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Author Topic: Kayaks  (Read 32693 times)
DarkPenguin
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« on: March 20, 2006, 11:53:15 AM »
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So,

Anyone do photography from a kayak?  How does it work?  What do you use to keep your gear from getting soaked?

Thanks!
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2006, 01:25:43 PM »
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Certainly have from a canoe. I use underwater equipment. Nikonos in my case.

Bob
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2006, 01:36:48 PM »
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I tried with my Eddyline and gave up; the H2O pools right where I set the camera. I even tried setting up a foam mat there to try and alleviate the problem and no go...

I think a canoe or maybe recreational, wide-hull Kayak like a Pungo is a much better solution for photogs.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2006, 01:38:02 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

DarkPenguin
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2006, 02:01:13 PM »
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So, one I-treat-it-like-it-will-be-underwater and one it-will-be-under-water.

I'm seeing a theme.
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didjdoctor
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2006, 02:34:42 PM »
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Quote
So,

Anyone do photography from a kayak?  How does it work?  What do you use to keep your gear from getting soaked?

Thanks!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60695\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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didjdoctor
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2006, 02:38:21 PM »
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[attachment=338:attachment][attachment=339:attachment]
Quote
So,

Anyone do photography from a kayak?  How does it work?  What do you use to keep your gear from getting soaked?

Thanks!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60695\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

My wife and I have the sit-on-the-top recreational kayaks that aren't very likely to capsize.  I just hung the camera around my neck and tried to be careful.
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benInMA
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2006, 03:31:06 PM »
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Add one to "it will be underwater".

If you have to ask this question I'm guessing you haven't done a lot of kayaking.

If you haven't done a lot of kayaking - you will get damn wet.

Make sure you secure the camera to the kayak otherwise you may just lose the camera completely!

If you're using the more stable ones you might as well go to a canoe.
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2006, 04:57:25 PM »
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Quote
So,

Anyone do photography from a kayak?  How does it work?  What do you use to keep your gear from getting soaked?

Thanks!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60695\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Use a river bag for when you aren't shooting.  There are special ones that have inflation chambers on the outside which both cushion your gear and keep it on top of the water.

And tie the bag to your boat.

If you want to do some hard core white water shooting consider a waterproof diving case.
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tsjanik
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2006, 08:43:40 PM »
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Hi Dark Penguin:

I have been kayaking and taking photographs for 30 years.  The short answer to your question is you canít really do both well at the same time.  If you are using a stable boat and carry your camera gear in a good dry bag you can take photographs.  The biggest problem is the boat is the antithesis of a tripod, it is moving constantly.  You need a very fast shutter (1/500 minimum) and even then it is a compromise.  Nevertheless it is fun.  Iíve carried a Pentax 645 or MX between my legs on paddles and have gotten a few interesting and many disappointing shots.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2006, 09:12:04 PM »
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That's pretty much my goal.  I'm thinking lake kayaking.  If I find a shot I'll take it if I don't I don't.

(I'm also trying to figure out how to attach my camera bag to my mountain bike.  Same idea.)
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tsjanik
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2006, 09:29:20 PM »
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Iíve tried mountain and road biking with a camera as well. Again, it is a compromise.  I can tell you to not consider any handlebar bag to hold camera gear.  The extra weight at that height causes the bike to behave in a very nasty way.  Saddlebags over a rear wheel rack are ok, but the best solution for me is to a carry a minimum of gear in a fanny pack.  Anticipating your next question: cross-country skiing with a camera has all the same problems.  I tried skiing once towing a sled with a Pentax 67 and a collection of lenses and a tripod-it was not very effective. If I want to take photos in snow, I go on snowshoes.  A small camera (in my case a Yaschca 124 ) can be carried in a fanny pack with no problem
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2006, 10:34:16 PM »
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I'd hate to fall of the bike and have the cmos chip penetrate my spleen.

Thanks again for your help!
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benInMA
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2006, 10:47:29 AM »
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For mountain biking I'd take a pocket camera and keep it in a jersey pocket.

I've done that a LOT.

The other thing you can do is sacrifice a water bottle cage, lots of small cameras can be wedged into the water bottle holder inside a small case.

If you're careful a small top loading camera bag will go onto a rear rack on a bicycle just fine, and if you make sure not to carry too much heavy gear it won't effect the handling much.

Effects on handling also depend a lot on the design of the bicycle.  If you're lucky enough to have a touring bicycle you'll be able to carry a lot more weight without negatively impacting the handling.

But again best option is keep it small and keep it in the jersey pocket, whether or not you have negative handling effects, all weight you carry is weight you have to haul up and downhill.   If you overdo it you're not going to get very far.
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2006, 01:58:36 PM »
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If you can do what you want to do with a 7 meg, 3x compact check out the Oly 720SW that was released a couple of months ago.

Waterproof to 3 meters, built to take a bit of rough handling.
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fike
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2006, 01:09:37 PM »
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In a kayak, you have to hold on to your paddle which drips water on your lap, which is where your camera is, and when you put down your paddle to take a picture, the boat veirs off to the side away from your photo.  with that said, I am planning to do just that with my kayak this season.  I have been shooting my point and shoot with a waterproof cover for a couple of seasons and it just isn't very rewarding.  

