August 20, 2014, 08:56:22 AM

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Messages - Cali_PH

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1
Canon General / Re: Who's on Instagram?
« on: August 08, 2014, 08:56:30 PM »
When Instagram first came out, I thought it was pretty lame and was just a way for mobile photographers to add filters to make their lousy photos look better.  A while back, I signed up and was surprised to see National Geo and others posting real (i.e. not mobile) photos.  After realizing that you can upload your own photos, I began doing so and just uploaded my 99th photo today.  I don't like the square format - I don't like 4:3, either, I'm definitely a 3:2 or wider guy, but I'm having fun with it.  I like seeing others photos and sharing my work with people from around the world. 

First, I applaud you for having an open mind and checking it out despite your initial assumptions/reservations.  Judging from many posts on this forum and other photography-themed ones, it seems to me many photogs tend to be a bit close-minded and not likely to change opinions on many subjects.

I haven't used Instagram in over year, mainly due to it being a big time-suck if I let it (not only browsing other's photos, but I tried to respond to each and every person's comments on my pics, which led me to start dreading posting...haha).  That, and having several pictures 'stolen' with other users posting them as their own pictures. Not that I sell my work, but just having them stolen was frustrating and annoying.

Other than that my experience was extremely positive, probably partly because I joined before it blew up into a selfie/celebrity popularity contest.  I actually had pics hit the popular page a number of times before it became full of selfies and had a few thousand followers, most of whom were actually interested in photography.  That's not any big statement on my pictures or ability as I'm still just an amateur, I'm just saying things were different a couple of years ago.

Instagram is different things to different people, but there are serious photographers on there, pros and amateurs.  I used to get feedback on my work which drove me to try to get better (at least a little ;))  and to connect with other photogs, just as it sounds like you're doing.  My interest is mainly landscape, and after I got past the fear of meeting potentially psychotic strangers, I joined a few photo meetups and even led a couple (California coast and Antelope Canyon).  Along the way I've been extremely fortunate to have made some great friends, one of whom plans 1-2 trips a year with me with no end in sight as we're trying to check things off our bucket lists.   ;D


2
Landscape / Re: The Antelope Navajo Under ground cave, ARIZONA, usa.
« on: August 04, 2014, 04:41:53 PM »
Thanks. Did you also see the Horseshoe Bend? Which is the closest airport?

I'm not sure if this was directed at me at all, but I'll answer what I can.  Unfortunately I'm not sure what commercial airports are the closest; there are small municipal airports all over, including in Page. I've flown in to Vegas and Grand Junction as part of longer trips which included page, and had friends fly into Phoenix and Flagstaff to meet me in Page. 

A word of warning for anyone going to page from the south: part of 89 was shut down over a year ago due to a landslide or collapse. As of April or so when I was last there, that road was still closed.  I tried to quickly google current conditions and can't verify it's re-opened, so you may want to check.  Locals told me the alternative roads took much longer. 

Horseshoe Bend parking lot is less than 2 miles outside of town. It'll probably take about 10-15 minutes to walk to the actual bend. 

I'd also second whoever mentioned Coyote Buttes (sorry, on my phone).  North (The Wave) and South are both worth doing if you're fortunate enough to win the lotteries.

3
Landscape / Re: The Antelope Navajo Under ground cave, ARIZONA, usa.
« on: August 04, 2014, 04:30:47 PM »
The color tone seems to vary quite a bit in the photos I've seen for this place. I've never been there so I don't know what it looks like in real world. Is it because of the time when the photos were taken or due to post processing techniques?

I would venture it's been a combination of both.  Some people do have a bit of heavy hand with PP'ing, and WB selection can be a big factor.  But regardless of that, colors can definitely vary quite dramatically depending on lighting conditions, including time of year, weather, and time of day.  I've found I tend to like the under-exposed shots if I bracket, as that brings colors out, as well as controlling for blown highlights.

