Alex Fleming’s Photo Essay Captures The Simple Freedom Of Camping In British Columbia
The new work of British-Norwegian photographer and director Alex Fleming traces his road trip across Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia. Traveling by van with his partner, Fleming has been documenting their experience in the collection of images below, which are characteristic of his landscape-led visual aesthetic.
Fleming has been on the road sporadically over the course of the last year; he therefore sees this body of work as an ongoing project. Based in Kitsilano, in the city of Vancouver, the pair embarked on a few days of travel in the summer when the lockdown rules allowed them to; they rented a van and stayed local to their province. Fleming’s breathtaking shots of lakes, mountains, and roads stretching for miles were taken across the region, including in Whistler, the world-famous ski town just north of Vancouver, and the Glacier National Park, with its endless scenic valleys and forests. “Camera in hand, I was overjoyed to load up an adventure wagon and drive out further into the unknown: eyes wide open to a very quiet British Columbia,” Fleming explains to IGNANT. Remarkable, serene, and vast nature shots contrast against simple observations of trees and rocks or close-ups in his van. The resulting collection of images are imbued with a nomadic feeling, where each campsite or secluded spot beckons a new, meditative way of seeing.
“I was overjoyed to load up an adventure wagon and drive out further into the unknown”
Being able to observe nature in its purity was the main reason for the trip—having changed their life plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple were grateful to experience localized travel while still remaining isolated. “It is not hard to find privacy in this beautiful place we’ve called home now for eight months,” Fleming says. “We camped, we swam, we cooked food over a burner, and laughed summer into autumn, hiking further and harder than we had before.” The photographer took just one camera with him, a Rolleiflex 3.5a with an Xaner 75mm f3.5 lens, and a handful of film rolls. He says he feels positively refreshed from being out in nature and breaking routine. Once he returned to the city for a brief period, the Vancouver-based photographer evaluated his rolls, compiling his most cherished shots into the ongoing series below. “And now back in my home, I look at the negatives, having scanned my favorites I can relive the best moments,” he says.