My Most Successful Landscape Photography Shoot Ever!


That…. is me….. Gavin Hardcastle and I’m a very professional photography instructor. Currently driving my way through the Western States of America So yesterday I left Moab in Utah. I drove through the night all the way through Idaho and now I’m in Oregon I’m on my way to Washington State. There’s a place there called lower lure rivisss… Lower lure, no.. lower Lewis River Falls. I haven’t had enough coffee today clearly I’ve been there before I got an OK shot this is the shot that I ended up getting before and I wasn’t too happy with the the mess of the tree logs on the right and the colors were kind of strange that day So I ended up turning it into a black-and-white image But I know for a fact that there’s a good shot to be had from further up the river looking down river And it’s Autumn right now. So the fall colors might just be kickin off if I’m lucky. So that’s where I’m headed That’s the shot that I’ve got in mind Often, I’ll drive somewhere with a particular shot in mind and sometimes I’ll get that but often times I don’t get that, I have to adapt to the conditions Go for something completely else. So I guess we’ll see when we get there It’s actually a gorgeous, frosty and misty morning here in Oregon. I left Baker City about an hour and a half ago and Everything has got this layer of crispy sharperty frost on it It makes everything look super sharp and kind of pale and white and there’s this gorgeous mist that’s been rolling in to the scene for like the last 45 minutes. It’s absolutely gorgeous. And now the sun’s risen and it’s hitting this mist and it’s like Oh, do I stop? Do I pull over and you know? Hike into a field and see if I can get an entirely new shot. Or do I just stick to the plan? Probably like you, you just stick to the plan You don’t get out you think well, I’ll get it some other time But you never do do you, you never do get it some other time? So I’m can kinda tempted, but we’ll see. I’m also gaggin for a coffee. or whatever currently passes for coffee with my limited choices on the road If you’ve seen any of my previous videos, you’ll already know that I am NOT, too posh to drink any old ‘Bean Sludge’ with ultra high caffeine content. Oooh, got me coffee from a gas station let’s see what it it’s like…. Not terrible. That’s not bad. Right, back on the road. In the state of Oregon, when you stop at a gas station or a petrol station as we call them in England You can’t pump the gas yerself You have to wait for an attendant to come and pump your gas for you If you try and pump it, it’s illegal, you get into trouble And I kinda have mixed feelings about that. I guess they do that because they want to create jobs, which is a great thing But at the same time if you’re in a rush and it’s busy in that gas station and you’re trying to get fuel You can’t get it because yer sat there waiting for 10 minutes, for some guy to get to you. It’s a major inconvenience so….. Good things are bad things about that. What I do like about Oregon though is there’s no tax, you don’t pay tax on anything It’s a tax-free State. So yeah, food is cheaper, buying electronic goods is cheaper. That’s pretty sweet! No trip through Oregon is complete without a stop at my favorite taco shop in Hood River These tacos are more addictive than binge watching all seasons of Breaking Bad and Ozark AAAWW. Thanks for putting a rush on those yeah, so those are, that what are they called? The ‘Pork Street Tacos’, the pork street tacos I’ve had these before and I took a detour all the way to Hood River just to get these, they’re so good Thanks a lot love 🙂 Yah, no problem, enjoy! Pervy grumblings.. Disgusting eating sounds.. Dousing in lime juice More slobbering…… Oh God, these are so good I might have to order a second set…. Is that bad of me? foodgasm… chuntering…. Now whether or not I ordered that second round, or maybe even a third, is none of your beeswax! Next up was the toll bridge that took me from Oregon to Washington State and being a typical stingy Yorkshireman, I couldn’t resist Grumbling at the $2 toll. Hi, how’s it going? When did the price double? Two years? Been in a while Thanks These fall colors are absolutely gorgeous. I’m just gawking at things as I’m driving past trying not to crash But yeah Washington is absolutely aflame with gorgeous yellows and reds and oranges. Mmmmmm JIZZINGTONS! I thought I’d just take a little pit stop on the way to lower Lewis River because that right there is Mount st Helens and if you know that name you’ll know that it had an eruption in 1980 which was quite catastrophic and they say that it happens about once every 125 years So I should be okay living not too far from here, but it’s so huge and impressive the GoPro doesn’t really do it justice So even though this isn’t my favorite kind of light I’ll just take a quick little shot for you. So you can see a long telephoto shot of it, to see how massive it really is. With that final detour over I was only thirty minutes from my ultimate destination the road to lower Lewis River Falls took me through some gorgeous forests with delicious autumn colors that were very