In 2011 we visited Vancouver Island together with the Olympic NP for the first time. Sadly we had only about one week on the island and could only explore the southeastern part. Therefore we decided to return this summer vacation. After a direct flight from Frankfurt to Vancouver with Condor, we went straight to Vancouver Island.
This was our itinerary:
- Goldstream Provincial Park
- Sooke Potholes Park
- Botany Bay near Port Renfrew
- Sombrio Beach in the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Provincial Park
- Duncan (with its famous totems)
- Englishman River Falls Provincial Park
- Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park
- Cathedral Grove in the McMillan Provincial Park
- Schooner Cove Trail, Wickaninnish Bay and Tofino in the Pacific Rim National Park
- Amphitrite Point on the Wild Pacific Trail near Ucluelet
- Strathcona Westmin Provincial Park with Lower Myra Falls and Lady Falls
- Tree-to-Sea-Drive to Thasis
- Atluck Creek Canyon in the Little Huson Caves Park
- San Josef Bay in the Cape Scott Provincial Park
- Telegraph Cove
- Vancouver city
At Telegraph Grove we did a nice whale watching tour where we saw some seal colonies and about 20 humpback whales in action.
We had altogether three weeks of time and besides the last two days, we spent all our time on Vancouver Island. In the first half of our trip we had very sunny weather with temperatures around 25°C. For waterfall and rainforest photography it was much too sunny. I could only use the time before sunrise or after sunset for some serious shooting. But otherwise, it was great for a relaxing summer vacation. Especially since we were camping with our tent all nights.
During the second half of our trip, the weather changed completely. We had lots of rain with temperatures around 10°C. Also not very easy for photography because I often had to use rain protection for my camera which significantly reduces usability.
And of course, we often had to put a very wet tent together. Actually, it never got dry before we returned to Vancouver. Most of the time we stayed on national park campgrounds close to the road and with some kind of infrastructure. But on two places we were camping directly at the beach after a short 1-2 hour hike: At Sombrio Beach and at St Josef Bay.
Both places were really great with some of the most spectacular landscapes in the Pacific NW. And camping at these places gives you the opportunity to shoot at the best light and weather conditions. And we had some nice campfires at the beach. Since we live in an urban environment in Germany this is a rare opportunity for us and my daughter Linnéa really enjoyed it.
Despite the not so easy conditions, I got some nice landscape images from this trip. You can find my results together with the images from 2011 in my Pacific NW gallery.
My photography kit consisted again of two Nikon D800E, a Gitzo tripod, some filters, and just two lenses: the Zeiss Otus 55mm and the Zeiss Distagon 21mm.
This is how it looks if you try to get images of a bird of prey with a 50mm lens:
This was also the first trip where my daughter Linnéa was serious about doing some photography by herself. I gave her my Nikon 1 AW1 and I must say I’m really amazed and a bit proud of her results. The following images were all shot by Linnéa, I just assisted her with the post-processing in LR after the trip.
I think that’s not bad for an 11-year-old girl.
We finished our trip with two days in Vancouver. I really love this city. Some areas of Vancouver changed quite a bit compared to 2011. Vancouver now reminds me a lot of Berlin with its unrivaled diversity of interesting small shops and individual restaurants, all this combined with much nicer surroundings. But there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch: Vancouver is a lot more expensive than Berlin. But if I had enough money and could choose a place to live, it would probably be Vancouver.