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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> The Grand Canyon - (& Scottsdale, AZ) Tips Please!
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09/07/2005 12:03:49 AM · #1
I'm off to the Grand Canyon this weekend for a few days. I've never taken any landscape shots. I have a Nikon D-100 with a AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D. Will this lens be sufficient? I also just bought a polarizing filter for the trip. Any advice regarding camera equipment, settings or specific locations that I shouldn't miss would be greatly appreciated!!

I'll also be spending the second half of the week in Scottsdale. I'm planning on visiting the Pheonix Zoo, TPC Scottsdale and catching a Arizona Diamondbacks game (I'm pretty comfortable shooting sports). Anyone have any suggestions for good locations around Scottsdale or Pheonix?

Thank You!

Brian

09/07/2005 12:12:01 AM · #2
This where I'll be heading to in November when I visit the grand canyon

Waterfalls
09/07/2005 12:26:49 AM · #3
Wow! The falls look great. Have you been there before? How far a hike is it from the parking lot to the falls (I wouldn't have asked that question 10 years ago :-(
09/07/2005 12:33:58 AM · #4
Originally posted by ltb2738:

Wow! The falls look great. Have you been there before? How far a hike is it from the parking lot to the falls (I wouldn't have asked that question 10 years ago :-(


It's a 10 mile hike down and a 10 mile hike back up. Luckily, if your to tired or not wanting to walk and or carry gear you can rent a pack mule. Most people hike down and rent the mule to carry their gear back up.

I've never been there, just dreamed of it for a few years.

Message edited by author 2005-09-07 00:34:28.
09/07/2005 12:48:27 AM · #5
Maybe I'll check into if they have one of those helicopter days trips down there! The trip down wouldn't be too bad but I can't even see myself sitting on a mule for 10 miles back up!

Have a great time in November. I'll be waiting to see those pictures!!

09/07/2005 12:51:04 AM · #6
Do you have a Graduated Neutral Density filter? Those can be very useful in high-contrast scenes where you risk either overexposing the sky or underexposing the land.
09/07/2005 12:59:49 AM · #7
I don't have one but I'll get one before I go. I would not have thought of it. Thanks Justin!
09/07/2005 01:10:20 AM · #8
If you don't want to buy one, you could always bracket exposures on a tripod. Then assemble them in photoshop.
09/07/2005 01:20:18 AM · #9
It is hard getting good images from the visitor lookouts :)

I think the best images I have seen come from down in the Grand Canyon itself.

Here are a couple I took when we were there last year.

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We really enjoyed all the Mule Deer:

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Be sure to drive SLOW on the winding roads through the canyon and check out all the deer! And be prepared to stop quick if the car ahead of you decides to stop and check out the deer. They can create quite a backup with traffic :)
09/07/2005 01:28:24 AM · #10
I did not have this image here on DPC.

What is interesting is to watch all the people climbing down the lookouts and onto the rocks to get that one nice shot!

Back up just a little more dear!

LOL

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Down in the village at the hotel we stayed at the Elk love to show up and check out the area.

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09/07/2005 01:42:46 AM · #11
I'm getting dizzy just looking at the people on the rocks. You wont find me out there. That picture of the mule deer is very nce.

Brent - I will be bring a tripod and will be BLH. I don't have a lot of experience in Photoshop but will be learning it more once the snow starts flying here in upstate New York. I'll be sure to bracket so I have some pictures to work with.
09/07/2005 01:56:45 AM · #12
Watch the sqirrels there, they can be very agressive! :)

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09/07/2005 01:57:34 AM · #13
I'm suppose to be up in Syracruse october 15th. Not for sure yet, but I think so. How's the foliage going to look?
09/07/2005 02:17:41 AM · #14
MeThoS - The foliage will be close to peak around that time. Last year at that time I had to drive through Syracuse up to Fort Drum to see my brother off to Iraq. I couldn't really appreciate the colors at the time. I'm sure I missed a lot that weekend :-(

briphoto - That "Lightning Strikes" photo is just spectacular!! I've voted over 13,000 times and have given only about a dozen perfect 10's. You have one of them! What a great shot!!

Message edited by author 2005-09-07 02:19:16.
09/07/2005 02:47:43 AM · #15
Originally posted by ltb2738:

I'm off to the Grand Canyon this weekend for a few days. I've never taken any landscape shots. I have a Nikon D-100 with a AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D. Will this lens be sufficient? I also just bought a polarizing filter for the trip. Any advice regarding camera equipment, settings or specific locations that I shouldn't miss would be greatly appreciated!!

