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Messages - Cali_PH

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76
EOS Bodies / Re: Is a 46mp Canon EOS-1 on the Way? [CR1]
« on: September 10, 2012, 10:40:29 AM »
In my opinion, if Canon does not launch an cheaper model around 2500-3000€ with 35+MP, they will loose a lot of photographers.

Are they 'losing a lot of photographers' to the D800 now?   ::)

Yes

I don't know how many they've lost so far, but if this rumor turns out to be true, I'm guessing they'll lose a few more.

I'm a landscape guy, and often end up chatting with other landscape shooters in the field, for example waiting at a spot waiting for sunset.  I've had about half a dozen people in the last few months tell me they were seriously interested in getting the D800, but were first waiting to see what Canon came up with.  Plus I've seen the same comments from other landscape people on forums. 

If this EOS-1 is the only high MP camera announced any time soon, and if it's priced as high as some of us suspect, it'd be interesting to see how many actually switch.  I sure some will, especially to use with Nikon's 14-24.  But some will change their mind once they factor in having to buy Nikon glass and accessories.  Obviously I'm simplifying things, as there's a bunch of other factors that like ergonomics, which lenses these individuals have vs. Nikon equivalents etc.

Although it's looking like the 'Canon glass is cheaper' argument isn't as valid anymore for the top new lenses, given the latest prices (e.g., 24-70 II).  It'll be interesting to see what older L-glass performs well with that kind of resolution; I've read arguments on both sides, but don't have the technical background to know which side is true.

77
No problem, glad some of it helped!  I've done a ton of research for that area over the past year, plus I travel a lot for work & pleasure, so I'm glad all that effort helps others too. 

A friend and I will be in the Zion/Bryce area around 10/15-10/16, so maybe we'll spot you.  At 6'4" you should stand out.  ;)

BTW, emailed you again.  I sent a PDF you may find useful.  Just wanted to give you a head's up, it's not a virus or anything.

79
Thought I'd share a couple of sites I ran across doing research for Valley of Fire before:

Synnatsche's Secrets of the Southwest - Website of a German couple that are talented travel/landscape photogs.  They have travelogues of some of the southwest's most interesting places; it's in German, so most people will need to use Google translate or something like that to read it.  Or just look at the pretty pictures ;) I used the website to discover some places I'd never heard of before; the gallery includes other parts of the US too.

The page I linked to has some fantastic shots of Valley of Fire.  There are also links on it to the Valley of Fire travelogue, as well as their eGUIDE about Valley of Fire.  Great pictures and lots of locations with GPS coordinates, tips, if the location is a sunrise/sunset/afternoon location, etc.  Well worth the $5 or so IMHO.

Sunset Cities Valley of Fire Info - Has a lot of good basic info on the park (directions, fees, etc.) and lots of pictures about various parts, but the picture quality isn't great.

If you're there around sunset, don't be surprised to see a wedding or wedding photoshoot, seems like a lot of people drive up from Vegas for that.

EDIT - for the car rentals, if you can, check more than one discount site (Hotwire, Travelocity, Kayak etc).  Not sure which ones you might have access to if you're in China.  Usually they're all relatively close to each other, but sometimes one will give you a great deal.  For example, when I've gone to Oahu the past couple of years, most the sites would quote me basically the same prices but Hotwire was ridiculously cheaper for some reason (two times I got a mid-size car for $9.95).

EDIT 2 - A friend asked me to help with directions to the Fire Wave in Valley of Fire, so I threw something together on google maps.  Thought I'd put it here too, in case it helps anyone. 

Fire Wave map

80
Antelope - I don't think I mentioned it in the email I sent, but I shot mostly with a 10-22 on a cropped body my first time, and 17-40L FF the next, typically near the wider end.  Different people have different styles though.  But because of the wind and dust in there, you don't want to be switching lenses if you can avoid it.  If you bring your backup body on the trip, consider having them both ready to go with different lenses. 

