In his work documenting the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region by air for a book project, photographer Chris Harris of 100 Mile House has sought out surprising compositions and angles. The above image, featured in the Spring 2012 issue of British Columbia Magazine (”Flight plan,” page 16) may be the most surprising image of all.
When Harris first spotted this green lake from his plane seat, it appeared “small, shallow, and ugly” but then he noticed a single canoe hovering on the surface, its shadow so clearly visible below. He composed just one photograph before moving on.
Back at his office, he was struck with the mystery. The image seemed to show a flooded landscape of forest and small lakes, with the canoe floating above the treetops. He couldn’t recall exactly where in the area north of Clinton he had composed the image, or what the surrounding terrain had looked like. He asked around, but no one could figure it out.
After much sleuthing, Harris now believes that the depressions are simply holes on the lake bottom and that the apparent small scrub forest is just weedy vegetation exaggerated by optical illusion.
Either way, the image is a captivating example of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast’s photographic potential. “I find aerial photography exciting,” says Harris, a regular contributor to British Columbia Magazine. “The discovery of new subjects from unusual perspectives is endless.”
For more of Harris’s breathtaking aerial images, see the bcmag.ca online photo gallery, or visit the photographer’s website: chrisharris.com. Fly Over: An Aviation Legacy of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, a joint project between Harris and writer Sage Birchwater, will be available in fall 2012.