Zion National Park

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by AirVenture, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. AirVenture

    AirVenture TPF Noob!

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    I have the chance to visit Zion National Park in southern Utah this Spring (late winter). From what I've heard it's one of the most photographed national parks out there. I was just wondering what kind of tips people would suggest for capturing this desert/canyon/mountain landscape. In particular I was interested in maybe attaining a new lens and maybe filters to play around with. I currently have some cheap polarizing filters to bring out those blue skies I'm hoping for. Any other filters you recommend?

    Here's my current setup:
    Nikon D50
    Kit lens (18-55mm)
    Sigma 70-300mm APO II

    Thank you,
    -Brett
     
  2. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    Lucky you! A graduated neutral density filter would probably be a good investment - it will allow you to get decent exposures for both the sky and ground, instead of exposing for the ground and blowing out the sky, or exposing for the sky and the ground being black. If you have enough memory cards, it would also be a perfect chance to take several exposures of the same scene and experiment with HDR.
     
  3. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The Nikon kit lens will give you a decent wide angle.

    You might consider a longer telephoto, with a tripod of course. 500 mm f/8 mirror lenses are fun & inexpensive, and with your camera and its 1.5x multiplication factor, you could get nice & close to any wildlife you see. Just remember the tripod. It will[/b] be worth carrying around.

    Lots of people like wide angle zooms, aside from very tight spaces, I don't see it being of that much use.

    A 100 mm macro lens could also be useful, if you see something on a smaller scale you want to photograph. Macros are neat because they are so darned sharp and distortion-free. I had a revelation when I compared the results obtained from a Tokina ATX 90 mm 2.5 macro to anything else I'd previously shot with in that range. This can double as a good protrait lens, though you may have to use a softening filter in some cases.

    Aside from that, I'd invest in more memory, so that you can afford to shoot everything in raw format for the best possible tonal range. That will help ALL of your pictures just a bit, though you won't always be able to see it.

    Do you have a good tripod? That is essential, IMO. By good, I don't necessarily mean you have to spend over $100. I have a Slik U8000 that is versatile & lightweight, with interchangeable shoes that cost only $60. Even more handy, but less versatile is the tiny Bogen one with the ballhead. This one ALWAYS comes with me, and it has saved my bacon a few times for those times when I wound up shooting a night shot when I wasn't expecting to. This little one was only $40, and probably the most useful accessory I've ever bought.
     
  4. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh, and what about a proper flash? You don't realize what a difference they make until you get a proper one. They recycle faster, reach out further, virtually eliminate red eye. For me it's a hard thing to spend money on, (I prefer to have more lenses) but I never regret it later. I don't know about you, but for every one good landscape I shoot, I shoot about 20 family pictures.

    To get back on subject, a powerful flash can be a useful thing outdoors, especially if you read up on slow sync. You can dial it down so the effect is not so obvious.
     
  5. AirVenture

    AirVenture TPF Noob!

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    Hey, thanks everybody...especially Jeremy! I think this trip will be a good excuse to invest in a graduated ND filter. Holy cow they're expensive! I probably won't go top of the line #1 because I'm a poor college student and #2 I'm prone to break things made out of glass. I have a nice lightweight tripod and monopod that I'm planning to take. I have a lot of lenses (most of which you mentioned) on my list to buy. Oddly enough I'm also interested in getting a fisheye lens to play with. There are some neat caverns you can get into which would look neat fisheye style. A good flash is also in the que for purchasing someday.

    Thanks again,
    -Brett
     
  6. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have am 8mm sigma fish, it’s a good lens and I like, but I now ithink i should have gone with the 14mm fish , I’ve been thinking lately about getting the Canon 14mm super wide (120 deg)
     
  7. kickbok

    kickbok TPF Noob!

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    wow, Zion. a really nice place. i recommend a circular polarizer to bring out the colour in the rocks. and as said. a tripod is a must!

    look at this guy's work. he has a gallery in Vegas but alot of his shots are from around there.

    www.peterlik.com

    there are a few of the park on my website too if you want to see. his are much better though :blushing:
     
  8. Dave_D

    Dave_D TPF Noob!

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    You should have fun there. I did. A wide angle lens would have been nice so if you have one, you're set.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    AirVenture - We should meet up some time. Maybe at next year's show at EAA convention, or some other event up in WI? SW and SC WI has some of the best motorcycling roads in the midwest.

    If you're at the far SW corner of the state, we're probably only about 3 hours apart.
     

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