distracting YOU HAVE ARRIVED! Uh, bloody ell! All right As soon as I got parked up it was time to get cracking, strap on the camera bag of doom My two tripods and then hit the trail Yep, that’s me Pretending that I can’t see the GoPro right there on the floor. and after literally minutes of casual strolling I finally arrived. Look at that business! I do realize that I am very lucky and I don’t take this for granted. I get to see some of the most Beautiful scenery on planet earth and this was totally worth driving through the night and a little bit of sleep deprivation So I took my time, scoped out some juicy camera angles and I found some really tasty Compositions and I even managed to get the whole place all to myself So I made it to Lewis River Falls and it’s absolutely gorgeous here I’ve been here before but sometimes when it’s been a few years you kind of forget how Gorgeous a place is and this is just epic! Now, I’ve spent about the last 30 minutes Trying to find different comps, different angles with different focal lengths and as much as I’d love to get a big super wide shot, the thing that I’m drawn to the most is this Cascade of water that you can see just pouring down off of that cliff there So what I’m gonna try and do is capture this movement of water So if you see that whitewater to the left of the frame Pouring in from the left and it joins that beautiful cascade there. I want to get that motion of two flows Joining one another and that’s so pretty right there. The only problem is the light’s really harsh It’s extremely bright right now so this might just have to be a practice shot that I come back to later when the suns gone a bit lower and There’s a lot softer color, there’s no harsh rays of light It’s a bit easier to deal with especially for dynamic range. Till then, I’ll keep working this comp and I’ll see what I get. Well, I don’t mind telling you that this is proving to be quite a challenge. With a shot like this, simplicity is key! So what I’m doing is, I’m zooming right in on the most fascinating features and isolating those and in this case, for me It’s this first drop and then it’s that cascade and also this gorgeous green color But that’s what I’m trying to fill my frame with so that all of the things that I LOVE Fill that frame and create an instantly impressive picture, which I hope you’re gonna like. What I’m also doing I’m taking a range of exposures So I’m doing shutter speeds that vary from one sixth of a second all the way to two seconds And the reason why I’m doing one that’s two seconds is the water in the distance there. I love that green reflection That’s hitting that water, but I like it better when it’s smooth. I decided that the light was a little too harsh in the Upper Falls section So I headed a down river in order to shoot the falls from the opposite direction? And I quickly discovered this lovely yet slippery little beach right in front of the main falls Now with the Sun being so bright I had to cover the eyepiece so that I could clearly see my shot Inside the EVF and doing that makes it a little tricky to balance, even while squatting I’m fully prepared to admit that I’m in the midst of a full blown ‘Fotogasm’ right now. I’ve got this dripping water that’s coming off this cliff which makes a gorgeous Foreground and I’m looking through it to that gorgeous dramatic cascade, you put the two together It’s unbelievable. And the way that the sun’s hitting this little this little cliff drip. It’s absolutely gorgeous however The high dynamic range is pretty hard to deal with so I may just have to wait a few hours for the Sun to get Out of the path of this Falls and then shoot it while it’s in the shade. So we’ll see, I’ll stick around I’ll try a few more comps. I can see one right here and its absolutely gorgeous So I’m just gonna keep working this scene, pick my favorite and then shoot it to death Well I’m quite happy with what I’ve got there. This last shot was a long zoom into the falls. Just a few minutes ago as the light was slicing into it, it was creating these gorgeous highlights in the water So for that. Oh man, I had to get all kinds of different shutter speeds So….. one 13th of a second because it was so bright, but I want a little bit more motion blur So I stopped down to f/22 and I managed to get I think around about one tenth of a second I forget all of them because I took so many but we’ll see, we’ll look at what I got in post, the problem that I had though is there is so much light blasting into that lens and hitting the sensor It’s quite obvious. My sensor is FILTHY. I really need to clean that sensor So that’s my top tip, clean your sensor as often as it needs to be cleaned And if you take a shot in super bright light that’s just the sky or just a piece of white paper Get a light on that that’s quickly going to show you how bad that sensor is And chances are if you’re shooting mirrorless… it probably needs a clean like mine does. You know the biggest challenge with photographing waterfalls all the time is that, with that noise I always need a pee So this is a kind of light I’ve been waiting for as you can see, it’s still bright It’s still