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Thread: My trip for fall colors

  1. #1
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    My trip for fall colors

    Synopsis of my trip to Crested Butte this week. Images to follow soon.

    First had t I use my dslr for a light meter as my light meters were being calibrated. Ok. So, I just get my 4x5 back after repairs from being blown over by a rogue wind. This afternoon, I was photographing an awesome valley in Colorado when I turned to get a another lens. I hear a thud and turned to see camera on ground again. Dented gg holder and got dirt every where. Although, most of the damage is cosmetic one piece may need to be replaced. I think it was from last time though.

    Cleaned up, proceeded to take picture. While composing, I went to use front tilt and it was taking a lot and not focusing right. Everything is parallel, etc.

    Tried some real back tilt instead and everything came to focus as planned. I was thinking wth! Then I realized the valley was actually well below me and sloping up to mountains. In a weird way that makes sense now.

    But still, blown over by a wind twice in a row!? Maybe I should take up needle point, not. I never give up. God is trying to teach me something. I must not be hearing yet.

    Disassembled camera, nothing damaged except for some cosmetic stuff. The bed is delaminating a tad, but that is a different story. I seem to have escaped a catastrophe 🙏

    So, the end of my trip was not bad for not shooting in 2 months. Had one sheet ended up on outside of darkslide when I put back in after shot. Kinda surprised as I check each holder as I put film in by removing and reinserting each slide at time of film load. Only other casualty was I partially pulled back a slide exposing about a 1/4 in of exposed film. Mean I probably lost about third of a heet overall. This trip I took 2 frames of each scene. My 6th sense told me to do that.

  2. #2

    Re: My trip for fall colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ruttenberg View Post
    But still, blown over by a wind twice in a row!?
    Look forward to the images...I'm assuming the aspens were near their peak?

    At any rate, one of you engineering types ought to try to calculate the different center-of-gravity between a carbon tripod and one made out of wood, assuming the same height/leg angles, etc. It might be that there's just no substitute for mass--especially in the legs--irrespective of "load rating." (FWIW, I've got a burly 4-series Induro that has a load rating of nearly three times that of my Ries, but the latter feels much more solid to me--though of course it comes with a three-pound weight penalty.)

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: My trip for fall colors

    Good field report Steven, I also hope your images are good.

    As for heavy tripods, we do need to able to get it to location.

    and I have used a bag of rock...
    sin eater

  4. #4
    Foamer
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    Re: My trip for fall colors

    In the Dakotas the wind blows trucks off the highway and has twice blown trains off the track. I use a heavy Berlebach tripod on those days and set up with legs spread and no extension.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  5. #5
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: My trip for fall colors

    Light tripods are great...right until the camera falls over. Surveyors knew what they were doing: heavy tripods with big spiked feet that go into the ground. But they are a pain to carry around, but if it's not that far, that's what I use. If that won't work, put weights (rocks?) on the legs, or bungee the centercolumn to a pack, which is just resting on the ground, such that it doesn't act like a pendulum. Another option would be to pound tent spikes into the ground and put parachute cord to the top of the tripod, just as you would for a tent. Finally, when windy, keep everything really close to minimize the time that you're away from the camera.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  6. #6
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: My trip for fall colors

    I sometimes use this filled with rocks...
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    Re: My trip for fall colors

    I feel your pain. A gust of wind can be pretty strong. I'd wouldn't want to take long hikes carrying around a tripod that could withstand that contingency by pure mass alone though. I use what I think most would call an undersize tripod for my gear. If I don't raise the tripod up high and spread the legs out more, I get by just fine most of the time. I can hang my camera bag on the tripod if I need to.

  8. #8
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: My trip for fall colors

    So, it is not so much the mass of the tripod is it is the foot print of the tripod. Ie, if you place the tripod with the point of the triangle at the front and the wind blows directly towards you, it will easily tip over quite irrespective of the weight depending on how far apart the legs are. In the end, all you can do is place the tripod, oriented as best as possible with the widest practical spread of the legs and also add weight underneath, but that can be problematic with the rocks or whatever swinging below the camera which will add vibration to the camera. A best approach for anchoring the tripod would be to use a tent spike or one of those corkscrew tings for a dog leash anchor when out camping or at a park. This way you can use a small rope to cinch the tripod down to the spike/corkscrew very tightly and using spikes for feet. The sad thing is, I had a tent spike and rope just for that purpose and did not think to get it out, nor take note of which way the wind was predominantly blowing.