4
Landscape / Re: The Antelope Navajo Under ground cave, ARIZONA, usa.
« on: August 03, 2014, 11:03:55 PM »
Do we have to apply for permits? If yes, how far ahead of time? I guess you are kind of rushed due to the summer rush and limited time to view these?


You don't have to worry about that, they're included in the tour fees. 

Quote
If one were to plan both upper and lower canyons, how much time does one require at the minimum? What does the Photography tour offer that others don't?
Thanks again for these awesome images.
Ray


I'd say about 5-7 hours, depending on timing; tours are roughly 2 hours as I recall, although I suppose this may vary from tour group to tour group.  I *think* all Upper tours, either from on-site or off-site groups, go at set intervals, so chances are you'll wait at least a little for your tour time.  Reserve ahead if you can, or time slots may be filled.

At Lower, the non-photography tours seem to go at set intervals because they need guides to return in order to go back out, but if you pay for a photography tour you can go immediately.  They put a paper around your neck with what time you're supposed to be back (guides will check it in the canyon as they pass you) and off you go, no guide.  I've had good luck where they just tack on an extra 10-15 minutes to make the return time at a "00" or "30."  Years ago they used to just let you pay an extra $20 of you stayed in longer, but they've cracked down since some photographers abused it and caused a problem.

NOTE - The drive between upper and lower is nothing, basically across the street, but as I understand it, most Antelope Canyon tour groups are in town, so they ask you to meet them at their location in Page to be shuttled out.  Since most do NOT also do Lower, that means after you're done with Upper, they'll shuttle you back into town to your car, increasing the time to do both on the same day.  If you're shopping tour groups, I'd ask them about this, maybe some will meet you at the Upper or Lower parking lots.

Personally, I've always either driven up to the gate and joined the on-site tour group so my car is right there, or joining Carol Bigthumb's group, Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours.  Her family (or some members) live near Upper, and their meeting/parking location is near there, maybe a mile or two.

5
Landscape / Re: The Antelope Navajo Under ground cave, ARIZONA, usa.
« on: August 03, 2014, 10:40:54 PM »
From having been to both Upper and Lower multiple times in the past 3 years or so, I thought I'd give my input too.

For lower Antelope, I think there are good reasons to use a tripod.  Yes, it can slow you down, but I prefer greater DOF and lower ISO's in case I need to play with shadows (if you include the sky in shots looking up, the skies may be blown out, or the canyon walls underexposed).  I also tend to bracket in there.  The other little difference with the photography tours vs. 'normal' tours is that when I've done it, I've always been allowed to go into the canyon immediately, whether it was just me alone or when I've gone with photographer friends.  On the normal tours, you go as a group at intervals.  I'm not sure but I'd suspect the group may tend to push you along at times if you're trying to work a certain area, or hold you back if you want to move ahead.

If you have two cameras, bring them in order to avoid/minimize lens changes; it's dusty in there!  Keep your head on a swivel and keep looking behind you as you walk through the canyons.

You can drive yourself to Lower and pay the entrance fee on site, but you cannot drive to Upper. For Upper you need to make a reservation with the Navajo affiliated tour companies. I used Overland Canyon and was pleased with them.

Well for clarification, at Upper Antelope you can drive up to the gate to join an on-site tour, as they do run their own 'on site' tours.  You'll park your car inside and jump on one of their trucks. 

Another thing I haven't seen mentioned yet; Upper Antelope is insanely crowded in the spring/summer when the beams are going.  The main differences between the regular and photography tours show up then, as the photography tours do a good job of trying to get groups to the better locations to see the beams, yelling at the non-photography groups and holding them back at times so the photographers can get a shot.  I've seen regular groups get rushed through such spots.  Of course, some people are rude and will ignore everyone yelling at them so they can take their stupid selfies, but that can't really be helped if the tour guides aren't willing to physically step in.  Oh, and the guides will throw dust up in the air so the beams show up better, while joking about killing your cameras...so hopefully your camera is weather sealed; even so, I'd seriously some additional home-made protection, like ziplock bags & rubber bands.  I may look silly, but I've heard of lots of people having problems with their cameras after visiting. 

