Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Winter at the South Rim with a Sony A7rII

Same image
FE24-70 at 35mm
f/10 1/400 ISO 50
We recently spent several days visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Late December and we were blessed with heavy clouds, dense fog, extreme cold, snow and we can’t forget about the high winds.  Most, if not all conditions for great landscape photography.

We’ve shared what Don was able to do with the Phase One XF, IQ180 medium format system he uses, this will highlight what the new Sony A7rII can do. 
Don standing on the edge near Mather Point
FE24-70 at 37mm
f/8 1/400 ISO 50
Sandy standing at the Abyss.  The fog and clouds rolled in as well as the wind.
Phase One XF, IQ180, Schneider LS35mm
The first couple days were so socked in that we began to wonder if we’d see the inside of the Canyon.  While we couldn’t see the Canyon we did experience several locations in the trees where the combination of snow and fog made for near perfect shooting conditions and couldn’t pass it up.

There’s a stand of trees at the intersection of South Entrance Road and Desert View Drive (actually on Desert View Drive).  The Park Service did a prescribed burn several years ago and we’ve been watching as it comes back to life.  Conditions were near perfect this trip with dense fog shrouding the trees.
 As shared on Instagram f/4.0 1/160 ISO 50

FE24-70-at 24mm f/4 1/160 ISO 50

FE 90mm f/4 1/160 ISO 50

Enjoying what we did at the burn area we decided to venture into the forest that is near the Canyon and weren’t disappointed. 

Ever wonder what was around the next bend in the road?  So did we….
As shared on Instagram
FE24-70 at 59mm f/4.5 1/160 ISO 50
As shared on Instagram
f/6.3 1/160 ISO 50
As shared on Instagram
f/6.3 1/160 ISO 50
The fog lifted, the snow stopped and the clouds parted to show the Grand Canyon in all her majestic beauty. 
Hopi Point Overlook
FE16-35 at 35mm f/13 1/200 ISO 50

As shared on Instagram
The Abyss
FE24-70 at 24mm f/11 1/320 ISO 50
Grand Canyon Storm
Hermit Rest Overlook
FE24-70 at 70mm f/11 1/320 ISO 50
On the Edge
FE24-70 at 24mm f/8 1/400 ISO 50

Four days at the South Rim experiencing just about every type of winter weather and we couldn’t ask for better.
We’ve met so many people while working at the South Rim that were disappointed because they couldn’t see into the Canyon.  Don’t be like these people, if you can’t see inside the Canyon look for the beauty that’s just outside the rim.  Also if you plan a winter trip expect to run into snow, dense fog, road closures etc.  If you can try to spend a little extra time just in case; there’s nothing worse than having to leave hours before the show begins.

This was our last trip of 2015.  We’ve got several neat trips planned for 2016 among them the Salton Sea, California Redwoods, Valley of the Gods and Monument Valley as well as Sedona and a month shooting in Montana, so stay tuned.
Happy New Year to everyone and we hope you have a safe enjoyable year.
Sandy & Don 


We wanted to wrap this post up with a few thoughts on the Sony A7rII.  First we like it. A lot. The camera performed flawlessly both at the Grand Canyon and the previous month at Bryce.  Both trips we encountered extreme cold and in some cases very unpleasant shooting conditions.  Battery life was more than good.  Likewise autofocus using a battery of lenses ranging from the FE16-35, FE24-70 and FE90 all worked as advertised.  We often gave out way before the camera did due to the extreme conditions.  There were a couple instances where the battery was exhausted and shut the camera down however this was due more to a human error of not watching the level than to a technical error.  There were no malfunctions during either trip.  And Sandy found that due to the ergonomics of the camera she was able to work and handle the camera much easier than the older A7r. In short, the Sony A7r II is a great addition to our kit.  





No comments:

Post a Comment