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Heroique
9-Feb-2014, 15:10
Like many here, you've probably suffered a calamitous moment or two in LF.

If so, it was probably a traumatizing experience (in an emotional sense), and the road to recovery was none too easy ... but now you're healthy again and a little bit wiser, too.

Perhaps part of the healing process was creating a simple, concrete tip so others might avoid your misfortune. Call it a way to lick self-inflicted wounds, and protect others from a similar fate. :D


Exhibit #1

Before you drive away from your shot location, double-check the ground on the passenger side (i.e., hidden side) of your car for any LF gear you may have put down while loading.

Let's just say that a Ries tripod is a terrible thing to abandon by a forest service road. You can imagine my horror when, many miles down the road, well after sunset, soon after switching on my headlights, I noticed the empty seat behind me. Distraught and agonized, I returned for the rescue, prepared for the worst. I remember the dread I felt with each winding curve. I was lucky this time there it was, in the growing darkness, exactly where I'd left it (though someone had apparently inspected it and moved it away from the edge of the road). The lonely tripod looked just as traumatized as I was. After promising I would never leave it behind again, it seemed to forgive me. I haven't forgotten it since and I hope by sharing this that you won't forget yours either!

Please tell us about your #1 tip and, if it was born out of a trial, maybe there's an entertaining story to go with it. Veterans who are grey want to hear it; so do beginners who are green.

So much to learn for a lifetime in our work...

Vaughn
9-Feb-2014, 15:40
Don't trust a waterfall to keep falling in the same place just because you asked it to pose for you.

Photographing near the base of Bridalvail Fall in February, I had the water nicely focused on the 8x10 GG. Then it disappeared. I took my head out from under the darkcloth, looked up and saw the water heading straight down at me. I just had time to cover the whole camera with the darkcloth and close the pack cover.

That was a lot of (cold) water! And in the shade! Thank goodness for the relative low-flow of winter! Happened two more times before I could get the film exposed. We spent lunch time just up the road with my camera gear (and me) drying in the sun on a rock wall.

I was set up in about the same spot as in this photo, but this photo was in October...even lower flow. 8x10 Carbon print.

gleaf
9-Feb-2014, 15:42
Waterfall Safety. The Moss is like grease. If your still standing it is luck not skill.

Heroique
9-Feb-2014, 16:20
Photographing near the base of Bridal Veil Fall in February…

That stunning boulder-filled shot reminds me what I learned, growing up, about hiking over rocks, wet or dry!

Lots of falls – skinned knees, sprained ankles, bruised shoulders (no broken bones).

As an adult, if I have to climb over uneven rocks (and there has to be a very good reason), I disassemble my Ries (J600) and strap it vertically to my Kelty Redwing pack...

However, if the going's not too rough, it's astonishing how well an assembled tripod, carried in hand, works as a "balancing pole" or "ballast." It becomes second nature to know where its weight is needed w/ each step.

Vaughn
9-Feb-2014, 16:35
Actually, my A100 Ries is a major climbing tool for me. I am always going off-trail. So what does one do with a 45+ pound 8x10 pack and a 4 foot drop? Put the legs of the pod (I always carry it with legs extended) on the lower level and put my weight on it for a controlled 'fall' down to the lower level. But yes, the weight of the pod becomes part of the balancing act!

Going up, I need to be able to set or toss the pod (gently) up to the next level if I need both arms/hand to climb up. Another thing I have learned when I have a large step to make (either going up or down) is to plant the pod at the next level before making the step -- that is 17 pounds I do not have to lift up with my legs, or have as a load on my knees going down.

Hiking in creeks, the pods helps to steady me and checks for water depth.

In the forest, etc, the pod gets held in front of me (vertically) to help part the "green shit" (berry vines, spider webs, etc) as I push my way through.

Jody_S
9-Feb-2014, 16:56
Stay off the ice in the spring. Especially if the water level in the river has changed.

Struan Gray
10-Feb-2014, 01:16
I've never had a calamitous moment with LF, but my fair share of epics when hiking and climbing. My three top tips would be:

1. Don't assume other people are as motivated as you are.

2. For gear, take generalist tools - on-site improvisation beats theory-based shopping.

3. Any fool can be uncomfortable - dress and eat well.

Bruce Barlow
10-Feb-2014, 04:46
1. Before making the picture you have framed, turn around and look behind you. There's probably a better one there.