    The Kebler Pass and Ohio Pass were still at or just past peak. There were patches of Aspens with no leaves at all. I should have been there about 2-3 weeks earlier. All areas would have been at peak. Next year I am going for a week to hike to places as well as drive at the tail end of Sept, beginning of Oct.

    I should be developing the film this week and if the issues with the latest version of Vuescan are fixed, I will be able to post up some of the images. I had one, I took after sunset, hoping for color on the horizon opposite of the sun. It started showing pink to my right and to about half way to scene I was shooting. The blue picked up some. I started the exposure as soon as it appeared to be falling off for 3:47 seconds or so. Hopefully it will turn out. That shot had no filters, but the others had an 81B to hopefully warm up a bit and accentuate the colors of the leaves. Guess we will see if I succeeded or f'd up the images.

    Ps, I am one of those engineer types that actually analyze structure for static capabilities and stability. Smarts don't always translate to common sense

  9. #9

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    Re: My trip for fall colors

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ruttenberg View Post
    A best approach for anchoring the tripod would be to use a tent spike or one of those corkscrew tings for a dog leash anchor when out camping or at a park. This way you can use a small rope to cinch the tripod down to the spike/corkscrew very tightly and using spikes for feet. The sad thing is, I had a tent spike and rope just for that purpose and did not think to get it out, nor take note of which way the wind was predominantly blowing.
    While I agree this approach is helpful when it comes to keeping tripods from blowing over -- many years ago, I watched in horror as a sudden gust of wind nearly blew my $$$$ Contax 645 / Phase One P30+ combo over the edge at Horseshoe Bend! -- I find it also conflicts with the "take only photos, leave only footprints" ethos I always try to practice whenever I am photographing landscapes. This is especially true if one uses a corkscrew-type spike, which tends to disturb the ground quite a bit more upon removal than a plain, tent-type spike does.

    As a result, I am now much more careful and cautious about leaving my camera unattended if there's any wind blowing. I can't say I never do it, but more often than not, I now remove the camera from the tripod if I have to step away from it for any length of time and beyond arm's reach. But that's just me and YMMV!
    JG

    More of my photos can be seen at my photo-blog here: https://audiidudii.aminus3.com/

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: My trip for fall colors

    Bummer about the camera taking a header. F**k photographing in the wind! Of course I was just photographing with my ancient 5x7 down in Southern Chile/Patagonia during the windy season. I had a Gitzo Reporter with a Bogan 3-way head...a little heavier than the camera. I had to find places out of the wind and just plan around the wind as best as possible...and enjoy being there when the weather said no photos today.

    I would have preferred to have worked with the Gitzo Studex (next size up) and larger 3047 head, but I had a hard enough time keeping up with my boys and lugging everything through airports! Most of the time I just sent the boys ahead anyway...easier to photograph that way. I took the latter set of legs and head to NY last May and photographed with the 5x7...felt nice and solid. For the 8x10 and the 11x14, my Ries always feels solid...the leg system is adaptable to most ground I find myself on. Of course the cameras act like box kites in the wind. While I am a wide body sort of fellow, that's good enough to block the wind from my 5x7, perhaps the 8x10, but not the 11x14.

    Bicycling in NZ, I had the Gitzo Studex and a Gitzo No.2 ballhead for my 4x5. It proved to be good combo...the camera was 2.5 pounds with the lens on it, and the pod was close to 3 times that (7 lbs or so). Seems to me I had to wait a long while between calm periods there, too! Here at home under the redwoods, a slight breeze keeps the camera in its bag. But with luck, a bit of patience, a feel for the winds, storm systems, and the time of day, I manage to find enough calm for my long exposures.

    Along the Merced River in Yosemite Valley. 8x10 Platinum Print
    Mid-morning before the up-canyon winds begin.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Oak, Pine, Rock.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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