Photo and Writing by Jacob Klassen,
If I had to describe myself with one word, I would use “Lucky." The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful areas in the world, and growing up in a place as exposed to Mother Nature as the west coast of British Columbia is something I will never take for granted.
Born and raised on Vancouver Island, I’ve been subjected to many different characteristics that the coast of B.C. has to offer. With the many great forests, waterfalls and rigid coastlines, it sometimes feels like I’m cheating when I’m out exploring with my camera.
One of the more notable areas of the island, and my personal favorite, is the Juan De Fuca Strait. Distant from any kind of cellphone reception, this chain of beaches and lush green forests that stretch up the southwest coast of Vancouver Island strongly deliver the raw outdoor experiences you’d imagine when you think of B.C. I think this area is so appealing to me because it feels so secluded from the other more inhabited parts of the island. Driving down the coastline road feels like taking a trip back in time because of the lack of people and infrastructure. There’s just no other place like it.
The image you see in this post was taken on my favorite of the beaches — Mystic Beach. Like something out of a storybook, a giant waterfall flows off of a cliff and into the sea during an epic sunset. A lot of planning goes into a shot like this, which is one of my favorite parts of the process. I’m constantly checking weather patterns and tidal forecasts to predict the best time to try and capture an image. There is no better feeling than when everything comes together just like you imagined.
Unfortunately, as of late, there has been a problem with trash being left behind on some of these beaches. Hiking and exploring has become quite the trend on Vancouver Island these past couple of years, and with the influx of people out exploring there are a handful who aren't educated in outdoor etiquette. These beautiful landscapes that the coastline offers can only be cherished for years to come if we make sure we leave no trace while we visit.
Jacob Klassen is a fine-art landscape photographer based on Vancouver Island who spends most of his free time exploring and photographing the Pacific Northwest. You can see more of his work on his website or on Instagram.