Exclusive Interview! Paul Bride – Explorer & Outdoor Photographer

Paul Bride, Photographer and Adventurer
Paul Bride, Outdoor Photographer

We love getting inspiring outdoor athletes on for interviews and have another one this week who kindly gave up there time to answer a few questions for CheapTents.com readers!

Paul Bride a photographer of whom work has been seen in the Rock & Ice magazine and multiple.  Here’s a bit more about Paul and his adventures…

About Paul Bride

Paul Bride is an adventurer & travel photographer/videographer specialising in expeditions with a focus on climbing and travel. Paul’s work appears consistently in the climbing and outdoor world – in high profile . He currently resides in Squamish British Columbia Canada.

Paul has done a wide range of photography for editorial clients including:

  • Rock & Ice, Gripped, Pacific Yachting, Men’s Journal, Canadian Alpine Journal, Outpost, Beautiful British Columbia, Alpinist, Canoe& Kayak, Powder, Skier, Climbing, Explore Magazine
  • The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, The Province, The Chief

In addition to editirorial photography Paul Bride has done a wide range of phtography work for huge outdoor brands including: Mountain Safety Research (MSR), Arc’teryx, Patagonia, BlueWater, Julbo, Canadian Mountain Properties, Therm-a-rest, Platypus, Sea to Sky Air, Sea Eagle Boats, FiveTen, Blurr, Valhalla Pure, Backpacker Pantry, Custom Color, Pelican, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Whistler Mountain,

Paul Bride Expeditions

Paul has been on a wide range of expeditions, sending him and his camera to places to places all over the world allowing him to come back with some truly spectacular imagery.   Expeditions include:

  • 2008 India – Documentary photographer for climbing in Southern India
  • 2007 Australia – Documentary videographer for climbing/surfing expedition
  • 2006 Nepal – Teng Kang Poche, 21,000 ft peek – expedition photographer
  • 2005 Malta – Deep water soloing – climbing expedition photographer
  • 2004 Waddington Range BC – First accent of the ‘The Smoke Show’ – climbing expedition photographer
  • 2004 Vietnam – Deep water soloing – climbing expedition photographer

Specific highlights of footage from worldwide expeditions have included:

  • 2006/07 Banff Mountain Film Festival -Winner of Best Short Mountain Film – ‘Cobra Crack’ filmed by Paul Bride
  • 2007 – Carte Blanche Photography Book 1. Chosen as one of the top practicing Canadian editorial photographers.

Paul Bride is a key part of MSR’s sponsored outdoor sports athletes – testing gear and a photographer for the company.  MSR is a strong advocate of sponsoring the best outdoor athletes to achieve such things amazing.  Here’s a snippet of their outlook on sponsoring outdoor athletes;

MSR, Therm-a-Rest, SealLine and Platypus support a group of outdoor athletes who are constantly redefining the notion of outdoor recreation and the spirit of adventure, as well as using their notoriety for a greater good. Their personalities and adventures provide inspiration to everyone; from beginners to seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

And because these athletes rely implicitly on their gear for survival, we’re inspired by their trust and feedback to continue creating the best outdoor gear available.

Here at CheapTents.com, we love MSR tents and all their other outdoor equipment, and it’s clear to see why…it’s this in-depth research and time spent on specialist areas of outdoor gear that improves their product development processes.

Paul Bride, Outdoor Photographer
Paul Bride, Outdoor Photographer

CheapTents.com: What inspired you to get into photographing the outdoors?

Long before I even knew I wanted to get into outdoor adventure photography I was always inspired by images of far away places and expeditions. It wasn’t until my girlfriend (now wife) loaned me a point and shoot camera for my first big adventure that set me on my path.

CheapTents.com: What has been your biggest adventure or other achievement?

One of my most memorable adventures took place in Vietnam with only one other climber in search of deep water soloing routes (Climbing sea cliffs without ropes, eventually falling in the water). We spent 3 weeks floating on the South China Sea on a homemade raft, constructed of 2 inflatable kayaks, a portaledge, and the MSR fusion tent that we brought from home.

