Scouting In The Field
All right, so we just got to the trailhead of Bosumarne Falls, it's my first time here, I've never been. So I'm gonna walk you through my process of how I scout a location, how the compositions kinda come to mind, what I'm looking for, what I'm avoiding and how I find those shots I'm looking for. In my mind, I wanna do a long exposure, just to kind of show the motion. So let's figure that out. So as I'm walking, I've seen a couple photos of it. I have an idea in my head of how I wanna shoot it. I'll probably do a long exposure, find some sort of leading line that kind of takes your eye from the top of the waterfall down along the river. We'll see what happens, you know, there could be logs that have come down the way, it could have totally changed, anything that revolves around water, it's always constantly shifting and changing but I have an idea, so let's see if we can bring that to life. (footsteps thumping) (gentle music) (indistinct chatter) (gentle music) Typical...
ly when shooting waterfalls, try to aim for overcast days where you don't have a lot of light. In forest, it can get really contrasty because you get little spots of light going through and that will happen on the water as well. So your shot will have a mix of light and shadow, light and shadow. So right now it's pretty late in the evening. It'll be nice and soft light in there, which makes for a perfect evening exposure. (water sloshing) So something you want to consider when you're shooting waterfalls, rivers, anything like that, is the time of year. Right now is summer and it was a really big snow year. So there's gonna be a lot of melt from the snow fields above in the glaciers that are gonna cause these rivers to surge. So that's something to keep in mind when you're hiking or photographing is that there's gonna be big surges this time of year. So right now, what I'm keeping in mind is that, it's a high level of water. So these waterfalls might be raging more than normal, which might cause a very crowded scene. The long exposure might be really wide and messy, whereas somewhere in the fall it might be a clean stream coming down. Right, now we can see the waterfall in the back. It's a bit of a messy stream, there's a lot of logs coming down. I personally like nice, minimal clean images. So what I'm searching for is just a nice open view of the waterfall. Maybe some leading lines with the trail going up to it. But right now I'm looking for something that just kinda has a nice, clean feel, maybe a bit of forest in the foreground to show it off. (water sloshing) Berries are great, they've been picked over quite a bit, but hey, sharing's caring, man. Help yourself, break the fourth wall
Take time, take the low one.
This is a salmonberry. Some are red, some are orange, very sweet but delicious. (water sloshing) All right, so we just got to our first viewpoint of the falls. I really like how the trees on left and right side of it are framing it. You get a bit of the environment, the texture and the foreground. You get the falls perfectly lined up. What I don't like is you can see there's a branch coming off the tree. I'm not gonna get too fussy, prefer to just not disturb the natural environment as much as possible. So, it's also a bit too high for me if I wanted to remove it. So I'm gonna set a shot, see how it looks, it might kinda get lost in the foreground when I'm taking the shot, but you never try, you never know. So let's take a shot. It's always better to shoot more than less 'cause when you get home and you're sifting through your photos, you wanna have more shots to look through than less but also keeping in mind that you wanna hopefully be thinking as much as you can about your composition, about your framing, taking the time to soak it in as well. So, right now I'm visualizing this scene, how I want it to look. I have a 16 to 35 millimeter lens on. I'm gonna add my ND filter to get that nice slow shutter. It's low light in this forest as it is. So you might already be able to get a bit of a slow shutter through your camera settings without the filter but we'll try and see what that looks like with and without it. So right now, tripods are essential for any long exposure photography. Some of the new mirrorless cameras are actually super stable with the built in gimbal and you can get up to like a second of exposure handheld. I like to have a tripod just to be very still and make sure each shot's really sharp. So, I'm just gonna raise this up a bit and with that 16 to 35, basically just kinda try and get a bunch of the whole scene in this image. Right now, I can get about a 25th of a second. It's creating a bit of a messy, long exposure. You'll see in the photo on the screen that it's not completely smooth, it's really choppy, it's not getting that desired effect that I'm after. So I'm gonna put on the ND filter. I have my 10 stop ND filter, just screwing on the attachment. So 10 stop might actually be a bit too dark, it's more meant for daylight and really bright conditions. It might be a bit too dark in here. So I'm gonna start off with, I have a 0.9 square filter here that might be dark enough to get that nice, smooth effect that we're after. So I'm gonna slip that on, make sure it's covering the whole lens. So, ideally you want to have a low ISO, you don't wanna go too high, you'll get a lot of noise and it's gonna take away from the sharpness of your image. So right here, it's showing for a well metered image, well exposed image and get about a sixth of a second and gonna bump it up to F 5.6, to get it to a second. You're gonna want to put your drive into either a two second timer or ten second timer. I like to do ten second because any movement for me pressing the shutter is gonna create a shake. So I go to a ten second, make sure everything's really tight, lock it in my focus. Once again, I'm shooting this trail leading up to the waterfalls with the trees framing it. So I pressed it, I'm letting it say still for 10 seconds, we wait taking the scene, beautiful, beautiful day, nice forest. Okay, that's looking much, much better. I'm gonna take