Thursday, August 9, 2007

Photo Backpacking in the High Sierra

I recently returned from a backpack trip with some friends in the Emigrant Wilderness Area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We traveled cross-country to a remote lake in a large glaciated granite basin. Since we had to carry 5 days worth of food and all our backpacking gear, I had to travel with a very lightweight camera system. I took my 39 mp H3D in a small pack which I carried in front, which helped counterbalance the weight of my backpack. In the camera pack I only took the very lightweight 80 mm lens, 3 charged batteries, 2 16gb flash cards, and some cleaning stuff and multi-tool. I also took a gitzo carbon fiber tripod (the small light one) and an acratech ballhead. I only photographed at sunrise and sunset since I had limited storage and battery power, but I was able to make storage and batteries last throughout the trip. In hindsight I would have preferred a wider angle lens, and probably would have taken the 35mm instead even though it weighs more. I took a number of shots that I am planning to stitch together to give a wider angle view since the 80mm view is not very wide or dramatic. Having a 39 megapixel camera in the Sierra high country is quite a treat - I am still working on my images and will post some here when they are done. I was very pleased and feel that I was able to get a number of portfolio quality shots. The area I was in has not been extensively photographed since it is somewhat difficult to access. This time of the year is wonderful in the Sierra - it is very warm (but not hot) and the bugs are not too bad. I hope to get one more backpack trip in before the end of the month, probably to the Yosemite high country.