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.


  1. I am pretty impressed that you choose to use the H3D for the trip. But what about battery life and how did you charge it? Perhaps you have lots of spare batteries. I'll post your comments to my blog.

  2. HI Mark -Thanks for your inquiry. I took 3 rechargable batteries with me, and used them at sunrise and sunset for 5 days - this lasted me through the trip since I was not able to recharge batteries. I have found the H3D works best with the rechargable batteries instead of the li-ion batteries in the holder, but the rechargables will act up if not kept warm in a pocket before use (if it is cold out).