I am an outdoor adventure, landscape, nature, and product photographer based out of Cumberland in the Comox Valley, on British Columbia's Vancouver Island. This blog is where I post up all my adventures in the world of photography!
In the fall I had the opportunity to accompany a Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre Society (VIACS) work crew heading up to Mount Cain to install weather station towers. This is part of a larger research project on weather and precipitation on Vancouver Island and the British Columbia coast.
Although the day started pretty miserably with rain and snow coming down at the Mount Cain lodge parking lot, by the end of it we were treated to glorious sun and views.
Special thanks to the lovely folks at VIACS for having me along for the ride!
For more information, and to learn about backcountry and avalanche safety, contact VIACS:
LJ_20170930-B9301067Rustic cabins are the accommodations of choice on Mount Cain. LJ_20170930-B9301118Bill Floyd wrestles a chainsaw at the base of Mount Cain. LJ_20170930-B9301124Bill Floyd uses a chainsaw to cut plywood templates for the bases of the weather station towers. LJ_20170930-B9301275The heavy lifting was done by the good folks at West Coast Helicopter. Rain and snow featured at the beginning of the day. LJ_20170930-A9300024The parking lot at the base of Mount Cain made a good staging area and helicopter landing pad. Reaching for the skyBill Phipps attaches a load to a line on the helicopter under dark and cloudy skies. LJ_20170930-A9300164The kind folks at West Coast Helicopter saved us a hike up the mountain. LJ_20170930-A9300225Bill Floyd hikes up into the fog to the location of the upper weather station tower. LJ_20170930-B9301326The new upper weather station tower is located next to the old one along the ridge on Mount Cain. LJ_20170930-B9301329The new upper weather station tower is located next to the old one along the ridge on Mount Cain. LJ_20170930-DJI_0043Aerial photo of the site of the upper tower. LJ_20170930-DJI_0047Aerial photo of the site of the upper tower, located adjacent to the ridge run trail. LJ_20170930-DJI_0048Aerial photo of the site of the upper tower, located adjacent to the ridge run trail. The blueberry bushes are in their scarlet fall foliage. LJ_20170930-A9300269Building the tower foundations requires a variety of tools. LJ_20170930-B9301338Dave Kallai and Haj consult over the hole they are digging for the new tower foundation. LJ_20170930-B9301346-PanoPanorama of the upper tower site LJ_20170930-B9301427The lower weather station tower is in a beautiful meadow LJ_20170930-A9300300Much digging was required for the foundations of the towers LJ_20170930-A9300307-HDRThe lower tower was located in a beautiful meadow. LJ_20170930-DJI_0064Aerial view of the site of the lower tower. LJ_20170930-A9300344Large boltsr are used to anchor the towers to their foundations, rebar reinforces the poured concrete foundations. LJ_20170930-A9300347The anodized blue of the nuts stands out against the autumnal sub-alpine colours. LJ_20170930-A9300365Megan Burns and Bill Phipps pour concrete for the foundation of the lower tower. LJ_20170930-A9300387Several bags of concrete went into the foundations of the tower, all hauled up by helicopter. LJ_20170930-A9300451The skies cleared and the weather was wonderful on the hike down the mountain. No helicopter for the return trip, so all the equipment and materials had to be hand-carried down. LJ_20170930-B9301553The team: Haj, Megan, Bill, Dave, and Bill LJ_20170930-B9301554All done!
Moonlight and Magic marks the beginning of the winter festival season in downtown Courtenay on Vancouver Island. It was a beautiful rain-free evening, and it seemed as though the entire Comox Valley came out to play.
My goal for the evening was to capture the energy of the event. To this end, I generally used relatively long exposures to illustrate the movement and flow of the crowds; my shutter speed for the most part was from 1/3s to 1/20s. Shooting mostly with a full-frame equivalent of a 90mm lens, and with all the shots being hand-held, the excellent in-body stabilization of my Olympus E-M1 was a necessity.