Yosemite - I know you had just said it's out, but since you did mention it at first and others are suggesting it, I thought I'd chime in.  I do think it's definitely a place everyone should see at least once.  The problem is your limited time, and desire to see other locations further away.  How badly do you want to see it compared to other locations, and what are the chances you'll return again?  FYI, it's been a hot dry year, and from what I hear the falls have less water than typical for this time of year.  Yosemite falls is mostly dry (a quick view of the Yosemite webcams confirms this).  Unless there are some storms, they'll be even drier in October.  Yosemite is so much more than waterfalls, but I thought it worth mentioning in case those are important to you, and you think you'd come back and see it another time. 

IF you did go from LA to Yosemite, and then maybe Utah/Arizona, you'll want go through Tioga Pass, which closes in winter, but almost never before November.  You could swing by Mono Lake and see some of the beautiful Eastern Sierras along the drive.

EDIT - Also, finding lodging in Yosemite this close to your trip could be difficult; if you find something it'll probably be pricey.  The same could be said for most of the places you want to see, since they're all popular.
 

81

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Wow, great advice from Cali_PH. I agree almost completely. Personally, my style is to stay longer at fewer places, but that's a personal preference.


Well, my stated preference was for the specific circumstance of 9 days, first timer to the area.  Ideally, I'd be independently wealthy and able to spend as much time as I wanted at each location.  ;D

kaihp - Ah, I did wonder if you were here in the US or not.  That's a shame; if you think you may return someday, I'd still recommend buying the books sometime.  There are lots of locations in there most people don't know exist.  I meant to buy them for one trip, and now I find myself planning my third in less than a year.  My current obsession with the Southwest is largely why I'm writing so much  ;)

I sent you an email with the write-up I did for Antelope Canyon; feel free to email me with any other questions too.  I may not have the best answers, but I'll help with what I know.  I may not know as much as someone that lives there, but I feel like I've been planning southwest trips for about a year, done a lot of research in books, online, etc. 

If you plan on the north rim, make sure to have a backup plan in case the weather closes the rode unexpectedly.  Maybe like staying in Page for 1 or 2 nights, and if the road's open, take a day trip out to the north rim.   Although the image everyone has of the southwest is 'desert,' some of these locations are actually at high elevations.  As someone mentioned above, the north rim is higher than south, and the rim of Bryce Canyon is about 8-9,000 feet.   Did a quick check, because I'll be there mid-October too.  Lows get below freezing, so be prepared if you plan on sunrise/sunset shooting there!

I think you'll enjoy Capitol Reef; I've seen more than one person call it the most under-rated NP in the US.  I scheduled one night there for us, and I really wish we had at least 3 days.  I hope to go back someday.

As far as an SUV...from what you're saying  you're mainly considering now:
 - Zion basically all paved roads.  For the main valley section, you'll parking and take the bus system anyway.  Mandatory, until end of October.  You can drive your own car in other sections of the park though, but that's all paved anyway.
- Bryce - roads all paved
- Capitol Reef - there were a lot of non-paved roads we took, sort of like dry riverbeds, but none of it needed an SUV.  BUT, we didn't make it out to Cathedral Valley...I think I read an SUV is highly recommended if you do that. 
- Horseshoe Bend/Antelope Canyon - No problem with a standard car.
- Escalante - It'll probably depend on exactly where you want to go...it's not like Bryce Canyon or something like that, with one specific location.  There are varied places to see, with varied conditions.  Off the top of my head...Devil's Garden was very cool, and didn't require an SUV. 

SUV's can be a bit of a problem; they typically won't have a trunk, which means your suitcases and photo gear may be visible in the back while you're parked and hiking or whatever, potentially tempting for thieves.  If you get one, I suggest buying  a cheap blanket the same color as the car's interior to throw over your stuff. 

