The Birthplace of BC is special for many reasons. Many find Fort Langley’s historic architecture and quaint village feel appealing for a variety of activities including quiet strolls, treasure hunting, gift shopping, and romantic dining. Film producers agree and the community is used as a backdrop in numerous TV shows and movies.
In the Spring of 2011 I had the opportunity to take a photo walk through Fort Langley with a local photographer. We were taught some of the basic techniques of using a DSLR camera while wandering the streets throughout the village. Not only did we learn how to take better pictures using the settings on our cameras, but also how to find the perfect shot. One thing none of us in the group were expecting to learn, as we were all from the area and had visited the village many times before, was the number of great little nooks and cranny’s that we’ve walked past dozens of times and never noticed. There are so many unique things to see in Fort Langley, that you can find something new every time you visit. For example, have you ever seen the rustic but beautiful metal bed frame that sits in the yard beside the Summerhouse boutique store on Mavis Avenue? Probably not. It’s easy to spend odious amounts of time inside The Village Antique Mall with the sheer number of beautiful objects it boasts. And the history and landscape of the Fort itself provides another great place to capture the essence of the community.
Tips for having a successful and enjoyable photo walk:
1. Don’t bring your camera bag. Leave everything behind except for what you really need. It’s more comfortable and easier to take the shots you want to take if you don’t have a bulky bag dangling from your shoulder.
2. Walk, sit, climb stairs, lay down, stoop under, hop up, do what it takes to find that unique shot. You might look funny doing it, but sometimes that’s what produces the most memorable images.
3. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t forget to look when crossing the street. Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists, and don’t trespass on private property.
4. Take a break! The number of great cafes, restaurants, tea shops, and eateries in the area provide a plethora of options to rest your feet, enjoy the atmosphere and scroll through your newest photographic treasures.
Having viewed Fort Langley through the lens of a camera, I often see it differently every time I visit. Almost always I bring my camera along just in case I happen upon that perfect shot of the historic Fort, spooky graveyard, or picturesque riverfront trail.
You never know what you can find in your own backyard if you take a look from a different angle.