In the late summer months of 2009, I took one of the most enjoyable family trips I can remember to a little place called Chatterbox Falls at the end of Princess Louisa Inlet along the coast of British Columbia.
I don’t think most photographers are expecting to obtain a lot of keepers when on a family trip. I know that my own mind changes when I go on a trip like this, thinking to myself – “This trip isn’t about getting photos, it’s about spending time with family”
Unfortunately, there is no substitute for experiencing something firsthand, but good photography helps create a part of those moments in the viewers mind. When we left Puget Sound and headed north toward our destination, I found that disconnecting myself from the “mission” of always seeking out good photos had little or no effect on how I see the world. Instead, while it was much easier to relax, I was still unconsciously forming images in my head without actively trying to do so.
As I was sitting on the back deck of my father’s boat, the “Sea Chase”, I was compelled to capture this photo while we steamed north early in the morning.
I still remember sipping a cup of coffee and making some minor adjustments while in live view mode looking over the stern. There was a warm breeze blowing and the scent of the salt water reminded me of how I often miss living near the coast. Now, it’s about a 6 hour drive for me to get back to where I spent a lot of my youth.
This trip was different for me. It was different in that it occurred about three months after my mother had passed away of cancer. In a lot of ways I was not the same person I was prior to that early morning phone call on the 15th of May, and even today, I still don’t feel the same as before.
A few days after my first photo, we started through the Jervis Inlet in BC. Again, I was compelled to make some photographs, this time in black and white, to communicate just grandeur of the scenery as you transit that passage.
This is one of those places that truly is remote. The only access is via boat and it is not a short trip. We passed several sailboats both on the way up and the way back as well.
Upon arrival to the docks at Chatterbox Falls, I spent a few hours exploring the area and looking for pleasing compositions amidst a lot of mosquitoes and other flying insects. The noise of falls sounded like a gargantuan white noise generator, and in the evening I probably slept more soundly than I can remember.
Swimming in the falls, about 30 feet or so behind the bottom of the frame above, was nothing short of awesome. While the water coming off the falls was ice-cold fresh water, the salt water at the base of the falls was warm for about the top few feet. If you ever get the opportunity to visit this location, I couldn’t recommend it more. There are a lot of good photo opportunities all up the BC coast and on the East side of Vancouver Island. If you love the sea like I do, then you will not be disappointed. Just watch out for the sea state crossing the Straits of Georgia – it can get a little dicey 🙂
This experience taught me one thing:
As a photographer, you don’t ever really stop seeing things photographically, even when you aren’t intending to.