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North Fork of the Virgin River in Zion Canyon

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Another pic from my photo workshop last weekend at Zion National Park. This was taken just downstream from the Narrows, where the canyon gets taller and tighter. 

Settings: 10mm on my Nikon DX 10-24 lens, 2 seconds, f/22, ISO 100 on my Nikon D5100. It was late in the day, so the canyon was shady and I held the darkest part of my graduated neutral density filter in front of the lens so I could keep the shutter open longer. Of course, the camera was on a tripod and I used a remote shutter release. 

The big takeaway from the workshop: when shooting landscapes always try to use as small an aperture as possible to get more depth of field. Why is that important? Because when you look at a landscape with your own two eyes, most everything is in focus. So why start blurring things for no particular reason with less depth of field?

It probably seems like obvious advice to many photographers. But quite honestly, I often go hiking without a tripod and just shoot on automatic. And it has worked -- I've gotten some good images. But here's the thing: on automatic, my D5100 will usually default to f/5.6 or f/8. Shooting at f/25 means carrying and using a tripod, which is: A) a pain in the ass; B) a time suck, and; C) a good way to piss off your hiking partner who will have to stand there and watch you fuck around with your tripod and gear for 15 minutes in order to take a single photo. 

But then there's this: it works! Using the tripod definitely earned me some better pics at Zion and got me to slow down and think more about composition and exposure. 

More about my fancy new tripod in a future post. And more Zion photos in the coming days.

Hey, it's Thursday. Meaning it's almost Friday. You've already worked three days this week -- that's more than enough if you ask me. So why not spend part of today checking out photos on my SmugMug site? It's fun.

You can also follow me on Twitter even though I think Twitter is a dumb-ass way to spend your time and a likely sign the universe is about to fizzle. It has been a fun few billion years! 


This image is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

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