Shot of B.C.'s Inside Passage wins Team Power Smart Photo Contest

Larry Paris' shot from a trip through B.C.'s Inside Passage was the grand prize winner in the Team Power Smart Photo Contest.

Rob Klovance

On a ferry ride through B.C.'s picturesque Inside Passage in August of 2008, Larry Paris was so enthralled by the natural beauty that he kept taking photos until he ran out of light.

And one of his prized shots is the grand prize winner in the Team Power Smart Photo Contest.

"It was so surprising, the pristine wilderness we went through," says the Chilliwack social worker, looking back at the trip from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert. "I took over 100 pictures on the 16-hour trip. We had a berth, but I hardly used it. I stayed up until it started to get dark around 9:30 or so. We were just out there the whole day – it was glorious."

Paris figured he had a pretty good shot – a ferry deck, clouds, mountains and water – when he first took it with his Pentax K20D digital camera. But when he saw it at home on his computer monitor, he knew he had something special.

"Just right out of the camera it popped out at me," said Paris, who uses no filters on his camera. "I did a little bit of sharpening and fine-tuning, and no cropping."

Amid tough competition, a panel of judges including former B.C. Lion and current Team Power Smart leader Lui Passaglia chose Paris's shot [JPEG, 68 Kb] as the best. Not only does he win a Nikon D90 digital SLR camera and a Nikkor 18-105 mm lens as the grand prize winner, but Paris' photo will be among the 12 featured in an upcoming contest calendar.

Calendars can be ordered through the London Drugs-hosted contest site by mid-November.

"I'm thinking of ordering a dozen of them and giving them away as Christmas presents," said Paris, a longtime member of Team Power Smart who credits conversion to a tankless water heater for a big chunk of his current 8% home electricity consumption decrease from the previous year. "Why not?"

Why not, indeed. The other 11 photos from Team Power Smart members across the province illustrate a passion for the outdoors that perfectly fit the theme of the contest: I joined Team Power Smart because... "

Nanaimo's Louise Massey won with a shot of a Mount Washington ski run [JPEG, 56 Kb] back in 2006 that reminded her of why she has decided to reduce her ecological footprint.

"It was a great year for snow and skiing, and I took the picture because of the combination of the snow ghosts, and the view down into the Comox Valley and the ocean," she wrote in an email. "I hope that we can stop global warming so that we can continue to have beautiful skiing like the day that the picture was taken."

Sometimes, a subject we've seen a thousand times emerges as something breathtaking. This is what Burnaby's Vincent Jiu had to say about his winning shot of a fern [JPEG, 95 Kb] at Vancouver's Van Dusen Garden.

"She was, dancing in her afternoon gown, tossing her head, swaying in the sun," he wrote. "I stopped to see the music."

The contest judging panel of Passaglia and BC Hydro managers Michael Newland, Jim Nelson, Cynthia Dyson and Larina Lopez took longer than expected to make the choices of one grand prize winner and 11 other shots for the calendar, which will soon be available by pre-order – at $9.99 – on the contest site hosted by London Drugs.

The judges saw numerous images elsewhere of the amazing south coastal B.C. storm that brought lightning and crazily-coloured skies to Vancouver and other places in the region. But in the end, a lightning shot made the cut for the calendar.

Ryan Planinshek of Vancouver didn't even have to leave home to get his winning storm shot [JPEG, 42 Kb]. He took it from the balcony of his Yaletown home.

"I had never seen a weather event like this in the 20 years I have lived in Vancouver," he wrote.

Rounding out the winners were: