It was awesome to visit Tofino and be in the company of fantastic photographers for Raincoast Education Society's inaugural Capturing the Coast photo event. Submissions were to include images captured on the west coast of Vancouver Island which "inspire people to explore, adventure and respect the region, and highlight the importance of stewardship and conservation." Here's the slideshow I created. It's a tour through some of my favorite places from Sooke to Port Renfrew, the West Coast Trail, Carmanah/Walbran areas, and Clayoqout Sound. Be sure to watch in HD ;)
I'm honoured to be among the 6 finalists nominated for Hemp & Company's inaugural Eco-Hero award! Lots of great people & friends doing amazing things. Voting is open until Feb. 28th at the bottom of this page: http://www.hempandcompany.com/pages/vote-for-your-favorite-eco-hero
Big thanks to Bill and Lorna at Hemp & Company as well for running an exceptionally green business in Victoria and for promoting and supporting sustainability wherever they can.
In late 2014 I had the chance to photograph friend and fellow environmentalist Claudia Li for the Local Hero section of Canadian Wildlife magazine. Claudia is a co-founder of the Hua Foundation, who's mission is "to build solutions for the Hua community, the ethnic Chinese community, around environmental sustainability and cultural heritage." She has also been leading Shark Truth, a project which focuses on shark conservation and the shark-fin issue. To highlight her work in promoting healthy, local, and organic eating within the Chinese community, I was looking for a vibrant market to shoot at. After hunting the streets for a couple hours and almost turning up empty handed, I met up with Claudia and went to a colorful store that she'd been directly working with. The setting was perfect and we managed to capture the shot during a short break in sidewalk traffic. Big thanks to Claudia and to the market owner for working with me on this! Gear: Canon 5D MKII, Canon 70-200 f4 IS, Canon 580ex Speedlite.
Mountain Life Magazine has published a little feature on the new Ancient Forest Alliance documentary along with some questions and answers from friend and filmmaker Darryl Augustine. You can check out the article and view the short film (which highlights some of the conservation photography work I do) here: http://www.mountainlifemag.ca/2015/01/saving-giants-ancient-forest-alliance/ It was great to work with Darryl on this - especially with the RED Epic camera - and I highly recommend him for any of your video needs! Very professional, kind, and talented individual.
2014 was an adventurous year and full of new experiences. From the thousands of images shot, I've tried pick a few favorites and create a personal top 10. Here they are (in no particular order). Hope you enjoy and here's to a fantastic 2015!
The last weekend of November, I had the chance to spend 3 days with friends at Echo Lake, located located between Mission and Agassiz on the Lower Mainland. It was a freeeeeezing cold trip (-15 with windchill) and harsh reminder of just how painful it can be to hold a metal camera for hours while trying to manipulate the finicky buttons with seized fingers! The breaker in our cabin shorted the first night as well - no lights and no heater makes for long, cold evenings.. The weekend was still filled with fun and adventure though. We hiked up a currently unprotected ridge to see some old-growth Douglas-fir trees growing at the higher elevation and caught some beautiful sunlight scenes with the snow. Thanks to my friend Matthew with the Arboreal Collective, a few lucky ones also had the opportunity to climb a tall Douglas-fir tree along the lake shore. You really only comprehend their size once a tiny human is up amongst the branches - wow!
In 2012, about 60% of the ancient forests around the lake were thankfully protected through a campaign lead by the Ancient Forest Alliance. However, 40% still remain unprotected on the north slope, where we hiked. Besides the impressive trees, the lake is also home to the world's largest night roosting site for bald eagles, who feed on salmon in the nearby Harrison-Chehalis River Estuary each fall. The eagles are the main reason why I visit each year at this time but unfortunately the numbers were really low during our visit due to recent flooding which covered up their fish supply. I still managed a few photos but missed the epic scenes of thousands along the river from previous years. That's nature for you I guess ;)
I'm always honored when the opportunity arises to speak about photography and our environment - big or small, all talks present a great chance to have a personal conversation about our human experience on this planet. This week I spoke with a Victoria high school photography class on the topic of Conservation Photography & BC's Ancient Forests. It was around their age when my interest first peaked in photography and I hope that it may have planted some seeds along their path's to the future. If you're a local school group or organization, and would like to host a slideshow presentation, please just shoot me an email! Thanks :)
Super happy to share this new documentary on the Ancient Forest Alliance, produced by friend and filmmaker, Darryl Augustine. The 16 minute video features an overview of the history of the Ancient Forest Alliance, spectacular images of BC’s old-growth forests (shot in 4k), and interviews with myself and Ken Wu, tourism business owners, forestry workers, First Nations, politicians, and individuals in the BC forest conservation movement. It was fun and adventurous working in the woods with Darryl on this and hopefully the film will shed more light on what we do as an organization as well as my role as a conservation photographer in BC. Enjoy!