Blue Hour Photography in Winter Wonderland


Oh Leo. How can I work under these
conditions? Eh? Eh? Oh it’s Brent Ayup mate. How’s it goin? Hardcastle you salty bastard! It is snowing so much in Banff right now. You gotta get over here! Oooh really? What are we talkin, how deep is it? oh man it’s up to your armpits at least
you’re gonna need a snorkel over here oh so you’ve had a massive dump then? oh we’ve had a massive dump, gargantuan dump. oh I do like a gargantuan dump. Yeah I know you do. So if I got there tomorrow would that be alright? The sooner the better, it’s snowing right. Do it. Alright mate, I’ll get packed up.
I’ll head out first thing tomorrow morning. okay see you later. See ya! mmm looking good. Aww Banff National Park, here I come. I bet Heaton will be up for this. I’ll give him a call… Hello, how’s it goin? Ayup Thom, how are ya mate? Yeah good, good, good. Yeah? What are you up to? I’m just living life large at home in my
hot tub. oh nice mate nice listen Brent just
called me and he’s just told me that there’s been a massive dump of snow out in Banff National Park, conditions are absolutely epic. You gotta get your arse
over to Canada right now! CANADA? I know it’s far but there’s frozen
waterfalls ice caves massive dump of snow, trees bending over with it, it’s
spectacular! Mate… you’ve said enough. I’m in. I’m gonna book my flight, I’ll fly out and I’ll be there first thing in the morning. Aawww right mate! Brilliant I’ll see you soon.. Alright. I’ll see ya then. Bye, bye, bye,bye,bye,bye,bye,bye, Oh. I Ben Nicholas would love to join this. Let’s give him a call. Hello? Ayup mate! How’re you doing? Hey Gavin how are you? Oh I’m good mate yeah, good.. What are you up to? Oh just grooming the beard a bit. Nice nice, listen Brent just called me and he’s told me that the conditions in Banff National Park are absolutely brilliant right now you’ve got to get your arse up across the border and come shooting with
me. Ah man I can’t if that’s a long drive I got stuff to do Well, what if I told you that Heaton was in? Ooooooaaaaahhh…. I don’t know man. Well what if I told you there were frozen
waterfalls, ice caves and trees full of snow? Alright. I’m in! Alright mate. I’ll see ya there. Bye. Now …..should I invite uncle grumpy? he does this thing where he makes me wait Helloooooo? Ayup Uncle Grumpy how you doing mate? I told you not to call me any more. And don’t call me ‘Uncle Grumpy’! Well what do you want me to call ya? How bout ‘Master Photographer……..of the Year’! Oh God alright, geez master photographer of the year. Listen Brent called me he’s told me that Banff is perfect right now. I’ve got Thomas Heaton, I’ve got Nick page and I’ve got Brent are you in? Ugh I dunno. You still owe me $5.. and you still owe me my lens cloth back. Have you cleaned it yet? Yeah I told you I’d clean it. I’ve cleaned your bloody lens cloth!!! Well…… alright. I guess if I have to…. Listen. If I bring your lens cloth, will you come? Alright. I’ll come. Alright Uncle Grumpy. I’ll be on the first ferry tomorrow. I’ll see you on the road. Alright! Alright mate Bye bye. Uncle Grumpy is in. We’re off to Banff! well it’s 4:30 a.m. here in Nanaimo BC
and I do have a face like a well slap – I am knackered but I’m happy and I’m
excited because I’m going to Banff National Park the only thing I’m a
little bit sketched out by I’ve done this trip many many times but today
there’s a winter storm warning it’s gonna be snow lots of snow so after gagging down a very overpriced
and under flavored fairy breakfast I finally escaped the boat and hit the
highway just before the rush hour traffic the winter storm warning
predicted two snowstorms one just after the town of Hope BC which I was just
about to reach now the snow was beginning to stick but I’ll admit I was
feeling pretty smug with my trusty snow tires well that wasn’t too bad about the
first snow storm behind me and I’ve got one more to go but I’m almost in
Kamloops now and even though there’s snow on the ground it’s actually a
lovely sunny day so if the second snow storms not too bad I should be in the
Rockies in about four or five hours haha Gavin
famous last words met as I entered the second snow stop it became obvious that
this was a different beast entirely the snow plows were out in force scraping
off the ice from the highway and even with snow tires and all-wheel drive it’s
best to drive by the time we reached Revelstoke the news came in that the
highway was now closed so it’s time to pack up and take a nap well well the
snow storm was so bad that they actually closed the highway from Revelstoke to
golden so we’ve had to just stop overnight in Revelstoke and hope that
