View Full Version : dumb questions, dumb comment.

Joseph O'Neil
12-Jun-2005, 08:41
Two dumb question, one comment/observation

1) Although I live in Canada, I have family in Colorado Springs I plan to visit this August. I'll be travelling with my wife & children, so no serious 0ff roading travel. Never been to this area before. What would people reccomend for shooting? I also plan to visit the Grand Canyon, for the kids. (okay, me tto :). Yes, it's a full day away from the Colordao Springs area, but hey, we do the long road trip thing. Already have three, 3,000 mile + trips under our belts in the past 4 years. So what to go for bewteen the G.C and Col. Springs area?

2) The Toronto Large Format soceity never seemed to get off the gorund. They announced one meeting, and then the web site went down. Anybody know of any other LF groups in SW Ontario? I know there are other LF shooters around here - View Camera magazine sells out quick at the one local newstand that carries it. Might be neat to met up with some other LF shooters locally someday.

BTW - yes, there is a local camera club, and no, I am not interested in them. 20 years ago I lasted maybe 6 months there. I am just not into the competition thing.

3) an observation. I think there's a real resurgence in LF overall. Bear in mind, for every one person going LF, there are probally a million (or gazillion :) going digital. Still, 20+ years ago I would visit the used camera shows in Toronto, Detriot, etc, and you could buy used lens boards for the Speed or Crown Graphic for 25 cents - and they had them stacked high like egg cartons or something. Now, if you are lucky enough to find one - well, last one at a camera show in Toronto - $30, and it looked like somebody ran it over a few times with a cement truck. :)

Anyhow, I used to be able to find used LF gear at the camera stores in the area. Not much, to be fair, and sometimes what was there looked pretty beat up, but now there's nothing at all. Anything LF used gets snapped up. A local camera store just sold a used Crown Graphic, 2x3 size - went for around $500 Cdn. More power to the new owner if he plans on cutting his own film, but ten years ago I picked up a mint condition Crown Graphic, German Xenar lens, for $200. (Sold the Xenar, now have a nice Rodenstock Sironar 135mm in it's place. :)

Also, the local camera stores are filled with used - and very good - pro gear in both 35mm and MF. Usually you just saw some old beatup Mamyia if you wanted anything used in MF, now there's stuff there in excellent shape, for not bad good prices - well, compared to new or used prices even 5 years ago.

I mention this becasue an earlier thread talked about how many new LF cameras are sold ever year. I wonder if used sales aren't eh real indicator, and the fact that while prices for used 35mm and MF gear appears to be static if not falling in some places, prices for used LF gear - when you can find it - seems to be rising.

Sorry to ramble on so long, haven't finished my moring coffee yet. :) anyhow, enjoy reading all you guys, I learn a lot here. thanks

steve simmons
12-Jun-2005, 10:24
Try the Garden of the Gods and Victor, CO. Both are close to Colorado Springs. In New Mexoco try Chaco Canyon (early and late in the day. This time of the year it is warm and dry during the mid day. There is a campground. Think about Chama NM for the old train yard. Mesa Verde is wonderful on SW Colorado.

Just some thoughts.

steve simmons

Eric Biggerstaff
12-Jun-2005, 10:38
Out of Colorado Springs you have LOTS of options, depending on what you want to budget for drive time.

As Steve said, right in Colorado Springs is the Garden of the Gods, well worth a visit. Victor is a cool old mining town and Al Weber has his summer photo school there, located in the old Victor publich school. He always welcomes visitors and besides the mining town (old buildings, equipemtn, ect) there are canyons to explore. Give yourself an hour to get there from the springs.

You are also not far from the Royal Gorge down by Pueblo and the Great Sand Dunes are only 2 1/2 hours from Colorado Springs to the south. The "Highway of Legends" which drive around the Spanish Peaks has several old Spanish Morada's to explore and some interesting scenery around the Purgatory River Valley. This is about 2 hours south of the Springs.

To the North, Rocky Mountain National Park is about 3 hours but Eldorado Springs Canyon by Boulder, CO and Boulder Canyon also by Boulder, CO are excellent areas to explore.

There is SO much around there that I would suggest betting a good guide book, the best being "The Colorado Guide" which will guide you to spots (not jsut photography) all around the state. It is available on Amazon.

Those are just a few ideas, hope you have a great trip.


Eric Leppanen
12-Jun-2005, 10:57
Monument Valley is just a half hour's drive off of US 160 in northeastern Arizona, which I assume will be the road you'll be taking from Colorado Springs to Grand Canyon. You can either drive the family car into the monument (limited to certain areas) or take any of several tours, out of both the visitor center (Tom Phillips is one of the main local guides: www.monumentvalley.com/Pages/english_tours.html (http://www.monumentvalley.com/Pages/english_tours.html)) or the nearby Gouldings Lodge (www.gouldings.com/english/tours.htm (http://www.gouldings.com/english/tours.htm)). There is a campground at the visitor center, plus accomodations at both Gouldings and Kayenta.

Canyon de Chelley (in eastern Arizona) is also a great destination for a short visit. The short hike down to White House Ruin can be done in 2+ hours and is a great family outing (gazing up that enormous cliff face from the bottom of the valley is a big thrill; best time is early to mid afternoon). Spider Rock Overlook is also nearby and is best photographed in the late afternoon. Here is an overview: www.desertusa.com/ind1/du_cdctodo.html (http://www.desertusa.com/ind1/du_cdctodo.html). There is camping within the monument plus accomodations at nearby Chinle.

