PDA

View Full Version : Need some pointers for upcoming Grand Canyon Trip



Bluedog
03-28-2005, 09:02 PM
Thats right for a day trip from Las Vegas the first week of June. Taking an early morning air/ground tour with Scenic Airlines so after a fly over of the Canyon we'll be heading out to a few observation areas via a bus. My thinking is we'll probably be at the GC between 10:00AM ~ 2:00PM. So for the worst case scenario of mid afternoon high contrast lighting what suggestions do you guys and gals have for fool proof quality photos.

Available weapons: Canon A95 and I don't know just yet but maybe either an 350D or D70 also ... :o

Thanks

sherlock
03-28-2005, 09:05 PM
Hey,

If the contrast is too high, try exposing first for 1 important area of the shot, then for the other. Then combine in photoshop and voila! a perfectly exposed photograph. Mind you I have never done this myself but I have seen it done.


Andrew S.

kgosden
03-29-2005, 06:46 AM
Two words, wide angle. Get an add-on lens for your A95 that will get you out to 28mm or wider. Last time I was there a graduated nuetral density filter was a nice to have.

gary_hendricks
03-29-2005, 07:08 AM
These tips on landscape photography (http://www.basic-digital-photography.com/tips-for-shooting-landscape-photos.html) should serve you well ... :)

jamison55
03-29-2005, 07:08 AM
I second the grad neutral density filter. I used one with my A80 and my Oly 5050 in a Cokin "A" setup. These go for cheap on Ebay and work really well with the Canon A series...

John_Reed
03-29-2005, 07:22 AM
Thats right for a day trip from Las Vegas the first week of June. Taking an early morning air/ground tour with Scenic Airlines so after a fly over of the Canyon we'll be heading out to a few observation areas via a bus. My thinking is we'll probably be at the GC between 10:00AM ~ 2:00PM. So for the worst case scenario of mid afternoon high contrast lighting what suggestions do you guys and gals have for fool proof quality photos.

Available weapons: Canon A95 and I don't know just yet but maybe either an 350D or D70 also ... :o

Thanks...I think your "window of opportunity" isn't going to give you really great results, but I could be wrong. The time of day you'll be there (10 AM - 2 PM) will make for not-so-great shadows in the Canyon, but if you can get down into it via the airplane, you may luck out. My wife and I visited there last year in November. We only spent the mid- to late afternoon there (South Rim), and though it was of course beautiful to see, the place is just too large to capture. The most memorable shots I've seen of the Grand Canyon were taken either at sunup or sundown from the canyon floor, with some really dramatic shadows and lighting effects, not to mention beautiful red rock colors. Good luck, though, your experience may be much better than ours!

Bluedog
03-29-2005, 10:32 AM
Thanks a bunch. What all would be needed for the Wide Angle add on Adapter for the A95 and which Filter might be of best choice?

EAP
03-29-2005, 11:29 AM
I agree totally with John Reed. I've hiked the canyon three times, and the middle of the day is definitely the worst lighting. My advice is to try to hike down a bit from the rim (you don't have to go too far) and take shots of the side of the canyon from down there, preferably with some people in your photo (which shouldn't be too hard as it is usually quite crowded there). Otherwise, use a different camera from the A95 or you just won't capture what you want to.

jamison55
03-29-2005, 12:12 PM
Here's an idea...how about using film. If this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, invest $50 in a decent APS camera. A friend of mine had one for our trip to the Grand Canyon, and her panoramas were amazing!

kgosden
03-29-2005, 10:57 PM
Personally I think that you are seriously short changing yourself spending anything less than two full days at the Grand Canyon. the longer I have spent there the more I have enjoyed it over the years. I just wish that the North Rim was easier to visit in the winter seasons (being closed from Oct-Apriil or so makes it tough). And sometime you have to visit Havasu Falls...

For short trips to national parks I recommend "AAA National Park Photography" which features suggested locations for those 'classic' photos as well as generally good nature photo advice. It is available from Amazon (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=dK8H9KCBHm&isbn=1562515497&itm=27).

