Vancouver Island with Drake Dyck

Vancouver Island is so close, yet I’ve only been to shoot there once. In this episode I am able to learn so much more about this photographer’s fantasy island.

This is Latitude Photography Podcast, Episode 82 for May 24, 2020

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Main Topic: Memorial Day Weekend

As I release this we are celebrating Memorial Day here in the US. I’ve shared a few pics in the facebook group from the time about 12 years ago that I visited Arlington National Cemetery, where my great-grandfather is buried. I’ve got a few others in there of the tomb of the unknown soldier and the like. It’s a sobering place that is worth your time for sure.

My great-grandfather was a chaplain in the army. And there’s two really interesting things about him. First off, he followed his son, my grandfather, into the army. They both served during WWII. And secondly, as a chaplain, he was the spiritual leader for many a soldier. One of them was my wife’s grandfather. My great-grandfather actually performed my wife’s grandfather’s baptism. In our faith tradition, that’s kind of a big deal. And when I first met my wife’s grandfather he just couldn’t believe the connection. He talked my ear off for hours about the Army and how he knew my great-grandfather. It certainly is a small world sometimes.

I just wanted to take some time to honor the many people, past and present, who dedicate their lives to their nation, their people. It’s truly a sacrifice, and whichever nation you’re from, if you are currently serving or have served in the past I suspect your nation is grateful for your service. I know I certainly am very grateful for the service of our people.

Main Topic: Vancouver Island

Today I have another Latitude Regular joining me, Drake Dyck, welcome to the show!

Drake, tell us a bit about yourself.

  1. Before highschool I just shot with a little 110 film camera, but when I got to HS, I acquired a 35 mm Canon AE1 Program
  2. Thoughts behind this camera, what new possibilities it opened for me. The Canon was a great camera for me, as it was fairly easy to use and had a decent light meter.  I quickly learned the relationship between shutter speed, aperture and film speed (ASA) by trial and error. I had a 50 mm and 75-200 zoom lens.  The longer reach of the zoom lens really gave me a lot more options and made shooting much more exciting.
  3. My older brother and I took a night class in B&W darkroom photography, and afterwards I became the photographer for the school newspaper and yearbook (just the fun photos, not the professional headshots)
  4. Every year, for about five years running, I would go to the Abbotsford International Airshow to photograph the planes… At the time that was my photography obsession, I even made it to the Whidbey Island Airshow one year.  Unfortunately, with many moves over the years, my photos and negatives from this time have all disappeared
  5. I joined the Canadian Armed Forces, where I spent 25 years  
  6. I spent most of my career as a MP and I served at several bases across Canada, as well as on tours in the middle east at an airbase, in Afghanistan, and accompanying a frigate in the Persian Gulf / African coast. I also had the chance to accompany a frigate to Bulgaria and Romania… we had some extra time in Romania and I even got out to the Bran castle (which the castle in Dracula is said to have been based upon), in Transylvania
  7. unfortunately, most of the time, I only had my phone to take photos
  8. One of the few things directly related to photography during my MP career was some crime scene photography training, which was part of a Criminal Investigations course I took  
  9. Photography ‘dry spell’ 
    1. About eight years ago, I got a T3i, which is when I again became serious about photography, and have since moved to a 6d Mk ii
    2. I also renewed my interest in film, and have developed several rolls of B&W 35mm & 120 film
    3. I have several old cameras, most of which are nothing special, but my favourite right now is my Hasselblad 500 EL/M
    4. unfortunately it has been stuck in the shop for a couple months because of Covid-19
  10. Renewed Interest in Photography
    1. I retired from the CAF a couple years ago and now work for the provincial government
    2. I try to get out for photography locally as often as I can, and on at least one trip to a more distant location (requiring air travel) per year and several others that are longer/farther than just a day trip
  11. Current situation
    1. Romania (a beautiful country with diverse landscapes and wonderful people) & Seychelles (Wow. An island paradise.  I was blown away by its beauty and the friendliness of the people)

