeys. Chris is a native Californian, who grew up in the warm surf on the West Coast of America, this contrast between warm and cold is what defines the unknown to his trip and the unknown is defined by a new experience in a place that is as alien as the moon in many respects.
We seek our own meaningful experiences in the unknown.
The third and final chapter of Chris’s story, “Seeking Beauty”, is coming soon.
Photography. Chris Burkard
Words. Jeffrey Bowman, Guest editor