Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-03-2023, 09:56 AM - 12 Likes   #1
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Suhail's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Mississauga
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 345
Hiking for photography versus hiking photography (and why Pentax system is for me)

Since I have been asked this question in various forms by people I have met on the trails and by colleagues in the organizations I have worked in, let me start by explaining that hiking for photography is different from hiking photography.

Hiking for photography, in my humble opinion, means an enthusiast or a professional photographer who hikes to a certain place for shooting landscape, wildlife, night sky (astrophotography), etc. You will find many youtube videos made by professional photographers who hike to beautiful destinations for this purpose.

On the other hand, a hiker does hiking photography to document his/her hiking/backpacking adventures. It is as simple as that.

This article is about this latter group of people.

Hiking photography genre

A hiker who wants to do photography to document his/her adventure is most likely, and unknowingly, a jack of many photography genres and master of none.

For example, I have to take shots as I have to complete my hike in a set duration of time and cannot afford to spend time perfecting, say, wildlife shots.

During my hikes, I try to take shots Ďoní or Ďaboutí the following, which involve various photography genres, to describe an adventure in a photo essay:

1. Landscapes, rock formations, soil, etc.;

2. Wildlife;

3. Wildflowers and trees;

4. Fellow hiker(s) on trail to show scale, candid shots to show their emotions, to fill up empty space, or preparing for hike, putting up a tent, etc.;

5. Close-ups / Micros of insects, fungi, etc.;

6. Vagaries/oddities of nature; and

7. Night sky if camping out.

The set of pictures (JPEGs, SOOC) below from a hike in the South Downs National Park of UK covers several of the above areas. It was a 20 km hike from the town of Eastbourne to the village of Seaford over the chalk sea cliffs on the English Channel Coast of Sussex county in South Downs National Park, UK. It was all about ascending and descending steep slopes of 11 hills, including the famous group of hills known as Seven Sisters, watching paragliders, observing pastoral life, wild horses, and waterfowl in its culminating marsh section. First 5 shots were taken through KP/55-300 mm PLM and the last one, late in the evening, was by K-5 iis/15 mm.

Why do I suggest the Pentax system for hiking photography to starters?

The first reason is well known to all. Weather sealed Pentax cameras and lenses come in handy during backpacking and hiking trips under adverse or suddenly changing weather conditions. This is especially helpful in Canadian weather conditions. On numerous occasions, I continued shooting under inclement weather conditions when other photographers had tucked in their cameras for protection. Needless to mention, they were looking at me in amazement. Furthermore, my cameras and lenses came out unscathed after I slipped over rocks on a few occasions during winter hiking and after I flipped my canoe once.

However, for me, it is the hyper-program feature that shines. I can, keeping the ISO at auto; limited to a certain range; or even constant, simply change aperture and/or shutter speed depending upon what is on the plate to shoot and revert to the original default settings by using green button. Thus, the settings can be changed quickly if I have to change them from, say, landscape to wildlife opportunity and back. Now Canon offers something equivalents and calls it FV. However, my wife demonstrated how cumbersome the process is in her RP.

Another major reason is the availability of most needed features on tactile buttons or wheels if you will. For example, using the 4 - way Controller on my KP, I can easily access bracketing feature. In order to do the same on her Canon RP, my wife has to make changes on four different screens. Ditto for white balance, changing dynamic range, camera stabilization, etc. Needless to mention, she was more comfortable using my, now retired, Pentax K-r.

Then there is another feature, the much scoffed at A-HDR, that I enjoy. I have successfully taken A-HDR images on hand-held KP on several occasions. Unlike using it for the original purpose it is designed for, I use it to make my shots look artistic. Although professional and enthusiast photographers find flaws in A-HDR images, we must remember that we are doing hiking photography to show our pictures not to them, but to the general public.

Finally, I like the ergonomics and balance of Pentax cameras. For example, since I usually hike with my dog(s) and have their leash in my left hand, I am able to shoot with my right hand alone. Ditto during canoeing trips.

Gear in use during hikes:

Just to let the readers know, I am currently using Pentax KP and K-5 iis with Pentax 55-300 mm PLM and Pentax HD DA 15 mm lens, replacing the latter with either Pentax 18-135 mm or HD DA 21 mm, depending on the conditions. If I am driving to a destination within a national park to start a hike, I keep a Pentax 1.4 TC x 300 mm lens on a camera in an easily accessible position to take quick shots, say from my car, of any wildlife that crosses my path. For this arrangement, I use TAv function though.

Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX KP  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX KP  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX KP  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX KP  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX KP  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5 II s  Photo 
03-03-2023, 10:17 AM - 1 Like   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
microlight's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 2,129
Great pictures; I used to walk on the Seven Sisters often when we lived on the south coast.
03-03-2023, 10:18 AM - 1 Like   #3
Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Central Florida
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,094
Love the post.

