Arizona Photo Trip

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pdslug
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Arizona Photo Trip

Postby pdslug » Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:01 pm

Since my wife and daughters were invited to go on a girls spring break trip this year -
I decided to take my Pathfinder, my Dad, and a bunch of camera equipment on a roadtrip from Kansas City to Arizona and back.

Our main stops were in Sedona AZ, Monument Valley, and then the Great Sand Dunes near Alamosa, CO on the way back.
We drove a total of 2900 miles, I took over 500 pics, and the pathfinder did great!

here are a few pics from the trip:
We arrived in Sedona to snow. This is in Oak Creek Canyon above Sedona, AZ.
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Sunrise from airport mesa in Sedona
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Pathfinder on Schnebly Hill road, Sedona. Put it in 4WD for part of this road - wasn't really needed, but what the heck?
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Schnebly Hill rd cacti and red rocks
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Dry Creek rd, I think, near Sedona
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Next stop, Monument Valley. There was a 17-mile loop you can drive. It was a bumpy dirt road, but again, 4WD not needed. This is from the visitor's center:
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Pathfinder at Monument Valley near the Totems:
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Mitten Butte
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Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO
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More pics on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pdslug/set ... 323257691/


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NVSteve
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Postby NVSteve » Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:31 pm

Nice photos! Thanks for sharing those. I was guessing you were using a Canon, as there was no exif info with the images, but then I saw with the flickr link that you used a D300. That's a nice camera, and most likely my next choice if my Olympus doesn't work out, although it looks like it will. By no means do I mean this in a critical or negative way, but a few of those photos kind of look like you are still getting the hang of the camera? What were you shooting with prior to the D300? Again, thanks and nice job!

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guinnessjim
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Postby guinnessjim » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:22 pm

i agree...nice shots! love that part of the country (i am from northern NM, so that is kinda reminiscent of home).

what tires are you running? are those the silent armors? if so, what do you think of them?

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pdslug
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Location: Kansas

Postby pdslug » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:36 am

Steve: Yes, its a new camera. I had a Nikon D70 prior. For this trip I shot RAW + jpeg (small). These are the jpegs... havent processed the RAWs yet. I thought some of them didnt seem in real sharp focus -- not really sure what I did. Most were on a tripod and I was normally using a small f-stop to try and get large depth of field... but I dont think I quite have the auto focus zones figured out -- disappointing. However, I think the RAWs will be a little better and can correct exposures and sharpen some. Any other hints appreciated!

Jim - yes those are new Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor. I like them really well on the road. Off-road they have been good except in mud - then they get clogged up easily.

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NVSteve
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Postby NVSteve » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:19 am

pdslug wrote:Steve: Yes, its a new camera. I had a Nikon D70 prior. For this trip I shot RAW + jpeg (small). These are the jpegs... havent processed the RAWs yet.
You'll have to post up the processed RAW images when you get them done. I've been trying to follow most of the D300 talk over on dpreview.com, but it does seem most owners shoot in RAW. Very few examples of jpg straight out of the camera. I'd really like to see how well they clean up. I'd imagine the RAWs will look quite nice after a bit of PP. One of your shots looks really oversaturated, while another looks almost HDR-like. Where you pretty much sticking to the same contrast & color settings for everything, just changing aperture or ISO?
I thought some of them didnt seem in real sharp focus -- not really sure what I did.
They look pretty good to me focus-wise. It's hard to tell since these are fairly small, but they do look to be in focus. The last shot of the deer almost looks like the focus point is in front of the deer, but that's the only one that really stands out to me.
Most were on a tripod and I was normally using a small f-stop to try and get large depth of field... but I dont think I quite have the auto focus zones figured out -- disappointing.
How many AF points do you have the camera set to? I obviously can't speak of the D300, but I know on my E-3 that I just ended up sticking mine on center focus point only. Some of my non-landscape shots were a bit off in the past because the camera decided to choose one of the (bad) AF points, which resulted in a wasted shot. With center only, I'd say I have about a 95% keeper rate.
However, I think the RAWs will be a little better and can correct exposures and sharpen some. Any other hints appreciated!
I wish I could give you some hints specific to the D300. If you haven't already, I'd suggest reading up on how others are dealing with their D300 images on dpreview.com. Very helpful forum.

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pdslug
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Postby pdslug » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:53 am

One of your shots looks really oversaturated, while another looks almost HDR-like. Where you pretty much sticking to the same contrast & color settings for everything, just changing aperture or ISO?
Yes, I had the saturation jacked-up. It worked well for landscapes with my D70, but with the D300 resulted in oversaturation at times. This wont matter on the RAWs. I normally shoot aperature preferred, and keep the ISO as low as I can (200). So normally just change the aperature. I do check the histograms and apply some + or - exposure comp if needed.
How many AF points do you have the camera set to?
The D300 can have upto 55 AF points or something crazy like that. I have it set on the one center point. I think sometimes when I have it on the tripod and have a shot with foreground and far away background, the center point isnt always going to get the background in focus... I think that may be my problem. the other possibility is vibration from the mirror - I havent tried the mirror lock-up feature yet, didnt think it was necessary. I think I just need to be more careful with the focus point.

I'll check out that forum, Thanks. Nice to talk to another photog.

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guinnessjim
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Postby guinnessjim » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:01 am

pdslug wrote:Jim - yes those are new Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor. I like them really well on the road. Off-road they have been good except in mud - then they get clogged up easily.
cool. i looked at those for a while, but couldn't find any reviews about them off road. good to hear you like them.

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pawjr74
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Location: Gilbert, AZ

Postby pawjr74 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:54 pm

Nice!


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