Bryce Canyon Utah

In and around Bryce Canyon With The AF-100

I shot this over a day in a half while we where on a spring break family vacation.  We arrived at Bryce Canyon mid-day and checked into the Bryce Canyon Lodge which is just a short walk to the canyon’s edge.  I highly recommend staying there; good food, clean rooms and the best access to the canyon.  Now lets talk camera and lenses.

I took my AF-100 and every lens I owned with me on this trip to Utah.  I have an old LowePro photo backpack that I used for my Canon 5D and was surprised that I could fit the AF-100 without the grip in the backpack. The tricky part was getting the homemade IGUS slider packed,  so I didn’t have to carry it by hand. That idea lasted for a very short time. The good thing was the first day I didn’t use the slider. Well maybe not a good thing, but I didn’t want to waste time trying to figure it out.  I literally finished making the slider the night before we left and I was making it up as I went. We checked in and off I went.  The light wasn’t that great yet since it was mid-day, but that gave me time to get to know the canyon and that was great.  I wish I had more time.  I moved around the rim capturing and chasing the light.  By late afternoon things looked really nice. I wish I had some clouds to do  time-lapse, but that didn’t happen.  In hindsight it would have been cool to do some change of light type timeless shots.

Were Going In.

The second day I got up at sunrise and got some nice shots. Then we went down into the canyon with the slider.  I have to thank my lovely wife, Bridget, for helping me carry gear.  I wouldn’t have been able to do this by myself.  Walking into canyons is hard.  Remember after you get down, you have to go up to get back out.  The slider was the main tool inside the canyon.  It is so beautiful looking up at the hoodoos with plenty of foreground which gave purpose to the dolly shots.  I wanted to have a cinematic look, like a feature or documentary, and a look of isolation without people in any of the shots.  Patience was the key.  The snow was added value.  Spring is a great time to see Bryce Canyon.

The Gear.

The tripod I have is a Gitzo GT0540 6X Carbon Fiber.  I love this primarily still photography tripod.  It has a flat base plate and a 75mm bowl adapter that’s perfect with a fluid video head.  Great for light weight cameras like the AF-100.

To keep it light no matte box, rails of follow focus needed. I put a Really Right Stuff quick release system on the the Igus slider and mounted it on a Really Right Stuff BH-55  ball head. Great head and quick release system. I have been using RRS fear for years.

The Igus slider has a Bogen 507 head attached to it.  It’s not the best video head, but again good enough and pretty light. I now have a 75mm Bogen ball head adapter on the bottom of the Igus slider,s so no need to have the extra RRS ball head.

The first day I mostly used the Canon L 70-200 F4 and the Tokina AT-X Pro 28-70mm f/2.6-2.8.  I also had two lumix lenses.  The 14mm and 20mm, both are really sharp and plenty fast.  I love those pancake beauties. I made a decision to preset the Canon  70-200 at f4. I regret I did that.  In fact I should have brought my 5D so I could have reset it but oh well, That wasn’t what happened.  One thing you never leave without when shooting nature is a ND filter.  I used one on almost every shot.

My one and a half days at Bryce Canyon was a memorable experience that I will never forget. When the light changed the hoodoos changed and the red rock gets a brilliant orange glow. Just beautiful. A must see American destination. Bring all you got and capture this amazing canyon.

I will be adding pictures of the gear I took soon. Come on back!

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