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So I thought I would do a quick blog post about some of my recent trips and locations! It's been a busy year so far and I would love to share some photos and quick thoughts with you all. Below I have picked my favourite image from each location!
First I was off to the west coast of Vancouver Island chasing light, waterfalls and giant trees! It was an epic week and I found shots that I could only imagine in my dreams, here is a favourite from Sandcut Beach near the Sooke.
Sandcut Waterfall at Sunset
Next my girlfriend and I decided to head for Wells Grey Park near Clearwater B.C.. It's a spectacular place and we intended to do some hiking and photography. Needless to say that between the consistent torment of Mosquitos and the constant sights of Bears around us we didn't last that long but I did manage this shot of the majestic Helmcken Falls!
Helmcken Falls at Sunset
Next we were off to Orcas Island, a small island in the San Juan group of islands. I could really see myself getting into this island lifestyle, it's laid back and consists of spectacular views, sea kayaking and ice cream. Seems like an unbeatable combo to me!
Golden Falls on Orcas Island
Next I took some time to explore my home town of Vancouver. I must say I take it for granted how beautiful this city is! I spent a number of evenings exploring the touristy spots trying for something a little different and spectacular and my city did not disappoint!
Science World, B.C. Place and False Creek Glowing At Sunset
Last was a quick overnighter to upper Joffre Lake found near Pemberton. We packed our gear, tent included and made the 5 km treck to the camp site. In spite of some unexpected heavy rain it was an awesome hike! The mood over the lake was something I won't ever forget! I made my first vlog (video blog) post of this trip and you can view it hear https://youtu.be/99jN9EZojuU
Upper Joffre Lake
So thats my favourite recent images and few things I have been up to lately! Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions! Or leave a comment below. As always these images are for sale on the website!
Cheers and thanks for looking! You can follow along on
A quick disclaimer about this post. If your reading this post please keep in mind that I am assuming you have a camera that allows you to set your shutter speed, F Stop and ISO and that you know the basic's of manual or semi manual exposure. If not stay tuned for the next post featuring "Manual Exposure Basics".
One of the questions that keeps coming up on my social channels is "how does the water look so smooth?" Long exposure photography is becoming increasingly popular and for good reason, it looks super cool! In the following blog post I will identify what is a long or slow exposure and why we might want to use it. I will provide some examples of photographs that use a long exposure. The basic camera settings and the equipment you will need to make your own long exposure photographs. The awesome thing is that it's super easy and it can transform your photography into true works of art!
First what is a long exposure? Basically a long exposure is referring to the cameras shutter being open for a longer period of time. As an example we can leave the shutter open for a number of seconds or more allowing any moving objects to become blurry such as a waterfall. However typically we will shoot with a fast shutter speed to stop any shake when holding the camera, shutter speed of 1/125 and faster are great because they are super fast, the shutter opens and closes very quickly, this only allows light to reach the sensor for a split second and this will stop the action, freezing the moment and enabling you to hand hold your camera without any noticeable camera shake. But lets say we want to show the silky moving water from the falls or the light trials on the highway from passing cars or movement in the fast moving clouds. To achieve this look we need to slow down the shutter speed leaving it open for a longer period of time such as 1-30 seconds or in some extreme cases longer. We notice this by default when the light is dim or trying take pictures in a very dark room or at night. But with landscape photography we often want the long exposure/slow shutter speed to help in creating drama by showing more motion through the picture but lets be clear objects that are not moving such as rocks, logs, mountains and so forth must stay solid and crisp without any blur! So a long exposure comes from using a slow shutter speed allowing for moving objects to become silky in your photographs. Golden Water Fall - Shot with a long exposure/slow shutter speed to allow for nice silky movement in the water. Specs ISO 200 @ F9 10 Sec (6 stop ND Filter used)
Now that we know we need a slow shutter speed in order to get these silky looking shots lets look at the equipment that we will need.
1) First a camera that will allow for slow shutter speeds, most will go down to 30 seconds or Bulb mode.
2) You must have a solid tripod, this stops most of the camera shake allowing all non moving objects in the picture to stay blur free and sharp.
3) A remote shutter release, this is great for remotely squeezing the trigger in order not to touch the camera which can cause some shake. You can use the self timer as an option.
4) Polarizing Filter and or ND Filters, these filters will block some light and allow for a slower shutter speed in brighter lighting conditions.
Silver Creek with a nice silky flow - the slow exposure enabled me to achieve this silky look. ISO 100 @ F14 2.5 Sec (Polarizing Filter used)
Some thoughts on camera settings. I would always recommend setting your ISO to the lowest number such as 100 or 200. Setting your F Stop to a larger number such as F11 - F22 will close down the opening to your sensor forcing you to use a slower shutter speed to gather the light thus a longer exposure. Aim for shutter speeds in the 1 - 20 second range to start with and experiment. Find a nice creek or waterfall to practice! The process is super fun and actually quite easy once you understand and experiment with the basics! I hope this was useful and keep an eye out for more short tutorials on the blog. Don't hesitate to write me with any questions and do check out the "workshops" page if your interested in some personal on location assistance! It will save you many hours of frustration..lol! Also all images seen in the blog posts are for sale through the galleries on this site.
