We here in Kamloops are truly blessed with amazing weather, unique topography and a host of activities to enjoy.  When winter releases its grip on the land, and the water begins to flow again, photography is another activity that people get excited about.  And why not; in short, it rocks! 

I’ve lived here for over fourteen years now, having grown up in Merritt, and have been a full time pro for virtually all that time.  Part of my work as a commercial and tourism photographer, as well as being a columnist and Assistant Photo Editor of ‘Outdoor Photographer Canada Magazine’ is to know the regional ‘hot spots’ of the area.  These gems lend themselves well to shoots, workshops and just enjoying an outing with family or friends.  So, let me recount some of my favourite places for photography, or simply enjoying the surrounding landscape.
Kamloops Lake rest area. (Just past Tobiano golf course)  About 1 km past Tobiano Golf Course is a large rest area on the right hand side.  There is plenty of parking and a walk through in the fence north of the parking lot takes you to the trails.  You can follow one of two paths that both lead North toward Kamloops lake.  This area is also well known for rock climbing, called ‘The Beach’.  The views are fantastic and reach about 270 degrees.  In the spring and summer the sun will rise and fall on the lake, making for some surreal landscape images.  It’s also fantastic for portraiture overlooking the lake.  It is a vertical drop on the back side so please watch your footing!
Lac du Bois Protected Grasslands.  Follow Batchelor drive until it turns to gravel and just stay on this road to see some classic Kamloops terrain.  In the spring into mid-Summer, this area is stunning.  At the lower elevations Sage can be found in abundance.  As you drive further north it turns to grasslands and several lakes.  There’s many places to stop and hike and the imagery opportunities are huge.  In the spring, Balsamroot flowers are thick at Lac du Bois, offering beautiful scenes.  Add a sunset or sunrise to the mix and it’s a recipe for stellar.
Knutsford Road (South) and Long lake Road.  Another great grassland area is behind Knutsford.  All along this road system are some amazing landscapes that beg to be photographed.  One of my favourites is Edith Lake.  This is a very popular lake for fishing and camping as well.  Wildlife is also plentiful if you’re interested in either seeing or photographing it.
Cinnamon Ridge.  Just West of Kamloops and about a five minute drive past the airport is a micro environment that is simply stunning.  It’s called Cinnamon Ridge because of the cinnamon color of the soil.  The topography is like something from the Wild West and is a joy to explore and photograph.  Later afternoon light is best as it streaks across the hoodoos and creates more depth in the images.  I have worked here quite a bit with both special projects and tourism assignments.
Tranquille (Farm Fresh) Views and imagery from this locale can be captivating.  Proceed past the airport for approximately 5-10 minutes, and bear left at the railroad crossing.  This will take you just past ‘Tranquille Farm Fresh’ onto to a short dirt road that leads to the lake.  From here it’s a short walk to the water.  In the late spring, early summer the lake will get quite high, making the it difficult to walk the shoreline, however as soon as the levels recede (or before they get too high in late May) there are plenty of opportunities.
Cityscapes from Powers road.  If you like a bit more of an urban feel to your images, check out the end of Powers Road.  The views of the city are fantastic from here, and I’ve spent many a sunset here, sometimes just watching how the city comes alive at dusk and dark.  Longer shutter speeds create that dynamic traffic flow that can add a captivating element to your images. 
Trapp Lake.  Located about 20 minutes south, on the old Hwy 5a, this lake (and road for that matter) can be a goldmine for photographers.  The sage and grasses right off the highway make it a safe and easily accessible area and over the years I’ve had huge success here.  It’s also just a sweet drive!

Wherever you go, enjoy the landscape; we really are so fortunate to live here!

~Kelly Funk