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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:00 pm 
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I just came back from Bonneville Salt Flats, after 5 days of shooting
the 2007 BUB's Speed Trials for motorcycles. I was covering the
event for my own web site and also for a couple of moto mags. I took
my lap top with me with a VZW air card and managed to do a daily blog with pics
and videos, in a place with ZERO internet connection. So, it worked
out well.

I'd like to share a few of these images with you. Cheers, S

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Last edited by SHIVA on Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:32 pm 
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Niiiiiiice shots, Shiva!
But you shouldn't have shot the young lady in #4 against the toilet cubicles :? :oops: :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:59 pm 
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lol, it's photo journalism, sometimes you have no choice, but she was shot again in number 12... :)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:06 pm 
Beautiful ! :D

No Sun-rise Sun-set shots in such awesome place :?:

Or did you keep those 4 yourselves ? :P


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:10 pm 
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Really nice shots Shiva! Not sure if I missed it anywhere, but what photographic equipment did you use for this shoot, and were there any particular challenges shooting in this environment - I bet it's really bright and might confuse some metering systems...

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:11 pm 
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Yeah, #12 is much better!
Did everybody have to throw away their gear after the salt has had the chance to get everywhere???

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:22 pm 
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if you have seen my posts on this forum since my return, you'll see a phrase being repeated over and again "weatherproof." "Is this camera weatherproof?" This place can ruin lenses and cameras after a few days, if not careful.

I used a 30D, it's a good camera but not a great camera. It's fast, true, but I was worried I would ruin it in the salt. Although the air looks clean and dry, by the end of the day everything gets covered by a soft dust of salt. There is salt everywhere. Nothing you can do about it.

Things that I learned from this shoot was that, the 2nd lcd screen on top is an absolute must. The larger lcd on the back is just useless. You can't see anything in bright daylight. Even trying to shade it with your body, and setting it on brightest level didn't help much. Again, just simply useless. I tried to show some images to people around, while shading the camera, they had to squint hard and still barely could see anything.

The minimum camera for this environment is the Nikon D200, as the 30D is not dust proof at all. But now that 40D promises to be "more" dust proof than the 30D, it's good thing. Then again it's $500 less than D300.

I don't know if I have ruined any of my lenses yet. One of them stopped working after day 2. I have to check it out.

Gordon, you'd know this, are Canon "L" lenses dust proof? Are their cheaper lenses dust proof as well. I can tell you that sigma wasn't ... ;) no big loss there. It's a crappy lens. All the pics that seem soft, like of the blond in image 4, was shot with Sigma on first day before it died- POS lens.

I used on board flash and it worked great.
See this image. Just nice coverage, isn't it?
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This is the only shot, that I felt an external flash was needed the man's face is a bit dark.
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After 5 days, the Canon 30D was fine, it didn't stop working and it looked clean. However it was a rental and I have no idea if it will develop any problems later. I was careful with it, as I am with all of my gear or toys.

That's basically it. I plan to get a new DSLR and I am looking into the D300 with the 18-200 Nikkor lens (dust proof?) and 40D with I am not sure which lens, too bad Canon doesn't make a 18-135 or 18-200 lens. Unless I carry multiple lenses, but I rather not.

Gordon, I saw your review of the Tamron and Sigma and Nikkor lenses at 18-200 and the aftermarket lenses were soft in comparison.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:27 pm 
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Another good example of the on board flash at work...

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:03 am 
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Nice reply Shiva, but focussed only on your gear :wink:
What about other peoples stories under these conditions and esp. what about the motor-cycles - after breathing in so much salt?!?
As to the sealing of the Nikon 18-200mm I can say as much: There is a rubber-gasket at the lens mount, but internally a lot of dust-specs "developed" on the inside of the front-lens. But as someone in this forum said: he expected the rear lens group to be quite sealed, so perhaps the dust getting into the lens just stops in the front "compartment" :?
Btw. the Nikkor 105mm VR macro also has this rubber-gasket at the lens mount...

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:45 pm 
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Hi, This is a relatively small event. I'd say a thousand through out the 5 days and 200-300 on average at any given time.

It's a harsh place to shoot. But it's extremely magical. Anyone who's there is basically genuine and hardcore into motorcycles. The salt, which is ever-present like powered sand, takes a toll on both camera and lenses.

Interesting though, about 80-90% of DSLRs at this event were Canons. I saw only 2 Nikons, a D200 and D2x. The good thing about shooting Canon's in an event that lasts 5 days is that you can easily borrow/swap batteries, lenses and or flashes if need be. Although Canon batteries seem to last a few days on one charge. The Canon's hold on the DSLR marketing is rather surprising. I saw all the Canon models being used, from the XT to XTi to older 10D, 20D, and of course quite a few 30D, a 5D, and a handful of 1D-II.

This hold may change as Nikon's new offerings are appetizing, but for once it was refreshing to be a part of the majority.

The salt can easily ruin motorcycle parts. The correct way of dealing with it is to wash off the bikes and cars immediately. It can gradually eat into metal parts. However, all engine entry ports have filters. Granted your radiator can get blocked off at high speeds and heat up the engine and so on. People try to come up with novel ideas to prevent the radiator getting blocked off.

Also the condition of the salt varies from year to year. This year it was troublesome, other years it doesn't stick to things as much...

S

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:18 am 
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Hi SHIVA, all the L lenses I've seen have a rubber ring around their lens mounts which seals the join when it connects to the body - so that stops - or reduces - stuff getting inside at that point - but I can't say how well they're sealed at other points.

As for the 40D's weather-sealing, as far as I can tell, it features rubber strips around the CF card and battery compartment doors, along with a plastic perimeter around the hotshoe over which models like the 580 EX II can make a perfect seal.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:53 am 
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my story and images on the Bonneville Salt Flats made the cover of Backroads magazine, Nov. Issue.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:45 am 
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Excellent! Great work SHIVA!

So that was with the 30D, right?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:17 am 
Do you post on GenMay? I swear I've seen these before :)

-Ant


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:15 pm 
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Hello and thank you. Yes 30D, with 28-105 Tamron lens shot at 400 ISO. These cameras shoot so smooth, that I tend to leave them at 400. Shot in Superfine JPG at max resolution. This magazine is quite large, it's almost 13X10" (inch) and the image looks smooth and sharp.

No GenMay but I do post on DPR. :) S

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