Category Archives: Landscape Photography

Photographing Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake was formed by a volcano and is the deepest lake in the United States. It has not water inflow or outflow so the water in the lake is only from the local snow fall. It is one of the clearest water bodies anywhere and the deep blue from the depth of the water. The picture above is a merge of 3 photos. Click on it to see it enlarged.

Ann and Franz at Crater Lake

This was our first time to visit this National Park. It was less than a two hour drive from Medford. We arrived in the morning and took some pictures from the area near the Crater Lake Lodge.   Ann was shooting with her Nikon D70 with 18-70 mm Nikon lens and Franz with his Nikon D300, using both a 18-200 mm Nikor lens as well as some Nikkor prime lenses.

Ann at Crater LakeFranz

All the photographs were processed through Adobe Lightroom.  Little changes were needed however.  Only Photoshop CS3 was used for the photomerge at the top.

Nikon D300, 22 mm lens, ISO 200

Crater Lake

Nikon D300, 24 mm prime lens, ISO 200

Nikon D300, 18 mm, ISO 200

Crater Lake

Nikon D70, 70 mm, ISO 400

Crater Lake

To see how well the Nikon 18-200 mm lens did compared with the 24 mm prime, I have added two photos of each into one image. Click on the image below to view enlarge so you can compare.

This may not be a good way to evaluate since the scene is different and each had a different post processing.  In any case when I do a 1:1 image, the both look equally good.  If you need a highly enlarged and identical images to see a difference, maybe that difference is not so important in the first place.

We then got on our bikes and started to bike around the lake. Franz carried the Nikon D70 on a backpack so we could take some photos from different locations.  He started out trying to take it in a simple case but that did not work since it would swing to the front when leaning over to pedal so he returned to the car and took his LowePro Sling 200. That bag is a bit large to carry a single camera but it worked, but not ideally.  To carry a DSLR on a bike, a back pack is best, preferable one made for biking such as the Camel Bak bags.

Franz

The LowePro Sling 200 has the stability strap (you can see hanging in the photo below) to keep it from swinging to the front but it was still too much on one side to cycle easily with.

We ended up going half way around the lake but had to turn back because the rim drive road was closed at some point due to snow. Can you believe, snow in July!

On the drive back to Medford we stopped at the Rouge gorge to take a few more pictures. It is hard to capture water falls.  Franz put on a 24 mm prime lens that would stop down to f22 and he set the D300 to shoot at the lowest ISO setting.  Setting the camera to shoot in Aperature Priority mode still resulted in a shutter speed that was too fast to blur the water.  A neutral density filter would be needed. Also brining more than a table top tripod would certainly have helped.  But since that was all he had, he proped the table top tripod on the top of the fence as you can see below.

Ann just balanced her Nikon D70 on the fence post.

We had a great time and hope to visit Crater Lake National Park again. You can see all our pictures at our SmugMug Gallery by clicking here .

Photographing Zion National Park

Ann and I stopped in Zion National Park for a 3 day adventure.

Equipment Used:

  • Nikon D300 with Nikon 18-200 mm lens
  • Nikon D70 with Nikon 18-70 mm lens
  • Canon PowerShot A700
  • Nikon 50 mm 1.4 MF lens
  • LowePro Sling 200 bag

Software Used

  • Adobe Lightroom (Mac) to import and organize files
  • Photoshop CS3 (Mac)
  • Nikon Capture NX (Mac) for post processing for printing
  • Photoshop Elements 6 (Mac) for photomerge

I was shooting with my new Nikon D300 and Ann was shooting with the Nikon D70. I had purchased the LowePro bag before leaving home. That bag proved very valuable with all the hiking we did. Most of the pictures below are as shot from the camera, except where noted. Click on any image to see an enlarged view but not the original. The originals are all posted on our account at Smugmug.

On the first day we started out hiking up Angles Landing. We wanted to get a shot of the two of us together but there was no one around, so we took a picture of each other so I could later merge into this one.

I was wondering what she was taking a picture of until I later looked saw this image on the computer.

Hiking the upper portion of Angles Landing was difficult carrying the DSLRs since we had to use chains. But we managed and benefits from using the wide range zooms. I found I used the entire range of 18 to 200 mm during the day. Many pictures, as expected, were taken using 18 mm. At times I wish I had even a wider range. I was carrying a couple of prime lenses with me but frankly rarely used them. Since we were primarily hiking, taking photographs along the way, it just didn’t make sense to do a lot of lens swapping.

Our second day was biking so we only took a point and shoot Canon camera. We biked up Kolob Canyon, which has some beautiful views, with the road winding in and out of the national park. With the rain we ran into we didn’t take many pictures. Just getting back to the hotel with the rain and cold temperatures was all we could manage. Ann did take this one picture from the back of the tandem just before the rain started.

After drying out and warming up we drove up to see the Museum of Photography. I put on my fast 50 mm f1.4 manual focus lens before we entered. There we viewed some beautiful large prints of photographs. Many were taken by Michael Fatali using an 8×10 film camera and printed himself using the Cibachrome process. He takes pride in “No Filters, No Computers, Simply God’s Light”. I found myself dumbfounded viewing his images that he could capture such beauty with that approach. They didn’t let use take any pictures inside so I took these picture outside in the courtyard.

On our last and third day, we started out with a tandem ride, again carrying the Canon Powershot. Ann took this picture from the back of the tandem, while we were racing down the road from the Zion tunnel. Not bad for a point and shoot!

In the afternoon we hiked up Hidden Canyon and also Observation Point. With the sunny weather and beautiful clouds, along with the topography, made it an idea day to get some pictures

I took this one of Ann using the 120 mm setting on the lens (equivalent of 180 mm on a 35 mm film camera). The vibration reduction worked great.

We then make our way up the long hike to Observation Point. We came upon a slotted canyon that was most fascinating.

We took some more photos from high above Zion Canyon, but I don’t consider these to be that good because they try to cover too much from afar. Here is one example.

After returning to the canyon floor, we took a few more pictures. I particularly like this one and later made a 11×17 in print to frame. Here is the image as taken.

Here is the same image after I enhanced for printing. For this one I used Nikon Capture NX. It reads the “Vivid” setting I had used in the Nikon D300 and also I enhanced using Active D-Light. Notice how it brighted up the rocky mountain.