We’ve been following Christian McLeod for some time now. The Ireland based photographer and adventurer not only has mad skills, but seems to end up in the most incredible places that we kind of wish we were at too… The photos from his last trip to Iceland just blew our socks off so we thought we’d share them with you. While we were at it, we found out a little bit more about this talented photographer we are sure you will be seeing more of soon...
MIZU: First off, how did you get so damn good at photography? CHRISTIAN: Well, I'm not sure if I'm that good, but I have just grown a love for taking images while I travel, and seeing people get excited about my travels makes me want to take more photos. So I guess it's stemmed from that. I picked up a camera 3 years ago and I started bringing it down to the beach when I'd go surfing with friends, take a few snaps and jump in the water. Eventually someone recommended I send an image to a mag, and that's when I thought this could be fun documenting trips and searching for surf around Ireland. Now it's really stretched out to adventuring through Iceland, Norway, Germany, and all around Ireland. I guess the image taking has just been a natural progression.
MIZU: You clearly have an innate love of travel and adventure. Does your photography fuel this or is it the other way around? CHRISTIAN: I was born in the Rockies, and moved to Ireland at a young age. Inbetween there was a lot of moving around and seeing people from different backgrounds and the beauty beside the harshness of life. Experiencing all this sprung my love of travel. I get grumpy and irritable when I'm stuck in one spot for too long, and travelling has been a great release and amazing learning tool. The camera has been my way of keeping my memories, and being able to show friends and family the places I've travelled and assist my stories from this adventures. I think my two loves have combined seamlessly.
MIZU: Let’s talk about Iceland…Your photos are incredibly powerful. How do you go about determining angles and perspectives once you are in a place like that? CHRISTIAN: This may sound stupid but I've seen so many images from other photographers travelling to Iceland and bringing back the most amazing awe-inspiring images and I just wanted to get over there and see the place. I wasn't too concerned with what images I'd take or how I would make mine different to all the images taken before mine. Saying that when I travel I generally take it as I go, I don't plan out images in my head until I see a place in person. Different ideas run through my mind and I think sometimes this may be possible, or this would be cool, but most times it just comes down to instinct. I go by what I like and what I think looks nice. It's funny because sometimes the best composition could be a few inches lower or a step to the right. I like to take my time and walk around, and enjoy the landscape until I see something that sparks an interest.
MIZU: How does Iceland size up against other places you have visited in the world? CHRISTIAN: Iceland is a world of it's own. I've never been to a country with such a wide variety of landscapes. From Red dirt sulphur lakes, to glacier caps, its astonishing. I hope to may a few more trips back there and explore some other areas I didn't get time to see. Especially getting some surf over there. So many photographer have gone there to take images of waves and landscapes, and it's pretty much all been shot, but I'd still like to go catch some waves over there.
MIZU: You are getting known within the world of surf photography. Is that your favorite scene to capture? CHRISTIAN: I do love to shoot surf when it's on the cards. My photography grew from surf photography, and I've been finding myself shooting a lot of adventure lifestyle and other sports like kayaking, and mountain biking. Nothing beats being in the water and taking images but adventure lifestyle has really started to match up beside surfing, as the places I've started to travel have just been stunningly beautiful. As long as there's a camera in my hand, I am happy.
MIZU: What are the top life lessons your travels and photography have taught you? CHRISTIAN: Wow. I'm not great at it sometimes, but being patient.... Travelling has really begun to teach me this. Also never underestimate anything. When I first started travelling, I found myself leaving things at home, like my down-jacket or leaving a rain coat, or assuming something wont happen. My Mom told me when I was young, "High expectations make bad travel companions"... which is entirely true, but so do assumptions. I know I'll be passing that onto my kids someday, and I'll make sure to add that word in...
MIZU: What does the future look like for Christian McLeod? CHRISTIAN: I wish I was a fortune teller, and I'd give you an accurate answer. All I know is I'll continue doing what I do for as long as I can. Working with brands like Mizu Life and other adventure brands to bring the adventure to people around the world. I've had many obstacles, and people who say I should get a job in Engineering, or a good office job. But as I said, I can't sit in one spot for too long, and I can't let go of my camera for the same amount of time. I want to live my life to the full, and experience a lot of what the world has to offer. To see more from Christian, go to www.cmcleod.com or follow him on Instagram @christianmcld