Something I'll do when I don't know when that opportunity" will arise, and I'm not hiking with wildlife intent where fast reaction is anticipated, is just set things to Auto. It rarely fails me and is far more relaxing.
03-03-2023, 10:27 AM - 1 Like   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,903
QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
Love the post.

Something I'll do when I don't know when that opportunity" will arise, and I'm not hiking with wildlife intent where fast reaction is anticipated, is just set things to Auto. It rarely fails me and is far more relaxing.
Auto is a really good idea in some places like the alligator-filled ditches of Florida!

03-03-2023, 10:28 AM - 2 Likes   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
microlight's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 2,129
Not many alligators in the south of England!! 🤣
03-03-2023, 10:34 AM - 3 Likes   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 28,454
I hike with a camera and I hike to take photos. The two are different I agree. I always take some type of camera - even if just an iPhone. Typically a Sony RX100IV or my KP (DA 15/4 + 18-135 or 20-40 + 55-300 PLM) or my a7R III (28/2 or 24-105/70-300 Tamron RXD).

Another kit:
A7R III + monster adapter + FA 31/1.8, FA 50/1.4 or DA 55/1.4, FA 77/1.8 or DA 70/2.4

Last edited by UncleVanya; 03-03-2023 at 10:43 AM.
03-03-2023, 10:36 AM - 1 Like   #7
Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Central Florida
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,094
QuoteOriginally posted by microlight Quote
Not many alligators in the south of England!! 🤣
LOL! But every once in a while there's that odd story of "a lake in Somerset" or some such.

03-03-2023, 10:56 AM - 1 Like   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Zuiderkempen - Grote Netewoud - Belgium
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,409
QuoteOriginally posted by microlight Quote
Not many alligators in the south of England!! ��
But the coastline walking paths aren't safer , considering the pictures ... albeit for completely different reasons like erosion.
03-03-2023, 11:17 AM - 4 Likes   #9
Closed Account




Join Date: Feb 2019
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 819
I would further expand on your premise and say, there's going out to take pictures and there's carrying a camera to record what you're doing and what you see. The two aren't incompatible, there's a Venn overlap but in my choice of gear and accessories I still lean towards portability.


The KP and the 20-40 used to be my choice for a holster bag at my side on my hip or over my shoulder. I get that carrying method from taking a camera mountaineering, scrambling and climbing and it always needing some protection from the elements or rocks.


I did once not close the holster properly and as I scrambled over some rocks, the camera slipped out, I yelled and the bloke in front of me turned and caught my camera before it disappeared 3000ft below. That was some time ago on a winter traverse of the Aonach Eagach and the camera an OM10. He didn't pay for his beer that night.

Next week I'm going skiing, taking my camera on a holster over my shoulder with a stabiliser strap. I expect only to record the trip this time.
03-03-2023, 12:08 PM - 1 Like   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 28,454
I use a belt holster with my Sony RX100IV if Iím not doing more strenuous hiking. Or I use the mindshift rotation 180 34L pack. I only carry camera gear in the lower portion and use the top for clothing, first aid kit, snacks, etc. for the KP and A7Riii I have Kata holsters and I have a very useful sling bag if the hike isnít going to require the larger bag for non-photo gear.
03-03-2023, 03:24 PM - 2 Likes   #11
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 4,558
QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
taking my camera on a holster over my shoulder with a stabiliser strap.
Cross-shoulders with belt loops- pretty good for stability also.
03-03-2023, 03:33 PM - 1 Like   #12
Pentaxian
jcdoss's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,801
Great write-up, I enjoyed reading it. Your photos are super. I only have one question... Why did you let your wife buy a Canon? 🤔

I don't do so much hiking anymore, but the local landscape is networked with bike- and footpaths through town and in the vineyards. I walk with my dog (who's leash is secured to my belt with a carabineer) carrying either one K1ii in a 5L Peak Design Everyday Sling, or more often two K1iis in a 10L PD Everyday Sling. I only use K, M, and A lenses, so fitting two cameras in the larger bag isn't usually a problem.
03-03-2023, 04:16 PM - 1 Like   #13
Pentaxian
mikeSF's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: East Bay Area, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,622
QuoteOriginally posted by Suhail Quote
by .
Great article, thank you for sharing.
03-03-2023, 05:44 PM - 3 Likes   #14
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Suhail's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Mississauga
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 345
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by microlight Quote
Great pictures; I used to walk on the Seven Sisters often when we lived on the south coast.
It is a great National Park and that hiking experience there is awesome. A lady, perhaps in her 70s, accompanied by her niece, was hiking up one of the hills and I saw her labour all the way to the top where we met. I loved it when she summed up the hike as "a beautiful nightmare".[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added 03-03-23 at 08:22 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
Love the post.

Something I'll do when I don't know when that opportunity" will arise, and I'm not hiking with wildlife intent where fast reaction is anticipated, is just set things to Auto. It rarely fails me and is far more relaxing.
I agree.

