THAW 4K - The Canadian Rockies in UHD

My goal with this film was to capture the beauty of the melting ice and changeable weather conditions in the Canadian Rockies during the winter thaw of March. It took me two weeks to shoot all the timelapse footage which was shot with nothing more than two tripods and the Sony A7R and Sony A6000 cameras with a small selection of lenses.

This film features Banff, Yoho and Jasper National Parks with popular locations like Mt Rundle, Vermillion Lakes, Two Jack Lake, Emerald Lake, The Three Sisters in Canmore and of course the stunning Drumheller Hoodoos.

I guess most people will discount Drumheller is not actually being part of the Canadian Rockies, but I felt that it should be included because it’s only two hours from Canmore and so fascinating. The sound of the coyotes howling as the sun went down over the hoodoos was a magical experience, especially with no other souls in sight.

Notable Moments

I had a few scary moments while hiking across frozen lakes that were mid collapse and I’ll never forget bumping into a massive bull elk at Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park on my last night. While most people spend their Saturday evenings enjoying warmth and good company, I was standing alone on a frozen lake with nothing but the milky way to light the path wondering ”what the hell am I doing?”.

Well, when I watch this film it was all worthwhile. I hope you enjoy it too and please feel free to leave a comment or ask any questions. If you could share the film with your friends that would be AWESOME!

The Vimeo version is only HD but if you prefer to view the full 4K version here it is from Youtube.


Published by Gavin Hardcastle

Gavin is a professional landscape photographer from Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC. He teaches photography workshops all over the world and writes extensively about his experiences on location. You can read his photo guides and tutorials here at


  1. Beautiful sequences put together with a well timed musical interlude. You have helped me decide to visit the Canadian Rockies this fall. We will be attending a conference in West Yellowstone and will be within a days drive. We may never get that close again.

  2. I like what you have done. Looks good, sounds good. I know you have put a lot of work into this project. I’ve tried some of it before, but not a project of this magnitude. Good work. Thanks.

  3. Gavin, again you have put together a beautiful piece of ” Mother Nature” ever changing moods. You live in a gorgeous area of North America and you do an excellent job in showing it off to all of us. Have a hot toddy on me and warm those bones, bill

  4. I loved this beautiful piece – to see the cloud, sky and reflections was awe inspiring. It shows the precious area as an organic changing thing – thank you. I didn’t love the music for it – I liked the music, but not in all the frames.

  5. Awesomely beautiful

  6. Gavin, I loved this, especially the bits of the Drumheller hoodoos. I spent some time living near there as a child, and when I think of “homesick”, that part of Canada comes instantly to mind. Not TECHNICALLY part of the Rockies, true, but a distinct and important part of Canada, nonetheless! Thanks for this!

  7. Brilliant work Gavin. Super impressed that you can merge two talents so well in this film. Great artistry. Very motivational. Keep it up!

  8. Impressive, very smooth, and I read that you have made the music too, that’s great! I’d like to share this on my Dutch weblog about Canada – yes, that’s true, it’s in Dutch, long story 😉 (the ‘scoop’ part is actually pronounced as ‘scope’ and that is what it means)

    Take care!


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