Sharing stories through photographs

A picture of the aurora over Green Lake on March 30, 2022. (Warren Lowe Photo)A picture of the aurora over Green Lake on March 30, 2022. (Warren Lowe Photo)
A rufous hummingbird. (Warren Lowe Photo)A rufous hummingbird. (Warren Lowe Photo)
Hendrix Lowe takes a look at the book written by his grandfather Warren Lowe. (Warren Lowe Photo)Hendrix Lowe takes a look at the book written by his grandfather Warren Lowe. (Warren Lowe Photo)
A collage of photos of Hendrix Lowe. (Warren Lowe Photo)A collage of photos of Hendrix Lowe. (Warren Lowe Photo)
Warren Lowe smiles as he spends time with his grandson Hendrix Lowe. (Photo submitted)Warren Lowe smiles as he spends time with his grandson Hendrix Lowe. (Photo submitted)
A horse before a storm. (Warren Lowe Photo)A horse before a storm. (Warren Lowe Photo)
A great blue heron stalks through the reeds. (Warren Lowe Photo)A great blue heron stalks through the reeds. (Warren Lowe Photo)
The Blue Hour at Green Lake. (Warren Lowe Photo)The Blue Hour at Green Lake. (Warren Lowe Photo)
Warren Lowe, inset, enjoys taking photos of South Cariboo wildlife, such as this Great Blue Heron taking flight. (Warren Lowe Photo)Warren Lowe, inset, enjoys taking photos of South Cariboo wildlife, such as this Great Blue Heron taking flight. (Warren Lowe Photo)
Golden Hour over the Marble Mountains. (Warren Lowe Photo)Golden Hour over the Marble Mountains. (Warren Lowe Photo)
Warren Lowe has always loved taking photos as a hobby, especially since he’s retired to Green Lake. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Warren Lowe has always loved taking photos as a hobby, especially since he’s retired to Green Lake. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Warren Lowe doesn’t consider himself a professional photographer but you wouldn’t know it when you see his photos on Global BC News.

Lowe has been featured on Global dozens of times, most often on the “Weather Window” for his shots of weather in and around his home on Green Lake. He joked that the Global newscasters enjoy reminding their viewers that people do indeed live outside of the Lower Mainland.

Global seems to enjoy the unique natural phenomena he finds, including a recently captured photo of Aurora Borealis over Green Lake. Thanks to some mist diffusing the light of the cabins beneath the Northern Lights, Lowe said the picture captures the light show both above and below.

“I’m always looking for pictures wherever we go, whether I have a camera or not,” Lowe, 67 said. “I look at photographs every day to try and learn and push myself to another level.”

He’s no stranger to his submissions getting attention. In 2017 one of his photos was featured on National Geographic’s website as part of the Your Shot photo club.

The picture featured his son and his friends getting ready to play a hockey game on a recently cleared patch of ice.

Lowe said the setting sun, the ice fog created by the “blistering cold,” and the angle he took gave the image a vintage “old-time hockey” feel. Getting selected by National Geographic was exciting, especially as it happened during the midst of the 2017 wildfires and just after he’d told his wife one of his life goals was to be published by the venerable magazine.

“Within two months I’d done it and she said ‘well that was easy!’ I think it was just the right picture at the right time.”

Photography has always been something Lowe has loved, but it never progressed beyond a hobby. Throughout his 41-year career working on the Vancouver waterfront, Lowe used to dabble in photography in between work and raising his family. As he moved into management roles, he started shooting more photos, just as photography’s digital age began to dawn.

“It was a perfect time to come back to it and now that I’m retired I have the time to focus on it a lot more.”

Retiring to the South Cariboo has been a huge boon for Lowe, who loves the outdoors, wildlife and the landscapes across the region, which provide endless photo opportunities. Sometimes he said he’ll just hop on an ATV and drive off into the bush to look for pictures.

Lowe shoots on two Sony DSLR cameras using a variety of lenses for different subjects. While he said more advanced tech offers more stunning pictures, he believes anyone can get a good photo if they understand their camera and its limitations. After all, his National Geographic submission was shot on a tiny point-and-shoot camera with a sensor the size “of his pinky nail.”

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“You don’t have to have huge expensive equipment. It’s just telling the story, that’s the biggest thing, a picture is all about the story. For me, it’s also sharing the story and if people want to come along and join in for a little while, that’s fine and good.”

Telling written stories is also something Lowe has also dabbled in. Last year, he wrote a children’s book for his grandson Hendrix, 4. Entitled Hendrix and the Hedgehog, the book tells the story of how Hendrix came into the world almost four months prematurely.

“He decided he was ready to be born at 26 weeks, so almost 100 days early so he was very, very tiny. He was like the size of squirrel in your hands, so he spent the next four months of his life in an incubator,” Lowe said.

Lowe said the book isn’t only about Hendrix’s struggle for life but also about the value of friendship and community. Hendrix’s sidekick in the book was inspired by his time in the hedgehog wing of the BC Women’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The book celebrates all the nurses and doctors who gave “unbelievable care” to his grandson throughout his time in Vancouver, Lowe said. All proceeds from the sale of the book are donated to the NICU and Lowe sent several copies of the book to the hospital for its new library.

“I was happy I could help out because they intend to make the library available to not just the kids but the parents as well to read to their kids. Not all the kids are newborns in there, some of them are older and not all the outcomes were as lucky as ours,” Lowe said. “My son and daughter-in-law basically stayed in the NICU for almost the entire four months.”

Lowe self-published the book online via Blurb, which helped him layout the pages himself. The book was illustrated by his sister Carolynn Elliot, a celebrated art educator from Simon Fraser University, making it a family project. Hendrix enjoys having a book about himself, though now Lowe said the rest of his grandchildren want their own books.

“The other grandkids want to have a story too, so I’m thinking of making one with all of them in it and killing all the birds with one stone.”



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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