Now, if you're the gambling type...google Coyote Butte's South and North, not far from Page (Antelope Canyon).   Some amazing landscape at both locations, but visits are restricted.  10 tickets per day are given out 4 months in advance (those are gone for October).  However, they also give out 10 tickets a day, the day before.  If you show up at the Bureau of Land Management office in Kanab by 9am and sign up for the lottery for each section, you may win a ticket for the following day.  However, that's a big gamble for someone with limited time.  Just thought I'd mention it because they're amazing locations. 

There's also the Pariah River Rimrock Toadstools near Page, although it seems they're collapsing as time goes by.  If you go, make sure to go up and left of the main trail to see a smaller section of them. 

There are lots of small stops like this in the area; I'll try to help and mention them as your schedule gets set and I have a better idea where you'll be. 

I posted too much again.  ::)

82
My first suggestion, and one I've seen many times on photography forums, is to get at least 2 of the 3 parts of Photographing the Southwest by Martres, Vol 1 - Utah and Vol 2 - Arizona.  There's a wealth of info in these books, and have helped me on several trips through there, including one that overlaps with yours a bit. 

Depending on how many NP's you think you'll see on this trip and over the next year, consider getting an America the Beautiful one- year pass.  It can save you a lot of $$.  $80 to get into all the NP's (and some other facilities) for a year.  Yosemite, Bryce, and Zion are all $25/car.  Plus the other NP's in the area you may consider after suggestions in this thread or reading those books ;).  You can order one online, or buy them at the entrance to most NP's...if they have them (read the FAQ's if you go that second route). 

I don't know if you're aware of it, but you'll be in what's often called the Grand Circle, because of a rough 'ring' of NP's and other scenic areas, such as Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Canyon.  One common 'loop' for example:  Zion, Bryce, Captiol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Monument Valley, Page (Antelope Canyons/Horseshoe Bend), Grand Canyon.  I basically did this in late April/May, and was surprised at the number of people we ran into repeatedly along the same route.

Grand Canyon - From what I've heard, most people actually just swing by for a few hours and take in the south rim views before moving on to something else.  This is what we did, because we had so much else to see on our trip, including Havasupai.  Since this is your first time, unless you really want to hike in, I'd suggest spending a few hours/half a day doing the views, and move on to other locations.  North rim closes around mid-October or so depending on weather; I'd probably save that for another trip.  In fact, I'd probably scratch GC altogether and do more Utah locations, but that's me.

Lower/Upper Antelope Canyon - Definitely OK to do in a day; there's basically a 2 hour limit in each, and they're basically across the road from each other.  The official Navajo website says you need a guide for both, but in my 2 trips, that hasn't been the case for Lower (more details below).  Note that in October, I don't think you'll be getting the sun rays beaming into the canyons.  But you also should have less crowds; Upper is a madhouse in the spring/summer!  And you don't have to worry about trying to schedule both around early/mid morning for the rays. 

I held a little photowalk there for both Upper and Lower on my trip and wrote up a lengthy tip/suggestion thing to send out to the first-timers.  If you want to PM me your address I can email it to you, I could write up pages lol.  Oh, and in May, I heard all the tour groups raised their prices, almost doubling them. 

And yes, you can do Horseshoe Bend on the same day, easily.  Either sunrise or sunset, both are popular.  Bring a flashlight ;)

I guess since it's your first time, the question is do you want to see more locations and spend less time at each, (my preference), or fewer places with more time at each?  For fewer locations, maybe GC, Page, Zion, Bryce.  My first trip, I cut out GC since it's further way from the other parks; I did Zion, Bryce, Page, Monument Valley in 5 days.