another one a bit more zoomed in. So I'm gonna pen up a bit. The reason I'm doing that is just to get a little less of the rocks in the foreground and focus a bit more on the waterfall. So I have my focus in the middle of the waterfall. I'm a F 5.6 at one second, at 400 ISO. You know what, that's looking really nice and smooth. That's what I'm looking for. So I didn't need the 10 stop, I just went with the 0.9. It comes in all different numbers of what you want from 10 stop, five stop, 0.9. I like to have the 0.9 and the 10 stop with me. So I'm gonna shoot one horizontal as well. I don't like the, it doesn't have as much of a leading line in, it's kind of got this tree veering off to the right. It's got these two framing it but it's got a lot more clutter and you're not getting those those rocks leading in. I'll shoot it just to have it but I'm not as happy with that one. You also notice it's a little breezy in here from the waterfall. So you want to be mindful of any mist coming off. It's nice to have a microfiber cloth to be able to wipe it off as well, any trees that are moving in the wind, that breeze is gonna create a blurry image. Well, the tree's gonna be blurred in the image and take one more bit wider out. Once again, a two second timer would probably be more than enough but I want to be mindful of any shake from my hand as well as my feet. So I'm giving it plenty of time staying still. I'm gonna go back to vertical and I'm gonna shoot it even tighter. Same settings, one second, F 5.6, ISO 400. It's giving me a nice, well exposed image, exposing for the highlights so it's a little darker. That branch, I'm not happy with that branch, to be honest. It's really distracting 'cause it's right in the center. I'm gonna move a little bit to have it, so it's up against the cliff. Now, I'm mindful of these ones here too. All right. Okay. That's looking a lot better, lock everything in, so it's nice and tight. Settings are the same, nothing's really changed. You're gonna go up a bit, really beautiful, really beautiful scene. First time here, just pleasure to be here and enjoy this. Okay, huge difference personally, just to move it literally a foot and a half to the left, creates a nice clean image. You don't have that branch that's sticking out in the center of the falls. It's now blended into the cliff and I get it a lot cleaner. I could just go in Photoshop and get rid of it. But I try to do as little editing as I can, create a natural image and a natural feel. So literally just me moving, got me what I what I need to do. So I'm pretty happy with that. I'm gonna take one more and then I'm gonna take one without the ND just to show you what it looked like again, now that I found that composition I liked and was gonna take a couple more different settings but that one second exposure is exactly what I'm looking for. So without it, now I have a much brighter image. So I have to bump up my aperture, bring down my ISO, bringing down my ISO is perfect, that's a great thing. I'd rather do that, so I can still get that one second exposure. I'm at now F 0.8. So we'll see how that looks. The nice thing about right now is that it's late in the evening and it's pretty dark. So this doesn't necessarily, we don't need it. The only reason we'd want it is if we wanted to keep our aperture low, if we wanted a lot of depth of field and we wanted our aperture, it say F 4, F 2.8. Now, I'm gonna have to get an exposed image, ISO 100, so the lowest I can go. And then 2.8 is the lowest I can go. So to get an exposed image, I'm at an eighth of a second which isn't giving me the desired effect that I know I want. So let's see. Yeah, it's not quite as smooth. So, I'm gonna try that again, one more with this in it and then bring it down, F 2.8, I want lots of depth of field. I want everything to be blurry except for that falls. And now I'm at ISO 100. So I brought it down quite a bit which I probably should have done in the first place. Now I can still bring it down to about a second, which allows me having that low aperture allows me to create that depth of field, have a slower exposure with the ND filter otherwise I'd have to have a really high aperture. I'm pretty happy with that, I'm getting that nice, smooth water that I wanted. I was able to include the forest in it. Composition wise it's kind of classic, it's just right in the middle of the frame, nothing groundbreaking I could play around and have it off to the side, tell more of a story and show more of that but the reason I'm not doing that is because all the branches around here, are all moving from the breeze and it's just gonna be blurred out. So, I'm just shooting tight in to minimize as much blurred image that's moving in the background as possible. Next composition I want to get is more of a tight shot up on the rocks of the water slowed down. So I'm gonna switch lenses and move a bit closer. When it comes to landscape photography, most people like the wide 1635 mill. I love telephoto lenses. I love the 7,200. It just allows you to create a lot more compression and you get really tight on scenes. And for me personally, I like minimal. So I'm able to get a lot of minimal images with this. So I'm gonna try this out just to get those tight shots. When you're switching lenses, you don't want to have your sensor exposed to the elements. So I'm gonna tip this down so that no water or debris or anything gets in there, can kinda isolate it and be quick. Boom, have please line pockets, so I feel comfortable putting that in there. I'm now gonna switch over, the telephoto has its own adapter to put on your tripod. So I'm gonna switch that over, getting a bit of a glow from the sunset onto the water, and it's kind of making it orange and pink, which is interesting. So, I wonder how much the camera's gonna pick that up. Mindful, that there's some bushes right in front of it that are moving, so if I include that into my composition, I'm gonna have a lot of blur, which I can show. So, if you're not at a point where, maybe you could afford to have one of these filters, they are quite pricey. I would recommend a high aperture