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Messages - Cali_PH

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61
Software & Accessories / Re: Best bag for hiking with a camera?
« on: August 16, 2013, 10:38:21 AM »
A few people have suggested the f-stop Loka.  I've been using this back for a few years and I love it; if it eventually wears out I'll probably end up buying another one, or a newer f-stop model.  I think it's an excellent pack, well-designed for hiking, and fits almost all your requirements (I doubt anything out there will be perfect).  It is a little boxy, but it is small enough to fit in airline overhead compartments, which I've done any times. 

However, judging by your small loadout, the Loka would be overkill; not bad though if you plan on expanding that in the future.  I've carried 2 bodies, 3 lenses, tripod water, food, extra batteries, filters etc. on rough long hikes (like Zion's Subway hike), and my back was fine, and I'm not a big strong hiker.  If your listed loadout is accurate, I'd still suggest f-stop because of their designs, materials, builds etc., but I think smaller models will fit your requirements much better, like the Guru and Kenti.  The Kenti is new and has side access doors, which is something I've wanted for a while for street photography or other times when I don't need a full loadout, so I may buy one of those myself, heh.

62
Landscape / Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« on: August 15, 2013, 10:51:32 PM »
Here's a video of two timelapses I shot this weekend.   Since the best & brightest streaks were 'off camera' I stopped part way through and tilted my camera up in hopes of catching more, although I didn't succeed.  Still, I captured lots of the smaller streaks.  Perseids was in the upper left, but we also saw a surprising number of meteors from other directions.

The lower right bump is Half Dome; you can see a couple of people coming down from it at the beginning and someone climb up & walk around on top later. 

Done with some top-notch video software...Windows Movie Maker  ;)


63
Landscape / Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« on: August 15, 2013, 10:02:38 PM »
Great shot! Looks like you had some nice, dark skies. I would say 14mm is a great focal length for wide field night sky photography.

Thank you!  Yes we did, no moon, far from major light sources :)  I must admit, I did try to play with contrast, black etc. to try to emphasize the meteors.  I didn't know about the meteor-to-star light ratio you mentioned earlier, so I was simply shooting in 25-30 second bursts.  Next time I'll change it up!

At the risk of being criticized by the landscape photo police, you should have tried turning the camera sideways...since you are saying you missed some meteors overhead.

The color temperature of your Milky Way indeed is far too cool, but since it was intentional, I suppose it's a valid take on it.  I've seen this look before.  It's quite a nice shot...certainly the blue hue is appealing and draws one into the image.  Of course if it's shot in RAW you can tweak on the color temperature however you wish later on. 

If you are saying this was your first night sky shot...like ever...WOW that's quite a good result, no doubts about that!!  You're on your way.  I envy your Yosemite visit.  It is a very highly traffic'ed park, though.  For good reason, of course.

I had considered that, but to be more specific, the best ones we missed were all over; far to the left, right, so far overhead they were almost behind me, etc., so I left it.  Plus I was shooting for timelapse, which I'll try to add shortly.  What I did do is stop shooting at one point, and angle my camera much higher. 

And yes, I think the blue helps emphasize the stars/meteors, although I suppose some may disagree.  I also prefer a bluer look than a warmer one; I wonder if people that prefer a warmer is partly because they're used to being closer to light pollution? And I did shoot in RAW, so I can tweak this repeatedly.  Which I'll probably do, because I know I could edit the shots better than I did.

Thank you!  I mainly shoot landscape and am used to some techniques which help (mirror lock up, on a tripod, shutter release, manual focus etc), plus I have shot at night before; some steel wool, light painting, catching streaks of car lights, stuff like that.  But this was my first time trying to milky way & meteor shots.  It's kind of silly that it is, since I have regular access to Yosemite (I can reach the entrance in about an hour), and I've been to places like Arches & Zion.  I'll definitely try to do more night photography in the future & get better at it.

64
Landscape / Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« on: August 15, 2013, 12:11:50 AM »
Here's one of the shots from Saturday night/Sunday morning, up in Yosemite; please don't be too harsh, it was my first time trying this kind of thing.  I think some of the warmer colors & haze on the horizon were due to some local fires.  I used a lot higher ISO because I was shooting for timelapse video and wanted the milky way moving in it.  Shot this in tungsten after reading that somewhere on the net, but now I wonder if it's too blue. Unfortunately, there were some really good streaking meteors leaving glowing trails that were overhead or otherwise not in front of my lens, even though this was 14mm.


65
Lenses / Re: Best Filters for 24-105 f/4
« on: August 09, 2013, 02:48:19 PM »
Another factor in favor of Cokin for me is that I have lenses with 77mm, 67mm, 62mm, 58mm, and even 52mm with the new EOS M. With a Cokin P system, you can buy the filters once and get adapter rings for your lenses. They are a bit bigger than the screw in ones, but holy cow, you could go bankrupt buying good quality circular polarizers for your whole lens collection.  With Cokin P, if you get a new lens with an odd filter ring size, your total cost to adapt your filters to it is a $20 ring.

One thing to consider is that the P series doesn't work with the widest angle lenses.  I don't have a 16-35mm or 17-40mm, and I think they work down to about the widest on those lenses, but I am not sure about that.

I was going to mention the Lee system, but I see you edited your response as I was finding some links ;)  I switched from the Cokin to the Lee system because it has wide angle adapter rings (49 through 82mm).  I use them with my 17-40L and can stack 2 filters fine. 

66
EOS Bodies / Re: new canon body in testing?
« on: August 08, 2013, 05:47:33 PM »
Finally, a 1-series body I wouldn't mind taking on long hikes!

