Fit for Photography
By Adrian Zupp
Landscape photography can make real demands on your body. Long hikes, tough terrain, extremes of temperature – they all take their toll. And then there are those unexpected things like freak weather events, slips and falls, and… quicksand! (Remember the scene in “From the Edge with Peter Lik” where Peter’s “world” started sinking?)
Not to mention the fact that you have to carry all that gear on your back. So being in good physical condition can be the difference between a successful shoot and a failed trip. Or, in extreme cases, it could even mean the difference between life and death, or at least avoiding serious injury.
“I’ve always been very physical,” said Peter. “I enjoy being active and I love doing things to stay fit and keep my body in shape. And when I’m clambering around slot canyons and climbing ice walls, there’s a real payoff.”
For Peter, keeping fit involves a rigorous workout every morning: Weight work for strength and plenty of cardio. He’ll supplement this with extra walking and jogging whenever he can.
“Anybody who saw me climbing that massive bloody sand dune in Death Valley on ‘From the Edge’ will know that fitness is really important for what I do,” added Peter. “Especially the cardio.”
But a body that is worked hard needs good fuel too.
“I eat well and pay attention to the major food groups,” said the Master Photographer. “I watch the fats and sugars. But I still enjoy a meal out or the occasional burger – and being an Aussie I don’t mind the odd beer or good glass of red. You have to live! Anyway, if you exercise regularly, you burn off those excess calories.”
It’s testament to his health regime that Peter rarely gets sick and manages to navigate some of the most challenging terrain in the United States without suffering injuries like muscle pulls and other strains and tears. And as long as he keeps the water up, fatigue rarely gets the better of him.
So do your photography — and your life in general — a favor: Get fit, eat well, and stick with it. You’ll be glad you did.