Urban meets wild

A visual journey through Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler.

Four Californian photographers experience the unique intersection of urban and wild that Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler offer.

Kien Lam | @whereandwander

“[British Columbia] exceeded my expectations – you look at photos, you watch videos, and you have an idea of what to expect. So it’s always a very pleasant surprise when you get to a place that meets those expectations.  The proximity of nature was even closer than I expected. There’s a sense that you’re a little bit more isolated. It feels like you’ve really gotten away. It is an escape in the most positive of ways. You get to escape and go out there and get away from things but at the same time you still have all the comforts that you would want from the city. There are times when you just want to drop everything and be in that moment. I wanted to find those moments.  At Lost Lake, being able to experience that stillness –the fog rolling through – those moments feel like they are very precious moments that we’re lucky to have. You’re privy to something that you may not get to see [otherwise].”

Austin Rhee | @austin.rhee

Each city is a part of nature itself, surrounded by mountains. I saw two sides of British Columbia very easily – I saw the nature side of BC, which is what I expected, but I didn’t expect to see cities right outside the nature. To be able to wake up and in maybe 10 minutes go up the mountain and see an amazing view was pretty awesome. There was a lot of adventure so close to Whistler. I found everything to be very forested and green – so many green colours and low fog, trees, and forests – that’s what I found striking. Looking out into the lake, everything is quiet, everything is still. It gave me a sense of calm and of being immersed in the landscape and in nature.”

Matt Gee | @mattbg

“My first impression going to BC was that nature was everywhere you went. It was so accessible. It felt like all the cities we were in were right next to a mountain or a forest, or surrounded by water, so that felt like we were blurring the lines between landscape and city. You always feel like you’re near a body of water or something natural. Having water all around you adds a nice dimension to everything. It’s calming. It’s nice, it’s soothing, it’s always around you. When we went up to Whistler Mountain, the view that we got from the top was really beautiful. It was very surreal up there – the scale of it was really impressive.”

Katherine Westerman | @katwesterman

About British Columbia, Katherine says: “It made me want to stay more, explore more and be there more. It’ll always be at the top of my list. From a health standpoint, the air up there is really fresh, you sleep better, you feel like you can run farther, you feel healthier, it’s fantastic! It’s really fun to be able to have a place where you’ve got that cultural aspect of the city and the life of the city, yet at the same time you have that restorative quality of nature right next to it – and you get that all in one day. Very few places are like that. If you love water, it’s there; if you love city life, it’s there; if you love skiing, it’s there; if you love good food, and that’s what makes your vacation, it’s there. You can do or be whatever you want to be. There’s tons to explore.It’s an explorer’s dream, it’s an adventurer’s dream, it’s a foodie’s dream, it’s a water lover’s dream. If you’re into sports, it’s a sports lover’s  dream. It’s nice to wake up and say “Hmm, I wonder what I want to do today.”