Fall Photography at The Butchart Gardens


a couple of days ago I was down at The Butchart Gardens with a client and this is the shot that I got and I was really happy with the shot
but I wasn’t too happy with the video footage that I shot because it was so
busy it was very difficult to shoot video in there. People were walking past
and I was getting riled up and I was aware of the fact that I was a complete
nuisance. So I’m going back again today in the hopes that I can reshoot some of
that video and do a better job for you guys so that you can see how I captured
this shot. And also after I got that picture I sent it to my friend Warren
here and he said…. Bullsh*t, I can do better. So off we go we’re gonna go back there right now and try and get some more killer shots because that was like
four or five days ago and the colors may have changed even more since then when I
was there some of the trees are turned red not quite all of them and there’s
one in particular that I really love OMG this is fantastic! Turn the camera around this was turning out to be a spectacular misty morning and I had a good feeling that we’d capture some great shots. Now Warren picked me up this
morning in pretty rough accommodations What’s this car? A Jag XKR. A Jaguar you know I’ll put up with it for today but you know I
do prefer slightly more salubrious accommodations if you don’t mind at this point in the video, I’d very much appreciate it if you could pretend not
to notice the now-famous stain on the windscreen partly because I’m somewhat
embarrassed that it hasn’t been cleaned off yet but mostly because we’re
actually supposed to be riding in Warren’s Jag. But you already knew that
right? OK, so we’re going to Butchart. How many times you’ve been? There this will be my eighth. Eight! You know the place back to front! Well I whenever I go there I always just go straight to the Japanese gardens the
rest of it is brilliant but for me it’s all about the Japanese section. So I’ve
been there once in my life when I was probably 12 years old. I didn’t know it
was like a big tourist trap Well it wouldn’t have been when you were 12, that’s like 70 years ago! This is one of the most gorgeous foggy mornings I have ever seen! just low-lying mist the Sun is up so
it’s blasting in through trees and it’s creating light rays oh it’s just
fantastic with the Jag parked we hoofed it
straight to the Japanese section and even skipped coffee so back home on Vancouver Island and today I’m at The Butchart Gardens which
is a fantastic tropical garden and the place to come when you come here for me
as a photographer is straight to the Japanese section because look at these
colors and these shapes, it’s absolutely magnificent! Now, shooting here especially in the morning in autumn is a bit of a nightmare
because technically it’s very difficult you’ve got to get down low
you’ve gotta bracket your shots you’ve got a focus perfectly because you’re
really close to the foreground but logistically it’s also a bit of a
nightmare because, well I’ve got to be aware of the fact that I’m a bit of a
pest right, these are narrow passageways and I’m in the way with my
two tripods, so logistically it’s a challenge too so you’ve got to balance
all of those things you’ve got the technical aspect and you’ve got the fact
that you’re a bit of a pain to other people so it’s quite difficult to shoot
here but if you’ve got the patience and the the will to keep going, you will get
fantastic shots. I can’t recommend this place enough, for the photographer. so with this shot that’s a little bit
technical I’m having to shoot at f/22 because the depth of field is crazy and
I’m so close to this foreground that need that front to back focus. But it’s
not a problem because it’s so bright there’s so much sunlight that everything
is gonna be sharp. I’m not too worried about diffraction. What I’m loving though
with this shot is this reflected light here and that’s what I love about these
types of gardens is you get what I call bounce light so the light is coming in
and it’s hitting something on the ground which then illuminates an object higher
up so you get this this light coming from underneath which is
absolutely magical to me. And then you’ve got these beautiful ships that all pull
the eye into the foreground got this little bamboo fence here that’s kind of
pulling your eye into the center of the shot. So all in all, this is like a super
easy composition it’s a super easy shot to get this dead obvious as soon as I
walk past I saw the shot and I loved the way that the light is reflecting off of
these pools here. All in all, it’s absolutely gorgeous scene had to take
this shot now this is one of those compositions is
not quite as easy to get. Everything is gorgeous, I’m seeing gorgeous reflections.
I’m seeing gorgeous colors but, to find a simple composition is very very
difficult. Everything’s kind of a mess and a jumble so with the super wide it
may be just a little bit too wide. I might have to strap on a different
lengths of lens and get in a little bit tighter and isolate a detail that’s
easier for the eye to to take on. Instead of this massive scene but I just love the way that that red color is reflected in this pond here it’s so rich and
vibrant. So I’m going to try and capture it super wide first and then
I’ll switch to the 24-105mm, zoom in to maybe 50 mm and maybe then the
shot I’ll be a bit cleaner and a bit more obvious so this is the 18 mm very, very
wide scene on a full frame and I want to know what you prefer do you prefer this
wider bigger scene or do you prefer this shot which is at 32 mm on a
full frame. It’s a much tighter more intimate scene so please leave a comment
let me know what you prefer and that gives me an indication as to the types
of shots that people like to see and that’s really helpful for a photographer One of the things that I like to do with my
photography is to kind of set myself a bit of a challenge. I look at my
weaknesses as a photographer as an artist. And when I go to beautiful places
I have a habit and you might identify with this. I have a habit of just looking
for that grand epic scene that’s super impressive. And I often forget to look
for those fine details. The details that you cannot walk past the things that you
have missed if you didn’t go looking for them so today I’m gonna try and really
consciously make an effort to use a longer focal length, maybe I’ll put on
the 55mm and get some shallow depth of field detail shots. And really spend a bit
of time looking for those gorgeous fine detail scenes, those almost like, miniature