Duane Polcou
12-Jun-2005, 11:28
If you make it to the Grand Canyon, may I recommend visiting the North Rim versus the South - much cooler temperatures, far fewer people. Catch sunset at Cape Royal viewpoint on the Walhalla Plateau, and go for a day hike on the Widforss trail which skirts the edge of the Transept (a side canyon). Even though it is far more remote than the more-visted South Rim, do not take for granted you can find accomodations. Visit americansouthwest.net for info on the Grand and all things Southwest.

12-Jun-2005, 11:31
um ... what are you interested in photographing? do you want to make postcards and calendar pictures? do you want to make landscapes of what's characteristic in those parts? do you want to explore what the local colorado springs landscapes reveal about about broader goings on in the west?

i'd suggest showing up and driving around with an open mind. for what it's worth, the pueblo area just south of the springs has always struck me as fascinating. a few hours south in the san louis valley everything is stunning and much of it complex .. i'd budget much more than a day trip ot go there. if you head east of the springs you can get a look at the odd areas where the great plains meet the front range megalopolis.

Rich Long
12-Jun-2005, 17:37
Looks like you have some good advice already. If heading from the Springs to Grand Canyon, consider taking the shortest (milage) but longer (time) route through the San Juan mountains in southwest Colorado. There is so much scenery and so many interesting side trips between here and there that you could easily turn a 14-hour drive into a 5-day road trip.

If you're looking for nature photography opportunities, you might poke around a little over at Colorado Nature Photographers (http://colorado.naturephotographers.net) There are several of us local LF guys hanging out there regularly.

Other than what's been mentioned, one of my favorite outings is from Springs to Buena Vista (Hwy 24), then over the continental divide at Cottonwood Pass, to the Taylor Reservoir and on to Crested Butte. Return via Gunnison, Monarch Pass, Salida, along the Arkansas River (all Hwy 50) to Canon City, then back to the Springs. I generally camp somewhere around Crested Butte and make it a 2-day photo excursion.

John Kasaian
12-Jun-2005, 18:08
Should you find yourself in Loa, Utah you're no doubt lost but at least theres a good place to eat: The Road Creek Inn where you can order anything you want as long as its fresh trout. Should you find yourself at Bullfrog Basin the Indian Tacos are IMHO, worth the cholesterol. In Sante Fe, Tomasita's(or is it Tomsina's? Its been awhile!) in the old Santa Fe RR Depot is a great place for (New) Mexican food.

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is magical. Buena Vista, Colorado is probably going to be in your neck of the woods and would be an interesting stop---IMHO places named Buena Vista are good places for landscape photography (unless of course, they're located in Southern California!)

Have fun! Take lots of photos & eat well!

12-Jun-2005, 19:20
"IMHO places named Buena Vista are good places for landscape photography"

just bear in mind that this one is pronounced "byoona vista."

Eric Biggerstaff
12-Jun-2005, 19:38
Almost forgot, another good spot right in Colorado Springs is Hunt Falls. It is about 20 minutes from downtown and is a pretty drive up a narrow canyon to a very nice falls. From the small parking area there are easy trails all around the creek and falls. There are really nice details you can work and as the water is high this year the falls will be very nice as well.

Have a great trip.


Jim Ewins
12-Jun-2005, 23:15
If you go to Canyon de Chelly consider hiring a Navajo guide who will take you into the canyon. Some of the guides are photographers and know the great locations and can get you to White house without the hike. The North rim especially has great views of ruins. Two days is good three is better (one with the guide)

Struan Gray
13-Jun-2005, 00:47
I've only spent a little time in Colorado, but here's a couple of ideas. 1. Great Sand Dunes National Monument is close by if you want a simple day trip. 2. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison would make a nice comparison to the Grand Canyon.

Ok, OK, I'm a climber, but I'd take the Black Canyon every time. I'm amazed it gets so little press in the photography world. Still, it does mean you'll get the overlooks to yourself.

William D. Lester
13-Jun-2005, 07:42
Hello Joseph

There are a few of us in the Windsor area. I also quit the local camera club a couple of years back as it has largely become a computer club. Large format seems to be on the increase here and there are also a number of users in the Detroit area. Locally, darkroom supplies are becoming scarcer and I purchase a lot of my stuff over the internet from the US. I'm told locally that the minimum orders from Kodak and Ilford are now so high that they only order once or twice a year and one store has been cut off by Kodak as they don't meet the yearly minimum. Seems like the distributors here in Canada are kinda shooting themselves in the foot.

Sharon S.
13-Jun-2005, 16:00
Just a thought: If you decide to go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon as well, you might want to make a loop through Utah and go to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and back over I70 to Denver. If you go on I70, you can also hit Canyonlands National Park as well as Arches National Park...spectacular stuff.

Have fun!

Peter Hruby
15-Jun-2005, 13:50
Hi Joseph,

I live in SW Ontario, Welland. If you want contact me off-site.

Patricia Langer
16-Jun-2005, 10:26
Joseph, I live in Innisfil, just south of Barrie.