Exporting our Forests

For work I do a lot of travelling on the Island, generally driving at least 1,500 km a week. It has given me a real appreciation for where we live, and the magnitude of the shear beauty with which we are surrounded, yet too often fail to notice. Photographically it has been a real challenge to capture, which means it has been a great learning experience. My favourite drives are those that take place on remote roads at happy hour, when the world turns golden and everything shimmers with vibrance. It’s drives like these that test my ability to keep driving, and resist the urge to stop every few minutes to snap picture after picture. I just returned from a trip to Port Hardy, and surrounding areas. A lot of these shots were on the roads to Zeballos or Tahsis. I didn’t really comprehend what I was witnessing, until I showed some of my pictures to my dad who was shocked by the evidence of what he has been hearing about the mass exportation our raw lumber. So, I put together a photo essay: ‘Exporting our Forests’. Please click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

The forests of Vancouver Island are vast, lush, and full of life. Gazing out at the magnificent landscapes of green I often feel like I’m looking at the real Jarassic Park. Here you can see the scars of human ambition clearly on this natural landscape. Our forests seem to be migrating.

I had just reached the highway after pounding back along the road from Zeballos, when I heard the train coming. I immediately threw the truck in neutral, grabbed my camera, switched it to shutter priority and ran across the highway just in time to capture this. This is the engine that is conducting the migration.

Hundreds of sturdy couplings link together thousands of trees.

When I saw this fully loaded train of logs sitting unattended, I couldn’t resist the urge to forge my way down the bank and away from the highway in order to climb on board. That’s a lot of logs!

A few minutes later the train I had photographed earlier caught up with me.

I have no idea how many cars there were, but they went on further than I could see, and were all fully loaded and waiting for the express train to the ocean where they will no doubt be formed into log booms and shipped away across our borders. This is my first moderately successful HDR image, a combination of two separate exposures which gives it a bit of an uncanny look and texture. I still can’t decide whether or not I like it. So much to learn.