2. When you start out photographing for the day, look at your watch, and after exactly 5 minutes, stop and make the best picture that you can, even if it's not wonderful. You'll see more and better pictures for the rest of the day.

That's 2. I can't decide which one is more important.

Vaughn
10-Feb-2014, 09:22
1...2...

I have found both to be true. With #2, I usually do not have to actually expose a sheet of film -- just setting up the camera and studying the GG is enough.

Kirk Gittings
10-Feb-2014, 09:26
Its a bit like fly fishing. While I prefer to catch a few fish, its not essential for a truly perfect experience.. There is something exquisite and deeply satisfying about a perfect cast.

ROL
10-Feb-2014, 10:10
Regarding #1 and #2 (always do both before heading out, and bring TP tip #3?), #1 is also my oft stated top tip, but number #2 is fascinating, for all the reasons already mentioned. Somehow with LF, I am not initially as selective with shots as with roll film, and will often take the shot, knowing all the while that the setup and time spent developing the negative will never be realized in a fine print. Priming the pump or simple enjoyment of process? Both, I suspect.

Kirk Gittings
10-Feb-2014, 10:14
I prefer to not practice routines except "be present"-take a deep breath, let go of all the crap that swirls around in my brain and experience my surroundings. I don't need to even take a photograph to have a great photographic experience and I don't bother to set up the camera unless I am really moved by something, because otherwise I will never print the image anyway and I don't need any more files full of images I'm not excited enough about to print. Edit before you waste film.

Preston
10-Feb-2014, 10:28
I prefer to not practice routines except "be present"-take a deep breath, let go of all the crap that swirls around in my brain and experience my surroundings.

This is where it's at: Letting go!

Being 'present' not only makes for better images, one will also maintain their margin of safety.

I do have a routine once I decide to set up the camera, but before that, I just wing it.

--P

C. D. Keth
10-Feb-2014, 10:34
You don't have to come home with anything.

Kirk Gittings
10-Feb-2014, 12:47
You don't have to come home with anything.

I agree with this if you are experienced. If you are new at this I think its imperative to get practice, lots of practice till it becomes second nature until you could say setup, meter and expose in a couple of minutes.

Struan Gray
10-Feb-2014, 13:12
1. Before making the picture you have framed, turn around and look behind you. There's probably a better one there.

Is this advice recursive? My inner grasshopper is feeling dizzy.

Jac@stafford.net
10-Feb-2014, 13:21
Falling over the tripod is a Bad Thing for the camera and yourself. I ended up in intensive care with a subdural hemorrhage this time last year from slipping on the ice, falling into the tripod. Wear these in the winter (http://s.gc1.co/is/image/Grainger/15F333_AA01). On the lake I use these (http://www.potsdampublicmuseum.org/gallery/sub14/IMG_8807_cropped.JPG). Not taking chances anymore.

I lose cable releases all the time, so, I keep a few spares in the truck and two in the pack. I did a retake last summer in a park. Set up the tripod and there in the grass was a cable release I lost on the first trip.

Heroique
10-Feb-2014, 16:42
1. Before making the picture you have framed, turn around and look behind you. There's probably a better one there.

I've noticed this too compositions are jealous of one another.

The one that has your attention tries to keep you from noticing others.

Like a jealous spouse.

ROL
10-Feb-2014, 17:22
I lose cable releases all the time, so, I keep a few spares in the truck and two in the pack. I did a retake last summer in a park. Set up the tripod and there in the grass was a cable release I lost on the first trip.

I have the small 6"-8" releases pre-installed on all my lenses. No futzing around, meaning there's always a spare.




P.S. Let me know when your next outing is. I can always use more.

Vaughn
10-Feb-2014, 20:39
There were some red Hama cable releases at one time at B&H-- easy for most of us to pick out in the grass.

Lightbender
10-Feb-2014, 21:36
Vaughn, there are quite a few falls named 'bridal veil' falls. Which one were you at?
-Nice shot by the way.



Don't trust a waterfall to keep falling in the same place just because you asked it to pose for you.

Photographing near the base of Bridalvail Fall in February, I had the water nicely focused on the 8x10 GG. Then it disappeared. I took my head out from under the darkcloth, looked up and saw the water heading straight down at me. I just had time to cover the whole camera with the darkcloth and close the pack cover.

