THREE RAINY DAYS – LOGGING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
My background is definitely as a documentary photographer and most of my commercial work still has that natural, of-the-moment feeling. Itâ€™s always great when a client calls and asks you to shoot something that youâ€™d always wanted to anywayâ€¦and gives you total creative freedom. Itâ€™s what every photographer dreams of.
Most of our work comes through agencies but because of some mutual contacts, the head of a tree-falling company (basically lumberjacks) in British Columbia got in touch directly. With the input of just capturing what I thought looked best, we were allowed three days to fly in and document what we saw, capturing the beauty of the place and the character of his crew. Despite the constant rain and crazy float plane pilot it was a gift to be able to get in to some of the most beautiful country Iâ€™ve ever seen. Literally 100â€™s of millions of acres of wild forest.
My initial thoughts were about horrible clear-cutting and what thatâ€™s done to forests but British Columbia has extremely strict foresting guidelines and any land thatâ€™s ever harvested has a team that comes in straight afterwards to replant the entire area back to its original state. Logging in BC is the #2 industry (behind tourism) and the province and the country would collapse without it. I learned so much from the crews there and about how they sort of consider themselves farmers, in a way, with the trees as their crops with the harvesting and replanting. Itâ€™s an extremely dangerous job, the most dangerous in North America (yes, even more so than Deadliest Catch/Offshore Fishing), but they wouldnâ€™t even consider another way of lifeâ€¦