the Avalanche control stuff gets done by the morning so we’re spending the night
in our vehicles huddled up to this lovely spare tire Adams in his passion
wagon over there Hey so I’m really hoping that in the morning
the Avalanche control stuff is done and we can finally get to Banff to meet up
with Brent Tom and Nick so do you know anything about that I got a text from
my wonderful partner Karen and she said I hope this is of you and then there’s
been an incident near Yoho so I think the roads closed after golden but I’m
not sure I haven’t I haven’t checked for an update yet but they’re close yeah
from the Avalanche control last night is now open I believe it is because this
seems to be trucks moving so I think we’re good to go
I wonder what’s the survival rate for truck drivers who drive like this most
have a head full of broken biscuits as dangerous as the highway was though I
was definitely falling in love with this spectacular winter wonderland
this massive dump of snow made everything look magical and I couldn’t
wait to get to bounce to start shooting my favorite scenes in these
ever-changing conditions I know I’ve got my post-christmas
Paulinus to deal with but I think after all of this stress and calamity I think
I deserve this Mars bar king size so I just spoke to the gang brent is on his
way to Emerald Lake Adams just a little bit ahead of me on his way to Emerald
Lake so we’re gonna go there first scoop that out for Eaton and Paige Eaton is in
the air on its way to Calgary a page is just crossing the border from Idaho into
Alberta and on the way to Emerald we fancied a quick stop at Natural Bridge
in your Hall so we’re finally here we made it through
two snowstorms all the way through to your pope so we finally made it through
two snowstorms all the way through to your National Park here in British
Columbia the Canadian Rockies and what we’re going to try and do now is get
down there to this place called Natural Bridge which is this Natural Bridge so
we’re gonna try and get into this this place called Natural Bridge which is
basically a waterfall under these rocks and in the winter it freezes up and I’ve
shot it before but it’s been completely for us and I got this shot before but I’ve never quite shot it when it’s
semi-frozen and right now the conditions look absolutely perfect so we’re going
to get in there are you going to go in first
yeah all right there’s a little bit sketch in here I
just went over there and my foot went through the ice so it’s definitely not
cold enough for this kind of stuff it’s what zero Celsius yeah I mean the last
time I was here was minus 25 Celsius so this is a bit sketchy
McGavin you know if you go down there and pull in I’m not going up here what
wife I’m just into me waist well am I trying I’ll just wait for you to come
out of the opening of the end oh that’s Jeremy you know he’s still bitter about
that lens white but it’s still gorgeous I mean look at this business by the way
if you fancy coming out and shooting on location with me I’m leading a workshop
in the Faroe Islands we’ll be shooting spectacular waterfalls of par off of
dramatic cliffs into the ocean coastal seascapes they’re just gonna blow your
mind cultural historic landmarks endless
mountain vistas surreal Island landscapes with lots and lots of green
hope to see you there okay back to the video oh and like and subscribe if you
would so I like this shot but I really want to get closer I mean I love all of
this this background this this frame from
these rocks this frost that you see on these walls it’s absolutely stunning but
I think what most interests me about this shot is this ice that you see with
the water that’s partially frozen and as beautiful as these are I’ve got photos
of those in the past and I want to try something a bit different today so I
want to capture this movement of the water these lovely ice ships and the
rocks behind so I’m gonna actually change lenses and put on the 24 to 105
and see if I can get in a bit tighter so this is my first shot and this was
shot at 55 millimeters and I’d like to know what you prefer do you prefer this
more intimate tighter seen how do you prefer this wider shot now this was shot
at 33 millimeters so please post a comment let me know which one you prefer
and the reasons why you prefer it you have to be very careful not to startle
it whilst shooting it can be lured out with the option T called baked beans
which he will eat from the tin and we can also be lured out with any chance of
saving money I don’t what you’re gonna do with this
shot then all I’m going to do is a really nice hole Roxette yeah that I use
