I recently spent a week photographing British Columbia with Australian Instagramer Lauren Bath. We split our time between Big White and Vancouver, essentially sampling the best of a winter wonderland and the lower mainland’s warm(ish) winter in a single trip.
Big White surprised me. I always pictured it as little more than a family-friendly resort. While that is their biggest attractions, I now understand why a few close friends have chosen to spend entire ski seasons there. The skiing is phenomenal. The Cliff Chair access some truly gnarly terrain. Gem Lake has some super long gladed runs that would save a cloudy day. And the village is surreal. Everything is ski-in, ski-out, which means it’s possible to go from skiing to the hot tub in about 3 minutes. Mixed throughout the village are a plethora of other killer activities, like Dogsledding, mega coaster tube park, and ice climbing.
We spent four days in Big White and I can already day I’d love to return. There was so much to do, we never had a boring moment.
Once we moved to Vancouver, we immediately visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It’s probably one of the easiest places to photograph. We had perfect weather for it, too, as the cloudy sky made for beautiful soft light throughout the forest. Afterwards, we focused our energy on capturing the city skyline during sunrise and sunset, while putting our cameras down throughout the day to enjoy the coffee and food the city is famous for. I cannot imagine a better coffee scene anywhere!
Hope you enjoy the photos!
Photographing British Columbia
Last winter, I discovered the Kootenay Sea while skiing at Red Mountain. I didn’t realize the phenomena occurs in the Monashee Mountains, too, but upon our arrival at Big White we witnessed the same temperature inversions that create a stunning valley fog that lies well below the ski resort.
Big White is the only ski resort with it’s own ice climbing wall. While it may not be as exciting as climbing a frozen waterfall in the Canadian Rockies, it is the perfect learning venue. Five distinct routes give climbers the opportunity to really challenge themselves in what is ultimately a safe venue.
We were also keen to hit up the Mega Coaster Tube Park. And because of a friendly wager, I am forced to openly admit that Lauren beat me in a race. We didn’t have time for a rematch, as the sky finally popped.
Technically, this is an image of a skating rink at sunset, but what you cannot see is that the rink is built right beside the ski area parking lot. It’s proof that great light trumps any subject, as this image looked boring throughout our entire stay until this moment, when it became the perfect reflective surface.
When we arrived at YVR, we saw an #exploreBC poster with an image of the Vancouver skyline from False Creek. We immediately added it to our list of shooting locations and captured it on our first evening in the city.
One of my all-time favourite photographers is David duChemin, who happens to be from Vancouver. He often mixes movement into his landscapes, which I tried to do here with the blurring lines of passing boats.
And like I said, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is the easiest place to photograph. It was like walking through an Ewok village!
Every once in a while, I’ll even make a selfie to give a scene scale…
And the final square from Vancouver was this stunning sunrise from Stanley Park. I call it a square, as the primary focus of this trip was on instagram, where you can find dozens more photos. Make sure to check out both my feed (@PhotoJBartlett) and Lauren’s (@LaurenEPBath), along with the quickly growing @HelloBC account.
More #ExploreBC photography: