Mike Biden salivates at the sites he sees in the North Okanagan. Especially thousands of feet up in the air
As a private pilot with a hankering for photography, Biden has captured 77 amazing shots with his Nikon from the front of his Cessna 172, and put them in a self-published book titled North Okanagan Above.
“I drool at what I see,” said Biden, a Penticton resident who grew up an air force brat and who has lived all over the world.
“I thought, ‘How selfish am I, here I am going around, burning up gas, seeing what I see.’ How can you describe something like this to people? The North Okanagan is so stunning, it’s amazing.”
So, over the past year, Biden would get up at 5 a.m., head to the Penticton Airport, do a walk around of his Cessna and launch at 6 a.m., and be over “his targets” at 7 a.m.
“That’s when the magic light comes up, the sun is rising, and that’s how I get the stunning colours popping off the page,” said Biden, who has served more than 30 years as a ground Search and Rescue technician, rescue diver and Search and Rescue pilot.
North Okanagan Above includes amazing shots of lakes including Kalamalka, Okanagan, Wood and Mara, the Shuswap River, Predator Ridge, Sparkling Hill Resort, O’Keefe Ranch, the Spallumcheen valley, all as seen by Biden from the air.
“What I saw was so astonishing, I could not believe the beauty of the Okanagan,” said Biden. “It’s like a jewel of the earth.”
One of the photos of Kal Lake shows a boat out on the water for an early morning spin, leaving behind a quarter-mile wake. There were no other boats on the water, and no wind.
There are also photos of the Shuswap region, the Monashee mountains near Revelstoke, and includes Kelowna photos of Big White, Myra Canyon and its famous Kettle Valley Railway trestles in winter, and the William R. Bennett Bridge, which is used for the book’s cover.
The bridge, said Biden, is used as kind of a regional border. One of his three other books – Okanagan Above – goes from Kelowna south. His new project goes from the bridge north to the Monashees.
Okanagan Above sold 4,000 copies in one-and-a-half years. His new book is well on the way to smashing that mark.
“I’ve sold 2,200 books in three months,” smiled Biden, a 30-year photography buff who has also released books with Penticton ties (The Penticton Fire of 1994 and Ironman Canada Triathlon – the Pain and the Glory).
North Okanagan Above is available in Vernon at Bookland, or by calling Biden at 250-486-2112, or e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More of Biden’s images can also be found on his website, www.iflyphoto.com.