Canada has always been up there within the top places I’d love to visit and explore so when the opportunity came to visit this beautiful country with one of my best friends – I jumped on it.
We headed to British Columbia for 7 days of pure adventure and hunting down the best photo spots. BC is the westernmost province in Canada, it’s defined by its magnificent mountain ranges and Pacific coastlines. With the cities and small towns set on the doorsteps of the wild and the surroundings offering endless possibilities to delve into pure nature, it’s a recipe for an unforgettable adventure and not to mention the dreamiest photo locations.
Let me take you on the magical Hot Springs Circle Route myself and Mollie took and the photographs we captured – including before and afters, using my presets.
*This blog post was hosted by Destination Canada and supported by Destination British Columbia. We were sent out to shoot and share this Itinerary with you. All Photographs and opinions are completely my own.
If you’re looking for a road trip filled with outdoor adventure, spectacular scenery, and plenty of places to relax in healing, mineral-rich, natural Hot Springs then the Hot Spring Circle Route is for you.
Home to incredible National Parks, snow-capped mountains and the friendliest people you are likely to ever met, the Kootenay Rockies really does have it all.
An easy-to-navigate drive through the mind-blowing dramatic terrain of the Kootenay Rockies, the circle route features 13 stops to sight-see, dine and get super active outdoors.
1. Marysville Falls, near Kimberley
Following the banks of Mark Creek, Marysville Falls Trail is a short and casual 10-minute walk to the waterfall viewpoint. Once at the viewpoint, there are many places to stand and shoot. This beautiful waterfall is the perfect opportunity to experiment with slow shutter speeds and capturing subjects within the frame to capture the Falls at their finest.
Shooting waterfalls from the same height or from the bottom often makes the waterfalls look taller and a lot larger. When you are standing at the top it can become difficult to not make them look too small.
Tip: by having subjects within the frame helps with the aspect ratio. You can play around with positioning and shoot where you feel best.
2. Kootenay Lake, British Columbia
Kootenay Lake is absolutely beautiful. Located in British Columbia between the Selkirk and Purcell Mountain ranges, it is part of the Kootenay River and is 400 km².
The road that follows around the river has so many destinations to stop at, take in the breathtaking scenery and get shooting!
Tip: Always bring a tripod or something that you can easily prop your camera up with so that you and whoever you’re travelling with can get some images of yourself in the locations you’re visiting! Here, myself and Mollie actually used the car roof and the Canon App on my phone to get some self-timed images!
You can check out more of our adventures together here.
Before and After
Experimenting with different angles, lighting and scenery is one of my favourite things about Photography. I love being challenged, being put in new situations and photographing different subjects and locations.
Editing is also something I am hugely passionate about – spending the day shooting and then being able to get onto my laptop and get stuck into the other Creative side of Photography.
In these images, it was important to showcase the natural beauty of the colours and sceneries. I also think we too often see over-the-top, unrealistic editing when it comes to landscapes and locations of destinations. For me, I like the more natural look, enhancing what it already there and focusing on how you can be creative with the composition of the image and the subjects you have within them.
3. Emerald Lake
Emerald Lake, is a must. It’s a little more touristy than the other spots we had visited as it’s well known and popular with other Photographers. But wow, it is absolutely beautiful.
Perfect spot to capture the crystal blue lake and the surrounding mountains. There’s also an option to get one of the kayaks and head out to shoot on the water.
4. Lockhart Beach, Kootenay Lake
If you’re feeling brave, head into the water of Kootenay Lake and capture the mountains behind at water level or even get a friend to brave the water with you and create some magic using the water and the breathtaking views surrounding you.
Located 40 km north of Creston on Highway 3A, this location is perfect if you’re keen to shoot landscape and portrait style shots.
5. Giant Cedar Boardwalk, Revelstoke
The Giant Cedars Boardwalk Trail is not only a beautiful spot to take photos but also a great destination to get out the car and stretch your legs whilst travelling along Trans Canada Highway #1. The walk takes you through into the heart of the forest in Mount Revelstoke National Park, some of the trees being over 500 years old!
Being a little darker location and as it was raining whilst we were here, I went for the more moody shots. It was a perfect place to get some portraits and some ‘adventure’ styled imagery of Mollie walking amongst the Cedar trees.
6. Halfway Hot Springs, Central Kootenay
If you’re after natural Hot Springs within a spectacular Canadian forest with access to a beautiful river, then Halfway Hot Springs is for you. They are situated 30 minutes drive on a newly re-built gravel road followed by a 15 min downhill walk into a forest.
There are 4 Hot Springs to chose from, all with different temperatures. One of the Hot Springs is actually in the river and is considered the ‘natural one’ as there isn’t a built-up section around it so you get cool flowing river water and then warm flowing Hot Spring water!
These Hot Springs offered the perfect opportunity to experiment shooting with the steam that rises off the hot water.
7. Kokanee Mountain Zipline, Nelson
Located 30 minutes from Nelson, Kokanee Mountain Zipline is the perfect activity if you are after more ‘adventure’ styled shots. There are 6 zip lines throughout the tour – all with plenty of time to shoot!
I used a GoPro Hero 6 with the GoPro Shorty mini extension pole – a perfect accessory for travelling as it’s small but also long enough to get those adventure shots!
8. Fletcher Falls
Situated 10 minutes walk from the highway and where you can park, Fletcher Falls offers you a beautiful stroll through the forest not only to a breathtaking waterfall, where you can stand at the bottom, but also to the water’s edge.
You are able to stand and look down towards the waterfall and also head to the bottom and walk right up to it – endless photo opportunities! Me and Mollie spent a while here capturing imagery of the Falls and the beautiful surroundings.
We then headed to the water’s edge (Kootenay Lake) where there’s a great spot to camp and capture some adventure/lifestyle imagery.
9. Mount 7, Golden
From the beautiful town of Golden is the Mount 7 launch site – a popular place for Hang gliders and Paragliders! It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset over Golden and also a great place to see some bears! When I was there I managed to see a Black Bear and her two baby cubs.
A perfect landscape and mountain shooting opportunity! You could even head up for sunrise and get some hyper lapses of the surrounding mountains and the sun rises over them.
Thank you for reading!
I hope this has helped you find some places to shoot on your trip to the Kootenay Rockies – you will have the most insane time.
I wrote a thorough itinerary blog post on what myself and Mollie got up to on our 7-day adventure to British Columbia which you can find here.
Until next time!
You can visit my Pinterest here.