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03-11-2009, 01:46 PM   #1
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Preparing for Grand Canyon...

Hi Everyone,

Recently joined the forums when I got a *ist DL.

In a few weeks I am heading to the grand Canyon for a few days and was planning to take some photos of course.

I haven't gotten too much gear but so far I have a few zooms, just the kit lens for wide angles and a tripod.

I'm wondering if I should get a UV filter for the mid day shot or any other filters?

If anyone's been there I'd appreciate some help, my trip will be to the South Rim.

03-11-2009, 02:36 PM   #2
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My trip to the Grand Canyon lasted about 4 hours in 1989, so I don't have a lot of direct experience.

A UV filter will not be necessary for photos with digital, but might protect tbe lens. You might want a polarizer filter instead, which will deepen blue skies and increase contrast.

A super wide angle would be great, like the Sigma 10-20mm zoom. You can substitute for this by taking a series of photos and stitching them together in the computer. This works best on a tripod with the camera settings locked in manual. Use multiple rows to make the photo easier to print.

By the way, combining the suggestions might produce weird effects. Polarizers at really wide angles can have a strange sky which has a polarizer effect in the center but not at the edges.

Practice with your camera and techniques will probably help just as much as buying new stuff.
03-11-2009, 02:42 PM   #3
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Thanks for the information!

With the practice that I've had for outdoor photos, during mid day a lot of my pictures seem underexposed through the sun. Especially for areas in the shade like tree shadows, etc.

I'm afraid this problem will carry through to the GC.

Are there any tips for shooting outdoor and getting more details in dark areas contrasting the sun?

I noticed this problem with photographing people during mid day, and faces and detail is lost in the dark.

I'm wondering if it's the setting or if I would need to get closer and use flash.
03-11-2009, 03:36 PM   #4
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The Pentax metering system tries very hard to not overexpose, which often leads to some underexposure. You can try different options and see what works best for you:
- Use some exposure compensation, like +0.5 Ev. It's easy to dial in and out.
- Use fill flash for people in shadows or backlit.
- Switch metering mode to center-weighted instead of multi-segment. This helps because the multi-segment meter often get tricked by something like a shaft of bright sunlight way off in the corner of your photo, and underexpose to get the sunlight just right. The center-weighted meter will ignore what's in the corners and expose better for the center.
- Make adjustments on your computer. Using RAW will help here because it captures more data, especially in the shadow areas.

03-11-2009, 03:49 PM   #5
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Polarizers (CPL), Neutral Density (ND) and a Neutral Density Graduated (ND-Grad) are what I use. The CPL will give you about 1/2 stop lower exposure. And will help bring out more color/contrast in sky/water photos. ND/ND-Grads help equalize the exposure by either darkening the whole viewing area (ND) or just a portion (ND-Grad) like the sky. As for bringing out details in faces/shadows, clever and careful postprocessing is what I usually turn to.
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