that program what’s it called Scylla yeah there’s some really great
beams of light moving through there so we just finished at Natural Bridge in
your home and we’re gonna go back now to Emerald Lake where Brent he’s already
there and we can have to hike in apparently because they’ve only plowed
the road up to a certain point and display lots of people came in today in
the snow in like two wheel drive vehicles are not equipped they don’t
have snow tires so there’s all kinds of stranded vehicles out there but we
should be okay fingers crossed if you’re thinking they’re coming to the
Rockies and you only have a two wheel drive with without snow tires
don’t even bother don’t because you just wreck you for everybody else will be
target practice right so I’m here at Emerald Lake just before blue hour and
that’s the plan with this shot is I wanna get a gorgeous blue hour shot but
the restaurant there because you get this nice reflection and what I like is
that difference of color between the orange warm blue and the blue coldness
of blue hour a shot here many times before at Emerald Lake and there I think
the best shot I ever got was called moon blue and that was on a full moon evening
and that’s got a very nice blue hue to it but we don’t have those conditions
tonight but we’re still gonna get I would think a nice blue hour it’s not
socked in and you can just see the mountains in the distance so the
composition that I’ve got features the reflection some of this beautiful snow
in the foreground there and of course those snow-capped mountains in the
distance about to get high because I want to feature more of that reflection
so the higher you get the more of that reflection opens up cause otherwise it’s
obscured by all of these foreground objects so I’ve had to rise up my
central stem which I am loathe to do because I don’t like the wobble whoa
right into the snow then I don’t like the wobble that you get but my my tripod
legs have already sunk quite low so I’ve got to get as much high as I can get so
whenever you’re desperate you’ve got you extend that central column desperate
times desperate measures but I would never recommend doing that unless you
have to so I said it’s a good idea to compose your shot and dial in all your
settings and get comfortable before blue hour hits because you’ve only got a
certain amount of time so I’ve composed this fairly tight it’s a bit it’s a bit
closer in then I usually shoot when I come here because I want to feature as
much of that reflection as a count now focused on if you look at that very very
tall tree they’re just kind of jutting out from the from the edge of the
restaurant that’s what I focused on and pretty much everything is in focus and
sharp with an aperture of f/8 their fate is very sharp on this lens well the
moment has arrived finally it’s even so good that Adam Gibbs has decided to get
his camera out that’s how you know it’s a good shot so I’ve got this lovely
orange glue now and this is what I’ve been waiting for it’s it’s not quite
dark I reckon in about 40 minutes it’ll be complete dark but this is what blue
hours all about that lovely blue color and then if you’ve got a nice warm light
soft and your subject that’s the perfect combination so I’m now shooting f/8
that’s my aperture and I’m an exposure of 25 seconds loving that little bit of
low I missed is it mister is it low-lying cloud a little bit oh that’s
beautiful so let’s do now in order to make that orange glow pop a little bit
more I’m gonna crank the I saw up to let’s go up to 4 now let’s try 160 and
maybe take the exposure down now the cosmedix super-bright
we’ll try 15 seconds let’s have a look is rather juicy so now I’ve got that
exposure that’s got the bright light I’m gonna take some darker exposures for the
for the sky there so I’m gonna put my ISO back down to 50 and let’s go to
about 20 seconds see how that shows up hey are you getting all this Adam yeah
no charge this is worth at least two beers oh yeah that is glorious what
you’re looking at here is the cropped version of a square composition and I
didn’t see this crop until I loaded it into the video as a sixteen by nine so
tell me what you prefer this is the full size square composition which it did in
camera but let me know do you prefer the cropped one for the video Audie prefer
the full sized square so despite getting trapped in Revelstoke
we still managed to squeeze in two shoots before nightfall the next stop
was Lake Louise to meet up with Tom and Nick so that we can make plans for
tomorrow’s sunrise shoot at abraham lake where this special moment was to take
place but that my friends is another story