sunny, but there’s no direct sunlight hitting the Falls or the rocks or the background Everything’s very even and soft and that means I could do a lot with that, I can control that while I’m shooting and I can control that While I’m editing, so that’s my preferred type of light for a scene like this And now for this shot, I’ve composed a horizontal and it’s a quite a nice shot I’ve got this series of rocks coming in from the bottom left into the middle of the frame And what I really like is the reflection of these white columns in the water there. Quite atmospheric And I’m so happy that I’ve got these lovely Smatterings of orange with the background which, when the light was really hard you couldn’t see those they were just in shadow so now that the light softer they’ve really started to pop and errr.. I can really control that when I process this image 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 at pour off of dramatic cliffs into the ocean Coastal seascapes, that are 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 With this shot I’m zoomed in on a section that I like. I’ve filled my frame with the Cascade And those lovely fall colors that you see there. Because of that much longer focal length? And this is something that I love to do with this 24 to 105 lens You can get a wide shot and get a sort of medium Telephoto shot pick and out a detail. I really love doing that I’d be interested to know what you think. So the shot before that was wider kind of the similar light, almost the same composition And then versus this shot which is far tighter. It’s almost like what you would end up with you in a crop sensor So let me know which you prefer. The one before? Or this longer focal length? Just can’t stop shooting these long telephoto section shots. The way that the sun is just hitting those streaks and that moss… Just when I was about to go back upriver, I got a rainbow This was turning out to be such a productive day that I was getting a little bit giddy and somewhat careless with my steps. What and absolute….. disgrace I tell you what if I haven’t been in such a brilliant mood I would’ve had a full ‘Fototantrum’ right there and then. oh and here enjoy this random fungus So I headed off to the other section whilst sucking in my Shatner the whole time and I happened to stumble upon this gorgeous little scene Well, that was embarrassing I just had a very very humiliating wipeout, which you’ve just seen On my way back to the Upper Falls I spied this gorgeous scene through these two trees and the way that the light is hitting that cascade is Fantastic, so I really want to drag the shutter with this shot because I love the two angles of motion You’ve got the vertical motion of the, the thin Cascades there, then you’ve got that horizontal motion of the main river coming from the main falls Horizontally so that kind of is getting caught up with that horizontal motion. It’s beautiful Absolutely fantastic. I had no idea that I would get this shot But the light has revealed this shot as it’s moved around and now it’s blasting into the canyon. The rainbows were fantastic five minutes ago before my embarrassing fall So with this shot, I focused on the mossy ledges that you can see in the distance And I’ve stopped down to f/22 I’ve turned my polarizer so that the reflections are reduced and it stopped out a little bit of the light and that has enabled me to get away with the perfect shutter speed of 3.2 seconds Just look at this business! Very happy with that Well, the Sun has set and now I’m working on my final shot of the day. So today has been absolutely brilliant I had five days of shooting in Moab Didn’t get a single good picture. It rained the whole time. So I didn’t bag one picture and I needed this I really needed a good day with some productive shots So since I got here, I think I’ve got maybe four or five shots. Maybe one of them’s a killer, not sure but on a day like this to get that many good shots. That’s very, very good With this shot. I like the comp. I’m at f/8. I’ve got the 18mm Zeiss Batis So it’s quite wide, and with the composition, I’ve got this gorgeous massive torrent of powerful water coming in from the left That’s given me loads of texture. All this power comes straight into the center of the composition and then to meet that power beautiful cascades that are kind of tranquil and soothing so you’ve got this mixture of soft and Gentle water pouring to meet this raging torrent and I love that. Then together They go off into the distance and I love how its framed by this tree here, again I would have loved a bit more color on that tree, but no complaints I’ll take what I’m getting. If we’re talking about what I would have loved. I would have loved for some clouds There’s not a single cloud. I would have liked some pink colors reflecting off all these surfaces. That would have been fantastic But like I said, I’ve had so many good shots today No reason to complain – today has been a fantastic day. Get one more shot So if you enjoyed this video, and I hope you did, I hope you learned something Subscribe to my channel and hit the old like button. Thanks for watching. Bye. Bye