That was a lot of (cold) water! And in the shade! Thank goodness for the relative low-flow of winter! Happened two more times before I could get the film exposed. We spent lunch time just up the road with my camera gear (and me) drying in the sun on a rock wall.

I was set up in about the same spot as in this photo, but this photo was in October...even lower flow. 8x10 Carbon print.

dsphotog
10-Feb-2014, 22:11
If there are no clouds in the sky, stay home and print.

Brian Schall
10-Feb-2014, 22:26
When backing up to get that perfect perspective, make sure you know what's around you.

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e310/r-brian/R-snakewidesmall.jpg

When I looked down, this guy was about 2 feet from my 2 feet.

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e310/r-brian/R-snakeclosesmall.jpg

Luckily it was October and he was happy on the warm rock.

Corran
10-Feb-2014, 22:50
Let's just say that a Ries tripod is a terrible thing to abandon by a forest service road.

A couple of years ago now, I left my Pentax Spotmeter on the side of the road after stopping to take a shot. I didn't realize it till next time I went to take photos and my meter was nowhere to be found. I used a different meter and kept looking, and looking, and finally figured out that I must have left it last time I shot 4x5...sure enough, over a week later I drove the 50 miles back out to where I was at the time, and there it was, just like I left it, no worse for wear despite having been in the rain and sun, etc., for a fairly long time. I was lucky, that time! I stopped putting the meter down on the ground after that...

Regular Rod
10-Feb-2014, 23:11
"There's no such thing as bad weather, only incorrect clothing..."



RR

Heroique
10-Feb-2014, 23:13
...I drove the 50 miles back out to where I was at the time, and there it was, just like I left it...

Reunited and it feels so good...

I've never left behind my Pentax digital, but once at a cliff's edge, I fumbled my Sekonic L-308s, watched it plummet 200-300 feet, then bounce between granite boulders like a pinball. I gave it up for lost.

Next day, I hiked down on a search-and-rescue mission, and to my delight, found it resting on top an 18%-gray rock! It had a glint off its lumisphere that seemed to say, "You needn't have worried, I've been enjoying a 15-ev sun bath."

Still works fine, but there’s a battle-scar on its bottom corner.

Corran
10-Feb-2014, 23:23
Wow, 200+ feet! I would never have guessed it'd still work.

Doremus Scudder
11-Feb-2014, 05:03
Let's just say that a Ries tripod is a terrible thing to abandon by a forest service road. You can imagine my horror when, many miles down the road, well after sunset, soon after switching on my headlights, I noticed the empty seat behind me....

I've never left behind my Pentax digital, but once at a cliff's edge, I fumbled my Sekonic L-308s, watched it plummet 200-300 feet, then bounce between granite boulders like a pinball. I gave it up for lost.



Heroique -- I've done this twice now. The first time was in Death Valley. The tripod was gone before I got back, a nice Manfrotto with a sturdy pan/tilt head. Luckily, I had a spare in the rig. I bought another Manfrotto in Las Vegas a week or so later; smaller and with a three-way universal head (pan/tilt without handles). I still have that one, but I did manage to walk a couple of miles down the coast one early morning and not realize till I wanted to set up my first photo that my trusty tripod was not in my hand! (Talk about absent-minded!) I hiked the couple of miles back to my car, and there it was, sitting patiently by the passenger's side, rolling its eyes... Checking for the tripod is high on my list now.

As for dropping the meter. I damaged an old Soligor spot meter once by dropping it off a cliff above the Green River (Quality Light Metrics fixed it right up though!) Since then, my spot meter goes on a lanyard that is long enough to get it to my eye, but short enough that the meter will not hit the ground if I drop it even when bent over. This has saved my Pentaxes a time or two and is my Tip #1.

@Vaughn: Your tripod use parallels mine; it doubles as machete too sometimes. I've wrapped the legs of mine in closed-cell pipe insulation, which really comes in handy as a cushion on sharp rocks every now and then while scrambling. I've taken to carrying a collapsible ski-pole/walking stick strapped to my pack as well. Sometimes I've got the tripod in one hand and the ski pole in the other for balance and extra push. The ski pole basket is wide and sturdy enough that I can lower my pack to the bottom of a drop (5-6 ft. max.) and then climb down without the weight.

