As extreme drought conditions continue throughout the province of British Columbia, residents in the Okanagan grow more concerned about new wildfires every day. After a grass fire at a slope above Kalamalka Lake on the previous day and the following night, smoke was spotted a few miles west of Becker Lake. High winds ignited a spot fire to to a blaze of several hectares. Air tankers and helicopters from Kamloops and Vernon fought the wildfire for most of the day. All photos and the short video were taken free-handed with Panasonic’s Lumix DMC FZ300 at maximum focal length of 600 mm.
▲ Wildfire smoke seen billowing above Vernon Camera: Lumix DMC FZ300
Aperture: f/8 > Shutter: 1/320
▲ Strong winds whip the fire north Camera: Lumix DMC FZ300
Aperture: f/8 > Shutter: 1/320
▲ A Kaman K-MAX helicopter in action Camera: Lumix DMC FZ300
Aperture: f/3.2 > Shutter: 1/1300
On Saturday afternoon (2021-07-10), the BC Wildfire Service had 26 personnel on scene fighting the Becker Lake wildfire, alongside with 4 helicopters and air tanker support. At the time of this report, the fire was still classified as out of control and it encompassed a size of approximately 10 hectares.
Three house-sized boulders in a narrow gorge divide Sicamous Creek into two cascading waterfalls. A short, well developed and marked trail leads from the parking lot at Highway 97A to a viewing area from which the stunning scenery of Sicamous Creek Fatal Falls can be enjoyed. Be sure to stay on the trail(s) at all times and avoid old pathways beyond safety fences. Bring a tripod and use it if you want to soften up the motion of the waterfall with a slow shutter speed. When the sun hits the gorge on a nice day, you may want to try shooting with a good ND (Neutral density) filter.
Sicamous Creek Fatal Falls
In two separate instance, people have left the safety of marked trails for better views and have fallen to their deaths. In spring of 2019, a 27-year-old Malakwa resident died after climbing up a rock face to a cave and falling 140 metres down a steep embankment. The man who was a significant distance away from a marked trail died from a traumatic head injury sustained in the fall. Alcohol intoxication was apparently a contributing factor in the accidental death. Shuswap Search and Rescue’s cliff rescue team and members of Sicamous Fire Department struggled four hours in dangerous conditions to recover the body. Two months later, a hiker came across a body while hiking along a lower trail in the area. Police believe a 53-year-old Edmonton man left the hiking trail to get a better view of a gorge at Sicamous Creek Falls when his footing gave away and he fell 30 metres to his death.
Camera: FujiFilm X T-4 > Aperture: f/7.1 > Shutter speed: 1/8 sec. > Iso speed: ISO-160 > Exposure compensation: 0 step
Ancient times and nature come together at the Historic Dun-Waters Farm & Short’s Creek Waterfall in Fintry BC. A long history and traces of First nation’s people and European settlers is preserved in Fintry Provincial Park on Lake Okanagan in British Columbia. Historic Dun-Waters Farm at Short’s Creek and waterfall in Fintry BC, is an interesting place to visit.
Captain James Cameron Dun-Waters named Fintry after his hometown in Scotland. He built and operated a farm business, boating service, an orchard and a fruit packing plant supported by innovative hydro-electricity generation and irrigation systems.
Brenda Falls at Sugar Lake Dam, BC with Lumix FZ300 & FujiFilm X T-4 – The powers of water are best captured in high speed photography or in video. This visit to Brenda Falls just below of Sugar Lake took place in the late part of winter with difficult lighting conditions. Shooting out of the dark into bright sunlight or illuminated water can be a challenge.
Brenda Falls at Sugar Lake Dam is worth a visit for photography buffs and anyone who loves the raw power of waterfalls. Caution is advised when attempting to get closer to the rivers edge via the western side’s former viewing area. A steep, old trail that leads down to the water is badly eroded and the place could be dangerous during the dam’s high water releases.
The video shows a few stills and some scenes shot through the trees from the steep shoreline. The water looks a bit overexposed as the camera (Panasonic Lumix FZ300) struggles with the difficult lighting.
Brenda Falls at Sugar Lake Dam, BC and all other hydroelectric facilities create special risks for visitors. Sudden changes in water flows in the spillway, strong currents near the dam, and the presence of numerous log jams and debris make swimming and boating dangerous. For your own safety, stay behind fenced areas, away from all hydroelectric operating structures, and away from steep cliffs. Before embarking on a trip, ensure that you have detailed mapping, have first hand knowledge of the river and present conditions, and have taken adequate safety precautions, especially during high water. Leave a plan of your trip with a relative or friend.