100 Replies to “My Most Successful Landscape Photography Shoot Ever!”

  1. You posh wanker you…. That Pinky was more erect than an eighteen-year-old at Prom. Musta been a damn fine Taco.

  2. can't help but notice that the gas attendant couldn't be bothered to clean the bird poop off your windshield. great video by the way.

  3. I would prefer a Tighter crop of the waterfall out of the two @14.21m since I feel the wider shot is bit unbalanced on the left with the hill taking up lot of the photographic estate. 😉 Love the shots.

  4. New subscription from a fellow tight arsed Yorkshireman 😉 Hopefully you will join the world of topend YouTube photographers with more videos and content!

    Cheers mucka

  5. Id be losing my mind with a day like this man, congrats! Stoked I stumbled on your channel as well, I love the content

  6. This place is just over three hours from me. Definitely going to try and make it there this year. Love the videos man, keep them coming.

  7. It can’t be, another great youtouber photographer, I promise myself that I would not to follow to nobody else but you will do it, you managed to join two of my great photographers Adam Gibbs and Tomas Heaton, and now I see you with our dear the Bard of PhotoPills, and finally I can see some of your great job, and I say woooah, now you have I new follower from Spain…

  8. To add more to the confounded Oregon gas station policies, I stopped to fuel up while towing my fishing boat and was surprised when I was told self service was not allowed. Then, as the attendant filled my truck he asked if the boat needed fuel as well and told me that I was allowed to pump fuel in the boat….WTH????

  9. Very informative vid from a yorkshireman(no ones perfect….says a geordie!!) ha …i follow TH also, but thoroughly enjoy your work mate…must be nice living in Canada…living the dream eh ..and why not !!
    Subscribed !!

  10. I am a new subscriber to your channel and discovered you through Heaton's videos.

    The photographs are absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing with us.

    I have 1 question though, I see here that, u have shot with aperture values of f22 and in its vicinity. So how does diffraction effect you and how do u take care of it?

  11. All shots were gorgeous! Photogasm , lmao. Very entertaining videos. Found you through TH also and throughly enjoy your channel.. Keep them coming.

  12. Thanks to Thomas Heaton I found your channel. I have been missing out on some great Photography and entertainment! Love your work Gavin!

  13. Gavin – Loving your channel. It must be frustrating as heck to go to the top of a hill to place a GoPro just so you can capture yourself falling down but it makes for great entertainment. It's hard to say that any picture from that waterfall is better or worse but I sure liked the exposure with the rocks as a foreground interest.

  14. Found your channel courtesy of Mr Heaton, I am loving the content and have subscribed.

    This is one awesome video Gavin, the images are just stunning. If you could humour a new subscriber with the answer to a question please, why does the waterfall at 15:26 go up rather than down?

    Sorry 😉

  15. Great video! Any chance that you can do a video on your post processing? Showing the raw and then what you’ve done with it. Thanks!

  16. I was just wondering, why not use a polariser and/or ND filters? I usually use both (3 or 6 stop) when shootijg waterfalls.

  17. Nice shooting Gavin. I think you got your moneys worth that day. I like how you figured out your compositions before the light calmed down. I use a Hoodman Loupe – really helps to see the LCD on bright days. Out of the wide and tele shot, it was close but I think I prefer the tele. The left side of the image wasn't so compelling for me although I liked the foreground interest. The tele shot focused on the most beautiful part of the scene and held my attention. Awesome vid. Looking forward to catching up on more since I just discovered you from watching Tom and Adam's Rocky Mt vlogs.

  18. Some beautiful shots and fun to watch. I notice that this was published on Nov. 15, 2018, but there is a warning of closed roads on one site dated August 1, 2018 that is still up. Do you mind sharing the approximate date that you were there? I just want to make sure it is accessible for an upcoming trip in April to that beautiful falls.

  19. So many great shots! The last one looked like the hero of the day for me. After finding you through Tom I'm working my way through your vlogs…. Very entertaining and inspirational!

  20. Great video. But dude, you make me so nervous! You are talking to camera and waving your arms next to your camera which is mounted on a tripod next to the waters edge. S P L O S H !

  21. Between the two photos, I prefer the wide myself. Yet I usually prefer wides. Found your channel recently, and enjoying the heck out of it. You are one heck of a road warrior. I’ve made that drive all across Hwy 84 many times through Idaho and Oregon. Cheers from California

  22. did you take the shot where there was dripping water in foreground and waterfall in background where you were waiting for light to be soft?? i felt that shot would have been awesome.

  23. Gavin, great video and to quote Thomas Heaton, those pictures are "Stunnin'" and "Absolutely glorious". I live about 2 hours from those falls and will have to visit them this year.

  24. Gavin, Enjoyed this so much! Fantastic locations and the images you came away with were absolutely beautiful. That is what I call a great day!

  25. FFS Gavin, clean your bloody windscreen! LOL, against my better judgement, you are mildly amusing and a decent photographer!

  26. Love the video man! Loving your content!🙌 How is the road to this waterfall? I’m in Eastern Washington so I would be going through Yakima and past Mt Rainier. I want to explore it and get some good shots but I’m not sure if my front wheel drive car can do the road if it’s not pavement?

  27. So glad I took my mates advice and subscribed to this channel- awesome content Gavin, many thanks- laughs, educational and thoroughly entertaining!- love it!

  28. I love the difference between landscape photography and just about any other genre of photography…

    Nobody else will leave at sunrise to take a few shots around sunset, then consider bagging 5 good shots to be one of their best days ever.

  29. I'm crap at landscape photography but after watching your videos I'm inspired to get better. Thanks! (The wider shot).

  30. Next time you go through Oregon stop by a place called silver falls…I havant been there since I was a kid but they have amazing waterfalls

  31. Gavin I am a fan and have been following for a while. Your reggae track inspired me to vlog. I just started out and doing all reggae sounds! Jah Man! Keep up the good work brah!

  32. Hey my friend, where are your videos, I enjoyed them so much I miss the comedy the teaching, the locations and your guests.

  33. Hi Gavin Yet another great video, I really like all the info you put into each shot you are taking and again some great shots, I really liked both shots of the waterfall which you took with a wide angle and then the telefoto shot, if anything I did prefer the wide angle shot, what tipped it for me were the trees and colours at the top of the falls, really liked that one. I would like some info on any upcoming workshops you may be doing as I think I would learn a lot and enjoy the experience, regards Ian

  34. I'd be lying if I said that I'd never taken a tumble when out and about 'togging …. nights are the worst … so easy to put a foot wrong when only using a head-torch! 🙁 Really enjoyed that video … really informative and a fantastic location!! P.S I'm really feeling the need for a telephoto lens now after watching that video!

  35. What stunning scenery at the water falls. I am sure Nick Page has been there as well !
    I would love to have the opportunity to photograph such amazing scenery, very jealous,…ha
    That Sony A7ii does produce some great sharp images !

  36. I was just there about three weeks ago. The kids were jumping off the falls and having some fun. I shot my Hasselblad and black and white film. And we had so much more water than you did here. Oh and a Forest Service cop gave me a $288 ticket for during over the middle line trying to avoid all the plants growing into the road way. 😡

  37. Well I just had a photogasm. I've lived in that area most of my life and headed down there in August so guess where I'm stopping? I've never used the toll bridge either and the GF wants to go to hoodriver for a winery. Thanks mate, always enjoy your videos and this one hits home; literally.

  38. Tighter shot does it more for me…. the cliff on the left of the wider shot, whilst nice, distracts me a bit… either ways though I would be thrilled to have taken images as good as these …

  39. Great video, really enjoyed it, even you falling over. $2 to cross a bridge my goodness, oh okay I'm a Yorkshireman too…lol

  40. Great video! The last image is superb, sublime in fact. Regarding the two images you wanted us to comment on which we preferred…..for me, it is the version with the rocks in the foreground, leading you into the waterfall. Lovely image. Thanks for posting.

  41. Any chance you will lead another trip to the Faroe Islands later in the summer… Maybe July August time frame???

  42. Great video. Such a magical place. So magical in fact that you got a clip of the "Reversing Falls" at 15:22. Wonderful shots!

  43. Please clean your car window. Nobody likes to look at poo for extended periods of time… I hope :/
    Still like the video tho 🙂 awesome shots!

  44. Absolutely amazing. Think it’s one your best. Amazing location amazing photos and you’ve put it all over so well. Sure you have loads of keepers.well done you. 👍

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