Climbing down is always more difficult for me than climbing up, which brings me to Tip #2. Keep this latter in mind and don't get yourself into a position climbing up a wall or steep slope where you can't continue upward, but are in too precarious a position to get back down too. I've been in a tricky situation or two and once was very, very thankful that my hiking partner was close and could guide me in positioning my feet (which I could not see) for the downward climb. I would have never found the footholds any other way. I'm more cautious now.

Best,

Doremus

Bruce Barlow
11-Feb-2014, 05:42
Is this advice recursive? My inner grasshopper is feeling dizzy.

Make both. Film is cheap, the opportunity is dear.

Jerry Bodine
11-Feb-2014, 11:39
I've always carried my Gossen in a pouch on my belt that has a velcro closure on the flap. Never laid it down anywhere. The pouch serves as a holster; and that reminds me of the kid who said to his dad, "You wanna see my quick-draw?" Dad says, "Sure", and waits for the demonstration ... and waits ... and waits ... then says, "Well?" The kid says, "You wanna see it again?"

Struan Gray
11-Feb-2014, 12:43
Make both. Film is cheap, the opportunity is dear.

FWIW, because the atmospherics are highly unpredictable, I do tend to keep an eye on the whole horizon when photographing around sunset in N.W. Scotland. I know that certain sectors of the compass have certain sorts of effects and colours when things go right, but can never forsee which sector will go right on any particular night. I even go so far as to mentally note compass bearings (or pan head markings if I'm not moving) for various favoured combinations of skyline and/or coastline, so I can rapidly return to them if the action is good in that direction.

Vaughn
11-Feb-2014, 13:50
Vaughn, there are quite a few falls named 'bridal veil' falls. Which one were you at?
-Nice shot by the way.

Thanks, The only one I know of that is spelt Bridalveil Fall (one word) in the one that falls into Yosemite Valley, though there are probably others.

Doremus -- I would have gone thru several carbon fiber tripods by now. Wood tends to give a little rather than dent, break or permanently deform. I dented the upper leg of a 300 series Gitzo one time and could no longer push the inner leg up into it anymore. -- but it was replaced free by the company when the threaded portion of the leg snapped off.

I left my whole camera pack behind after taking this shot -- I had carried the camera on the pod down to the mission, which I rarely did at that time. I walked all around the mission, set the camera up in the front of the mission, composed and focused -- then reached down to grab my meter out of the pack -- no pack! At first I thought someone stole it while my head was under the darkcloth. Finally figured out what happened and retrieved my pack.

5x7 salt print:

C. D. Keth
11-Feb-2014, 14:03
I agree with this if you are experienced. If you are new at this I think its imperative to get practice, lots of practice till it becomes second nature until you could say setup, meter and expose in a couple of minutes.

Good addendum. Practice does make perfect for a while.

Vaughn
11-Feb-2014, 14:08
I was photographing in the redwoods and a herd of elk surrounded me as my exposure (many minutes) was happening. The ladies did not seem to mind me being there, so I completed the exposure. But I broke all records on taking the 8x10 down and getting it into my pack when the alpha male showed up and was not making happy sounds!

So my tip -- be aware of big animals with big pointy things on their heads!

Jody_S
11-Feb-2014, 14:28
So my tip -- be aware of big animals with big pointy things on their heads!

Including cows. I've been chased by a herd of milk cows.

Alan Curtis
11-Feb-2014, 14:43
About 20 years ago I was in White Sands NM. Head under cloth then hearing large animals running. I looked up and two Oryx were running by. Talk about pointy things. They weren't in the least interested in me, thank goodness.

Richard Wasserman
11-Feb-2014, 14:50
And swans. I was once confronted by a mother swan protecting her nest—I swear she was 6 feet tall...


Including cows. I've been chased by a herd of milk cows.

Heroique
11-Feb-2014, 14:53
...a herd of elk surrounded me.

...I've been chased by a herd of milk cows.

...I looked up and two Oryx were running by.

...I was once confronted by a mother swan protecting her nest—I swear she was 6 feet tall.

Tip #1 (when it's happening) – or Tip #127 (when it's not):

Tripod legs w/ spikes are good for warding off wild animals.

Later in the evening, after all the excitement, they're also good for roasting marshmallows over the camp fire.

I've done neither – but it's always wise to keep the potential of your gear in mind!

-----
Below is the humble Ries J600 tripod. Note the leg can be long for throwing, or short for stabbing. A versatile design indeed. If you throw it like a spear, remember you have three legs – so you have three chances to hit your mark.