scenes that I usually miss because I’m looking for that grand shot. See if I
can get something different from my portfolio. Because that’s the hole in my
portfolio, gonna work really hard to try and get those today what a difference 4 days makes. So I
was here the other day and the light was completely different. Fair enough it was
about half an hour later but right now I’m loving this patchy bit of
light and that tree there the other day was almost yellow, so it’s really changed
its color in just a few days. With this composition I’ve kind of gone a bit
simple. like I was talking earlier instead of the big wide scene, I’m using
it much longer focal length and I’m just taking out this this section here where
all that it’s featuring in the shot is this gorgeous little path this lovely
s-shaped path the tree and the reflection. Dead simple dead pure very
easy to compose and when we’ve got full-frame cameras with super wide
lenses that the tendency is to shoot these big grand scenes where anything of
any interest in the middle it’s very small. Often I see people that use crop
sensors or micro four-thirds and they have a much tighter focal length and it
may not look super impressive on the back of the camera but when you get it
on screen or in a print often those tighter longer focal lengths a far more
impressive than the big super wide scene and it’s a lot more challenging to
compose so that’s something I would always recommend is set yourself a
little bit of a challenge and try and use longer focal lengths than you’re
used to and it’s really gonna help you to refine your composition process now looking at this image you’d be
forgiven for thinking that I’d cranked the saturation slider all the way up to
11 but no I never touch the saturation slider. And this is just one of the
wonders of the Butchart Gardens on a bright sunny day. The colors can be eye
melting. so as you can see it’s a lovely, tranquil serene almost silent, zen-like
scene here at Butchart Gardens. just kill me kill me now All right, before you get your under crackers in a twist. I do realize that I’ve got no more right to be there than anybody else. One of the things I love about living in BC is how when the Sun hits a wet surface you get what appears to be smoke which is just
steam, rising out of Timbers whether it’s a fence whether it’s a tree or a
gorgeous bridge like that I just love that about BC as predicted this was turning out to be
a really productive morning but we were both getting a little bit Hank Marvin so
it was time to go and find some scoff So I just bought this…… it’s called a ‘Chilli-hotdog’ It seems ill advised. Is this like a Canadian thing? It’s structural integrity….. it’s falling apart as I’m eating it. A Chilli hotdog? I think it’s a mistake. Let’s see you try and eat it. Look at that, it’s just falling apart. It’s disintegrating. This is like food p0rn. What’s next? Pizza with gravy and noodles??? So what did you get? Chicken Pot Pie. Well that’s waaay more sensible. I wish I’d got that! I seriously regret my food choices. I’m eating a hotdog with a knife and fork. It dun’t make sense. Crazy. typical bloody Yorkshireman. Unable to
comprehend North American food but I tell you what. I’d kill for a donar kebab
right about now whoa with our distended Shatner’s bursting at
the seams it was time to get back to work. So with this shot I’m really testing the limits of my patience because I’m waiting for people to come in and go out so they can get a perfect shot of this
this tunnel of color so I’m just constantly shooting over and over and
over again and then I can blend exposures to get exactly what I want. And
I love this shot because I’m going for a much longer focal length than what I’m
used to. I’m used to shoot in sort of wide to sort of mid-range focal length this
is a much like I’m at about 70mm with this shot and I’m trying
to frame the shot so that there’s as much color framing it in the top and
at the sides as possible and I love the way that the Sun is coming in is
lighting everything it’s lighting the trees the canopy even the fence that you
see down the sides of the path the problem with Butchart Gardens is
it’s so gorgeous that it’s kind of become a victim of its
own success. I reckon in the last three hours
there’s probably between six and seven hundred people gone through these doors
and they keep kind of coming through in waves so you’ve really got to time your
shot so they don’t have a bunch of people walking into it so I think it’s
time to find Warren find my ride home, and get out of here I swear to you that was not staged! well after searching high and low
I finally found Warren. He’s got this gorgeous shot of this beautiful maple
reflected in this little waterfall here so, I’m pretty tired mate, how about you? I’m feeling like we should get going Oh I’m here for the night! Okay now I don’t want you thinking that I’d forgotten all about that little assignment that I set for myself I was just waiting for the right subject to
reveal itself and here she was this little lady was working super hard at
creating this web or maybe she was just trying to get somewhere. Either way, I
couldn’t resist this shot 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 that pour 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. I think I’m done. I don’t know if I can handle these crowds anymore. I was gonna stay here actually, get pictures of the people, hopefully I get a waterfall in the background. I’m feeling pretty done, you reckon we can leave? yeah okay. Thank God for that! well we gave it our best shot we got
loads of good pictures. Did you get some good pictures? Yeah I got some better ones
than you did. It usually is the case yeah we got loads of good shots managed
to actually this time shoot some tutorial videos so I think it’s time to
get the hell out of here. The crowds are thronging. So Warren what was your first
vlogging experience like with Fototripper? aaah, I’m worried I come off
like a prick! Well you can’t be any worse than me….. That’s true. You’re a lot worse prick than I am So with our memory cards brimming with digital nuggets of gold, we headed back to Warren’s pimped out Golf Club chariot. it’s time to rough it in Warren’s wagon I mean it’s a bit rough but I’ll put up with this Jag for
now just for the way on home. Autumn is always a special time at the Butchart Gardens and I’m so glad you came along for the ride. I’ll leave you with another look at
the shot that inspired this journey. I’m Gavin Hardcastle. Thanks for watching. Bye, bye 🙂

