Through a Photographer’s Lens: Ben Prescott’s Guide to British Columbia

Let us take you on visual tours of some of the most captivating places around the world! In the third installment of our series “Through a Photographer’s Lens,” Chilliwack‑based Ben Prescott (aka @itsbigben) reveals his favourite picture‑worthy spots in British Columbia.

I worked construction in Vancouver for 10 years – until I blew out my back when I was 26. A friend lent me his camera and told me to take it on my rehab walks. Taking pictures became a hobby, and a career. Being an outdoor adventure lifestyle photographer allows me to be in the mountains five days a week, hiking, exploring and taking photos. I love to encapsulate the feeling of just being in the outdoors in my pictures.
 
 

May 28, 2020

Annis Road, Chilliwack

A van stopped on the side of Annis Road in Chilliwack during a sunset

If you want to have a career as a photographer, you can put the odds in your favour by shooting often. You’d be forgiven for thinking this photo was taken in the middle of nowhere on a road trip, but it is actually just two minutes away from my house in Chilliwack. Right behind the van is Highway 1, which goes all across Canada – I wanted to capture the feeling of being off the grid from home.

Chilliwack River

Winter kayaking on the Chilliwack River after a heavy snowfall

This is one of my favourite spots on the Chilliwack River. A day earlier it was snowing hard and, as I sat by the river, I saw the opportunity for this shot. I put a feeler out on my Instagram to ask if there were any competitive kayakers in Chilliwack who wanted to do a photoshoot in the snow. I just wanted to capture someone who is really good at their craft and in their element.

Lake Joffre

Taking a dive into Lake Joffre

You have to go to Lake Joffre late in the season if you want the place to yourself. My former intern and I woke up early and started hiking at 6 a.m. – and no one else was there.

Kimberley Alpine Resort

A foggy day on the ski slopes at the Kimberley Alpine Resort

I was in Kimberley, a ski hill close to the border with Alberta, for a week of video shooting for my buddy Jessie, who is a competitive skier. It had been foggy all day and then it just started to burn off and the sun began coming through. I love this type of lighting condition because it’s so rare and I just happened to have my camera with me. It’s what I’m looking for in a lot of my photos – that change in atmosphere that transforms the feel of a place.

Panorama Ridge

Garibaldi Lake below Panorama Ridge

Panorama Ridge is a long 28‑kilometre hike that takes about seven or eight hours. To capture just how massive this lake actually is, I asked my friends to stand on a ledge to show the sense of scale with Garibaldi Lake below. The picture makes it almost look like an inlet, but it’s actually a glacial alpine lake.

Cascade Falls

A hiking bridge over Cascade Falls

I love Cascade Falls and I’ve been going there for more than 10 years – it’s where I met my girlfriend, so it holds additional importance. In places like these, I recommend using a wider‑angle lens so you can capture the whole scene at one time.

Mike Lake

Aerial of kayakers on Mike Lake

It was a partly overcast day and a couple of friends decided to go out onto the lake. I was taking overhead shots of them with my drone, but right after I took this photo, it died. I managed to fly it back across the lake towards me, but it eventually dropped into the water and I had to dive in to save it.

North Cascade Range

Sunrise on the summit of Needle Peak in the North Cascade Range

This looks like an aerial photo, but I was actually standing on the summit of Needle Peak in the North Cascade Range during a sunrise in September. You hear a lot of about North Cascade National Park in Washington, but the mountain range continues past the border and starts to mellow out the further north you go before becoming absorbed into other ranges.

Coquihalla Valley

Heavy fog throughout the forest of the Coquihalla Valley

I love shooting down on trees when it’s foggy, so it looks like they’re poking through the clouds. This was taken in early May with the Fujifilm X‑T4 and a 50‑140mm telephoto lens. It was raining where we were standing and we just got soaked.

Cheam Peak

Benjamin Prescott on top of Cheam Peak at the beginning of winter

This is a photo of me on top of Cheam Peak, which offers panoramic views over Chilliwack. The snow was being blown by 60‑ to 80‑kilometre winds and the following day there was a foot of snow here and winter fully set in – there’s a good chance I was the last person on top of the mountain in 2019.

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