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10-11-2011, 10:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 6
Hello from Vegas!

Well, I've been lurking around here long enough... time to say hello, and ask for help. I finally broke down and made the jump into the DSLR pool, and boy am I drowning over here, lol. Like a lot of you, I got the photo bug from my dad, many years ago. Unfortunately, I set the SLR down, got lazy, and moved over to the point and shoot. Now it seems that I've lost all memory of the things he taught me.

We recently purchased the Kr with the 18-55 and the 50-200mm kit, and the Sigma 10-20mm F4--5.6 EX DC. We absolutely LOVE the camera, and are learning new things every time we pick it up. The problem I'm having is trying to figure out which filters to purchase.

We mostly shoot landscapes out in the desert... we roam old ghost and mining towns all over the state, so we do need to have something to protect against all the sand and dirt, but the hard part is which filters are also going to help our photos. We have taken some great shots that we have been able to tweak in the different editing programs, but I want to be able to get the deep, rich colors right out of the camera, and also cut down on the glare. We don't really shoot much indoor, would probably be just family gathering type situations, no portraits.

I have searched and read a ton of info here on the forum, but I think I've read too much... my brain is warped, lol Every time I think I know what I want to order, I see something else and question my decision. I would like to keep the cost around the $50-75 range for each of the sizes, would prefer to get kits, I think?

Any help would be great appreciated, and I promise to jump in some more once I feel a bit more confident in what I'm doing

Thanks in advance,
Sue

10-12-2011, 12:42 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
Welcome aboard! Yeah, the huge Mohave desert is great for wandering and shooting. I do so whenever possible.

Glare: always use lens hoods; avoid getting the sun in the frame. Deeper colours: a CPL (circular polarizing) filter. And for bright-sky-dark-foreground shots, a split-ND (neutral density) filter: half clear, the other half ND2 or ND4. Tweaking: don't sweat it, it's part of the process of making pictures. Have fun!
10-12-2011, 09:16 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 6
Original Poster
Thanks for the welcome, and your help, I really appreciate it! Hopefully we'll get a couple of good trips to Death Valley in soon, now that's it's cooling down a bit. Bode is on our short list, but unfortunately that's not a day trip. Any favorite hidden spots in Mojave or DV worth heading to? We were out at the Lava Tubes and Cow Cove a few weeks ago, but it was too hot to really enjoy it. Thanks, again
10-12-2011, 10:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by PlayBallVegas Quote
Thanks for the welcome, and your help, I really appreciate it! Hopefully we'll get a couple of good trips to Death Valley in soon, now that's it's cooling down a bit. Bode is on our short list, but unfortunately that's not a day trip. Any favorite hidden spots in Mojave or DV worth heading to? We were out at the Lava Tubes and Cow Cove a few weeks ago, but it was too hot to really enjoy it. Thanks, again
In your neighborhood, there's of course Valley of Fire, Black Canyon, other stuff you'll find. A bit further is a fun drive up hwys 93 and 375 to Area 51 -- Rachel, actually. Don't miss the Little A'Le'Inn tavern. And take the short easy mountain loop road to Tempiute. Slowly.

I lived (voluntarily!) in 29 Palms. In Joshua Tree Park just southeast of 29 Palms, past the Pinto Mine, is gorgeous Music Valley; at least it was gorgeous on June mornings. But that's a distance. Tecopa is just east of Death Valley, a hot springs oasis. Just north of there before Shoshone, east on hwy 178 about 3 miles brings you to a vivid colourful road cut, glistening with or without rain (but rain-wet is better).

I'll admit I'm not a low-desert guy; I like a little elevation. What I like in DVNP are Wildrose and Mahogany Flat in the Panamints, and those mountain canyons. Of course you must shoot Badwater with a fisheye. The other good stuff in DV is well-marked. Then hop west into Panamint Valley, south on the long gravel Trona-Wildrose Road to the Trona Pinnacles. Whew!

There's much more but this will get you started. Don't miss Oatman AZ. Take unshelled peanuts. And keep going.

10-13-2011, 09:30 AM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: On Ilkley Moor Baht 'at. Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 31
Welcome fella, some great stuff to shoot where you are, Valley of Fire State park, Lake Mead, Hoover dam. I know you like landscapes but what about all those night shots on the strip?

I have been to LV twice and I find it facinating, and no, I do'nt gamble, we come on vacation as a family. Have you ever been in the Pawn Stars pawn shop or the famous Ed Roman Guitar Shop?
10-13-2011, 10:53 AM   #6
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I said to go to Oatman AZ, and keep going. I meant along that classic twisty stretch of old Route 66 on to Kingman. East of Kingman, take hwy 93 south to past Nowhere, then hwys 97+96 up to Prescott, then hwy 89a through Jerome and Sedona to Flagstaff. This is all spectacular desert country. Hit all the national monuments around Flag.

Another time, go northeast from LV to St George, for Cedar Breaks and Zion and the Grand Canyon North Rim. Another time, wander all over the East Mojave park. Don't miss the Amboy Crater, and Calico, and Kelso. Another time, go through Death Valley and past Inyokern and up Walker Pass to Lake Isabella. Slowly. And don't miss Darwin.

Another time, just park yourself in a shady spot above a playa with a mountain wall beyond. Watch from before sunrise to after sunset. Watch the transitions of colors, shades, shadows. Slowly. That's the trick. Driving by at 75mph, it's all just stinking desert. Walk in the washes at dawn and dusk, and look and listen, and it all comes alive. I love it.
10-15-2011, 08:41 AM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Original Poster
Thanks, Aardvark, we haven't taken the new camera out for any night shots of the city yet. Although, every time we come back from a day trip, we see the city and say to each other "Wow, we really should pull over and take some shots", but then we also say "We've been out since 4:00am, it's now 9:00pm...I want to go to bed", lol Haven't gone to the pawn shop, but the few times I've driven by it, the line has been huge. I have been to Ed Roman's shop many years ago, but I think they've closed the actual retail shop now.

RioRico, that whole area around Oatman is unbelievable! I HATE driving that twisty road, but there is so much history there. Unfortunately, our last trip was kinda rushed, we got there pretty late in the day, and the burros went back into the hills about 45 minutes after we got there. It's on the list for a return visit soon. There are a couple of places you mentioned that we haven't been to before, will check them out, thanks!

I've lived in Vegas for 35 years, pretty much grew up here. Just when you think you've seen, or know everything around the area, you find somewhere new to go. What's amazing to me, is the amount of people who live here, but have never stepped out of the city. We took the camera out to Valley of Fire a few weeks ago to try to catch some sunrise shots, but what really surprised me was the number of tourists vs. the number of locals, think we had the only vehicle there with Nevada plates, lol

I think my favorite place to photograph so far, has been Rhyolite, NV. If you haven't been, you must put it on your list! It's a great old town, with a ton of history. Even the old cemetery is amazing! And yes, you're right, if you don't slow down and look, you'll miss a lot!

I think we are going to head out to the Lehman Caves soon. Not sure how good the photos will be, very low light conditions (Good thing I've got a Pentax!), and shadows like crazy, but we'll give it a try, come back and figure out what we did wrong, and go back and get it right, lol

We are headed out to Ohio for Thanksgiving, and plan on heading into the woods with the camera. We've wanted to do the Reformatory in Mansfield for years, but they close it up after Halloween, and we've only gone out there to see my partner's family during the holidays. There are a ton of closed down factories and old farm houses... going to try to get into some of them and see what we can shoot.

Sorry for the long response, but it's great to talk with someone that understands the appeal of taking a camera out and wandering around in the desert
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