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10-16-2016, 05:49 PM   #1
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Question - Shooting a Sedona Sunset on the Mogollon Rim

Well this week, I want to drive up to Sedona and crash at my youngest son's place and do some shooting. I have a place all picked out up on the Mogollon Rim - courtesy of google maps, along with a bit of scouting. It's about a 15 mile drive in on the forestry roads, then park the truck and hike another mile to where I want to sorta of shoot from +/- a couple of football fields. I want to find something right on the rim that will make for some of an interesting foreground.

I tried last year, but during sun rise, and did not find a good place, even after hiking several miles along a small ridge near town down in the valley. During my wanderings it occurred to me that sunrise was not what I wanted, but sunset offered me the better shot potential. The shots I did last year were all trash, especially the stitches - absolute udder garbage.

I am planning to take my 2 bodies - a K5 and a K5IIs. I have two tripods and 2 heads, and a pano head.
  • On the first, I was going to have one - probably the K5 just setup with a UWA lens (8-16 at 12mm for a 90 degree wide shot) just shooting 5 bracketed frames (+/-2ev) every few minutes automagically.
  • With the second (K5IIs), I was going to shoot stitched panoramas (with a pano head) in order to use a shorter focal length in order to be able to capture some additional detail. I am thinking about using the 31Ltd here - which would make it about 5 frames wide.
I am hoping for something of an interesting sky, some clouds but not too many. I want some sun rays, so I'm going to stop down quite a bit to say f16 to f22 (not going to worry about diffraction). I want to start with ISO 80 (best dynamic range) and as it gets darker, let the shutter speed go to where ever it wants to go. Also, thinking of biasing the setup with say a -2ev to start with and as the sun sets, backing off to -1, then 0 then +1, etc.

My question - For the first setup (the K5 with the 8-16 at 12mm in landscape orientation) - I am thinking TAv mode. The problem that is concerning me, is with the sun setting and getting dark, especially with it stopped down so much, I am going to be bumping into the 30second maximum shutter speed. Thoughts? Suggestions? How stupid am I? Or, should I just keep it simple and shoot just with one body and not get fancy (forget about stitching) as I can always come back again (and again....).

Here is a sample of the landscapes - courtesy of google image search..


10-16-2016, 08:14 PM   #2
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I have a couple of comments on your setup. You probably don't want to be in TAv mode. That means that you fix your shutter speed and aperture, and only the ISO changes. Therefore the ISO will just go way up. Since you are shooting on a tripod, you should let the shutter speed vary for bracketed shots, and fix the ISO. Therefore, I suggest Av mode and fix the ISO. If you find the shutter speeds are getting too slow and you can see cloud movement, then you might have to bump your iso up a little.

If your shutter speed is really too slow, I suggest just lowering the f-stop number. Honestly even f/8-f/11 will capture good rays, and on a UWA lens will still have everything pretty much in focus. You can even arrive a couple minutes early to do a few test shots to prove it to yourself.
10-16-2016, 09:01 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
My question - For the first setup (the K5 with the 8-16 at 12mm in landscape orientation) - I am thinking TAv mode. The problem that is concerning me, is with the sun setting and getting dark, especially with it stopped down so much, I am going to be bumping into the 30second maximum shutter speed. Thoughts? Suggestions? How stupid am I? Or, should I just keep it simple and shoot just with one body and not get fancy (forget about stitching) as I can always come back again (and again....).
My 2c...

- You should be in full manual mode // If you intend to stitch images you cannot allow variation in exposure, speak different shutter speed, f-stop or ISO.
- I do not think that you will hit 30s mark as long as you have some visible light, speak setting sun and you are at F8 for example as F8 is usually the lens sweet spot.
- For stitching the images I would suggest placing your camera orientation vertically and your lens focal length should be around 50mm unless the vista you intend to shoot is very close, but seeing those images I do not think so. If you ask me why 50mm the answer is very simple as that focal length will keep distortions very minimal and lines very straight. I do not talk here about actual FOV if you think that 31mm has FOV of 46.5mm but actual focal length.
- While you have a panoramic head do not forget to sort out your parallax error as long as you figured out which lens you will use for stitching. The best thing is to make marks on the pano head and afterwords just align them when you are on location

Rest is trial and error and learning from mistakes
10-16-2016, 09:02 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by automorphism Quote
I have a couple of comments on your setup. You probably don't want to be in TAv mode. That means that you fix your shutter speed and aperture, and only the ISO changes. Therefore the ISO will just go way up. Since you are shooting on a tripod, you should let the shutter speed vary for bracketed shots, and fix the ISO. Therefore, I suggest Av mode and fix the ISO. If you find the shutter speeds are getting too slow and you can see cloud movement, then you might have to bump your iso up a little.

If your shutter speed is really too slow, I suggest just lowering the f-stop number. Honestly even f/8-f/11 will capture good rays, and on a UWA lens will still have everything pretty much in focus. You can even arrive a couple minutes early to do a few test shots to prove it to yourself.
Thanks!! I have only shot TAv once in earnest several years ago, and for some reason I was thinking that it let both ISO and shutter speed float between limits. I should have opened up the manual. 95% of the time I shoot Av @ f8 and the rest in Manual or Bulb at night.

Actually, your suggestion is perfect - just shoot the approach that I am familiar with.



---------- Post added 10-16-2016 at 09:15 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RAART Quote
My 2c...

- You should be in full manual mode // If you intend to stitch images you cannot allow variation in exposure, speak different shutter speed, f-stop or ISO.
- I do not think that you will hit 30s mark as long as you have some visible light, speak setting sun and you are at F8 for example as F8 is usually the lens sweet spot.
- For stitching the images I would suggest placing your camera orientation vertically and your lens focal length should be around 50mm unless the vista you intend to shoot is very close, but seeing those images I do not think so. If you ask me why 50mm the answer is very simple as that focal length will keep distortions very minimal and lines very straight. I do not talk here about actual FOV if you think that 31mm has FOV of 46.5mm but actual focal length.
- While you have a panoramic head do not forget to sort out your parallax error as long as you figured out which lens you will use for stitching. The best thing is to make marks on the pano head and afterwords just align them when you are on location

Rest is trial and error and learning from mistakes
Actually, I have been considering things a bit more after the initial post. I really don't need to stitch right now - just take one setup, shoot single bracketed frames with the UAV, and bring my little camp stool and enjoy the sunset, rather than fret over stuff.

However, you're right - I have gotten away successfully for the most part with letting things float - usually with good light. A bit more discipline is in order. I was going to try for a single row - hence the 31 rather than multiple rows with something longer. Thanks!!



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