Vaughn
11-Feb-2014, 15:21
Thanks for the reminder -- I need to sharpen mine -- they are well-rounded right now.

Tim Meisburger
11-Feb-2014, 20:11
Vaughn, I like your shot of San Xavier. My mother lives a few miles south of there in Green Valley, and when I visit I usually go at least one morning early, before everyone gets up, and shoot the mission around dawn. Its peaceful then. Sometimes we go to the early mass there, and then have indian flat bread.

Vaughn
12-Feb-2014, 01:08
Thanks, Tim. Missions are not my usual 'thing', but I was with a friend who wanted to photograph there, so I gave it a go. It must be almost 20 years since I have been there...does not seem that long ago, but my 5x7 was ripped off in 1995, so it was at least that long ago!

ataim
12-Feb-2014, 07:52
Check the weather before you go out and keep an eye on the skies. Around here in Texas "pop-up" thunderstorms can develop in a matter of minutes. If its a long hike or will be away from the car a long time be prepared. Water food and possibly an emergency blanket.

Drew Bedo
12-Feb-2014, 09:17
The best time to do landscape photography is when nobody else is , , ,before sunrise, just before it rains, just after it has snowed and during dinnertime. I think this is the principle summed up by ". . .f-8 and BE there!"

Another principle is, when you see the scene take the shot. Whenever you get the chance to go beck, the windmill will be gone, the barn will be painted, the snow will have melted etc. Get the shot when you see it . . .then go back and work the scene for good clouds, slanting sunlight etc.

Doremus Scudder
12-Feb-2014, 09:53
I was photographing in the redwoods and a herd of elk surrounded me as my exposure (many minutes) was happening. The ladies did not seem to mind me being there, so I completed the exposure. But I broke all records on taking the 8x10 down and getting it into my pack when the alpha male showed up and was not making happy sounds!

So my tip -- be aware of big animals with big pointy things on their heads!

Hilarious Vaughn!

Reminds me of a time backpacking. We found (what we thought) was a great spot for the tent, on a little rise between a couple of trees with a nice little trail down to the brook for water and up the hill to the ridge for views. Little did we know that that trail was the "Elk Highway" and that we would be repeatedly awakened by startled elk encountering our tent, snorting and stamping in confusion and then finding a noisy, brush crashing way around us. We moved the tent the next day.

Best,

Doremus

Megapixel
12-Feb-2014, 12:03
I will second the Kako ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip Traction System. The metal at the toe prevents it from sliding back and loosening (unlike the various YakTrax models I've used). Also it has grippers at both the heel and the toe; when walking those are the first and last parts of your foot to touch the ground and you do not want to slip at those moments.

Falling over the tripod is a Bad Thing for the camera and yourself. I ended up in intensive care with a subdural hemorrhage this time last year from slipping on the ice, falling into the tripod. Wear these in the winter (http://s.gc1.co/is/image/Grainger/15F333_AA01). [URL="http://www.potsdampublicmuseum.org/gallery/sub14/IMG_8807_cropped.JPG"] ...

David Lobato
12-Feb-2014, 13:05
Hilarious Vaughn!

Reminds me of a time backpacking. We found (what we thought) was a great spot for the tent, on a little rise between a couple of trees with a nice little trail down to the brook for water and up the hill to the ridge for views. Little did we know that that trail was the "Elk Highway" and that we would be repeatedly awakened by startled elk encountering our tent, snorting and stamping in confusion and then finding a noisy, brush crashing way around us. We moved the tent the next day.

Best,

Doremus

Some Ursine comments
1. Years ago I heard of backpackers who set their tent up in the dark after a night hike in. When they crawled in the for the night they felt a warm soft spot underneath the tent. In the morning they discovered a thoughtful bear had unloaded a pile of you-know-what prior to their arrival.

2. On a backpack trip with an old friend to Tijera Peak in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains we noticed every other backpacker party had large caliber handguns in ready access holsters. We weren't equipped like that and wondered what was up. When we found a location for our tent, there were several piles of "it" scattered around the wooded area. We hardly got any sleep that night, every little noise kept us wide eyed awake.

Jac@stafford.net
12-Feb-2014, 14:23
Some Ursine comments
1. Years ago I heard of backpackers who set their tent up in the dark after a night hike in. When they crawled in the for the night they felt a warm soft spot underneath the tent. In the morning they discovered a thoughtful bear had unloaded a pile of you-know-what prior to their arrival. .

