Salt Spring Island, nestled in the Salish Sea between the mainland and Vancouver Island, is a mecca for poetic landscape photographers like me, who appreciate the ethereal beauty to be found here in British Columbia amid its rugged mountains, lush valleys and windswept clouds which can create such sublime scenes almost year round. And autumn, whose light is much softer than summer’s glare, is one of my favourite times of year to catch the early morning mood of the island which often shifts subtly, but at times, dramatically like the ever-changing mist.
This past October, my brother and I headed down to the south end of the island to capture the burnt oranges, russets and saffrons in Burgoyne Valley before the heavy rains set in. However, after noticing the incredible cloudscapes forming below us, we decided to stop and take in the view before descending further into Fulford Valley. We crossed Lee Road and stood beside our friends’ farm — The Olive Farm, Canada’s first and only commercial olive grove and a fascinating setting which the owners have kindly let us explore with our cameras — to stand in awe of the transformation of the landscape before us. But knowing we would probably only have a short window of opportunity before the wind rose and the clouds scattered, we quickly began to focus on capturing this momentous scene.
I was so grateful to my brother, Michael, for having gifted me with his zoom lens which gave me enough reach to capture the serene moment you see in my photo as low clouds swirled like snow drifting gracefully through the trees, a wintry contrast to the hints of autumnal gold in the foreground — and for me, a glimpse of a quintessential fall here on our unique Gulf island.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor