Adventure Awaits in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada
Come explore the British Columbia through the eyes of freelance writer and photographer Leigh McClurg. We’ll even bet that you’ll wonder what you are doing sitting in front of your laptop after seeing the beautiful Canadian wilderness. Check out Leigh’s vibrant landscapes, action shots and be sure to follow him on Instagram here: @pebbleshoo
Place you live: Squamish, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation: Freelance Writer & Photographer
Preoccupation: Experiencing all that is wild and free
Place your Instagrams were taken? The idyllic mountain and coastal town of Squamish, BC. It sits about a 45 minute drive north of the city of Vancouver, BC.
Can you sum up Squamish? The majority of my explorations and adventures occur in Southwest British Columbia, around Squamish. I consider it the “Goldilocks” region of Canada. We have relatively mild winters here in the southwest but we can access the extremes of winter such as ice climbing and powder skiing by simply travelling up into the mountains. It means that we get to enjoy the cold of winter without having to clear snow off of our driveways or deal with icy roads.
What is a perfect day in Squamish? The town of Squamish calls itself the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada” and it has many reasons for holding that title. Almost all of the recreation you can try here is world class, from kite surfing to canyoneering, skiing to mountain biking, whitewater kayaking to rock climbing. This area really has it all.
A perfect day in Squamish is a sunny mid-April day when there is plenty of daylight. You can start your morning skiing off a mountain summit, spend your afternoon mountain biking or trail running in the lush coastal rainforest, then rock climb up the perfect granite cracks on the cliffs that overlook Squamish for sunset.
If Squamish was a character who would it be? That’s a hard one. Maybe the Energizer Bunny? The town itself is actually quite sleepy. People don’t come here for the night life or club scene. But the location and vibe is definitely one of “Carpe Diem!” From sun up to sun down people are out in the mountains and forests around town making use of all the natural amenities that this place gives access to.
Do you shoot with your phone or other cameras or both? A variety. I shoot with Olympus mirrorless cameras, my iPhone or my GoPro. Whichever camera can capture the moment and not distract from experiencing it is what I will try to use.
What is your editing process? Usually, import the images into Lightroom, go through the entire set for a day giving star ratings and tags to all the images, and then I’ll edit 5 or so of the 5 Star images then and there. I may never come back to edit the 4 star or lower images unless I need them for an article I am writing.
Can you give a couple tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? It depends what your goal is as an Instagram Photographer. Do you just want pure numbers? Do you want to start collaborating with companies and brands? Do you want to find your tribe?
To start, find people that shoot like you want to that have the kind of attention and appeal that you are aiming for and become their biggest fans. Ask them questions via DM’s, comment on their photos, be consistent and genuine.
Find photographers like this in your area and ask them if you can meet up with them to shoot and explore. Be open to going with the flow and following along.
Community is still key on Instagram and loyalty goes a long way. Be loyal to the companies that will support you and the other accounts that helped you grow.
Who are your three favorite photographers?
Jimmy Chin: For myself, he is the bar to aim for. An accomplished Athlete that is also an exceptional creator. It’s only when you visit the harsh environments that he does that you gain a small understanding of just how difficult the work is that he does.
Chris Burkard: For all budding Instagram photographers, Chris Burkard is the man to watch. He creates trends and usually offers up some extremely sage advice in his image captions for individuals wishing to follow in his footsteps.
Konsta Punkka: A young guy from Finland. His work blows me away! He has an innate ability to capture the mood and feeling in a photograph instead of just a visual representation of what he was looking at.
What is the most amazing travel experience you’ve ever had? The next one! But seriously though, I always know the next best experience is around the corner. I’m always chasing what’s next and rarely look backward.
To pick one off the top of my head that occurred in Southwest, BC, I’d have to say camping on the summit of Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park. We witnessed the most spectacular, and rare, Full Moon Halo in the sky that night.
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