Thanks again for reading and taking the time.
Lynne Creek - shot with a slow shutter speed. ISO 50 @ F13 30 Sec (6 stop ND Filter used)
So this summer I opened a pop up store at the Ladner Village Market on June 26 and July 24. It was really exciting to be able to display and sell my work! I met so manny amazing folks and was absolutely overwhelmed by the interest and positive feed back towards my landscape photography. The Ladner Village Market is now over 20 years I believe and known to be the biggest and most reputable craft market in the greater Vancouver and lower mainland area. The market specializes in locally made and locally sourced organic food, crafts, wood work, jewelry, art and of course photography. I was proud to be let in as it is a juried decision as to who gets to sell at the market. With well over 5000 people walking the village streets each market Sunday.
Thank you very much to all who stopped by for a chat and or purchased one of my products and to all of the markets staff and volunteers! It was a huge success and I am looking forward to next year already!
Me at my booth - photo courtesy Phil Goodis
Card stock for the market - Photo Aaron Goodis
I am proud and super stoked to be featured along side some amazingly talented photographers on the Shotkit website! Take a look at what gear it takes for me to capture the images you see through the pages of my gallery.
The "Sacred Canyon" found along the west coast of Vancouver Island has been on my go to list for quite some time now. I have seen many photos, and now more than ever before. One quick look through instagram or Facebook and your sure to see a few shots. It doesn't bother me though, some photographers get really specific about shooting locations that have never been photographed before but I think for me it's the adventure and the experience that I am after more than anything else. Just seeing these places through your own eyes is really spectacular! So finally I made the trek and checked it out for my self.
With a quick impromptu trip to Vancouver Island my girlfriend and I thought it would be a great time to take advantage of a few extra days and do some exploring. Once we arrived we quickly got some groceries in Victoria, gassed up and headed up the coast. When we arrived at the the road that would take us down to the entry of this location we quickly realized that a truck would be needed, unfortunately my old Mercury Sable wouldn't make the cut so we would need to hike the extra kilometres down to the beach first. This is always rewarding especially when carrying a full pack of camera gear! The canyon is located about 2-3 kilometres down the rugged beach then up a creek about one hundred yards or so. We would also now need to walk about 2 kilometres from the road down to the entrance onto the beach making the total journey about 7 or 8 km. Not so bad and totally worth it! We quickly descended the the rutted road and hiked down the beach looking for the creek. We found it and made our way in!
Jasmin enters the "Sacred Canyon" after a long hike from the car. Nikon d800 Nikon 16-35mm F3.5 VR 16mm iso 400 F3.5 1/25
We slog our way up and make our way into the canyon, it's incredible and I haven't seen anything like it before. it reminds me of being somewhere tropical (I have never actually been in a tropical place...lol) We are alone and all I hear is our echoing voices and the rushing sound of the creek and the waterfall found at the end of this canyon. The colours are truly brilliant, vibrant green, gold, yellow, brown and black contrast against the white clear flowing water. It's spiritual and in the moment I almost forget to shoot some photos. I snap back to reality and quickly bolt the Nikon d800 to my Gitzo tripod. I am shooting with the Nikon 16-35 mm F3.5 VR super wide angle lens, infront of the lens I screw on my Lee landscape Polarizer to help cut the glare and naturally saturate the colour. I take a quick shot wide open at F3.5 in order to freeze Jasmin as she steps up and into the canyon (shot above) and then I go to work on my shot. I find a nice composition set my exposure, lock in my focus and squeeze the shutter release. In this case the dynamic range is hard to capture in one frame as the canyon walls are dark and in shadow but the waterfall and creek or bright with highlights. I bracket a couple of shots by only adjusting my shutter speed. Now we just take it in, the feeling in here is almost pre historic!
Sacred Canyon - Nikon d800 Nikon 16-35mm F3.5 VR, Lee Landscape Polarizer, Gitzo Tripod, Cable Release 16mm iso 100 F14 8 sec
Back in Vancouver and still reliving the experience it's time to process the image. First I open the RAW file in Adobe Lightroom and do some minor distortion corrections. It turns out that the incredible dynamic range of the Nikon d800 was able capture all the light in one single exposure. Now I go through some adjustments to contrast, saturation, sharpening, white balance along with some fine tuning and the image looks good to me. Next I open in photoshop and resize the image for a variety of usage such as website and social media. And that is it! I can't wait to go back!
I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe even learned a thing or two! If you would like to subscribe and stay in the loop simply email me through email@example.com and I will add you to my mailing list.
Thanks for reading! Happy Shooting!
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