Newsletter No. 80: March 2012
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
- Our New Website is Live: Check it out!
- Aerial Exclusive: This Issue of British Columbia Magazine
- Fraser River Photo Tour/workshop: Part I – The Joy of Sharing
- Bowron Lakes Ski Adventure: Part I. What a great trip!
- Flyover: Robinson 44 helicopter flight
- Simple Compositions in the Grasslands: Shoot high, shoot low
Actually, you already have! This is the inaugural Newsletter from our new site, and new mail-out system.
Our hope is that we have made the various features faster and easier to get to for everyone, ourselves included.
With this Newsletter behaving more like an e-published magazine, the new blog is designed to be more immediate, shorter and more frequent. In it Chris will post tidbits that are too good to make wait. To stay connected, find us on facebook and don’t be shy about ‘commenting’; we want to hear from you!
We hope you like the new look, and please send us questions or queries about anything you see here.
This month, British Columbia Magazine has featured a photo essay and story based on my new publication Flyover: British Columbia’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast which is to be released this October. The story titled “Flight Plan” was written by Sage Birchwater who is co-authoring the book.
You can also check out the magazine online. There is a short story under “current issue” and a link to a photo essay titled “aerial images of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast” on the Home page.
As I contemplate the upcoming Fraser River Photo Tour/Workshop, I find myself thinking about why I feel so passionate about wanting to share this particular trip.
When I first came to BC in 1969, I immediately starting exploring wilderness areas around Vancouver, where I had a teaching job. I was puzzled to only find Europeans in all these beautiful places. Where were Canadians, or at least British Columbian’s?
When I excitedly told others about my unbelievable discoveries, they just looked at me as if I were from another planet. To make a long story short, I, along with another friend from Eastern Canada, started the very first B.C. adventure tour company, EcoSummer Expeditions. People joined us to sea-kayak, hike, and photograph in areas such as Haida Gwai, Edziza and the Spatsizi. We just felt compelled to share the most spectacular parts of B.C. that we had discovered.
I guided such tours, of which many were specific photographic tours and workshops, for 35 years. The feeling of excitement at seeing a new and beautiful place for the first time was always so strong in me that I have always wanted to share that feeling with others.
The central Fraser River canyon is one of those exceptional places where few have ever set eyes on. I travelled the route of this tour many years ago and I have never forgotten it. It is staggeringly beautiful with wildlife thrown in as an extra. When Douglas Green asked me to join him in offering this trip as a photo tour/workshop, I jumped at the opportunity.
The above picture was taken from the air, but just look at it for a minute. In mid-summer there will be large sand bars to get out and walk on and photograph from. The colours and shapes of the landforms are dramatic. Big Horn sheep and eagles (and much more) abound. There are the grasslands to hike up on and explore. There are salmon in the river which will provide sustenance for us. There will be so much to see and do – and photograph.
This will be amazing. I hope some of you will join us.
For more information visit my tours and workshops page on this site, or visit
http://jetboatadventures.com/ to register.
In my next Newsletter I will talk about the “workshop” aspect of the trip.
Two weeks ago Rita and I joined Dave Jorgenson and Cherly Macarthy of Whitegold Adventures for a 4-day back country hut to hut ski adventure in Bowron Lake Park. Joining us was a writer from Westworld Magazine, Tyee Bridge, and I was on assignment to photograph it.
We pulled our gear on sleds because it’s much easier than carrying it on our backs, and we spent our cozy evenings in old trapper cabins. It was an incredible experience in a spectacular part of the province, as you will see over the next newsletters.
My only photographic wish for this trip was that a heavy wet snow would laden the trees, thus creating a ‘Christmas card’ landscape. Mother nature did not disappoint. From our cabin on Isaac Lake, nestled in the interior rainforest of the Cariboo Mountains, a small group of us headed out for an exploratory ski through this beautiful forest. With no sled attached I was easily able to jump about, positioning myself to capture meaningful compositions.
This is a continuation of my article ‘Directional Light’ in Newsletter #79 when I flew with helicopter pilot Brian Allen from Whistler to Chilko Lake. After flying over the highest peaks of the Coast Mountains we dropped down into the Chilko Lake valley. This was the first time I had ever seen the southern end of Chilko Lake.
Chilko Lake © Chris Harris
The day was overcast but visible in the distance is the blue sky beyond the mountains, which provided the directional light and the high contrast images I shared with you in my previous Newsletter. While flying north along the eastern side of Chilko Lake I made this image in the same manner as I did with the previous Chilko image above. This was also processed as an HDR.
In mid February, with the sun low on the horizon, and the light warm, Mike Duffy and I went for a long hike through the Chilcotin grasslands. These grasslands, themselves a wonder of the natural world, are situated in the eastern part of the remarkable Chilcotin Ark. The Chilcotin Ark is the world’s largest temperate intact environment, with the greatest bioclimatic diversity. As such, it could become the largest global refugia as global warming continues. The Ark will become a major part of my final and largest publication, which will cover the entire Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region of British Columbia.
This image speaks more about the grass itself. These grasses are in pristine condition, tall and thick. Compared to the image above, you might not want to hike through these grasslands. It looks more challenging, and the mere thought of trampling through such pristine grass might be too much for you. The mere placement of the horizon can make a huge difference in what you are trying say and how it is interpreted.