Exploring an Emerald Edge: February Photo of the Month

Written by Tom Parker, Northwest Photographer

Little Qualicum Falls is one of my favourite stops when I'm headed north on Vancouver Island. Located near the centre of the island it has a great mix of lush forest greens and sparkling waterfall blues packed into a beautiful 1km loop. With the river always fluctuating throughout the seasons the landscape is constantly changing, creating new scenes each time I visit. In the winter months the river has so much power that it is constantly shifting massive fallen trees down the banks, sometimes creating natural bridges or leaving them in precarious spots for viewing such as hanging from the tops of waterfalls.

On this day my friend Forest was in town and wanted to see the island, so we headed down the Alberni Highway looking for adventure with our first stop at the falls. When I was shooting the river Forest had disappeared and the next thing I knew he was climbing across the logs making his way over the river. Its always inspiring to go exploring with friends that are not afraid to leave their comfort zone. As a photographer Iโ€™m always looking to push new boundaries, personally and with my work.

Nature inspires my photography in many ways, from the slowing of time to the roar of the rivers washing away distractions, allowing my creativity to flow.  When I am out in the woods it is as if time stands still, very little seems to affect me; the cold, the wet or the feeling of hunger drift to the back of my mind and all I focus on is the present. With the weather always changing on the island my favourite hikes rarely look the same, always providing a fresh perspective. It also means that to catch these sudden changes in weather I try to be outside as much as possible. The light and fog may only be around for a few fleeting moments but sometimes thats all you need.

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Tom has spent most of his life exploring the outdoors. His work is inspired and influenced by the beauty that unfolds before him in nature. Follow him on Instagram: @tomparkr. Visit his website: tomparkerphoto.com