Vancouver's Lighthouse Park

Editor’s Note: We all live to get outside, so when we’re stuck inside and can’t get out ourselves, what do we do? I turn to outdoor photography to get my fix. Stunning landscapes, awesome in-camp shots and clutch photos of those precious golden-hour moments towards the end of a hard-hiking day all make us feel a little bit closer to the outdoors. Austin Ferguson is a Northwest local taking exactly the kind of photos we’re talking about – right here at home. In this series, check out his work from rock climbing Vancouver’s Lighthouse Park. Scroll through and feel just a bit closer to the outdoor days you love.


I lived in North Vancouver, British Columbia while I attended school at Capilano University for their documentary film program during the 2011-2012 school year. It was there that I found out about a small park called Lighthouse Provincial Park, located on the very edge of West Vancouver. I fell in love with this park and would seize any opportunity to go and explore it. What I loved most about it was the scenery; for example, the way the almost tropical blue waters lazily lapped the sun-dried-tomato-colored rocks created a beautiful color contrast. Years later, I got into rock climbing, and, last year, I saw on Facebook that a friend had done a bit of climbing in Lighthouse Park, so I had to go back and get on those rocks.

Initially, the weather just wouldn’t cooperate, but I finally got my chance. About a month ago, the weather showed clear for an entire week. I called up my friends Tom and Joey who both jumped at the short-notice Vancouver climbing adventure. The following day, we all piled into my car and drove out to Lighthouse Park. It was an epic day without a cloud in the sky. We climbed from the moment we arrived until we simply couldn’t see anymore. The real treat was the sunset at the end of the day. The dramatic golden hour light brought out colors in the rocks we hadn’t seen during the day and made for some great shots.

Vancouver's Lighthouse Park
We arrive at the parking lot around 10:00 AM. The air is brisk, and our spirits are high. The sun is just poking through the trees and casting long, dramatic shadows as it spills over George and Tom. It almost seems to be leading us through the woods to the climbing routes.

Vancouver's Lighthouse Park

George tries to find his balance as he carefully crosses a fallen tree with the crash pad on his back.

Vancouver's Lighthouse Park

We begin to set up our gear after running into a bit of confusion as to where the routes were located.

Vancouver's Lighthouse Park

George chalks up his hands for his first climb of the day.

Vancouver's Lighthouse Park

It’s an epic day without a cloud in the sky.

Vancouver's Lighthouse Park

George throws a big reach to grasp a better hand hold.

Vancouver's Lighthouse Park

As the sun shifts in the sky, the shadows cast by the rocks begin to shift and become more compelling.

Vancouver's Lighthouse Park

The lower the sun gets in the sky, the more color begins to show on the rock wall.

Vancouver's Lighthouse Park

Carson begins to set up the rope for Joey’s final climb.

Vancouver's Lighthouse Park

Joey climbs the final, and probably best, route on this trip. The last minutes of light are some of the best in terms of color. The purples, oranges and blues are absolutely mesmerizing. A true grand finale.

 

About the Photographer:

I’m an outdoor photographer from Bainbridge Island, Washington. I consider myself an outdoorsman and have been passionate about the outdoors since my father first placed his antique-looking external-frame backpack on my back and took me on an overnight backpacking trip. After that, I was hooked. My love for the outdoors and yearning for adventure only grew from that point on. It was only a couple years later that I was given the opportunity to attend a summer camp specializing in multi-day canoeing trips mainly throughout Algonquin Provincial Park, located about six hours north of Buffalo, NY in Ontario, Canada. It was there that I fell in love with canoe tripping. I went back every summer, and, eventually, I began guiding my own trips there. Every summer, I returned to the camp with more outrageous stories than the previous summer. I began to get frustrated with just telling stories because they weren’t doing my adventures justice. I needed a way to show people what I had been experiencing. I wanted to create visual trip reports and document my travels. I wanted to show people the world as I see it, so I turned to photography.

I bought my first digital camera in high school, and, from that point on, like my first-aid kit, I never left for the backcountry without it. This desire to tell visual stories has stayed with me from guiding seventeen day whitewater canoe trips in Quebec, to quick weekend trips out to the Olympic Peninsula. The aim is to depict a story from a particular moment that is artistically captured in time and to deliver it to the viewer in a photo-journalistic style. I hope to place viewers in the middle of the action so that they will see the world as I saw it.

To see more of Austin’s work, check out his website Northwest Nomad Media, or visit him on Facebook and Instagram @northwestnomad_photo.

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