100 Replies to “Fall Photography at The Butchart Gardens”

  1. Both the 18mm and 32mm are equally great shots. Im a wide angle shooter by trade so i will prefer the wider. BUT, cropping in with a 32mm gives more emphasis to the actual scene which is the pond and japanese lantern.

  2. I liked the tight shot best.
    Love the commentary and thought process that you share!
    Need to get some variety in the music choices though.

  3. This is amazing. I found your channel of a Nick Page video. Finally someone that actually talks about composition and actual photography instead of gear…

  4. Move over Heaton, I got a new favorite youtuber! Yes Nigel Dawson where have you been all this time? Just kidding! Great work Fototripper, subbed and rubbed!

  5. Love your content, so refreshing. I prefer the wider image – brings in more of the surrounding and gives context. the closer image feels a bit like a snapshot to me 🙂

  6. do you live in B.C. or The U.K. I only ask because I live in Washington state in
    the U.S., But I'm married to A lovely Canadian woman, and have In-Laws in summerland, B.C.

  7. i preferred the 18 mm. i find the zoom more pleasing in wild growth forests, but in a place like Butchart Gardens where everything is meticulously cared for i feel the 18 mm is still safe.

  8. I was in Victoria in December. Somebody suggested I visited here but I didn’t have the time. I’ll definitely put it on my list when I’m back on the island.

  9. You should stop taking pictures, which anybody else likes. Rather take pics you like and the guys who like them will show up. Anyway, continue with your content, i enjoy it a lot! 👍🏻

  10. Wider shot because you don't have someones head in the middle of the image. LOL – I actually think the more zoomed in shot works better/ stronger but the stone path in the background and the persons head both need to be dealt with before it's the keeper.

  11. Really enjoy your vids mate!
    Like the humor blended up with some teaching. But i cant but wonder…how many shots where deleted due to your pointing hand in the frame? 😂
    Well…keep it up!