and a low ISO, which allows you to shoot at a slower shutter, at brighter times of day. Right now I might not necessarily need this, once again, it's if I want a shallow at the field because it's nice and dark. So, I just looked at the shot. The plants are all blurry. It's not really giving me what I want. It just doesn't look clean or anything like that, so I'm just going to shoot up a bit more where the rocks are cascading, where I can get away from the plants a little bit. This is perfect and one tip too, you could tell it's a waterfall by the way the water's falling. First time here, this is awesome. A lot to work with photography wise, also would just love to come back and come hang out in a hot day and swim. Okay, that's looking pretty nice, 1.6 seconds, F 4.5 ISO 100, my white balance is set to cloudy, it affects the colors more than anything but when you're shooting raw, you can adjust that at any time in post processing. I'll probably shoot one more crop, one more frame composition vertically just to switch it up. Once again, trying to walk outta this with as many different compositions as possible but also just being mindful of what I'm shooting and not just firing off like a madman. Don't wanna have too much work to go through, a thousands and thousands of images that I know I'm not gonna like but it's also just part of the game. It's a numbers game. You're constantly shooting. You're constantly, trial and error and playing around with it. And that's what we're doing now, we're just, we're playing around, checking different compositions, different angles and seeing what we can come up with. You also want to be mindful that you're trying to shoot as horizontally level as possible because when you're editing, you don't have much room to work with sometimes. If it's a tight frame and you need to crop it, you might cut off the top or bottom. So I'm just gonna use this level here and I'm way off. So I gotta come up a little bit, can either do that with the camera or with the tripod legs, so, they're a bit more level now. So when it comes to post processing, I don't have to worry too much. I'm gonna shoot a couple that are without the filter, just so you can get an idea and where it's not as long of a slow shutter, just so you can understand what that looks like and what I was trying to avoid. So we haven an evenly exposed image here, I mean, because it's getting darker it actually doesn't look too bad. So, let's go a little bit sharper here, get a nice exposed image, 15th of a second. Okay, so you can see some droplets in the top, it's not super smooth. Let's shoot at 60th of a second, bump up the ISO, we have an image that's not quite sharp and not quite smooth, it's the in between. So something consider when you're shooting and what you're looking for out of your image. So did a lot of moving around. I was basically just kind of trying to mitigate having distractions in the frame. So just moving around, finding spots that worked well for the composition that I was looking for. I was looking for nice, smooth water, a clean frame for anyone who doesn't have the ability to get one of these filters or can't afford one yet, not quite there, I'd recommend shooting with a higher F stop, a lower ISO and just going on days where it's not that bright. If you came here midday, you're gonna get a lot of light. It's gonna look really messy and you're not gonna get the desired effect that you're looking for without a filter, unfortunately. So come on days, it's dark later in the evening, earlier in the morning and you'll be able to get those same kind of shots. For this, I played with a wide angle and a crop. I like to bring as many lenses as I can with me, that way I can get a bunch of different unique angles, really play around with it. If we had a bit more time, I would maybe try and get a bit further back. You can't really like, even with the eye, you can't get a sharp image, it's still kind of blurred. So if you were to come here midday, say you were on a trip and you didn't have the option to come in a different time. I think it'd be a lot of fun to shoot some really sharp images of the water droplets. If I were here at a different time, I would do right in and get that detail. Maybe there's light and you can use it to your advantage and have the light bouncing with the the droplets of the spray, or you can play around, get some foreground with the leaves and get in that frame, like there's no right or wrong, that's the beauty of it. This is just how I approached it and I would love to see how other people shoot it and that's the beauty of everybody's unique individual eyes and how you see things. So, that's my take on it from just this kind of impromptu little hike up to these falls but you be the judge, do you like the more, not so, the faster shutter not so slow or do you like the more smooth image? I personally like the smooth image. So we're just gonna enjoy this, soak it in a little bit, pack it in, head back. So big takeaways from this one, move around, play it with as many unique angles as you can. Don't settle, if you're not happy without looking, just find a way, keep trying. It's usually when you're really pushing that you find something that you're happy with. So, keep experimenting, playing around with different lenses and you'll get the shots that you want ideally. (gentle music) Don't let your stubbornness get in the way either. Maybe you're set out for this waterfall shot but things aren't working out, get creative, I encourage you to go explore, try different channels, different paths, look to the trees, maybe the trees are doing something interesting. Always keep your mind open to new shots and possibilities and don't get too set on something. Not everything's gonna work out, you're gonna have to experiment, you're gonna fail. Try something else, there's some beautiful leaves, maybe there's some cool textures going on there. Put on a macro lens if you have one, get wide into the forest, shoot some forest details. Always good to just let the creative juices flow and don't get too stuck and hung up on one shot. (gentle music)