I'm not 100% sure about Upper, but I do not believe you can join the photography tours at either canyon without having a tripod.  I think I've been checked at both locations every time.

6
Nice shots Surapon, I had to stop and catch my breath a bunch of times myself on that hike.  But it's well worth it!

Haha, awesome surapon!  The arch doesn't look nearly as treacherous during the day as it did during the middle of the night.  You should try going back again with fewer cameras at night though, the stars are amazing out there!

Well, his shots don't include the part right near the top where the trail narrows down to a few feet across, with a steep drop to one side...when I went that section was icy, I worried I'd see someone slip and go off the ledge!

7
Lenses / Re: Year of the lens....a joke....?
« on: July 15, 2014, 10:28:01 PM »
16-35 f/4 IS makes it the year of the lens!

It was #1 on my wish-list of new lenses for landscape, so I'm happy.

8
Abstract / Re: Beautiful bokeh! Let me see yours!
« on: July 15, 2014, 12:47:51 AM »
I occasionally try to shoot humans, instead of getting them out of my landscape shots... :P

9
Fair, but it does confirm that the 7D replacement is coming in September...something that had only been CR2 until this point. And as we've learned with CR2's in the past, that could mean something is years away.

At least now we know when the forums will be flooded with people complaining

Actually, I interpret it as probably expecting the official ANNOUNCEMENT in September.  The product could be released shortly thereafter, or much later.  The 100-400 and 1DX come to mind...

10
I was just at a Canon Live Learning workshop this weekend where one of the instructors talked about how we might want to give up LR & PS because Canon's software always works on all Canon cameras, no matter what, unlike LR/PP.  He was talking about new camera models, but this is still funny timing. 

11
EOS Bodies / Re: More EOS 7D Mark II Talk [CR1]
« on: June 16, 2014, 01:41:34 PM »
We’re told the top plate has a noticeably bigger bump around the viewfinder than the current EOS 7D.
A hybrid viewfinder perhaps?  Or maybe the return of eye controlled autofocus?

I was thinking the same.

I was wondering is the bump was related to the rumored wifi and GPS...

12
Lenses / Re: Canon Working on Faster f/2.8 Ultra Wide Zoom [CR2]
« on: May 16, 2014, 10:38:31 AM »
might make more sense to focus on landscape who would probably prefer wider than 16mm and wouldn't care about front element size/shape.

A bulbous front element could matter to many that use filters, common in landscape photography. It would most likely be incompatible with the few existing holders designed for bulbous elements, meaning a potentially long wait for someone to come up with one for the new lens.  Even if it happens to work with one of the existing ones, they're expensive and require larger, very expensive filters. 

13
yea I'm glad I waited and was pleasantly surprised at the price.  I just pre-ordered.  now pondering the Lee setup and solving the vignetting issue... I'm hearing that even the Lee + 105mm adapter + B+W CPL will vignette wider than 20-ish?


Yes, vignetting becomes an issue around then. Fortunately there are UWA adapters that set the filters closer.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/87147-REG/LEE_Filters_WAR077_Adapter_Ring_77mm.html

EDIT - you can find cheaper version on eBay but I've had mixed results, where the threading wasn't as clean as the LEE version, so YMMV

14
Fan-freakin-tastic, this is exactly what I was hoping for this year.  And specifically f4 for the lower weight and price, since I shoot landscape f8-f11 most of the time.  Already have the Rokinon 14mm for astro work.  I was just telling someone I wanted a new sharper 17-40 or 16-35 f/4 about 2 weeks ago, but expected it to be $1500+ if they ever made one. Can't wait to see some tests!

15
Photography Technique / Re: Photographs in the "Blue Hour"
« on: May 11, 2014, 05:00:21 PM »
Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, California.  I've been shooting variations of this around sunrise & sunset for the past 3 years.


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