Alaska Pictures

March 25, 2008 5:14 PM | Alaskan Photo Tours

alaska pictures
Tips on how to take good pictures of the landscape? (With an SLR)?

I'm going on vacation to New Zealand and Alaska … I heard you have great landscapes and I really regret not taking photos. I have an SLR camera, but I'm not really sure what kind of equipment to carry.

Sounds like fun! If you are doing a lot of hiking, I recommend the following: – Find a good, solid tripod … preferably carbon fiber because they are lighter. Most of these tripods allow you to connect a counter (like a backpack) to provide additional stability. Gitzo are good but expensive, there Benro call a Chinese brand that has the same specifications as a Gitzo, but at a third the price. At home, I use Bogen / Manfrotto legs, but when I travel, I use the Benro … is great, but one wonders if Gitzo intellectual property has been compromised. Avoid plastic tripods … tilt and vibrate in the wind. – Find a good bag or backpack – Try in the first store before buying (I've been through dozens before finding one that matched my needs.) Begin with Lowepro or Tamrac. Most of the packs should have covers for your tripod. Be careful not to buy a bag or backpack that is bigger than you need, or is proportionally greater than the size or strength … in the long walks, large bags will have its consequences. To shoulder bags, I like the Lowepro Nova AW and Lowepro Magnum AW series if I have a lot equipment. For a pure camera bag, I settled on the Lowepro AW Microtrekker. For a hybrid camera bag and backpack, I like the Tamrac Adventure series … but this camera system is minimal. If there are hiking, you may prefer the shoulder bag over the backpack. Objectives: Unless you really need to travel with light weight, avoid using the zoom lens that comes in a kit of the camera (if available). Instead, consider a higher quality zoom lens or a fixed prime. These can be rented if you are unsure about the purchase. Large (~ 28 mm). Std 35-50mm and a telephoto lens of 200 mm. I guess you may not use the tele much. Avoid fish eye All lenses unless you like that look. Prime lenses offer the advantage of better sharpness overall end to end and usually with greater openness, however, some the more expensive zooms can compete with that. Another small advantage is that the main lens can often show the hyperfocal range right into the lens with a zoom … is to be calculated using a table of hyperfocal distances. When using the wide, avoid the temptation to capture "everything" … drafted carefully and surface elements that are interesting or not to contribute to your vision. Hoods: Get the proper campaign for your contacts and use them whenever you can (even indoors). Bells help reduce stray light hitting the surface of the lens … stray light can jeopardize its contrast or cause flares. exhibitions: Familiarize yourself with the zone system (see link). If you do not have time for that, learn to use the camera function of bracketing if available. Depth of field (DOF): Familiarize yourself with hyperfocal focus (see link). Maximum sharpness and DOF are related, but are not the same. Maximum DOF describes the maximum range where objects will be in focus. describes maximum sharpness the sharpness of the image … for most lenses, the maximum sharpness occurs around an opening F8, also known as the Lens' Sweet Spot ". With the smallest opening will give maximum DOF, but could introduce refraction (the image is in focus, but will show signs of ghosting.) How combined maximum sharpness and maximum DOF? Do you need to consider the tilt of the lens … but this is a different theme. For now, just concentrate in its approach hyperfocal. Filters: Filters that I find most useful in landscape photography are: 1) circular polarizing – to reduce glare and help to highlight the clouds between heaven … Some photographers say, do not overdo it … but I love clouds pop out. 2) Graduated Neutral Density Filters – If you do not shoot the morning light, or evening before sunset, these filters allow you to shoot high contrast situations, without compromising too much dynamic range. 3) Regular density filters Neutral – These filters are useful if you want more risk in bright situations … large to make the silky water scenes. Film: If you are comfortable in getting the correct exposure, consider slide films like Provia or Velvia … I really like the color saturation somewhat exaggerated in these films. But for the film slide, you have to err on the side of underexposure because if you overexpose slide film, you've lost the data. (If you overexpose with photographic film negative, can bring him back.) Others: – Giotto Rocket Blower – great for cleaning SLR mirrors and lenses in a hurry (see link). – Trigger at a distance – preferably a it contains. – Perhaps a filter for Cokin neutral density filters … but usually hand hold these during the injection. Hope this helps and enjoy!

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