Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Slik Tripod review

I recently got a Slik Mini II (amazon link) because I wanted something with a little more flexibility that the Joby Gorrila pod (amazon link), but still not too heavy. I've never had a "fancy" tripod, so I have no idea how this compares. Someone on http://backcountrypost.com/ mentioned doing a gear review, so here goes.

The Joby is ~$50 and the Slik is ~$80. And 14oz vs 28oz, I wish I had just bought the Slik and skipped the Joby.

I'm pretty happy with the stability of the Slik, but I never extended the center column. I'm not sure how well it would work with a heavier camera or a longer lens, but the price and weight make it a pretty good deal for my setup. The only thing that gives me pause is the locking mechanism for the legs, they are plastic and seemed a little "fragile" when the temperature was in the 20s. Hopefully, they will hold up.

A couple photos for comparison.
The camera is a Nikon D5100 with a 18-105 lens that weighs 36.45 oz. The ball head is solid enough that portrait mode photos were no problem, landscape mode was very stable.

The chair is a "normal" dining room chair to give an idea about height. Without any legs extended, the Slik is very compact and easy to fit in the side pocket of my pack.

With the legs completely extended

With the center column extended as well.

The legs have 3 positions (angles), this is the most extreme.

Middle position of the legs.

Steepest angle of the legs.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Douglas Trail

Douglas Trail
Red River Gorge

After last week's hike to the waterfall, I decided to hike the Douglas Trail and see if I could find some good "trickles" in the creeks to photograph. I also wanted to experiment with my new neutral density filter for some long-exposure photos. I ended up being happier with the small things vs. the water but I still had a good time.

I can't decide which version I like better.

Rock face at the Wall of Denial

A couple creek trickles

Upper Red River (30 second exposure)

Looking up Clifty Creek

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Creek hiking to a waterfall

Red River Gorge

Overcast day in the middle of the week, I only saw two cars parked at different trailheads and passed a group of guys that looked like they were going to ford Station Camp Creek and go hunting or camping. Basically, I had the gorge to myself for a couple of hours.

I checked out the view from Sky Bridge and followed a user path along the cliff face to an great view. It was very windy so I did not linger long.

Then off to find a creek and a waterfall.

Three views of a popular waterfall in the gorge.

Abstract rock art

This tree was covered in fungus from the ground up to about 30 feet, basically the whole tree. I can't decide which version I like best.

Same tree, different angle

 Fallen tree and fungus

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cumberland Falls

12/29 - 12/30/16

My wife and I took advantage of the grandparents in town and escaped for a night to a cabin at Cumberland Falls State Park. I took advantage of the kid free time to play with my camera, my wife choose to read and enjoy the fireplace.

The river was really high which made the falls look bigger than normal. It also meant that our hike to Eagle Falls was cut short since the last little bit was under water.

Cumberland Falls, the "Niagra of the South". The light was pretty challenging, the falls only look good in B&W.

This is a stitch of 30 individual shots merged with MS ICE. The original is ~19000 x 8000 pixels.

Unnamed falls across the river. My wife slipped in this creek on the hike to Eagle Falls.

Eagle Falls

The sunset from the cabin porch was nice, not much of a view, but the sun through the trees was pretty.