I think Auto/Hyper-Program modes are deeply ingrained in me as my concentration is on hiking and on both enjoyment and fear factor that come with it. Fear factor in Canada is on account of bears, wolves, Karst country where the rock is unstable, weather conditions, etc.

---------- Post added 03-03-23 at 08:25 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ProfessorBuzz Quote
Auto is a really good idea in some places like the alligator-filled ditches of Florida!
LOL!

Auto/Hyper-Program modes are good for hiking in Canada due to all kinds of elements of nature.

---------- Post added 03-03-23 at 08:27 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I hike with a camera and I hike to take photos. The two are different I agree. I always take some type of camera - even if just an iPhone. Typically a Sony RX100IV or my KP (DA 15/4 + 18-135 or 20-40 + 55-300 PLM) or my a7R III (28/2 or 24-105/70-300 Tamron RXD).

Another kit:
A7R III + monster adapter + FA 31/1.8, FA 50/1.4 or DA 55/1.4, FA 77/1.8 or DA 70/2.4
That Pentax 18-135 mm is quite underrated. However, I have found it to be the best in adverse weather conditions.

I really want to buy that 20-40 mm lens though.

---------- Post added 03-03-23 at 08:30 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mlag Quote
But the coastline walking paths aren't safer , considering the pictures ... albeit for completely different reasons like erosion.
Well said!

There is a huge amount of erosion. The Park has put safety fences along some sections. Still, visitors keep getting very close to the edges despite many warning signs.

---------- Post added 03-03-23 at 08:35 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
I would further expand on your premise and say, there's going out to take pictures and there's carrying a camera to record what you're doing and what you see. The two aren't incompatible, there's a Venn overlap but in my choice of gear and accessories I still lean towards portability. ......

Next week I'm going skiing, taking my camera on a holster over my shoulder with a stabiliser strap. I expect only to record the trip this time.
Wow!

I am not sure if I will go for rock climbing, but closest to your experience that I can think of is when my wife and I flipped our canoe in a river of Quebec. I went underwater along with my camera (K-5 iis) and we came out totally unharmed.

---------- Post added 03-03-23 at 08:40 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jcdoss Quote
Great write-up, I enjoyed reading it. Your photos are super. I only have one question... Why did you let your wife buy a Canon? 🤔

I don't do so much hiking anymore, but the local landscape is networked with bike- and footpaths through town and in the vineyards. I walk with my dog (who's leash is secured to my belt with a carabineer) carrying either one K1ii in a 5L Peak Design Everyday Sling, or more often two K1iis in a 10L PD Everyday Sling. I only use K, M, and A lenses, so fitting two cameras in the larger bag isn't usually a problem.
LOL! That Canon was gifted to me by my friend, but I passed it on to my wife. I see her struggling with it all the time and then secretly going for the K-r, whose internal battery is dead and is used by a 6 year old in the family haha.

I like your arrangement. I almost do the same for my short neighbourhood hikes. However, I do long hikes most of the time and have to carry bigger bags for carrying hiking gear as well.

---------- Post added 03-03-23 at 08:43 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
Great article, thank you for sharing.
You are most welcome!

Last edited by Suhail; 03-03-2023 at 06:21 PM.
03-03-2023, 07:40 PM - 6 Likes   #15
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hampstead, NC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 17,295
I definitely hike or walk to take photos, sometimes to a spot, but more often for new experiences, even if it's a trail I've been on. I will tend to go as light as possible, but usually shorter hikes, 12 miles or less. I'll always have a camera with a long lens in case wildlife is spotted, wildlife doesn't wait for a lens change, where a macro or landscape usually will. I've got a holster and chest harness that carries a body with the DA*300 and 1.4 converter, and a small sling that will carry another body, with 20-40, 55-300PLM, or sometimes a Sigma 50 or Tamron 90 macro, and the 15, and sometimes a tripod is carried along. I can take the same holster setup on my bicycle. I've also bought a kayak for photography, a pelican case holds the gear there, the body, tc, 300 or 55-300, and 18-135, however I have only changed lenses on the kayak once when the water was still.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
auto, camera, cameras, canada, conditions, dslr, example, factor, fear, hike, hiking genre, hiking photography, iii, lens, mm, modes, pentax, photography, pm, post, record, shots, time, weather, why pentax gear, wildlife
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Takumar 500mm versus SMC varient versus DFA 150-450 clickclick Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 04-12-2018 02:44 PM
Night Why Why Why eccentricphotography Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 3 06-02-2014 09:36 AM
K-x Versus Q Versus Lumix TS3 knightzerox Pentax Q 9 10-09-2011 10:06 PM
Burning of the Koran ... ! Why? Why? Why? jpzk General Talk 128 09-14-2010 04:45 PM
1.4x TC + 55-300 versus 1.7x TC + 55-300 versus 55-300mm + cropping. Pentaxor Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 09-05-2009 02:41 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:24 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top