Paul Bride, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Paul Bride, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Locals had warned us to avoid the military at all cost so keeping our expedition stealth was very important. There are thousands of limestone towers that jet out of the sea and with no maps available to anyone but the military we set off with a placemat from a restaurant that had a animated drawing of what Ha Long Bay looked like as our nautical chart, getting lost was not an option. At the end of a 5-day stint we would rendezvous with a boat to pick us up so we could re-supply food and fresh drinking water.

Floating in the middle of the South China Sea on a homemade raft and watching the boat that just dropped you off disappear leaves you feeling very far from home, ‘Are you sure the captain understood he is supposed to pick us up again in a week?’ can play heavy on your mind.

CheapTents.com: What is you biggest weakness? Sport, photography or otherwise…

Sitting at the computer for days after an expedition editing images. I always want to be in the field shooting.

CheapTents.com: When did you feel like you ‘made it’ in your field of outdoor sports and photography? And do you feel like you’ve satisfied your goals?

Outdoor photography is an ongoing commitment. I feel I’m only as good as my last shoot. I don’t know if I’ll ever be satisfied there are so many trips and places I want to go.

CheapTents.com: What do you find most challenging about training? Any tips to overcome these challenges?

I really enjoy training. If I’m not moving then I’m not happy. Being in good condition I feel is one of the key components for a successful expedition. I’m always learning in the mountains from better climbers but if you can’t keep up then you can’t capture the image.

Paul Bride, Ice Climbing in the Rockies
Paul Bride, Ice Climbing in the Rockies

CheapTents.com: Blood thirsty question now, what has been your worst injury (if any) from your adventures and how did it happen?

Worst injury by far was hitting a tree while shooting skiing in the Kootenays my first winter there, I broke my ribs, ruptured my kidney, and did all kinds of damage to my back. Peeing blood and passing all the dried flakes of blood from my kidney makes for a long winter, ouch! Lol

CheapTents.com: What will be your most challenging climbs / expeditions / adventures for next year?

We are in the works of putting a trip together to the Arctic Circle but I’m not supposed to talk about it yet. Sorry!!

CheapTents.com: You’ve obviously been heavily involved with climbing and photography for a number of years, can you pick out a favorite expedition, and explain why?

One of my most favorite expeditions was to the Waddington Range right here in British Columbia Canada. I had done a lot of climbing up to that point but this was the first time I really felt like I had thrown myself into the fire, I will never forget stepping out of the chopper on to the Tiedemann glacier in a snowstorm in the middle of August. We had to ferry 600 pounds of gear over a heavily crevassed part of the glacier up a 500ft bench over the biggest Bergschrund I’d ever seen, just to reach basecamp. A friend of mine had described Waddington to me before I left as an easy place to die. Sitting in my tent soaked and alone that first night I felt like I was part of something serious.

CheapTents.com: Where would you like to be in 5 years time? Main Ambitions?

I hope in 5 years time I’m still healthy enough to be traveling and photographing in remote places.

CheapTents.com: For other budding outdoor sports enthusiasts, what tips can you provide to help other compete at a higher level?

I think the most important thing to remember is do what you love and not to sell yourself short. Outdoor sports and photography is a journey that is full of highs and lows. Testing yourself in the pursuit of personal goals can be very rewarding but different for each individual. Do and photograph what you love and enjoy the ride.

CheapTents.com: What are your favorite bits of outdoor gear, and why?

Gear is always changing so my attitude towards it changes as well.

I like to be comfortable in the outdoors and being a photographer I have to haul around a lot of [bleep!] so space is very important to me. My new best friend in the Asgard tent from MSR, this thing is bomb proof and the ventilation is excellent. Light enough to carry on long approaches yet with 2 vestibules and plenty of room inside I can share it with a partner and still have room for all my camera gear.

Eating is a bit of a hobby of mine and I don’t mind cooking so I always pay attention to stoves. The Pocket Rocket from MSR is the perfect stove for fast and light and has never failed me once (thank god) If there are a few members to our team then I have to go with the Dragon Fly from MSR as well, easy to clean, burns any fuel and sounds so cool at full throttle.

CheapTents.com: Any people or sponsors that you’d like thank? Any other comments?

Over the past years I’ve been able to use a lot of gear and work with different companies. Some of those business relationships have turned into friendships that I would like to continue.
I would very much like to thank Jim Ault at Cascade Designs for giving me a chance in the beginning.

To view Paul’s truly spectacular photography please visit:  http://www.paulbride.com


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