Wishing for ramenNikkei Ramen-Ya was an oasis of warmth as the sun went down. Open lateThe crowds swelled and swirled around the lights of the stores and restaurants on 5th St. Something for everyone!Face painting was popular with the little ones. The streets were alive with the sound of musicMusic from roaming musicians, DJs, and pop-up choirs filled the street Float like a butterflyLights everywhere made for a magical evening The place to beAt times it seemed as though all of Comox Valley was gathered in downtown Courtenay Holiday spiritAll the businesses were dressed up for the holidays BubblesWhere else can you find bubble-blowing unicorns of a Friday evening? Under the bright lightsEven more music was to be heard at the stage on Duncan Avenue.
Better late than never! Below are some highlight photos from the Vancouver Island Trail Running Series race held at Transfer Beach in beautiful Ladysmith. The day was cool, and running conditions were perfect.
The full set of photos is on my website, here:
LJ_20170722-B7227912 LJ_20170722-B7227954 LJ_20170722-B7227921So many puppies at the start line! LJ_20170722-A7220247Gotta get a good pre-race stretch in. LJ_20170722-A7220501 LJ_20170722-A7220532 LJ_20170722-B7228172 LJ_20170722-A7220807 LJ_20170722-A7220883 LJ_20170722-B7228529 LJ_20170722-A7221824 LJ_20170722-B7228634 LJ_20170722-A7220139-2 LJ_20170722-B7228713
Here are some highlight photos from the grand opening celebration of the Jump and Skateboard park. What an amazing day! It was fantastic to see the community getting out to support this facility, and to see all the kids - young and old, big and small - just shredding.
Check out the full set of images here:
LJ_20170920-A9200175 LJ_20170920-B9200803 LJ_20170920-A9200222 LJ_20170920-A9200256 LJ_20170920-A9200276 LJ_20170920-A9200338 LJ_20170920-A9200341 LJ_20170920-A9200344 LJ_20170920-A9200354View from behind of skaters getting read to drop in to a skateboard park. LJ_20170920-A9200383 LJ_20170920-A9200405 LJ_20170920-A9200491 LJ_20170920-A9200535Shadow of a skateboarder dropping in at a skateboard park. LJ_20170920-B9200791 LJ_20170920-B9200871Group of skaters at the grand opening of a skateboard park.
I was fortunate enough to be able to shoot the Cumberland and Powell River stages of the BC Bike Race for the first time this year. To sum up the experience: WOW! Eleven years in, the BC Bike Race is a well-oiled machine. The logistics involved in putting on a show involving over 600 racers and many hundreds of volunteers, not to mention three ferry rides and 300 km of racing, is absolutely outstanding! Of that racing a significant portion is on sweet west coast singletrack...
Moto Patrol ready!The Moto Patrol roams the race course during the event, keeping an eye on racers and volunteers. LJ_20170707-P7070110The Cumberland Town Crier was on hand to inspire the racers at the start of their journey. Katerina NashSome serious star power shows up every year for the BC Bike Race. This year's solo womens' champion was Katerina Nash, a 5-time Olympian. And they're off!Racers surge through downtown Cumberland as the horns blow to signal the beginning of a 7-day adventure. Flowy Cumberland downhill.A racer charges down the Vanilla trail during the BC Bike Race. More sweet Vanilla flowThe Beaufort range in the background overlooks the action. Vanilla clearcutThe BC Bike Race course traverses logged forests around Cumberland. Cumberland is nestled in an active working forest, and the hard work of organizations like the United Riders of Cumberland has established ground-breaking land use agreements with the stakeholders. For more information, see http://unitedridersofcumberland.com/cumberland-trails-agreement-finalized/ Blue Collar flowBlue Collar never fails to put a smile on riders' faces. Sunset serenadeUpon arriving at the Powell River ferry terminal, racers were greeted by the dulcet tones of bagpipes. PacelineAs the race progresses, riders self-sort into groups riding at a similar speed. Over the boardwalkWoodwork is a prominent feature of many BC mountain bike trails. Getting rowdy!There's always some time to have a bit of fun on the trails, even during a race. Bike Patrol on patrol! Treats!Volunteers bearing trays of flat Coke were a welcome sight as racers neared the homestretch of the Powell River course.
The BC Bike Race is definitely a bucket-list type of event for any serious mountain biker.
For more information on the BC Bike race, check out their website: