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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 06 Jun 2012 (Wednesday) 15:30
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Hiking 1.5 miles up a mountain and shooting wedding pictures

 
mirrorrim
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Jun 06, 2012 15:30 |  #1

Any gear suggestions to make this as comfortable as possible? I just booked this wedding and the wedding hiking photos are very important to the bride. It's supposed to be a mild incline and take about 45 mins - 1 hr to hike to the top, where the ceremony will be.

I will be using a Canon 5D3 and normall use a 24-70 2.8 lens, but I was thinking of also renting something longer (135) for the ceremony. Plus I gotta have that backup camera!

The wedding is super casual and I can dress in hiking shorts and boots. I only have the neck strap that comes with the camera--is there something better I should get?




  
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fotojennik
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Jun 06, 2012 15:36 |  #2

Yes, look into some sort of backpack type carrying system. You can find one that will fit 1 body with lens attached, extra body w/ no lens, and 1-2 other lenses and a flash or two.


Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer (external link) | Flickr (external link) | Gear List

  
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Red ­ Tie ­ Photography
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Jun 06, 2012 15:44 |  #3

With the gear I have, I would bring:

Canon 5d3
Canon 5d2
Canon 24-105mm
Canon 70-200mm
Canon 50mm


Bryan
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brokensocial
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Jun 06, 2012 23:05 |  #4

Backpack or messenger-bag style camera bag for sure.


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Numenorean
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Jun 06, 2012 23:11 |  #5

It would go in my hiking pack which I use for landscapes so that wouldn't be that big of a deal to me.


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bmang11
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Jun 07, 2012 09:23 as a reply to  @ Numenorean's post |  #6

Look into a company called F-Stop. They make great bags and you will keep using it long after your hike.


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SMP_Homer
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Jun 07, 2012 12:39 |  #7

bring a Sherpa - hold only what you need at that moment, let the Sherpa carry all the excess


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socalrailfan
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Jun 08, 2012 19:06 |  #8

I have this pack and it's great. Lowepro Vertex 100 All Weather Notebook for $200.


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Luckless
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Jun 10, 2012 15:36 |  #9

Hike it yourself before you go. As soon as possible, and do it a time or two. Ideally with someone familiar with the couple, or the couple themselves, and scout out photo points along the trail itself. I'm thinking an ideal set of shots would be a point mid way along that you could take photos of everyone coming up the trail. Arrange to get a bit of a head start so you can setup before they're in sight and be ready.

If you are doing planned shots like that on the hike where positioning and timing is going to be important, but distances are going to be more than a few hundred feet, than a radio can be your friend, but more importantly a pocket mirror. If a radio doesn't seem to work for whatever reason, fall back on basic light signals. More reliable than trying to yell across a valley, or trying to wave your arms around.

How much of an outdoors type are you? I know a lot of avid outdoors types can easily forget just how horribly out of shape 'normal' people can get. I know I've been yelled at before for telling someone it was an "Easy hike", and found them bent double gasping for air before we were halfway there. And I consider myself to be in horrible shape. Either way enlisting someone as a pack mule for part of your gear is likely a good idea, especially if they want you to take photos on the trail.

Most importantly: Watch where the hell you're going! Few things spoil a mountain top wedding like having the photographer back himself over a cliff because he was too busy trying to frame a shot.


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mirrorrim
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Jun 10, 2012 18:05 as a reply to  @ Luckless's post |  #10

Thanks for all the advice. I have a lighter trail pack I can use to carry extras and I bought a black rapid strap to hopefully make things more comfortable for my neck.

I'm definitely going to make the hike beforehand and I've already checked out the path via google. Luckily, it's a heavily shaded hike and the top of the mountain is more of a clearing with trees surrounding, so no cliffs to worry about falling off of :)

I'm "in shape" as in I'm not overweight and I go on lots of walks with my dog. I've done a couple hikes up mountains in the area and I think I'll survive, heh. The bride has mentioned that there is a nice rest stop about half way up, so I'll probably hike up a bit early and then take shots as people arrive. Then the guests will continue up the mountain and I'm staying at the rest stop to wait for the bride and her wedding party (they are hiking in dresses and boots!).




  
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kenwood33
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Jun 14, 2012 00:09 |  #11

the obvious advice is to hire someone to carry stuff for you


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bigarchi
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Jun 14, 2012 08:42 |  #12

Sounds like a fun gig!

don't forget to pack some water ;)


~Mitch

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mirrorrim
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Jun 18, 2012 12:52 as a reply to  @ bigarchi's post |  #13

Okay, well I made the hike last Saturday. Whew! It is a lot more challenging than I anticipated. Google Maps totally lied about it being a nice tree-lined ceremony at the top. It is a large boulder, about 1000sqft. It took me 1.5 hours and I was sweating like a pig. Luckily I dont need to dress up.

The hike is a nice little trail for half a mile. Then it gets more steep, with a lot of obstacles in the way (trees, rocks, etc). The last half mile involves climbing up and over boulders! With no obvious foot or hand holds. So, a little more extreme than I was expecting, but I did it. Based on my time of 1.5 hours the bride has decided to tell the guests to get started earlier than expected. I found a half way point (right before you start climbing the rocks) to take pictures of the guests hiking. I'm going to make sure I get there extra early.

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This is a photo of the ceremony location taken with my phone. The time was 4:45, and the ceremony will be taking place at 3pm. This brings me to my big question: exposure settings for my camera.

There was strong back light and my husband was wearing black to mimic a groom's tux (although not sure if the groom will actually be in a tux, dunno how he'd survive the hike, but the bride is wearing a wedding dress). If I exposed for the groom, I'd get a shutter speed of 1/30, too slow and blows out the sky.

Would a neutral density filter help in this situation? What about in combination with a flash? I hope to get these settings right with minimal fuss--I dont want to mess around too much and accidentally fall off the mountain!

There will also be 2 cellists and champagne for 35 attendees at the top of this mountain. Whoever is hiking up with that stuff is CRAZY!



  
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Luckless
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Jun 18, 2012 17:30 |  #14

Didn't miss a turn in the trail by any chance, did you? I've had many adventures in hiking caused by minor miscommunications on trail plans, and misread maps.

Also, any idea if the couple is going to have a blog or something about their wedding? I have a few friends who would be very interested in seeing how it went planning wise. (And having something to show the parents and inlaws might help it go a little more smoothly.)


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mirrorrim
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Jul 01, 2012 11:50 |  #15

The wedding was last Thursday and the weather was perfect! I made the hike during 90+ degree weather, but on the actual day it was in the 70s and party cloudy. I hiked to the halfway point early and got in place for pics as people arrived, then I hiked the rest of the way up with the bride.

I used a little travel pack and brought my 5d3 with 24-70 lens and a flash. When I wanted to hike and take photos, my camera was on a black rapid strap and if I needed to climb up some rocks, I hooked the carabiner of the strap to my hip belt buckle so the camera wouldnt flop around. I also made sure to have the lens hood on just in case!

Here are some photos:

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Luckless: The couple was very laidback and are one of the couples from my other post about "photographing parts of the wedding the couple doesnt want." So I doubt they had a blog. They are very active in hiking, so they knew ahead of time what they wanted to do.



  
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Hiking 1.5 miles up a mountain and shooting wedding pictures
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