Vancouver Island

  1. It is located on the west coast of BC, Canada, directly to the north of the Olympic Peninsula in Wa. State.
  2. It’s the largest island in the Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand.  At 31,285 km² (12,079 mi²), is 3x bigger than the island of Hawaii and bigger than all the Hawaiian islands combined
  3. It’s 460 km (290 mi) long by 100 km (62 mi) wide
  4. population about 870,000, about half of which live in greater Victoria area on the south end of the island
  5. Most of Vancouver Island is covered by a Temperate Rain Forest, with some huge trees, although only a small percentage of the Old Growth, which contains the giants, remains
  6. Black bear, Cougar, Roosevelt Elk, deer and many other animals are common here.  There are some distinct species/sub-species to the island as well, such as the Vancouver Island Marmot and Vancouver Island Wolf (which prey on fish and other sea life)
  7. There are national and provincial parks spread across the island, as well as many regional and local ones, that all offer great opportunities for photography.  I’ll start with a few locations on the south end of the island, near where I live (pictures to give you a bit of a better idea of what they’re like):

Specific Destinations

  1. Botanical Beach – A Provincial Park, at the west end of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, with incredible seascapes, unique tide pools, great trails 
  2. Fairy Lake – there’s a campsite at the lake, but it’s not in a park.  It has a unique ‘bonsai’ tree in middle of lake, growing out of an old stump
  3. Big Lonely Doug (2nd largest Douglas Fir in Canada) & Avatar Grove (Gnarliest tree) – not in a park, but protected as of 2012
  4. Sombrio Beach – Part of Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, it has a nice beach, but the star is the “hidden” waterfall
  5. Mystic Beach – near the east end of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, a nice beach with interesting trails, a waterfall and marine life
  6. Sandcut Beach – Part of Jordan River Regional Park, has a low, wide waterfall at the beach 
  7. Sheringham Point Lighthouse – built in 1912, the government declared it “in excess of requirements” in 2003 and the community stepped in to preserve it. In 2015 it was made a Heritage Lighthouse and is being restored by a local group
  8. Mary Vine Falls – waterfall in the Sooke Potholes Provincial Park (the Potholes themselves are amazing)
  9. Whiffin Spit Park – a 1.25 km (¾ mi) long, narrow spit with a great walking trail with many birds, seals, sea lions and even occasionally whales 
  10. All this is only the south west corner of the island, but I think it would be a great start.  I could add places like East Sooke Regional Park, which is a huge area with many trails and lots of sea access, Roche Cove, Matheson Lake and others, which are between Sooke and Victoria, but that could be a lot for one episode. Perhaps some of the following would make for good additional topics, or we could do a quick overview? 
  11. There are a lot of great “must see” photography opportunities in and right around Victoria as well, especially for other photography interests, like the BC Legislature (Parliament Buildings), the inner harbour, the 2nd oldest Chinatown in North America, Hatley Castle (seen in several movies), Fort Rodd Hill (historic fort and lighthouse), Craigdarroch Castle, Beacon Hill Park, and the Buchart Gardens. 
  12. Then there are many areas on the central part of the island, some of which I have explored, and others are high on my list, especially a bunch in Strathcona Park (lots of mountains, lakes and some caves). 
  13. There’s even a few areas on the far northern end of the island that are excellent for photographers.  I’ve made a couple trips to Cape Scott (about a seven hour drive), where there is a huge diversity of scenery and some great sea stacks.

Tip of the Week

Drake: When planning to photograph seascapes or anything around the ocean, make sure to check the tides in the location you are going to.  Often there can be considerable differences between locations that are not too far apart.  

I use the iOS app “Tide Charts Near Me” It’s also available in the Google Play store as “Tide Charts Free”  

I find this handy to know how much time I will have before being cut off by the incoming tide, or when the best time to go to explore the tide pools.


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  4. Find me on instagram @brentbergherm
  5. Find me on YouTube at
  6. Find me online at
  7. And finally, my online learning platform for photographers is found at
  8. Find Drake’s work here: (transitioning to my new site…) in progress).
    1. Youtube: 
    2. Flickr: 
    3. Facebook: 
    4. Instagram: @drakedyck
  9. Other places to find Drake’s work: 
    1. Youtube: 
    2. Flickr: 
    3. Facebook: 
    4. Instagram: @drakedyck