100 Replies to “Blue Hour Photography in Winter Wonderland”

  1. I have watched everyone's video from your trip up to the Rockies and always look forward to yours because it's always something different! You guys look like you have a blast which is very fun to watch. Thanks for taking me along on the journey and look forward to future videos of your trip to the Rockies. Also prefer the wide version of the Natural Bridge.

  2. Much like Sinatra, Martin, Sammy Davis jnr……..and those other ones, here we have the modern landscape photography rat pack.
    You’re finding your stride young Gavin. A million subscribers before Tuesday I say!
    Does uncle grumpy really want that lens cloth? It’s now been through two massive dumps….

  3. Thankfully you can skip the first 8 minutes, some great locations and captures, the rest is interesting enough apart from the sales pitch.

  4. Great story, I subscribe to Thomas Heaton and figured adding you is a great idea. Would like to get the other guys too.

  5. What a great video and it looked like you guys had a lot of fun.

    Beautiful images bud and just subbed for more.

  6. IMHO the tighter shot has cropped the icicles at the top mid way and doesn't look quite right. But, hey, what do I know 🙂

  7. Wow! The video was awesome and I am really motivated to attend that workshop of yours. Please share the details when is it ? I want to register myself for it.

  8. Confession….Apart from yourself Gavin, I've been following the other guys on YouTube for a while. Not to be left out, I'm now one of your followers. I was in Canmore for a wedding in mid October and decided to have an 8 day break to photograph Banff and Jasper. I lived in Alberta in the 80's, and it was such a treat to be back to my old stomping ground. It's such a beautiful part of Canada. Really enjoyed this VLOG, you guys should be on the Telly.

  9. Dude. This intro is redic. p.s. Not sure if you know this but best life in G spot (Golden) was is when winter is in full swing.

  10. New subscriber here – came over from Heaton's channel. Different style than his for sure, but I like it. 🙂 The opening scenes were priceless!

    You asked, so I'll tell ya! I like the second shot of the waterfall/natural bridge better, because it feels more framed up. Both are really nice – I just prefer the second. On the second shot I think I like the 16:9 version more. It feels like there is more room to breathe, and I like the cabin placement. But, I also like the foreground of the square shot. That said, I love just about anything shot in the blue hour. I'm partial to shooting that time of day myself (though, I definitely haven't mastered it yet… that could be said of all my photography, if I'm honest 😀 )

    Awesome video! I look forward to seeing more!

  11. Great vid, funny as. I prefer the wide at natural bridge and the un-cropped restaurant shot. Keep up the great vids they are inspiring, full of info, and funny

  12. Face like a well slapped ass – freakin hilarious …. and prior to leaving half the crew is pretending to be at the spa – ah ah ah

  13. Jesus fucking christ. I'm 3 minutes in in this video and I am so torn. I kept telling everyone in 2018 that Thomas Heaton has the best channel out there, they asked me to leave their property but that's ok, at least they learned. Now I found this guy god damn it. I mean, seriously uh, naaah… not gonna say it yet, too early. Need to investigate more.

  14. Can I ask what your setup was for night at emerald lake? Looks like you had an even taller tripod – and what was the video light source?

  15. I prefer the wide version of Natural Bridge, and the crop of the Blue Hour scene. I'm really glad I have found you videos and channel. I have watched a great many of Thomas's videos, as well as; Morten Hilmer, Steve Matheis and some others. I'll keep following yours. I've been to Banff once, (in summer), but now you and Thomas have me wanting to go up there for winter scenes! I'm in central Montana.Hey, you should bring your 'gang' here. I know some great landscapes in the Beartooth Mountains!

