Lomographers are deservedly well-known as the life of the party, the street-smart shooters, and urban adventurers, but this Canada Day I’m heading north and isolating myself in the small town of Campbell River. No people, no noise, just me, the ocean, and nature. Do you bring your cameras into the wilderness? See some of my earlier wild attempts after the jump.
Land of wilderness, of course. 90% of the population lives within 200 miles of the US border. It’s not that we’re trying to be American, it’s just that it’s way too cold and barren for a lot of us in the empty areas! It’s not called the Great White North for no reason… When I say I’m heading north I mean relatively. Campbell River is about the same latitude as Vancouver, but it’s halfway up my island so it’s north for me.
There’s plenty of rugged coastline on my side of Canada. Plenty of islands and forests to explore, and mountains of course. I’ve also explored a bit of the wilderness in the middle, and driving through ‘Northern’ Ontario with my dad in the summers. The Canadian Shield always amazes me. So many rocks and lakes! But where else have I seen wilderness…
There’s less vast wilderness in Western Europe than in Canada because so many cities are so close together. To give an example, my trip to Campbell River will take me about three and a half hours to drive on a highway. That is longer than it took me to drive from Arnhem to Groningen in The Netherlands last summer – almost the whole length of the country!
In France, when I left the town I was living in I would come across a new one within five or ten minutes. I’d count the church steeples as I rode the bus to or from the train station, each steeple marking a village along the Normandy coast. It was not unreasonable to see five or six towns on a clear day, something that can’t be imagined for a Canadian!
I found some of the best ‘wilderness’ in France near Bordeaux. A sunset over a huge sand dune and forest dotted with crumbling abandoned German bunkers from the Second World War made for some excellent photos.
I live in a big country. Only 34 million people live scattered across the second largest nation on earth. My province has 4.4 million people, but it’s bigger in size than Japan (128 million). And France? The Arrogant Worms’ song puts it well: “Most people will tell you that France (about 64 million) is pretty large, but you can put fourteen Frances into this land of ours (but it’d take a whole lotta work).”
So this Canada Day (did I mention that’s July 1st, for all you non-Canadians), I’m embracing the spacing and heading out into the wilderness. I’m bringing my camera, and I’ll share the results when I get back.
Share your favourite wilderness shots in the comments below!