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  • Writer's pictureChris Foote

Banff Cascade Gardens - Johnson Lake Couples Photo Shoot

Alexandra and Sergio were fantastic to shoot with. Marcela kept them laughing and having fun. We started the shoot at Cascade Gardens. Rather than shooting around the ponds and flowers, we started on the lawn.

I struggle shooting in such a beautiful place as Banff as someone who photographs people; I'm expected to do both a portrait and landscape in one photo. My worry is always that the beautiful setting in Banff National Park will steal the viewers attention from the people I am photographing.

This wasn't an issue with the lawn. The grass and trees are common enough that I can use a wider aperture to blur them and keep attention on the subject but they still very beautiful as a backdrop. The insects were bothersome but the saving grace is that they really added a nice element to this photo.

Banff National Park Cascade Gardens Couple In Grass
Lawn at Banff Cascade Gardens. A nice setting to focus attention on Alexandra and Sergio

After that we went to Johnson Lake. It had been closed for a while so it was sure nice to get back. It's a common technique to ask the couple to walk towards you. I have to thank the high frame rate and rapid focusing ability of my Sony A7iii for helping me capture this walking picture at just the right moment. It's my favorite of the shoot.

Banff Johnson Lake photo shoot
Having the right tools for the job sure helps. I love my Sony A7iii for its great focus capabilities and high frame rate.

Starting at Johnson Lake in Banff we were a little worried about the light. Sergio and Alexandra were enthusiastic enough to stay enough for a June sunset in Banff but the clouds were blocking the warm sunlight that makes sunset so appealing. Finally the clouds parted and I immediately got everyone to a clearing. I really love the real lens flares. I'm fine with people adding fake lens flares in post but few are as dramatic as the complicated glass in our Sony G Master 2.8 70-200mm.

Couple in the sun with Sony G Master F 2.8 70-200 lens flares
Lens Flares from Sony G Maser f2.8 70-200mm

The clouds went away as dusk set in and everything was calm. We got some fantastic reflections in Johnson Lake. It can be hard to know how much light to add from the strobe. Too much looks unnatural. We got it right for this one.

Couple at Banff Johnson Lake with Rundle Mountain reflecting
Just the right amount of Strobe Light is key

Marcela was really excited about getting the secret swing at for our Banff photo shoot at Johnson Lake. We got there a bit late so light was a huge challenge. We only brought one strobe which will never happen again but we got some nice shots.

Swing at Johnson Lake, Banff with flowers
We bought the flowers just for the swing at Johnson Lake, Banff. We left them there for someone to discover. I love the depth the root ads to the picture. It doesn't get your attention but it ads textrue to the picture.

In June it gets dark late in Banff. Sergio and Alexandra were having fun and so were Marcela and I. We all knew that we got some great shots and we wanted to keep going. The moon came out and helped beautify the scene. We used some sparklers and got some really beautiful shots.

heart made with sparkelers and semi long exposure
This just worked out so nicely. When we saw that we captured this, we were content to say we were done.

Marcela made this lovely Slideshow of the shoot.

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