Aitor Erkizia, ambassador of Ukuthula and photographer of stunning photos of nature and wildlife. Aitor lives in Donosti, and finds inspiration for his work in the surrounding nature. Through his careful observations of wildlife and quality time spent outdoors, he hopes to continue to improve his photography skills and inspire others to follow his love of photography as well.
1. Tell us about yourself
My name is Aitor Erkizia but everyone knows me as "Erki", I'm 20 years old and I'm from Donosti. I am currently studying Automotive in the mornings and work in the afternoons as a basketball coach. In my free time I like to go running, go to the mountains and take photos.
2. When did your interest in photography begin?
I have enjoyed taking pictures for as long as I can remember. I used to take photos with an old camera that we had at home, but it was four years ago when my brother bought a camera and whenever I could I took it from him so that I could take photos. I love nature and luckily in the environment in which I live we have nature very close to home, both the sea and the mountains.
I started carrying my camera whenever I went to the mountains and I really enjoyed taking photos, which made me particularly like landscape photography. Since then, whenever I can, I go to the mountains with friends to spend the night doing "Bivouac" so I can see and take photos at sunset and sunrise, which is definitely something out of this world
3. What do you like about what you do?
What I like the most about what I do is constantly learning new things, meeting people and visiting magical places that I would surely never have known without photography. Somehow I have also met myself. Thanks to photography I have met incredible people, who today are very important friends. I have also discovered that I like mountains and mountaineering a lot.
4. What is the most challenging thing you do?
I love spending the night in the mountains doing "Bivouac", which would be sleeping outdoors with only a mat and a sleeping bag, without a tent. The first time I spent the night in the mountains doing a bivouac was with a great friend, on Mount Izarraitz in Euskal Herria and I have a special affection for this mountain. When you're inside the bag, you look up and all you see are stars, it's something magical. But what I like most about sleeping in the mountains is the time of dawn, many times you wake up above the clouds. The color of dawn is very special, seeing the first rays of the sun on the peaks of the mountains, you see how the valleys are filled with colors and light... It is undoubtedly a unique sensation.
5. Do you have a favorite photo?
It is very difficult to choose just one photo, but if I had to choose, it would be one taken at sunrise on Mount Ernio. It was on April 18, 2021 when my brother and I left at 05:44 in the morning from Iturriotz, to be able to see the sunrise from the summit. Each one carried a headlamp and a flashlight, absolutely nothing could be seen and I remember that it was very cold and windy. But it was definitely worth it.
6. What photographers or other artists inspire you?
As I said before, I really like landscape photography, mountains and mountaineering. Carlos Llerandi, Endika Larrazabal, Julen Sanchéz, and finally Gerard Olivé, these would be some of the photographers and climbers that inspire me.
7. What are your goals/dreams for the future?
One of my goals would be to spend the night at the top of Aneto as it is the highest mountain in the Pyrenees. And my dream in terms of photography or video would be to record a documentary about me in the mountains.
8. What is your favorite Ukuthula garment?
My favorite garment from Ukuthula is without a doubt the Alpha Root Downproof jacket, I have used it on several occasions to go to the mountains and it has met all my expectations against wind and rain.
9. Your Ukuthula moment
My Ukuthula moment is when I wake up in the mountains and absolutely nothing is heard, the tranquility that you feel at that moment.