River Landscape Photography (Video) Overnight Hike

Hiking and camping on the river, is one of my favorite things to do in the bad weather months of the year. The Olympic Peninsula has some amazing photography opportunities. A photographer could literally shoot here for a lifetime and not ever scratch the surface. I was lucky to be able to sneak away for a quick camping trip. Come alone on this adventure!

River and forest
River Nature Photography

Photography Video Transcripts

Camping by the River

Alright guys, got base camp set up and I got a few hours before dark, so I'm gonna wander around and do some photography, take you guys along, and then I gotta come back before dark and make some dinner, and then hopefully the weather will hold. There was just a heavy heavy thunder shower, that moves through this area about 15 minutes ago. We'll see if I get hit with any more of those.

Photography of Campsite

Alright, well I didn't have to walk far to get a composition. I had to get a mandatory camp shot, with some dark looming clouds behind. I made sure I leveled off my tripod, to make sure that all the trees in the background are straight up and down make post-processing that much easier. I'm in the trees, randomly. I'm not so much wanting to capture Sun, as much as those dark looming clouds, but having the foreground lit up by a little bit of sunlight, gives it lots of depth.

Hiking from Camp with Camera

So far every thing's going to plan. Hasn't even rained that hard yet, but I can see every direction there's a cell of heavy rain, so I'm sure it's only a matter of time. My plan is to walk the river and try to find a composition for some photography, in between the heavy rain, so we'll see how it goes.

Made it to the river and I think this will be a good place to cross to the other side. Even though we're in the wet season here in the Pacific Northwest, most the rivers are in drought conditions still, so they can easily be cross. I think that I'll probably be just below my kneecap there.

River Photography in Rainy Conditions

Just walking the river looking for a composition, and I came across this Aldergrove, and I'm a sucker for alders. I'm gonna sit here and wait for the rain to back off a little bit, so I can pull out my real camera, and see if I can capture an image here.

Alright, the rain backed off. I've got my little composition worked out here. I'm at f/11, with the eighth of a second, ISO 200, and to simplify the composition I put it into portrait mode, and then I zoomed in a little bit with my lens, to remove a lot of the distractions, so I hope that you guys enjoy the photo, looks like I have a second to take it before that moves towards me.

I didn't have to go very far to get another picture of the alder. I got it simplified down in the composition, to remove most the distractions and not blow out the highlights. I need to hurry up, because there's major rain headed my way and I got to put my camera away, but my camera settings are eighth of a second, f11, ISO 200 and I hope you guys enjoy this one too. I might take a photo over here, if I could manage a composition and try to get some of those storm clouds with the valley. It's pretty beautiful being out here.

There's a really an interesting spot in the river, the river comes down over by those alders and then towards me, over this log jam. There's a very deep hole right here, and I wish I'd have brought my fishing pole, but I'll have to come back next time with it I guess, and then it goes and back towards those storm clouds, out to the ocean.

I've decided on this composition here, because I love those clouds in the background they're moving through, and the highlights from the Sun peeking through, it's really nice. I might even make it a black and white, we'll see. ISO 200, 30th of a second, at f/16 and then there's my composition moving through, hope you guys enjoy this photo. We'll see how this weather holds out. I'm loving these clouds!

Sitting here trying to make a composition work, but couldn't quite make anything that I was pleased with. I'm a sucker for alders, but there's gotta be quite a bit of uniformity, in order to make it work the way I like, but I think I'm gonna ford the river, and go take a peek over on that plush forest over there and see if I can make something.

I'm over here in this Aldergrove, but I think it's one of those places that you got to come in winter, so all the undergrowth is dead. Right now it's pretty brushy, up about to my chest, so I'll have to save this for another time. Have to get back out to the river.

Alright, turning around and head back to camp soon, so I have enough time to make my dinner, but I thought I'd get a quick composition. I should also mention earlier, that I'm using a circular polarizer on the lens, but I'm still getting a lot of glare off the water, because of all the highlights in the sky, but for this shot ISO 200, 15th of a second, at F16. Trying to get that light over there on the hillside, with a little bit of the river in the foreground, and some of those awesome clouds.

Walking Back to Campsite

I'm gonna start walking back to my camp, which is down that way, towards all the Sun. Walking back to camp, getting some incredible light. We'll see if I can get any more compositions around sunset.

Looks like I just missed small herd of elk. These tracks were not here, when I came through first time earlier. Let me see, they went that way and then they cross the river, and they're somewhere yonder. Perhaps behind those alders there.

This light is just crazy right now. Got some beams that feed in and out, to the west and if you turn around, there was, just a second ago, a rainbow that was going in and out, and then back to the southeast, you see some awesome clouds, got those mountains stocked in back there. I probably should have up my camera. I have to find it interesting foreground, but I'm glad I could share this with you guys. You can see some sweet beams.

Crossed the river again, I'm trying to find a composition near camp, with all this good light. So I need to hunt around and see what I can find here, so I'm sitting here by the river in the same spot I just cross, and the lights change so rapidly. I'm just shooting every direction almost, so I'll put those pictures up.

Tent Camping and Photography by the River

Well, it would seem that I made it back to camp just in time. Pretty much soon as I start walking up to the tent, heavy rain started falling, so I was going, sweet. I'm glad I already have camp set up, and then I don't have to put up a tent in the rain, I could just retreat inside, and be warm and dry. I'm hoping this passes through in a bit, and then I can get a few more pictures, but we'll see. If not, it's already been an incredible day for light, when it comes to photography, I couldn't ask for more, it's more than I actually expected, so we'll see how the rest of the trip goes.

Had to come out here and shoot camp again, now that the lights changing back and forth so rapidly, you got the camera set up here, and then the sun's coming and going, lighting up the foreground and then you have this really nice dark clouds back there, looming. I have never seen light changed so many times standing in one place, I don't think this has to be a new record. Definitely getting my money's worth out of my camera.

Camp Food in Tent

Alright, now that the weather's turned, perfect time to make some dinner. I've about an hour before dark, and the dinner might take an hour or less I don't know, I've never made it before, so let's put that together right now.

Alright, let's bring you up to speed, on what I'm doing here. So I'm gonna do a dry baking. Try to make some sweet potato fries or just some sweet potato casserole, whatever you want to call it. All I did is oiled the crap out of that pan that the sweet potatoes are in, and then put salt and pepper, and then more oil in with it, and then now I'm gonna put it inside the pot at really low temperature. I let it dry bake. I'll check it after a half-hour, but it probably will take towards an hour, we'll see.

Sun's going down here in camp, got about 20 minutes left till dinner's ready. I'm sure hungry!

It's been about 40 minutes, so we'll see what's going on here, you can see it's pretty much steamed these suckers, and I would say they're done as they're going to be. So, I'm going to shut this off and let it cool down.

Alright, this is cooled off long enough, let's give it a try before it gets dark, I like to see my food. before I eat. Mmm, that actually beats any flippin Mountain House [affiliate link] on the planet, fresh food, and it's nice and hot too, take the chill right off the bones.

Well, I'm gonna shove this down, read and then fall asleep, because it's gonna get dark in about five minutes, so you guys have a good night.

Article and Video by Barefoot Jake