A few of the shots I took a few years ago used a graduated nuetral density filter. Mainly those on the First Page of my trip. (http://www.gosdenfamily.net/~ken/vacation/Village_and_west/west.htm)

EAP
03-29-2005, 11:40 PM
Truthfully, I would say just try to get the best photos you can with the limitations you're traveling under, enjoy them, and plan to come back another time if you enjoy the Canyon. Above all, don't let "photo anxiety" tarnish your trip!

Bluedog
03-29-2005, 11:46 PM
Personally I think that you are seriously short changing yourself spending anything less than two full days at the Grand Canyon

Yea I totally agree but it just happens to be a work in while in Vegas. I called the tour agency today they said the actual fly over the Canyon would be around 9:00AM and the plane has very large 3' x 3' windows for viewing. I'll be picking up the ND filter so it can be relatively available if needed. I did get a Rebel XT today so that betters the odds a little too.

Bluedog
03-30-2005, 05:47 AM
Which of these these ND Filters would be my best bet:

ND.3 (exposure adjustment = 1 stop, reduces ISO 1/2)

ND.6 (exposure adjustment = 2 stops, reduces ISO 1/4)

ND.9 (exposure adjustment = 3 stops, reduces ISO 1/8)

jamison55
03-30-2005, 07:04 AM
Which of these these ND Filters would be my best bet:

ND.3 (exposure adjustment = 1 stop, reduces ISO 1/2)

ND.6 (exposure adjustment = 2 stops, reduces ISO 1/4)

ND.9 (exposure adjustment = 3 stops, reduces ISO 1/8)

Those are full ND filters, you want a graduated ND filter like this: http://www.adorama.com/CKA121M.html

These filters are square and require a filter holder like this: http://www.adorama.com/CKBPA.html

Which in turn needs a lens adapter ring like this:
(for the DReb kit lens) - http://www.adorama.com/CK58A.html
(for the A95 lens adapter) - http://www.adorama.com/CK52A.html

Total cost: about $25.00

Once you have the Cokin filter holder, you can buy more filters that fit into it. I use mine with several different filters - including a Grad ND...

Andy Browne
03-30-2005, 07:48 AM
While you are out and about, take a day triop from Vegas out to Hoover Dam. I urge you to take their Hard Hat Tour where you get to go places no other tours go.

kgosden
03-30-2005, 09:38 AM
Don't try to use the graduated ND filter in the plane as you will never be able to keep up with the horizon line.

Bluedog
03-30-2005, 10:31 AM
Those are full ND filters, you want a graduated ND filter like this: http://www.adorama.com/CKA121M.html

These filters are square and require a filter holder like this: http://www.adorama.com/CKBPA.html

Which in turn needs a lens adapter ring like this:
(for the DReb kit lens) - http://www.adorama.com/CK58A.html
(for the A95 lens adapter) - http://www.adorama.com/CK52A.html

Total cost: about $25.00

Once you have the Cokin filter holder, you can buy more filters that fit into it. I use mine with several different filters - including a Grad ND...

That sure makes a lot more sense and thanks. :)

D70FAN
03-30-2005, 10:58 AM
Thats right for a day trip from Las Vegas the first week of June. Taking an early morning air/ground tour with Scenic Airlines so after a fly over of the Canyon we'll be heading out to a few observation areas via a bus. My thinking is we'll probably be at the GC between 10:00AM ~ 2:00PM. So for the worst case scenario of mid afternoon high contrast lighting what suggestions do you guys and gals have for fool proof quality photos.

Available weapons: Canon A95 and I don't know just yet but maybe either an 350D or D70 also ... :o

Thanks

From the shots I've seen from you A95 so far I think you might be better off using it instead of the XT.

Here are some shots of The Canyon using a D70. There is a map of the South Rim, that you may find useful, in this group as well.

http://d70fan.smugmug.com/gallery/126909

I have been to The Canyon 3 times since moving to AZ about a year ago, and it's still a thrill and challenge to my photographic abilities (or lack therof). This year, hopefully, it's rafting the river time.

Starting at the villiage it's about 25 miles from Yavapai Observation Station to Desert View (where the tower is) with Grand View in the middle. The Rim Trail is obviously not an afternoon walk, but you can walk a little and catch the shuttle bus, or just drive it.