In 1981 I rode my '56 Harley West with a few fellow bikers. At one point we rode the Interstate to exhaustion, pulled into a rest stop in the dark, chose an empty spot of grass, rolled our blankets and crashed into sleep.

When I awakened at sun-rise, groggy, still stupid, one eye opened, I saw me riding mates sitting several yards away laughing. I opens the other eye to see a sign pointing to my spot, PET RELIEF AREA.

Bikers, I tell ya.

sanking
12-Feb-2014, 14:36
I have five tips.

1. Always remember to take your tripod with you on a road trip.

2. Take along several cable releases as they seem to get lost.

3. Try to concentrate when you expose the negative and put the dark slide back. If you make a mistake, sacrifice a sheet of film, otherwise you may sacrifice two sheets and still lose the exposure.

4. Wear a shirt or jacket with many pockets and put stuff (exposure meter, viewer, etc.) in the pockets rather than on the ground.

5. Concentrate on your work, not on the curious folks who may be interested in your antiquated looking equipment.

Sandy

Kirk Gittings
12-Feb-2014, 15:28
Words of wisdom from real experience.

I would add 6) take twice as many loaded film holders as you think you will need: if you make a mistake or if the light is wonderful you will quickly run out of film otherwise. and 7) bring something to block the wind from your camera. I use a 24" white/silver light disk, which also is useful sometimes to reflect some light on close subjects. http://www.ebay.com/itm/60CM-5in1-24-Photography-Studio-Multi-Photo-Disc-Collapsible-Light-Reflector-USA-/310872358296

David Lobato
12-Feb-2014, 16:05
I get brightly colored cords and nylon line to use for lanyards. That makes it easier to find your light meter, loupe, or whatever else if it falls on the ground. I occasionally find camo covered items that someone else lost in the grass or weeds. Their loss is unfortunate.

Had a tripod bounce out of my pickup bed driving down from the Manti la Sal Mountains. Was almost back to Moab when I noticed. It was gone by the time I retraced my path back, but it turned out to be good luck in a twisted way. The tripod was poorly designed and the episode forced me to buy a far better one, and stow it more securely inside the truck.

Robert Langham
12-Feb-2014, 16:08
Get up. No matter where you are it will look better from a little higher. Stand on your camera case, climb on the car, use a little ladder, find a rock. Get up.

110356

Heroique
12-Feb-2014, 16:18
Get up ... Get up.

Robert's excellent "Get Up" tip sounds like a variation of Bruce's "Look behind you."

I would only add "Get Down!" to the growing list. ;^)

It's easy to overlook the fruitful possibilities of low (close-to-the-ground) tripod positions.

Bruce Barlow
12-Feb-2014, 16:49
Film is cheap.

I often stand there with my thumb on the cable release, thinking "Is this worth a sheet of film? Film is expensive!"

Then I think: "Lessee. I paid $80 for a hotel room last night, $10 for a mediocre breakfast. I spent $20 on dinner last night, and it cost me $30 in gasoline to get here."

Click.

Vaughn
12-Feb-2014, 16:53
But on the other hand, time is not cheap -- and I think, "Is it worth my time to process the film if I take this image?"

Or if I am away from the car all day and have only 5 to 7 holders, "Will there something more worthwhile around the corner for my last two holders for the day?" (I usually get back to the van at dark).

James Morris
12-Feb-2014, 17:23
Give each lens its own cable release and leave it attached.

David Lobato
12-Feb-2014, 18:17
Get up. No matter where you are it will look better from a little higher. Stand on your camera case, climb on the car, use a little ladder, find a rock. Get up.

110356

I studied many of Adams' photos and noticed that a high viewpoint was key to many of his compositions. His aspen tree photos immediately come to mind - take a look, the camera is often leveled, and is aimed at the centers of the tree trunks. (His antics on the truck top platform were not just for dramatic effect to entertain his companions) It's an excellent way to keep the sky out of a scene. I examine terrain to find advantage points of mesas, hills, cliffs, etc. I will hike up an opposite hill to look at aspen trees or coniferous trees for a better composition. It also affords more view of the surface of rivers and lakes, and of meadows and fields. Mueller State Park west of Colorado Springs has adjacent rolling hills that are an excellent example viewpoints of opposite hillsides. Study well composed landscapes and you will see the subtle effect of a high vantage point.