  12. Wow. I was Like #900 and not a single thumbs down! Glad you're getting more visibility since hosting that Canadian Rockies shoot with those other YouTubers, I cant remember their names at the moment.. lol
    Have a great day, and be safe out there

  13. I must say excellent vlog and superb shots. And I guess you’ve been told this before but you sound very like Keith lemon 😂

  14. Sorry for the late comment I'm a newcomer. For me the 32mm image is the one, for one reason your nemesis in the background (Adam Gibbs).
    Joking aside stunning images Gavin.❤️
    Have you noticed that Jags are driven by the over 60s and have large boots (trunks) for the golf clubs.😋

  15. All the photos are great. You should never ask which photo that somepne else prefer. It is you that matters, and the one that you prefer, you will never please everyone. otherwise you will always be in the deep blue see and never be happy. Try a polarising filter and see what happens there are no rules.

  16. I prefer wider shots cause your able to tell more of a story but I also like closer shots for when you want that more intimate feeling

  17. both images are great.. but the 32mm is the one i liked the best. the wider shot is typical. I've learned that myself. so ive started getting tighter.. great work.

  18. I appreciate and enjoy the videos you make, along with your adventures and camrea techniques. I wanted to ask how you compensate for the blown out background or that harsh sunlight coming into the leaves/trees/schrubs. I thought maybe bracketing helps with multiple shots. Thank you. V

  19. oh man, I think I have seen all your videos now. And I just love them. I am learning a lot and I am even laughing my a** off all the time while watching. Wonderful shots .. I can´t get enough of them. Thanks for sharing all those "juicy" photos! Btw, is your windscreen cleaned already? Greetings from Austria 🙂

  20. Gavin, I looked at this video before but could not leave a comment at that time. Enjoying your work very much and in this one I'm all over the wider shot. Both are very nice but that wide 18mm really works! cheers!

  21. The way you took the image from the branch look like Bonsaï with the autumn leaves in the background, it's fabulous, I would say majestic

  22. Like a dream..I personally love the wide shot…very much to see …another almost unreal intimate landscape…I could get lost there and never return home…

  23. I like it tight and juicy…the picture that is. 😎 I think this particular photo looks better closer in at 32mm.
    The guy with the cart came around the corner then thought should I stay or should I go. LOL!
    This is a beautiful place, nice photos.

  24. Glade I found this one Gavin. Wife has been asking me to go up north to this garden and it looks to be worth it now thanks

  25. I have to say that I have learned so much about finding compositions from you, Adam, Thomas and Nick, thanks guys

  26. That golden light on the underside of the righthand side tree, balances the wide image just niiice imv

  27. Stunning!! Probably the closest thing to that we have here is Benmore Gardens which is nice, but not as nice as there. Gorgeous shots as well!!

  28. Such a stunning image! Wow! The only thing that could have made this even more absolutely spectacular is if Catherine were in it!

  29. I’ve been on a bit of a bing lately…. watching all your content and I love how this one mixes detail shots with landscape! Fantastic videos deserves more love

  30. Beautiful images and place, great job Gavin. I have to agree about super wide images, in general I find, especially in landscapes they render the points of interest too small and restrict our ability to enjoy the finer details. In your work I think you strike a very good balance and you usually cover all angles and perspectives. Cheers form the UK. PS does Warren know you are from Yorkshire, how dare him speak to you like that, lol.

  31. Gorgeous. I love those closer, simpler compositions. It puts me right inside the scene. Great inspiration for my upcoming trip to catch autumn colors.

  32. both shots are good simply because although you have some of the same elements the perspective gives it a different feel to it. some people may like busy scenes some may have adhd and like one thing at a time lol

  33. Personally I like the wider shot. It feel like I’m there in the wide. The 32mm shot feels constricted. The tighter shot needs more headroom. It feels like the top is missing.

  34. Great shots, I've been watching your older videos these days. You and Adam have best channels for landscape photography, not sure why you don't have 100k followers already, are people blind or what 😀

  35. Fantastic shots. What software do you use to blend the exposures ? I’ve tried HDR software and it just turns the photo into a cartoon

  36. Love British Columbia . Visited for 5 weeks back in the early 80s .
    Been feeling the need for a return trip for a while now .
    Another great video Gavin .
    I just need to put some of it into practise

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