Shuswap Falls, BC – Photo Shoot with Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ300 & FujiFilm X-T4 – Shuswap Falls near Lumby in British Columbia facilitates BC Hydro’s Wilsey Dam which features multiple waterfalls year round. A prominent viewing platform high above one of the dam’s bypass channels provides spectacular views to the frothing waters below. Further north along the course of the Shuswap River at 29 Km distance is the site of Sugar Lake dam. Historically known as Brenda Falls, the river drops there about 30 feet. The structure is a 150 m long and 13 m high concrete buttress dam that provides storage and regulation for the BC Hydro Shuswap Falls generating station downstream. Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-300 > Aperture: F/2.8 > Shutter Speed: 1/800 > Sensitivity: ISO-100
The FujiFilm and Panasonic’s LUMIX FZ300’s features, splash proof and dustproof rugged design with tight seals on every joint, dial and button, stand up to harsh weather conditions and challenging environments. Shooting at or near waterfalls are no problem for these camera due to their ruggedness. The image to the left was taken from a viewing platform at the dam which allows for dramatic shots of the raging waters below. Camera: FujiFilm X T-4 > Aperture: F/4 > Shutter Speed: 1/250 > Sensitivity: ISO-160
The is the most powerful model of FujiFilms X Series cameras to date with no compromises for stills or video. Using the 4th generation X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, X-Processor 4, a newly developed compact in-body image stabilization (IBIS) system, new Film Simulation mode “ETERNA Bleach Bypass” and various other features that have evolved based on user feedback, this camera delivers image quality that can satisfy the demands of professional photographers and videographers.
The Panasonic Lumix DMZ FZ300 with it 600 mm/F2.8 high speed lens and 4K video/photo recording capability is an all-round bridge camera that definitely satisfies its user to catch fleeting photo opportunities.
The following video shows never seen before shots of beautifully coloured waters rushing through rugged canyons below the dam. In one of a few still images at the beginning of the video, an overlay image shows what the site looked like before the dam was built. All images and video scenes were shot with Fujifilm’s X-T4 and Panasonic’s DMC300 cameras.
Explore the marine life and rugged coast lines along the Wild Pacific Trail near the town of Ucluelet, BC. Nearby vast beaches in Pacific Rim National Park offer endless photo opportunities. The Rock Bluffs at the end of the Wild Pacific Trail offer elevated views over the sea. Radar Hill and Long Beach notoriously provide breath taking settings for beautiful sunsets. Camera: Cannon PowerShot G16 > Scene: Super Vivid > F-stop: f/3.2 > Exposure time: 1/2000 sec. > Exposure compensation: 0 step > ISO speed: ISO-80.
Along the route, several short side trails branch off from the main route near the ocean’s edge. Viewpoints offer countless opportunities for watching a gorgeous sunset over the water. Crashing waves onto rugged shorelines are the most exciting moments one can capture with a camera. The following video depicts some of those impression along the Wild Pacific Trail in BC. Camera: Cannon PowerShot G16 > Scene: Super Vivid > F-stop: f/8 > Exposure time: 1/400sec.> Exposure compensation: 0 step > ISO speed: ISO-100
If you would like explore the Wild Pacific Trail , download your copy of the trail map here
It was in late January of 2017, on a cold winter day when we sought to capture the Bighorns of the South Okanagan Near Kaleden, BC as well as some deserts, salt lakes and grasslands. For this photo shoot we had our Canons SX60 HD DSLR and PowerShot G16 with us.
Soon we already spotted a herd of Big Horn Sheep grazing beside the road. The animals were not afraid of our presence and we managed to get a few close-up photos of them. Apparently the Big Horn is at risk of contracting a lethal infectious disease which can cause pneumonia in both domestic and wild sheep and goats, but it is particularly harmful to wild sheep herds, according to the B.C. Wild Sheep Society.
Bighorns of South Okanagan Near Kaleden, BC – Bighorn sheep get their name from the large, curved horns on the males, or rams; with female sheep sporting shorter, less curved horns. Bighorn Sheep keep their horns years round, unlike mammals with antlers, which are shed each year. Bighorn rams are armed with a pair of curled horns up to 45″ in length and weighing as much as 30 pounds. These horns are used to clash or battle against competing rams to achieve dominance.
Bighorn sheep are diurnal. They are very social creatures, sometimes forming herds of up to 100, although more common are small groups of 8 to 10. Mature males keep away from young and females in separate flocks for most of the year. Young females remain with their mother’s group, which is led by an older ewe which by scientific definition is any female bighorn sheep having a horn or horns of at least 5 inches in length, each as measured on the outside curve of the horn from the skull to the tip. That’s an easy one to spot!
Following is a short video slide of the shots we produced that day in the South Okanagan Desert Country Near Kaleden, BC
Unlike the many sites on the web that describe difficulties of finding a herd og bighorns and how to take photographs of them – certainly the Bighorns of South Okanagan Near Kaleden, BC are easily to find. They are tame and they tolerate the adventurous wildlife photographer in their vicinity. However, wild animals are unpredictable. Bighorn sheep normally don’t attack humans but in the rutting season in December, the males may attack if provoked or startled.