Instead, I am going to get a pelican case like this one:

REI Pelican case

I will be attaching it to the bottom of the kayak with velcro.  As some people said, if you are in a kayak, you WILL get wet.  Everything will get wet.  this is true as a rule, so cameras need special care.  I will not take my good camera out unless I am in calm sheltered waters.  

As for photography in a kayak, there are some great things and some terrible things.  Since you are so low in the water, there are opportunities that you might never see in other places, but your point of view is limited and somewhat constrained.  Unless you have a longer lens, your foreground will almost always be lots of water with lots of sky above.  Polarizers help to improve images in this situation by both cutting glare and decreasing some of the dynamic range as a result.

Further up in the discussion, someone suggested that boats are always moving so that is a problem with slow shutter speeds.  Add into that the fact that you need long lenses to take pictures of anything interesting and you compound the problem.  

So what are cameras good for with kayaks?  I think they are best for quietly sneaking up on wildlife, mostly water birds, to make their picture.  I also think they are great for micro landscapes along the shore....little images where the landscape may be only a few feet across the waaters edge.

You may also want to check out the paddling.net  bulletin boards for suggestions about boats to use for stability.  Some kayaks are low and fast (also generally wet and unstable) while others are higher, dryer and more stable (generally slow and clunky).  

Paddling.net

Check here for some pics from kayakers on the water.
Woody's Kayak Trip Reports

see you on the water.
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
marcshaffer.net
TrailPixie.net

I carry an M43 ILC, a couple of good lenses, and a tripod.
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2006, 04:13:39 PM »
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Ended up with a Necky Zoar Sport.  Seems fine for the purpose.

You can definitely get very close to birds you just glide up.  They get nervous at around 15 feet.

Still haven't figured out the camera thing.  I've been risking the Fuji F10 so far.

I still need to buy at least a half skirt.  So the boat gets a lot of water in it.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2006, 05:48:25 PM »
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I have only done limited amount of kayaking, and did typically only take a stabilized compact in a dry back attached to the kayak. The camera was protected fine, but it just takes too long to open up the dry bag and close it down again.

Next time I'll try a compact DSLR with a good high ISO image quality (probably a Nikon D50) with a 18-200 stabilized lens. Instead of putting them in a classical roll up style drybag, I'll try using my Patagonia dry zipper bag (same zipper technology as the Lowpro Dryzone 200). It is much faster to open/close than regular dy bags.

Regards,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Hank
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2006, 08:53:57 AM »
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Check out this 22 second video clip on sea kayaking.

I've found a solution to the drip problem that satisfies me.  I put the camera in a plastic garbage bag in my lap with the top of the bag folded over, then the spray skirt over that.  It keeps things dry, but allows fairly quick access to the camera.  Lenses as long as the 80-200 f/2.8 are about the top end of convenience, and longer ones get hassly in a hurry.
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loonsailor
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« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2006, 12:19:45 PM »
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You don't say what kind of kayaking.  I have no experience river kayaking, but I did a bunch of sea kayaking, including in Antarctica.  It was snowing often, but not a lot of wind.  I used two cameras - a waterproof Pentax WPi digital point-and-shoot, and a Nikon D70 (with18-200, because changing lenses is tough) in a drybag onder the deck netting.  I pulled out the Nikon whenever we were stopped long enough to make it possible, but I kept the Pentax in a small case clipped to my float vest so it could be grabbed instantly.

Maybe my most critical piece of gear was a lens cleaning pen which I used OFTEN.  I still lost a bunch of otherwise good images to big water splotches on the lens.

You can check out some of the images at jfiddler.smugmug.com/Antarctica, and better versions of a few of them at .../OCSC-Antarctica.  For reference, the wierd abstract icebergs in the Petermann Island gallery are with the little Pentax, and they're some of my favorites.

Good luck!
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rpinciuc
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« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2006, 02:10:33 PM »
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Hi there,

Looks like you've already made up your mind, but thought I'd share my technique for you/others.

This applies to sea kayaking, I haven't tried whitewater so it may not be appropriate.

I have a SealLine Baja Deck Bag like this:
http://www.seallinegear.com/sea_kayak.asp?...tegory=SeaKayak

This is mounted on the deck directly in front of me, with the zipper opening facing me. The mesh pocket is a great place for small things like sunscreen, hard candy, etc. I clip my map (in a SealLine map case) to the top of the bag. It is splash proof, but not dunkable.

Therefore, the camera with lens attached goes inside a waterproof SealLine dry bag, like this:
http://www.seallinegear.com/dry_bags.asp?A...ategory=DryBags

I place the dry bag inside the deck bag to keep it directly in front of me for easy access. I find it easier (and safer) to remove/reinsert the camera from/to this zippered pocket than lashing the dry bag directly underneath the bungees on the deck. Just unzip the deck bag, then unclip and unroll the dry bag. Should the kayak roll, the deck back isn't going anywhere (just make sure it's zipped up), and the dry bag keeps your camera dry.

You can also fit another small dry bag inside the deck bag, containing another lens, if desired. I usually bring the Canon 70-200/4L and a couple of wide angle Zeiss primes and they all fit, no problem.

Photographing from a kayak is fun, and difficult if you're not in absolutely calm water. But you gain access to viewpoints that you can't otherwise get. Sea caves, cityscapes, wildlife, etc. It's worth the hassle, good luck!

-Rob
« Last Edit: September 12, 2006, 02:17:01 PM by rpinciuc » Logged
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