The first time I surfed was seven years ago. It was here in Tofino with four strangers, one of whom was Eliel Hindert. A small, bouncy, and enthusiastic professional skier, Eliel welcomed me into his car to ride the ferry, where I fell asleep under a row of seats with a newspaper as a pillow. The old, beat up car was parked below us, packed like a Tetris game. Looping through each door several times was one single piece of rope that secured the four pink and yellow sponge-top surfboards. When we arrived just outside of town, we set up camp and ate canned beans beside the local dump. The next morning, we bobbed on our rental surfboards like wet rats floating on driftwood. We were hooked.
Behind the scenes of our Exploring The Cold Coast Story, up on National Geographic Adventure.
It has been raining on and off all day, and will continue all week. Or year round for that matter. We find ourselves constantly camping in these conditions, and I’m slowly learning why. When water particles add up between camera and subject, the light diffuses into something soft and delicate. This is a contrast to the landscapes and people with whom I connect. The fog sits heavily, muting the colors into black, white, and greens like a watercolor painting from my grandparents’ house. These dreary, isolated elements of the Pacific Northwest are where I draw inspiration for my work.
Pulled over on the side of the road on Vancouver Island. Max Lowe getting the shot for our @natgeoadventure #ColdCoast story.