May 30, 2011
Utah Canyon Shoot: Testing New Graphic Tripod in the Desert Cold
On a recent trip to Utah, I had not yet tried out my new graphite tripod, the one I spent far too much on but did so because it is a full length one and yet it folds down to 12 inches and weighs a mere two pounds. When the sun started setting, a light jacket was no longer enough, but you forget about these things when you’re a photographer on a mission.
There I was with four other photographers who were clearly already “one” with their tripods and experienced with cold evening “waits” for that precise moment when you snap that killer shot. Freezing cold despite my layers, I observed them as much as I did the canyon before me which was changing color by the minute as we neared 8 pm. Since I was told the magic time was between 5 and 7, I didn’t realize I’d be standing out there for nearly four hours until 9 pm turning into ice.
The good news is that my photographer counterparts (Canadian, French, Swedish and a New Yorker) were great companions and even offered me some of their tools to play with, such as a cool blue filter and different lenses. They were two for two (two Nikons and two Canons) and I had my Canon 7D with me and my new 85 (1.2) lens. We all tried various settings and I found myself going through flash card after flash card since I was shooting raw. I seem to go through more cards driving through Utah than my last shoot in Paris somehow.
I found myself cursing how long the sun was taking to deliver the optimal moment given how cold it was, but alas it came and it really didn’t arrive until close to 8:30 pm. Once you’ve committed to waiting, you learn a helluva lot about your camera and about the way other photographers think and work.
What I realized is that I’m not really a wide angle landscape fan even though I always take those shots when the opportunity arises. I really love close ups of rocks, landscapes, fauna and earth; it’s the textures and depth of the land that turns me on rather than the expansive aspect of a horizon.
Perhaps it’s because I like getting my hands dirty; I like being “in” a situation creating from within rather than observing from the outside. Not sure if that makes me a producer, director, artist or just high maintenance or a variation of all three, but although I left completely satisfied, I was thinking on my drive back to my hotel, how much I was looking forward to using the tripod for model shots more so than mountain ones.
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