67
Landscape / Re: Post Your Best Landscapes
« on: August 06, 2013, 12:14:57 AM »
Garrapata State Park, Big Sur, California - I've visited Big Sur 3 weeks in a row, encountering overcast skies every time. The clouds parted for about half an hour or so yesterday, giving me crazy blue sky & reflections.  Canon 6D, 17-40L, Lee Big Stopper + Lee CPL rotated for max reflection, 30 seconds

68
Lenses / Re: 50mm Primes that don't suck wide open?
« on: July 11, 2013, 01:58:22 PM »
The sigma 50 1.4 is...really big for a 50mm prime, has AF quality control issues and won't work with auto CA corrections.

Hmmm...are you sure the Sigma doesn't work with CA corrections?  Did you mean in-camera or software?  Not saying you're wrong, I'd just be surprised if Lightroom didn't have a profile for that lens.  Only usuing LR as an example since that's what I use and it's fairly common, but obviously I don't know what you use.

69
EOS-M / Re: Just got my EOS-M! First impressions...
« on: July 11, 2013, 11:24:05 AM »
@tiger82 - what's up with that hood on the 70-200/2.8?  Hope you know it's too short to be of any real optical benefit...

I think it's one of those rubber hoods that can 'pop out' to a hood, or folded back. I've wondered how those are in use.

70
The first and the last photos are AWESOME ... especially the first one, very unique fireworks.

Thank you, those are two of my favs too, because I don't recall seeing fireworks exactly like those before. :)

Cali_PH,
The Fab-4,  excellent!

Thanks so much! 

71
Canon General / Re: National Park Advice - Location and Body/Lenses
« on: July 07, 2013, 06:03:54 PM »
1 - I'd say it's worth looking into it if wildlife is a big interest of yours; I've sometimes found myself wanting more than my 70-200, but it's not essential.  One issue IMO is that the 2.8 is so heavy, which could be a factor if you're going on long hikes, how many other lenses you're carrying, food, water, fitness level etc.

2 - Can't comment, I don't really have much interest in macro.  I guess that depends on what you want to shoot

3 - Will have to let others comment on that.

I've been up to Sequoia/Kings & Zion, but not Death Valley.  Personally I really enjoy Zion much more than Sequoia; it's much more spectacular and varied IMO.  If you're interested in the big trees, Mariposa Grove in Yosemite has giant Sequoias.  Depending on your time for Zion, I'd consider swinging by Bryce Canyon also.

I've used Yosemite Hikes for a lot of great Yosemite hiking info. 

Michael Frye also has a great photographers guide to Yosemite, both in book and app form.

Besides all the typical valley spots, I'd suggest going up to Glacier Point & Taft Point.  I'd also go out along Tioga Road and see some spots from there.  With 5 days, I'd also recommend following Tioga out the eastern exist and visiting Mono Lake, especially the south tufa area and the sand tufas at Navy Beach. 


72
A few of the San Francisco show.  I'd like more detail in the background, but considering it was shot from about 3.5-4 miles away or so, it's not too bad.  Shot with my 70-200 F4 IS, some heavily cropped; forgot to take my 1.4x teleconverter.

If you squint you might be able to see they projected red & blue with white stars on Coit Tower in the lower left.  :)



73
Had a $40 Coupon code to adorama that was about to expire, this should make a small decent backup!

74
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 70D Spec List
« on: June 27, 2013, 07:39:47 PM »
I think the wife was a typo & he meant wifi.  If so, Id be interested once the price settles down (although dual digic 6s would be more interesting).  If its not a typo and somehow a new wife is included w/ da kit-I'll pass. Already have a couple of those & I'm not really interested in a replacement/upgrade right now.

Is one a full frame body and the second a smaller, lighter body as a backup?

75
Canon General / Re: your scariest photography moment?
« on: March 13, 2013, 01:37:07 AM »
1 - Silly & Scary: Friend and I were doing the 8 mile or so rough Subway hike in Zion.  Since I was carrying 2 bodies, lenses, tripod etc. and my friend was only carrying a small light DSLR, I asked her to carry all the water we had in the car.  She said no problem.  Silly me, I didn't visually check.  About 3/4 of the way there, we're taking a break and I'm asking her for more water; turns out she only brought 3 bottles total.  Stupidly, after some debate (and angry words on my part), we continued going since we were so close.  Oh, and she got up late and ate breakfast slowly, so we started hours later than I had planned.

So on the way back, it was getting dark. If you know the Subway hike, we did the climb up the 400' cliff in the dark.  We had headlamps, but the climb was still difficult.  My friend slipped and almost rolled off the cliff, and I was so dehydrated and exhausted I literally was almost falling asleep on my feet; never been so exhausted in all my life.  Had to rest a bunch of times on the way up.  We were both thinking we weren't going to make it up to the car, but we did.  Barely. 

To add insult to injury, the water level in Subway was much higher than normal, so we didn't even get good shots.

2 - Was in Yosemite doing the short hike to lower Yosemite Falls; it's a short, well-traveled paved path, so I was surprised at what happened.  I started to hear a rustling noise and looked around.  I saw one, then two, then about half a dozen deer bounding through the trees and brush directly at me.  I started to smile, thinking how cool the moment was, especially as they zipped by on both sides of me.   I'd swear I could have reached out to touch one of them.  I was reaching for my camera until I saw WHY they were bounding.  A big coyote (wolf?) was chasing them, which made me immediately freeze. Fortunately, the coyote was focused on them and never glanced my way, although it passed within 10 feet of me.  I'm not sure what it would have done if it had seen me, but it sure did freak me out for a few moments, especially when I realized I was probably easier prey!



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