  16. I´ve been following Thomas, Nick and Adam for quite some time and now, after seeing first video from you, i have another landscape photographer to follow. Great job Gavin.

  17. agree with Thomas.. loved the wide version. been a follower of his and Nick for sometime. Glad to find you. photographer myself, but certainly no to y'alls level.. great stuff!!

  18. Is it just me, or at 9:10 does that beautiful shot of the frozen natural bridge look like he's standing between the back legs of an excited poodle? Just asking.

  19. I could not watch it after 3 minutes. I needed take a break from laughing and came here to read the comments. Best video ever.
    Greetings from Victoria

  20. So, after watching this for the third time now, (still as entertaining as the first time watching), I finally decided the wider 35mm shot of natural bridge is my pick. I like the foreground and how you can seen where the ice frames off the flow of the water. Both are equally spectacular!

    This entire series has some "Juicy!" locations!

    …and only adds to my reasons for me to move West…currently living in Bonavista Bay North, Newfoundland, after living in Ontario for 30 years..I need to see mountains, 'real' mountains before I die, lol

  21. I prefer the wider 33mm shot. It seems a more balanced composition. I would like the other one more if it was even more zoomed in to make an abstract image out of the patterns in the rock and/or the color patches of brown on the left and white on the right.

  22. It’s really nice to watch your videos, it takes me away from the everyday mess… I’m not a photographer, I wish I was but I enjoy your photos. The funny thing is, I have a canon eos 5d2 with a few lenses that belong to my wife. They sit there and wait for me to get the courage to use them. I think I know how to turn the camera on… lol

  23. Great video thank you for sharing. Question what in the hell is that stain on your window that been traveling with you for several videos?

  24. I preferred the closer up shot – it's simpler and more impactful. I really appreciate the few strong lines and clear shapes. The larger shot just felt a bit cluttered by comparison. Still a lovely photo though, don't get me wrong.

  25. Loving your videos. Its great to be entertained as well as enlightened. As for Natural Bridge, definitely the wider shot. It provides context, taking you to that remarkable place. The closer shot looses that element, and could, in fact, be almost anywhere. Also, purely in terms of composition, the wider shot was more interesting to the eye – dare I say, eye candy? No, that just conjures disturbing images of gummy worms and beards. 🙂

  26. You still have that bug splatter on your front window. So how often do you clean that sucker? That dead bug is sure seeing some nice scenery. Good show, thanks.

  27. My preference for the ice cave is the more intimate shot, it pulls you in and illustrates more detail in the ice. Just discovered your channel via Mr Heaton's channel – love the humour. It's like Top Gear for photographers! BTW, why the Arabic sounding music track, you're in Canada?!

  28. Wider shot, I like to see the whole environment as the curves of the snow really adds to the composition.

  29. Just catching up on your channel,just an awesome channel.Got a few hours of viewing yet.Keep up the good work .✌🏻✌🏻👌🏻👌🏻

  30. You Gavin created amazing video. Really funny. Thanks. Uncle Grummpy….wery good, and this ,,Master of photographer,,…no coments.

  31. Wider in my opinion is quit better, it gives wider perspective of this ,,cave,, , i can see more beauty this spectacular cave and flowing water. And these a thiny icycle are as thevs of shark. A will cut right side to 35mm because this dark area a little distracted me…in my opinion…

  32. @12:02 much prefer the wide; you have that arrow formed by the water, frozen and non, which you have framed impeccably with the outcrop on the right foreground. It's as if I'm being swallowed by a baleen of sorts. Avast! It's in the abstract vein where I'm wondering "what am I looking at", but there is enough in the frame for context after a moment. I like 1 as a square crop of the right side, with that ice splitting the frame right down the middle. Lovely images! Thanks for the knowledge. I'm actually getting excited for a Winnipeg winter! 😐

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