Jewels of the Peace is my latest project based in The Peace River region of northeastern BC, which brings a new type of drone-based photography/photogrammetry to the world of environmental documentation & activism. Agriculture, construction and extractive industries have already been using this technology to create extremely high resolution photo maps & 3D models of agricultural land, construction sites, mines, cut blocks etc. I'm now using it as a way to document environments under imminent threat of destructions - usually by one of the aforementioned industries. The destruction of the natural world has taken on a scale so massive that I found myself unable to fully grasp it in my work, even from the air with conventional drone photography & cinematography. With this technique, I can map entire cultural, geographic and/or ecological features in an environment, in stunningly high detail. The Watson Slough, for example, is over 4 kms long tip to tip, yet on the full version of that image, the resolution is high enough that one can clearly make out the Trumpeter Swans feeding in the marsh below.
That, then, is the what and the how, but not the why. The why of it, I suppose, is the confluence of love and sorrow. In 2017, I spent the better part of two months in the valley making a film about The Peace, and in the process, immersed myself in the incredible old growth boreal & riparian cottonwood forests, constantly surrounded by wildlife, I fell in love with the valley. I had hoped it would be spared destruction, but we haven’t been so lucky. Northern BC is well out of the public eye of Vancouver & Victoria, not mention the rest of Canada, so the snuffing out of this place has happened with very little attention from the main population centres. So in a way, these maps are my way of forcing the rest of this province & country to remember The Peace; My declaration that it will not be allowed to be forgotten. And perhaps also, it is my futile attempt to will these areas back into existence, one photo map at a time.
I will remember The Peace.
I want to say a big Thank You to everyone who has been supporting this project over the last year! Without your support this project wouldn't be possible. Thank You all so much! If you'd like to help support this ongoing project, you can donate to my GoFundMe Campaign here. Any and all support is much appreciated!