Vaughn
12-Feb-2014, 23:55
Hilarious Vaughn!

Reminds me of a time backpacking. We found (what we thought) was a great spot for the tent, on a little rise between a couple of trees with a nice little trail down to the brook for water and up the hill to the ridge for views. Little did we know that that trail was the "Elk Highway" and that we would be repeatedly awakened by startled elk encountering our tent, snorting and stamping in confusion and then finding a noisy, brush crashing way around us. We moved the tent the next day.

Best,

Doremus

When I developed the negative I expected to at least see blurry/ghost images of those lovely ladies. No sign of them!

After packing up the camera I took the most obvious route away from the ladies (and very young males), appearing as non-threatening as I could. I climbed over a couple of fallen redwoods (no an easy feat as they were ~ 8 feet in diameter), and that seemed to satisfy the bull.

While the spikes on my Ries were still sharp when this happened, I do not think the bull would have been concerned at all with my three puny 'antlers'. LOL! he had better on each side of his head!

(Thought I had posted this this morning -- guess not!)

gevalia
13-Feb-2014, 12:17
Do not skimp on proper hiking socks that wick sweat away from your feet and always carry a second pair.

Always carry dime store reading glasses.

Lenny Eiger
14-Feb-2014, 14:23
Set up and take your shot. I call this a reference shot. Then pick your tripod up and move closer.

And, as long as so many have mentioned Ansel Adams - look at some other photographers' work as well.

Lenny

Bruce Watson
15-Feb-2014, 09:39
1. Before making the picture you have framed, turn around and look behind you. There's probably a better one there.

Yes! I thought I was the only one who knew this ;)

My corollary is: Look at what everyone else is looking at (view, waterfall, whatever is at the end of the trail, etc.), then turn around and look in the opposite direction.

One of my favorite photographs is of this huge white rock standing alone at the edge of a cliff, surrounded by a dark, dense stand of trees. This in NY state, and the rock itself is looking at the waterfall that all the people came to see. I made a good photograph of the waterfall, but a great one of that rock. My wife hasn't let me take it down off the dining room wall since I framed and hung it.

John Kasaian
16-Feb-2014, 12:14
Don't try bribing the same ranger with counterfeit money a second time.

Bruce Barlow
16-Feb-2014, 14:19
But on the other hand, time is not cheap -- and I think, "Is it worth my time to process the film if I take this image?"

Or if I am away from the car all day and have only 5 to 7 holders, "Will there something more worthwhile around the corner for my last two holders for the day?" (I usually get back to the van at dark).

Once I'm home, what do I have better to do? Good music in the dark and I'm happy to slosh negatives. A few more won't matter.

Sometimes I have run out of holders, but not typically. I have many, and usually have them all near at hand.

Besides, somtimes I surprise myself. Wouldn't it be a bummer if I passed up what might have been a real keeper?

Drew Bedo
17-Feb-2014, 06:03
Because I am an IDIOT:

All my lenses and small bits are stored in Crown Royal bags (bought on e-Bay for ~ $1 each). When re-packing the camera bag . . .if there is an empty CR bag laying around, something is still out.

Clive Russ
17-Feb-2014, 08:36
To have energy for the creative parts of photography, less energy needs to be used on the routine parts. I run through the routine fast. F A S T: Focus, Aperture, Shutter, Think. For example, I hate exposing film at f/6.3 (Protar) because I forgot to close the aperture to f/22.

Vaughn
17-Feb-2014, 09:49
Once I'm home, what do I have better to do? Good music in the dark and I'm happy to slosh negatives. A few more won't matter.

Sometimes I have run out of holders, but not typically. I have many, and usually have them all near at hand.

Besides, somtimes I surprise myself. Wouldn't it be a bummer if I passed up what might have been a real keeper?

In a couple of years my time might be as easily spent developing negatives. You make a good point, but it is more motivating for me to develop negatives that I was emotionally involved with in the field. I do expose some film on what may be marginal compositions in the hopes of being pleasantly surprised. I like surprises. And I occasionally make an image that may have a low chance of success, but provides a bit of a challenge either technically or compositionally, or both.

