#33. "Big Sur Final Update & Reminders!!!" In response to In response to 0 Thu 07-Apr-11 11:29 PM by mmariant
Morro Bay, US
One week to go until the start of the workshop! Here's the final update and reminder on certain photo gear that is required for the workshop along with some suggested photo and non-photo gear:
Where are we meeting to start the workshop? We will be meeting at 8:00 AM at the Big Sur California Cafe in San Simeon. The restaurant is located between the Day’s Inn and Silver Surf Hotel. I will be the one with a bright orange clipboard; you can’t miss me. The workshop will begin with orientation during breakfast. Note the time change from the original FAQ of the starting time has been changed.
What gear do we NEED to bring? LENSES: While a full-range of focal-length lenses, from wide to medium-tele is sufficient for this workshop, I am not one to state that the workshop requires certain lenses or cameras in order to properly capture the scene. Lenses that start in the 17mm range on the wide side and top out at 200mm on the long side will do a fine job. If you are shooting on a cropped-sensor camera, and have an 18-200 lens, that is all you need for lenses. I would put the emphasis on the wider lenses over the longer lenses, meaning a wide-angle zoom, such as a 16-35 or 24-70, or both, would be used far more than a 70-200.
FILTERS: One piece of equipment that is REQUIRED is a neutral density (ND) filter of at least -6 stops (Note: NOT a gradated ND filter and NOT polarizer filters). There are several options out there for ND filters, from varying density to the Vario-n-Duo. If you are new to ND filters, or only bring one, the -6 stop is a great starter, especially for the studies in water motion we will be doing during the workshop. The additional ND options that are available will only contribute to your photographic creativity, but certainly are not necessary for this workshop.
A glass ND filter of a set-number of stops can be found by most filter makers, including Hoya, Tiffen and B+W. Sometimes they are listed as the number of stops of light reduced, such as a –6 stop ND filter, while other times they are listed in a 0.3, or 0.6, or 1.3, etc. reference. In this case, every ‘.3’ equals one stop of light. So a .9 ND is a –3 stop ND filter. So a –6 stop ND filter then would be listed as a ND 1.8 filter. (They couldn’t keep it simple, could they?) Of course, some manufactures have their own numbering system, so you will have to check with each manufacturer to confirm the number of stops of ND for each filter.
(Note: DO NOT use/purchase Cokin ND filters, as there are documented and known issues of color shifting during exposure.)
OTHER PHOTO GEAR: A tripod is absolutely necessary. Make sure it is in good working order. And a cable or shutter release is highly recommended, as we will often be dealing with long exposures and you don't want to jar the camera by pressing the shutter. If you don't have a shutter release, don't panic, as you can use the self-timer. As for data storage, either bring enough cards to get you through the entire four day workshop or bring a laptop to download and review your images.
NON PHOTO GEAR: Good light-duty hiking boots or shoes with excellent traction are necessary as we will be off-trail and doing some light boulder scrambling at times and good foot traction and strong ankle support is necessary. Count on going through mud and creeks. No sandals or flip-flops. Guaranteed stubbed toes or, even worse, large splinters! Light-weight long-sleeved shirts, light-weight pants, hat (ideally a wide-brimmed hat; no visors), rain or all-weather jacket. Layered clothing is ideal as the temperature changes drastically from cold winds to hot sun. Also, water bottles, at least 32oz capacity (not bottled water but bottles that can be filled with water, such as Nalgene), sunscreen and — most importantly — a headlamp or flashlight is necessary! In the "not necessary but suggested" category, hiking/trekking poles can be very handy, as we will be in some terrain where the extra "two feet" can help with stability.
What is the meals/eating situation? The workshop schedule usually allows for a sit-down breakfast and sit-down dinner every day, while some days we will have a sit-down lunch or have get a lunch to-go in order to maximize our shooting time. All of our breakfast and dinner meals will be at dining establishments either in San Simeon or Big Sur Village (Fernwood). You can budget that breakfast will cost between $8-10 and lunch/dinner between $15-18. The sole lunch in the isolated hamlet of Lucia is very pricey as it is very remote. A simple hamburger can run a shocking $18, but the past workshop favorite of fish and chips (famous!) runs about $22 and can be split between two people.
What are the road conditions? Is Highway 1 still closed at the north end? What about that landslide at the south end? Highway 1 is still closed at the north end and with near certainty will remain that way through the workshop. The workshop itinerary has been modified to accommodate this closure. The landslide at the southern end has been completely cleared and there are no restrictions. However, the Big Sur region has been saturated by heavy rains over the past two months and the ground is unstable. Landslides/rockslides can happen at any moment on any stretch of the road. It is impossible to predict and we will work all contingencies into the schedule if a slide impairs our travel. At this moment, it is raining in Big Sur. Over the course of the next seven days, I will continue to monitor the road conditions daily and will provide an update here if conditions change.
What about the possible shutdown of the Federal Government due to stalled budget talks? Will that affect the workshop? No. All of the areas we are visiting that are manned by government officials (rangers) or run by a government agency are State of California properties.
That does it for the final update. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask BEFORE we reach Big Sur.
____________________________ Michael A. Mariant Nikonians Academy Faculty Master Your Vision Workshops