You will be amazed at the access, and lack of guard rails in some areas, so if you are acrophobic, you might want to be more cautious on your approach. ;) The Canyon Ravens are very freindly, and will probably hit you up for food.

The air tour is supposed to be very cool. I haven't done that yet so looking forward to your post.

You'll have a blast.

Bluedog
03-31-2005, 06:09 AM
"From the shots I've seen from you A95 so far I think you might be better off using it instead of the XT." LOL George is that meant as sarcasm ... ;)

Very nice Grand Canyon images. Kinda looks as you experienced the high noon dilemma too and did very well.

emalvick
04-01-2005, 03:51 PM
When I went to the Grand Canyon, I didn't have a digital camera. I only had an SLR and a bunch of rolls of 100 speed film. I was also a very amateur and novice photographer. THe only filter I had was a linear polarizer. Well, the photos I took with that polarizer were some of the best I ever took. Not knowing at the time what it was specifically for, it brought out some awesome colors that the photos I didn't use it didn't have.

The sky was near white looking and the canyon very gray-light brown looking. The polarizer made the sky a deep blue and the canyon much darker brown-red-orange looking. I guess it must of acted like a ND type filter.

D70FAN
04-01-2005, 05:02 PM
"From the shots I've seen from you A95 so far I think you might be better off using it instead of the XT." LOL George is that meant as sarcasm ... ;)

Very nice Grand Canyon images. Kinda looks as you experienced the high noon dilemma too and did very well.

Honestly, I'm not being sarcastic. Have you seen the group of images from the XT? Your shots with the A95 are great. Anyway I think I've already flogged that horse. If you are getting great results with the XT then use it (but bring the A95 just in case).

Yup. One of the drawbacks of day-trips to The Canyon is you're always shooting from about noon to about 4pm and the winter shots were all around 11am to 2pm. One of the advantages of "nooners" at The Canyon is that you can get great shots of the river without shadows, and the interior of the tower is easier to shoot without flash.

I'm sure that this year I will spend a weekend and get some sunrise/sunset shots, and like I said, I'm going to try and hit the river for a couple of days as well.

Have fun.

Bluedog
04-01-2005, 08:59 PM
Honestly, I'm not being sarcastic. Have you seen the group of images from the XT? Your shots with the A95 are great. Anyway I think I've already flogged that horse. If you are getting great results with the XT then use it (but bring the A95 just in case).

Have fun.

LOL ... I actually value your input and appreciate the comments as always. I've pretty much decided on keeping the XT and the more I play around with it the better I'm liking it, especially the High ISO image quality, RAW results and No Purple Fringe which the A95 suffers from. I'll have both in the camera bag at all times though. I'm pretty much set on the Sigma 18-125mm as an all purpose carry around lens as opposed to the Kit lens ... see I'm taking your advice ... ;)

ps: very nice GC gallery

kornhauser
04-02-2005, 04:46 PM
This was shot at about two thousand feet from a helicopter during my Hoover Damn tour. Using my wife's Vivitar 3.2 P&S camera.

My suggestion? Enjoy your vacation. Stick the camera out the window and just keep snapping pictures! You'll find one you like without causing an vacation stress.

Enjoy! When it's sunny out there, even a crappy f-stop will take a great picture! ;)

gary_hendricks
04-02-2005, 06:23 PM
Wow nice photo. I agree with kornhauser, maybe you shouldn't worry a ton about taking the photos. Just keep snapping and enjoy your holiday. :)

Bluedog
04-02-2005, 10:06 PM
It'll for sure be more of a time to enjoy the trip than worry about every photo opportunity. Actually be a good thing as the XT can shot RAW which I plan on doing while the wife can click away with the A95. CF cards have gotten very reasonably price of late so we'll be picking up a few more of those too.

This is the kinda plane we'll be flying on.

http://img18.exs.cx/img18/8065/indexbody1121rv.jpg

gary_hendricks
04-02-2005, 11:47 PM
Hey that's a nice plane you guys are riding in ... wish I could be there enjoying the vastness of the canyon!