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Author Topic: What More Do I Need for Yellowstone/Tetons?  (Read 3446 times)

jrtchris

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What More Do I Need for Yellowstone/Tetons?
« on: June 16, 2007, 03:02:00 pm »

I am a new DSLR owner of about two months and taking the camera for my first real trip.  Would really appreciate any advice or suggestions on what else I might need.  Here's what I've accumulated so far...

Sony A100
Sony 18-200mm lens
Hoya UV, Polarizer and warming filters for the 18-200
Tamron 200-500mm lens
am waiting on the arrival of the tripod (ordered yesterday!!!):
Bogen 3321WN with Acratech Ultimate Head
lightweight cheapy Walmart tripod for some hiking, where the other is too heavy
Lowepro camera fanny pack that accomodates the camera and short lens
hubby will carry the bigger lens in his pack
6GB of memory in (3) 2GB cards
Storm Jacket
cable shutter release
blower and lens cleaning stuff
little notepad and pen

And that's about it that I can think of. What else might I need? I am a little concerned about not having enough memory, but will shoot in jpeg and can go somewhere near the parks to burn to DVD, if needed. We may look into taking a laptop from work to view photos.

What about a filter for the Tamron?  Necessary?

We plan to do some of the "bear jam" stuff, where you cruise the roads, looking for cars pulled off, watching bears/wolves/bison, etc. and some shorter hikes.

Been a lurker here, but first time poster.  Hope to get some good advice!
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DarkPenguin

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What More Do I Need for Yellowstone/Tetons?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2007, 03:11:39 pm »

With a lens as dark as the tamron I think you'll want to skip the filter.  (Even with in camera IS.)
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wolfnowl

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What More Do I Need for Yellowstone/Tetons?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2007, 03:23:35 pm »

Quote
Would really appreciate any advice or suggestions on what else I might need.

Perhaps less concern over whether or not you have enough equipment!  Remember that the photograph is made by the photographer.  You can either wonder whether you've got 'enough' or you can look for inspiration within yourself to find amazing photographs with what you do have.  For years and decades and... people have been making photographs with one camera and one fixed lens.  There's no question that having good quality equipment can make a good photograph, but knowing how to use it wins every time...  Have fun with it!

Mike.
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jrtchris

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What More Do I Need for Yellowstone/Tetons?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2007, 03:46:44 pm »

Quote
Perhaps less concern over whether or not you have enough equipment!  Remember that the photograph is made by the photographer.  You can either wonder whether you've got 'enough' or you can look for inspiration within yourself to find amazing photographs with what you do have.  For years and decades and... people have been making photographs with one camera and one fixed lens.  There's no question that having good quality equipment can make a good photograph, but knowing how to use it wins every time...  Have fun with it!

Mike.
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I know what you mean.  I just mostly go around with my little ole Sony and my kit lens and am happy as a clam.  However, I sure don't want to get all the way out there and back home to find I have a bunch of blurry, dark photos, telling people "that's a bear, but you can't see him"...lol.    Believe you me, I have 1000s of practice shots logged into this camera already.  I'm addicted, bad.  You know it's bad when like today, I was up at 5AM because I wanted to take photos of mist by some river this morning...

Anyway, to me, I was thinking I had the gear to suit the trip, but being new to this, still want opinions on what others take that I am overlooking.
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DarkPenguin

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What More Do I Need for Yellowstone/Tetons?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2007, 04:00:11 pm »

Oh, I forgot to mention.  Something like the epson p5000 or wolverine mvp might solve your storage issues.
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davidh4976

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What More Do I Need for Yellowstone/Tetons?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2007, 11:11:57 am »

I would really suggest shooting in RAW.  This might be a once in a lifetime trip and in any event, the scenery is spectacular.  You will really appreciate the flexibility in working with RAW later.  That being said, if you can download your cards to a laptop each night, you'll have plenty of card storage.  

Even if you decide to shoot JPG, bring your laptop for storage and make sure your laptop has a correct card reader!  or bring a USB card reader.

For the filters, the polarizer can really add punch to photos.  I would definitely take it and use it as much as possible.  Keep an eye on the effect on the sky though.  At those altitudes, it is easy to rotate the polarizer to an angle where the sky just looks too blue.  If you are using a tripod, the light loss through the filter should not be a problem.  On some of the geyser pools, the polarizer helps cut through the surface haze and you can get some excellent photos of the underwater textures in the pools.

If you shoot RAW, the warming filter isn't needed since you can adjust the color temperature in post processing.  If you use the polarizer, you can skip the UV, too IMHO.

Take at least one extra battery pack.

You didn't say where you were staying, but if you are camping, you might want to take a inverter to plug into the car "cigarette lighter" outlet so you can power the laptop and recharge batteries.

And, the most important thing is to bring an alarm clock and get up real early for that dawn light!  You won't regret the impact that the dawn (and sunset) light will have on your images.

You're going to love Yellowston and the Tetons!

Have fun, David
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spotmeter

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What More Do I Need for Yellowstone/Tetons?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2007, 09:08:53 pm »

The biggest problem you will run in to is a dynamic range far greater than your camera can accomodate:  bright skies and dark foreground.   Here are a couple of solutions.

One is a graduated neutral density filter, which will darken the sky.  Unfortunately, when you have tall peaks in the photo, it will also darken the peaks.

A better solution is to make a number of exposures of the same scene.  You need to use your tripod for this.  Make one exposure so that your sky is exposed properly (use the histogram to be sure that all your highlights are within the histogram), then change the speed (not the aperture) and take additional exposures so that your foreground is properly exposed (all shadows are within the histogram).

When you get home, use the HDR feature in Photoshop or Photomatrix to blend the exposures and then fix the contrast to your liking.

Hang your backpack on the tripod when you shoot. The extra weight will give your camera and tripod stability.

Always shoot in RAW.  You will get much better resolution and smoother colors.

When shooting foliage, use a polarizer.  It will increase the saturation of your colors. As noted above, be careful when using on the sky. It can turn a sky too dark, especially at high altitudes.

I use a right angle finder on my DSLR.  I feel more comfortable looking down while composing my shot, and the finder magnifies the image.  I also carry a small plastic footstool.  I use it to sit while shooting close-ups at ground level, and to stand on when I raise my tripod to full height.  It looks a little silly, but is very useful.

Don't forget the mosquito repellant.
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macgyver

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What More Do I Need for Yellowstone/Tetons?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2007, 01:42:20 am »

Quote
I know what you mean.  I just mostly go around with my little ole Sony and my kit lens and am happy as a clam.  However, I sure don't want to get all the way out there and back home to find I have a bunch of blurry, dark photos, telling people "that's a bear, but you can't see him"...lol.    Believe you me, I have 1000s of practice shots logged into this camera already.  I'm addicted, bad.  You know it's bad when like today, I was up at 5AM because I wanted to take photos of mist by some river this morning...

Anyway, to me, I was thinking I had the gear to suit the trip, but being new to this, still want opinions on what others take that I am overlooking.
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That's great man, keep shooting and shooting and shooting.

"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." -Henri Cartier-Bresson
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wmchauncey

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What More Do I Need for Yellowstone/Tetons?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2007, 08:50:55 am »

Get a small voice recorder to record various notes, make it voice activated and hang it around your neck.
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