For more locations but less time at each, maybe something like:

Day 1 - Grand Canyon South rim - 1 day to drive there (about 7 hours or more from Lancaster?).  Stay in Village overnight to catch sunset & sunrise. 
2 - Page - 1 day to do Upper Antelope, Lower Antelope, Horseshoe Bend.  Hope that there's no rain anywhere in the area, or you won't be going into the slot canyons.
3&4- 2 1/2 hours to Monument Valley; drive through the self-guided tour; 3 hours to Moab.  Spend a couple of days exploring Canyonlands & Arches.
5 - Swing by Goblin Valley, on way to Capitol Reef
6 - Bryce
7&8 - Zion
9 - Valley of Fire, swing through Vegas, on way to LA.  It's a long drive to LAX from either Zion or GC.  Be careful about the morning rush hour traffic on the 17th, especially if your flight is mid day.

EDIT - Holy cr@p, didn't realize I wrote so much  :o ;D

83
Lenses / Re: Why pick 16-35 f2.8 over 17-40 f4
« on: August 24, 2012, 10:11:16 AM »
Besides the other points others have mentioned, there could be additional costs for you with the 16-35.  It's 82mm, not 77mm.  If you use circular polarizers, grad/ND filters, etc. you may have to by additional adapters or filters of different sizes, depending on your current accessories.

84
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 3D X [CR1]
« on: August 22, 2012, 06:32:40 PM »
As a landscape guy that's recently gotten into printing stuff 24"x36" and possibly larger, this interests me.  Sure, I realize people can print large With lower mp's but if this rumor is true there'd be increases in low iso perfornance and DR, good stuff for landscape.

Many Canonites had dismissed the D800 simply because it had 'too many mp's,' would slow down pp, files take up too much space etc.  All valid considerations, but I'm guessing more than a few of those people would suddenly consider this Canon ;)

 

85
I have to say, I cannot take this article seriously because it starts off with a typo. Unless hvae is some weird nikonian slang. 

Since it's passed on from a local newspaper, it seems more likely to me that it's a typo by the OP, no?

LOL...if thats the case then the OP has way too much time on their hands!  I would copy paste something from a local newspaper, but, I would never retype the whole dang thing!  Why not go shooting instead of retyping some ridiculous local rag trash...lol

Perhaps, but it probably took him/her less time to type it than the time people have spent posting in tho thread, me included.

86
I have to say, I cannot take this article seriously because it starts off with a typo. Unless hvae is some weird nikonian slang. 

Since it's passed on from a local newspaper, it seems more likely to me that it's a typo by the OP, no?

87
Lenses / Re: Keep 70-200 f4 IS or go for f2.8 IS II?
« on: July 21, 2012, 11:47:52 AM »
Since there are pretty much equal numbers saying keep the f4/no, no get the f2.8 II, I'll have to flip a coin.

So now the question is: what coin should I flip and how many times do I flip it to get a statistically valid result? ;)


I used to use pennies, but once I switched to nickels I haven't looked back.  Sure, they weigh a lot more, but you can do more with them and the quality difference is amazing.  Plus once I started using quarters, I hardly notice the weight difference.  Compare for yourself:

http://www.coinflipinfo.com/Reviews/Penny

http://www.coinflipinfo.com/Reviews/Nickel

88
Landscape / Re: Post Your Best Landscapes
« on: May 15, 2012, 11:55:08 PM »
Those are fantastic!  I love 'em.
+1.  Awesome shots.

Thank you both, I was pretty lucky to stick around and see the rays show up, most everyone else left shortly before the rays broke through. 

89
Landscape / Re: Post Your Best Landscapes
« on: May 15, 2012, 01:30:32 AM »


90
Software & Accessories / Re: Backpack for photoequipment and hiking
« on: May 13, 2012, 01:54:12 AM »
I own a Satori Exp and a Loka as well as small and medium ICU's. As far as I can see the ICU's are all the same width, so even a small ICU is wide enough that nothing should drop out of your pack (see Dan Carr's review: http://dancarrphotography.com/blog/2010/11/02/introducing-the-new-f-stop-tilopa-bc-photo-backpack/ and scroll down to the pictures).


It looks like they now make 'shallow' and 'pro' depth ICU's.  I'm guessing the 'pro' is the original depth. 

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