And I do have to be aware of 'canyon fever' -- my urge to get as far into a canyon as I can go, unwilling to set up the camera because I need to see what is around the corner. There is no known cure, but I am on a 12-step program. When canyon fever hits, I take 12 steps and stop. I plant the tripod and take a good all around, then take another 12 steps. If you hear, "One step, two steps, three steps...twelve steps!" echoing down from a canyon in Death Valley next week -- that will be me.

My routine when using the camera is right before I pull the darkslide, I fire the shutter (this makes sure I closed the preview switch on Copal shutters) then re-cock it, or check that the lens cap is on my barrel lenses. I had already checked the aperture/shutter speed before I put in the darkslide, but I may double-check it before pulling the darkslide.

Jody_S
17-Feb-2014, 17:10
My routine when using the camera is right before I pull the darkslide, I fire the shutter (this makes sure I closed the preview switch on Copal shutters) then re-cock it...

+1 (don't ask...)

John Olsen
17-Feb-2014, 20:25
All of these are good reminders. Some of them might slide out of this grey head if I don't get reminded frequently.

As for me, I'm all for insurance exposures: You're there and waiting for the perfect light... go ahead and take one just to make sure you come back with something. Maybe it will work out, maybe it will be a chance to try a novel filter solution to a difficult condition.

Also, toss a crescent wrench in the truck for removing those pesky "speed limit/no parking" signs from a critical viewpoint. I'm not saying to remove a stop sign or anything, but a few minutes without a "deer crossing" sign isn't going to hurt anyone. A broom for cleaning roadside debris is nice, as is a step ladder. How about traffic cones?

And don't forget that anything that you stick in a pocket is going to pop out and roll over the cliff. That's what zippers and flaps are for. (Lens cap in a moat, rail knob over a cliff, static brush box into a canyon, etc.)

As for Pentax Spotmeters, I find that they are most likely to hide on top of your vehicle, not on the ground, so they can slide off when you drive away.

It's a good thing this is a hobby and not a job.

Heroique
17-Feb-2014, 23:40
And don't forget that anything that you stick in a pocket is going to pop out and roll over the cliff. That's what zippers and flaps are for. (Lens cap in a moat, rail knob over a cliff, static brush box into a canyon, etc.)

Yes, the last thing I do before I slip-on my pack is confirm all pockets are zipped shut.

My Kelty Redwing pack has side pockets that are famous for ejecting items when not zipped. My pack has proved the general rule. More than once. A compass here. A Swiss Army Knife there.

A confirming glance is now a habit whether I'm hiking w/ LF gear or not.

Bruce Barlow
18-Feb-2014, 05:55
I use a plain old canvas carpenter's apron. Home Depot, $1. Try to find a plain one, without the HD logo, which is way too orange.

On the right side, I've tied the nylon meter case that holds my Pentax Digital Spotmeter. It's tied to the apron string so that it doesn't slide. I have a lanyard attached to the meter and the apron that barely stops the meter from crashing on the rocks when I drop it, but is still long enough to let me use the meter. I have a thingie on the lens cap that wraps around the meter so I don't lose the lens cap, neither. It is easily accessible.

On the other side (which I think is left), I have a small digital camera case that holds a small Leatherman, screwdriver, extra meter battery, Post-Its (great for marking film holders), Lens Pen, and other small needed items. It holds my red Zone VI Exposure Notebook, occasionally available on eBay for $80. I use it to mark where I want to place the tripod when I'm seeking out a picture. Marking the spot beats carrying around a heavy camera and tripod, and being a geezer, the spot is rarely more than 100 yards from the van. You youngsters can go backpack.

The left pocket of the apron holds up to 5 unexposed 4x5 holders or 2 unexposed 5x7s. The right pocket holds up to 5 exposed 4x5 holders or 2 exposed 5x7s. The sides are not interchangeable - unexposed 4x5s jump out of the exposed side like magnets repelling each other. It's amazing to see. It's nice, though, because the camera operator is never confused, nor in the excitement of the moment makes an accidental overexposure.

This same operator was integrally involved in the development of the Zone VI apron, now available occasionally on eBay for about $50. He has the prototype. He uses the cheap canvas one, and vastly prefers it.

He has a classy one onto which he printed "Fine Focus Workshops" in a snazzy font. Sometimes when he is wearing it he is recognized on the streets and overwhelmed by flocks of beautiful women. Sometimes he is delusional.

But delusional or not, the apron works.