Jeff Storck

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Nov 21, 2017
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101
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Virginia
Last month, my wife and I got to spend a week at the Grand Canyon North Rim. Neither of us had ever been there before. We had no idea what we were missing. When we were planning this trip, I decided to look into doing a private Photography Workshop while there since I did not know the area and did not want to miss any good locations for shooting. I was very fortunate in finding Adam Schallau - Adam Schallau • American Landscape Photographer . I just cannot say enough good things about Adam, and highly recommend him to anyone going to the Grand Canyon for a photo trip. That workshop was everything I hoped it would be and well worth the money. As a side note, we ran into a large group workshop run by another photographer, and the difference in approaches between them was huge. Where Adam was attentive and helpful, the other photographer seemed more focused on getting his own shots than in helping his attendees. I rarely feel camera envy when I am out shooting and run into other photographers. I love the MFT format and what it brings to the table, but in this group I felt like the poor relation: 2 Nikon D850s, 3 Canon FF, 1 Sony FF, A Hasselblad with a Phase One digital back, and a Phase One camera. And there I was with my plucky G85. At the two stops we ran into them, we were the first to arrive and the last to leave. At the first location, Cape Royal, Adam and I were talking about how when the sun dipped below the horizon the clouds would light up and give us a nice show. One of the other attendees overheard us, and when his group packed up early (when the professional judged that he was finished), he asked his leader if they shouldn't stay just a bit longer to catch the best light and the nice clouds. The response: No, we've got what we need, if you want nice clouds just photoshop some in there. What?? Really?? I was flabbergasted. We shook our heads and stayed. Here is what I got after they left:

Cape Royal At Sunset 1.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 15mm, f11, 1.3 Sec, ISO 200, 2 stop soft grad

Cape Royal At Sunset 2.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 15mm, f11, 1.3 Sec, ISO 200, 2 stop soft grad

Cape Royal At Sunset 3.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 66mm, f11, 1/3 Sec, ISO 200, 3 stop soft grad

Here are a few I caught earlier, before the sun was setting:

Cape Royal Late Afternon 1.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 28mm, f11, 1/60 Sec, ISO 200

Cape Royal Late Afternoon 2.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 23mm, f8, 1/400 Sec, ISO 200

Cape Royal Late Afternoon 3.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 70mm, f8, 1/320 Sec, ISO 200

Cape Royal Valley.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 66mm, f8, 1/200 Sec, ISO 200

The next morning we went to Imperial Point for the sunrise. Once again we ran into the other group. Once again, we were the first to arrive and the last to leave. This was good since the overlook was small and we managed to get the prime position.

Mount Hayden.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 29mm, f8, 1/5Sec, ISO 200, 2 stop soft grad

This next one is a panorama consisting of three images stitched together in photoshop. It wasn't planned that way. I was trying to capture the ridge in the foreground with the canyon behind. I shot a bunch of images, but didn't really like what I saw in post. Then I realized I had enough photos to make a panorama out of them.

Imperial Point Pano.jpg
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G85, Panny 100-300 II @ 136mm, f10, 1/100 Sec, ISO 200, 2 stop soft grad

This next one is a shot that Adam suggested to me. The lighting was difficult - heavily back lit, and it was misty. In the end, I really like how the sun peeking over the ridge lit the top of the tree in the foreground.

Imperial Point Tree.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 61mm, f11, 1/20 Sec, ISO 200, 3 stop soft grad

We spent both a sunrise and an evening at Angels Window. This was a vantage point I never would have found without Adam.

Angels Window At Sunrise.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 18mm, f8, 6 Sec, ISO 200, 2 stop soft grad

Angels Window Early Morning.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 20mm, f16, 1/13 Sec, ISO 200

This one was taken from the same vantage point, down into the Canyon. I really liked the colors and the texture here.

Angels Window Valley At Sunrise.jpg
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G85, Panny 100-300 ii, f14, 1/50 Sec, ISO 200

We came back to the same spot at night to try a little astro photography. This is something I had no experience with, and Adam showed me how it was done.

Angels Window At Night.jpg
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G85, Laowa 7.5 mm, f2.8, 30 Sec, ISO 2000

The workshop now completed, we were on our own for the rest of the trip. We took a hike down into a small side canyon: The Cliff Spring Trail. It was just beautiful down there!

Cliff Spring Trail 1.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 12mm, f8, 1/320 Sec, ISO 200

Cliff Spring Trail 2.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 29mm, f8, 1/125 Sec, ISO 200

Cliff Spring Trail 3.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 35mm, f8, 1/60 Sec, ISO 200, 3 stop soft grad

I was quite taken with this bench I found near the Lodge.

Bench.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 12mm, f6.3, 1/320 Sec, ISO 200

We were fortunate enough to run into a small herd of Bison on the meadows.

Bison 4.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 24mm, f8, 1/200 Sec, ISO 200

Bison 2.jpg
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G85, Panny 100-300 ii@ 223mm, f5.6, 1/2000 Sec, ISO 800

Continued...
 
Last edited:

Jeff Storck

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Nov 21, 2017
Messages
101
Location
Virginia
Continued...

I really fell in love with the Aspen groves that were all over the place out there. These groves are all one tree, and when the fall color change comes, they all change at the same time. I would love to be there to capture that.

Aspen Grove.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 100mm, f16, 1/30 Sec, ISO 200

On our last full day there we went to a couple of vantage points to catch our last late afternoon/sunset shots. First stop: Vista Encantada.

Vista Encantada View Of Mount Hayden.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 50mm, f8, 1/100Sec, ISO 200, 2 stop soft grad, CPL

Vista Encantada Wide.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 17mm, f8, 1/30 Sec, ISO 200, 2 stop soft grad, CPL

We finished at Walhalla for sunset and another night shot.

Walhalla Sunset.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 34mm, f11, 1/20 Sec, ISO 200, 2 stop soft grad

Walhalla Tree At Night.jpg
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G85, Laowa 7.5 mm, f2.8, 30 Sec, ISO 2500

That closed out our trip and it was time to head home. I would just like to say again, that if you have the chance to go to the Grand Canyon, either north or south rim, and you are looking for a workshop to join, you can't do better than Adam Schallau (Full disclosure: I did not get any kind of discount or consideration for this recommendation, I just feel this strongly about how he comported himself with us).

Adam Schallau composing his shot.

Adam Schallau.jpg
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G85, Oly 12-100 @ 12mm, f4, 1/10 Sec, ISO 200, Handheld
 

50orsohours

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Beautiful photos, but why F8? For most of you wide angle shots, f 4/5.6 is plenty. You are using a razor sharp lens, but not utilizing it correctly.
 

CWRailman

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Jeff, GREAT job of capturing the colors of the Canyon. We get up there every year during one of our motorcycle trips and due to climate conditions during the times we can visit have only been to the North Rim once because it is usually closed at that time of year due to cold and snow. Hopefully you enjoyed your visit enough to come and experience some of our other wonders. Kudos to your wife for understanding your passion.
 

gnarlydog australia

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With the results you present here, do you still feel that your camera was "inadequate" for the job? ... you know, FF envy.
To me your images (especially the first couple) are as good as they can be.
 

AdamK

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Wow, those are the kinds of shots I dream of getting if (when!) I make it back to the Canyon some day.

I recall being awestruck as I approached the rim and caught my first view the one and only time I visited.

Can you share - was your guide primarily there to get you to the prime vistas and oriented for the best shots, or did he spend the time to help with setup and instruction? For shots like these, I’d gladly pay for a top-notch guide+instructor.
 

sbm

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Spectacular shots, Jeff! I’m heading there soon... have any tips?
 

ToxicTabasco

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ToxicTabasco
Last month, my wife and I got to spend a week at the Grand Canyon North Rim. Neither of us had ever been there before. We had no idea what we were missing.

Continued...

That is some great photography of the North Rim. I spent a day there this past week. It truly is a diamond in the rough. You got some amazing wildlife shots and landscapes. Thanks for sharing. This is the kind of photography that makes me want to go back and get more photograpy.
 

Jeff Storck

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Nov 21, 2017
Messages
101
Location
Virginia
Beautiful photos, but why F8? For most of you wide angle shots, f 4/5.6 is plenty. You are using a razor sharp lens, but not utilizing it correctly.

Had a long discussion with Adam regarding diffraction and what aperture to use. His point, unless you are enlarging to very large sizes, diffraction is not really an issue, not more than DOF. I went with his advice, since while I will be printing some these, I likely won't be going poster size.
 

Jeff Storck

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Joined
Nov 21, 2017
Messages
101
Location
Virginia
Jeff, GREAT job of capturing the colors of the Canyon. We get up there every year during one of our motorcycle trips and due to climate conditions during the times we can visit have only been to the North Rim once because it is usually closed at that time of year due to cold and snow. Hopefully you enjoyed your visit enough to come and experience some of our other wonders. Kudos to your wife for understanding your passion.

We both loved it so much, we can't wait to get back there again. Next time we will do the south rim. We've already mentioned it to Adam. My wife is the greatest. The workshop was my birthday present.
 

Jeff Storck

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Joined
Nov 21, 2017
Messages
101
Location
Virginia
With the results you present here, do you still feel that your camera was "inadequate" for the job? ... you know, FF envy.
To me your images (especially the first couple) are as good as they can be.

Not at all. I would love to compare what I got with some of the guys in the other group. I love the MFT system and am fully committed to it. Right now my GAS is limited to waiting for the new Oly to be announced and seeing if it might offer enough to justify an upgrade.
 

Jeff Storck

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Nov 21, 2017
Messages
101
Location
Virginia
Wow, those are the kinds of shots I dream of getting if (when!) I make it back to the Canyon some day.

I recall being awestruck as I approached the rim and caught my first view the one and only time I visited.

Can you share - was your guide primarily there to get you to the prime vistas and oriented for the best shots, or did he spend the time to help with setup and instruction? For shots like these, I’d gladly pay for a top-notch guide+instructor.

Adam and I spent time on every shot discussing the light, the composition, etc. He is really an excellent guide and instructor.
 

Jeff Storck

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Nov 21, 2017
Messages
101
Location
Virginia
Spectacular shots, Jeff! I’m heading there soon... have any tips?

I highly recommend the north rim. Its rustic, and that is a bit of an understatement, so if you need civilization you might not like it, but it is evidently not as crowded as the south rim. I already recommended Adam Schallau as a guide and instructor. You can't do better. Enjoy your trip. Cheers.
 

Jeff Storck

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Nov 21, 2017
Messages
101
Location
Virginia
A very nice set of images, what 2 stop grad did you use? I am currently trying to find a round graduated filter 2 to 3 stops.

I use the Formatt-Hitech filter system. I have the 100mm size set in Nds, Hards, and softs. I also have a B+W CPL that goes on the front of the holder. I wish I had bought a larger size though. At 12mm I get a slight vignette.
 
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