I'll also be spending the second half of the week in Scottsdale. I'm planning on visiting the Pheonix Zoo, TPC Scottsdale and catching a Arizona Diamondbacks game (I'm pretty comfortable shooting sports). Anyone have any suggestions for good locations around Scottsdale or Pheonix?

Thank You!

Brian


Well, about an hour north of here (I live in Mesa) there's a place called payson, and maybe 15 minutes north of that there's a natural land bridge where I took many pictures with my D70... It's pretty amazing. There are a few waterfalls there also. The Park is part of Tonto National Park, but it's kind of tucked away, so you'd have to look carefully for the signs. Once you're down at the actual park, it looks like Nova Scotia or something, the place is covered with trees and steep hills/mountains. It's amazing.
09/07/2005 02:53:32 AM · #16
Originally posted by justin_hewlett:

Do you have a Graduated Neutral Density filter? Those can be very useful in high-contrast scenes where you risk either overexposing the sky or underexposing the land.


Great idea.
09/07/2005 08:17:34 AM · #17
I head out tomorrow to Las Vegas from Toronto. I am sure excited about the helicopter trip I book. It's landing in the caynon for a photo shoot. I will post picks when I get back.
09/07/2005 01:31:47 PM · #18
Sprite - that sounds like a nice place. I'll have to check the map to see if it's an option.

Corwyn - I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures. Have a great time! Thats something I would like to look into; a helicopter ride with an hour or two stop at the bottom of the canyon!!
09/07/2005 01:35:29 PM · #19
One place to absolutely not miss if you're going to be around Grand Canyon is Antelope Canyon. It's around a 3 hour drive from Grand Canyon (it's near Page, Arizona), but absolutely worthwhile. One of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

09/07/2005 02:09:18 PM · #20
arpita - I just did a google on Antelope Canyon and it looks awesome! Thanks for the tip!
09/07/2005 02:10:33 PM · #21
The helicopter ride was more then my flights to Las Vegas. This is sad but for 4 1/2 hours of flight and time in the canyon I thought why not. We only live once right.

Originally posted by ltb2738:


Corwyn - I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures. Have a great time! Thats something I would like to look into; a helicopter ride with an hour or two stop at the bottom of the canyon!!


Message edited by author 2005-09-07 14:11:10.
09/07/2005 02:17:05 PM · #22
I disagree with the fact that you cannot get good photos from visitor lookouts... my best shots were taken from the rim.

Both of these shots were taken from the same lookout point on the same evening looking in opposite directions.

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I would definitely invest in a polarizer and a 2- or 3-stop graduated neutral density filter (preferably in a square mount) as these will prove incredibly helpful.

Lee
09/07/2005 02:21:49 PM · #23
Natural Bridge near Payson is a great place to spend the day, but the bridge is so big it's really hard to get photos of it that show how cool it really is.

Don't go to Havasupai unless you have multiple days to spend down there. Far too much to see for a day trip. Also, I canceled a trip down there last spring because I heard a horror story from a guy that had just gotton back. Talk to someone that has been there recently before going. Theft, trash, crowds and human waste can be a big problem there. It's on Indian reservation and you will need to get a permit.

You can get great photos anywhere at the grand canyon, but be sure to plan on doing most of your shooting around sunrise and sunset. Also, walk along the rim, most people don't go to far from the parking lots. You can get away from the crowds and find a place all to yourself. If you plan on hiking, realize that going up is much more difficult then going down. On your way down you'll see a sign that basically says you can die there, don't go beyond those if you are not a pretty serious hiker. If you are planning on hiking it, let me know and I'll tell you my favorite hikes/places.

Page is a photographer heaven. I'd chose a weekend trip to Page over the Grand Canyon anyday. Antelope canyon is a must do (remember that the Indians their will negotiate entry fee if it's not that busy) but there are other things there equally impressive and many more slot canyons to explore. Park your car anywhere and walk, and you will find amazing things. Warning though, it's still pretty hot in the page area.

Message edited by author 2005-09-07 14:25:11.
09/07/2005 03:39:29 PM · #24
I almost forgot!!!

You should check out the Boyce Thompson Arboretum this weekend too!
//arboretum.ag.arizona.edu/

Their artist of the month is a very cool photography club (started and ran by a really great guy) with 40 of their images on display: //arboretum.ag.arizona.edu/featuredartist.html

Seriously, it is a great place to spend a day shooting and probably just over an hour form Scottsdale.
09/07/2005 04:30:16 PM · #25
Make sure you visit some of the indian ruins scattered between meteor crater and sunset crater volcano. Not many visitors and just some opportunities for some great shots.
The Apache Trail is definetly a fun & scenic drive. I wouldn't miss that.
Boyce Thompson is also good but I hardly ever go because they charge an entry fee...

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