Chris Burkard releases "Distant Shores"

Chris Burkard

Nicaragua, where the wind is offshore, the water warm and the barrels wide open. It doesn't take long to get there from California, and it has plenty to offer for a photographer looking to shoot dreamy lineups.

If you follow his work, you know Chris Burkard is one of the most prolific and adventurous photographers of his generation. His latest hard-copy installment, entitled "Distant Shores: Surfing The Ends of the Earth," covers 180 big pages (11½ inches by 15½ inches) with more than 150 color images culled from remote regions worldwide. The 29-year-old Central California coastal native -- who spent about 170 days traveling in just the past year-- dug back a decade into his extensive archive to produce this hardcover compilation, published by AMMO Books. After an intro interview with Burkard, conducted by AMMO publisher Steve Crist, the photos take over entirely -- no captions, no white space. For a few more details on the project, caught up with Burkard via email. "Distant Shores" features 12 locations on five continents. You had thousands of images to choose from. How did a photo make the cut?
Burkard: First we narrowed down the locations, then we found images that best told the story and surf of the place. Editing down has never been my strong suit and I relied on a lot of input from the editor and trusted colleagues to help me exclude a few of my favorites. The process really seemed impossible at times.

Previewing Chris Burkard's "Distant Shores"

Why no captions?
That was a tough call, but it's similar to why we chose to make the book so big. We really wanted this to be a visual story, to let the eyes just enjoy the visual aspects of each place.

What's your shooting approach in these situations?
Often I have shots envisioned or see potential for different things and I'll do some directing on the go. But the best images usually happen somewhere in between the surfers doing their own thing and me directing a certain shot. Shooting from the water, though, I set up my position based on what the surfers are doing and will occasionally ask them to cater to my needs. But there's much less directing going on in the water than on land.

Aside from the elements, there's the human factor of rugged travel.
Personalities play a major role in life on the road and I tend to be very selective in the people I travel with. Often I am going to locations with brutal weather, and I like to take people who can roll with the punches and adapt to a variety of situations.

Is there a new distant shore you're planning for?
I have a bucket list of distant shores. Right now, somewhere deep in Chile is where my planning efforts are focused.

Anything you'd like to add?
When traveling to these distant shores my ultimate goal is to inspire others to live a life well-traveled. To take steps -- even small ones -- out their front doors and out of their comfort zones, and to grow and get to know a little more about the beautiful world they live in.

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