Traveling to Niagara Falls and NYC
/forum/topic/1069051/0



aznmochamike
Registered: Mar 10, 2010
Total Posts: 22
Country: United States

Hey everyone... I am still new to photography and have limited gear (due to limited cash... just graduated with no job... so sad)... I will be going to Niagara Falls and to NYC for about a week and was wondering what do your suggest bringing. I don't want to be switching lens that much and going on foot most of the day without going back to the hotel so I wanted to pack light also. So this is the gear I have...

Crappy 50 buck tripod (thinking of not bringing)
Canon 5D
Zeiss 50/1.4
Canon 24-70/2.8 (renting)
Canon 200eg backpack
Crumpler 5mdh bag
Manfrotto monopod 680b with 234RC head
Slik tabletop mini-pro3 tripod

This will be my first trip where I won't have a base location to go back to midday. So I would like advice on how to carry and what to carry to have what I need. Newbie question... I know... but thanks



EyeBrock
Registered: Dec 03, 2005
Total Posts: 984
Country: Canada

Get something that will protect your camera/lens from the spray.

A good tripod would be useful. The Canadian side has a really good light show at night with huge coloured static search lights that light up the Canadian falls. Very nice it is too.



aznmochamike
Registered: Mar 10, 2010
Total Posts: 22
Country: United States

i may not bring a tripod because i head that we can't use a tripod in NYC so it would b hard to lug around... i hope i can make due with the monopod that i have



longisland.km
Registered: Jun 05, 2007
Total Posts: 263
Country: United States

aznmochamike wrote:
i may not bring a tripod because i head that we can't use a tripod in NYC so it would b hard to lug around... i hope i can make due with the monopod that i have


Others might disagree, but I'd bring even a bad tripod and forget the monopod if you're going to have to lug something. There are plenty of places you can set up and take a moderately long exposure (I'm thinking night shot at Brooklyn Bridge park, night shot at Gantry, night shot in Weehawken - love me my NYC night shots!). Just don't try to set up the tripod somewhere busy. I've used a crappy $20 special before - its not the greatest, but you can make it work. The way to make it more usable is to find some way to weigh it down (hang your bag off it, or maybe wrap some light rope around the apex and stand on the rope), don't extend it all the way, and most importantly, bring an umbrella to use as a wind shield. Don't lug it around during the day, just go back to your hotel and pick up your "night gear", the tripod and the umbrella!



Psychic1
Registered: Jul 25, 2006
Total Posts: 4223
Country: United States

Listen to longisland.km, he is always dragging me around town.
Pick-up something from B&H when you are in town.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/667187-REG/Davis_Sanford_VOYAGERLTB_Voyager_Lite_with_BHQ8.html



wonggei
Registered: Jan 04, 2010
Total Posts: 95
Country: United States

For NY- all you need is a 5D and 35L.




skier860
Registered: Oct 16, 2008
Total Posts: 48
Country: United States

Rain cover a must for Maid of the Mist (boat ride) and Cave of the Winds. I used the OP/Tech Rainsleeve which sells for about under $6.00 at Adorama or B&H. I had about 6 people ask me if I bought it locally. If you have the time Fort Niagara is worth at least half a day.
A tripod for the light show would be a big help.



arnold1
Registered: Mar 22, 2009
Total Posts: 612
Country: United States

Last time I spent Christmas in Niagara Falls, I wore my cold gear Under Amour and had a couple shots of Courvoisier Cognac before going to the falls. As to the freezing cold I was not sure what my wife was complaining about!

For NYC 16-35 II.



Gregory Edge
Registered: Jun 21, 2007
Total Posts: 503
Country: United States

The 24-70 will serve you well. If you do the boat ride in Niagara pick up a rain sleeve or use a plastic bag and rubber band. Night shots require a tripod.



LDRider
Registered: Sep 15, 2003
Total Posts: 1679
Country: United States

Bring the 24-70.
Leave the tripod and everything else at home.
Lights in NYC are very bright so with a high ISO you'll be able to shoot pretty fast.
And don't forget to take the Circle Line tour around lower Manhattan for breathtaking views of the islands (Liberty, Governors and Ellis), bridges and buildings.

JP



Will Patterson
Registered: Nov 06, 2006
Total Posts: 4626
Country: United States

24-70 will work great for both places, leave the tripod and monopod at home. Or if you really want to do a long exposure of the falls bring the tripod, the lights that shine on it at night look amazing.



aznmochamike
Registered: Mar 10, 2010
Total Posts: 22
Country: United States

Thanks for all the tips you guys... another question i had was that if i dont go on the Maid of the Mist and just stay on the shore side for pix, would I still need rain protection? will the mist reach that far out?



Gymstar
Registered: Jan 04, 2010
Total Posts: 57
Country: United States

I assume you mean for the camera? I would have it just in case... Some days the mist is a pain even up on the observation deck (only for the camera). You can see the mist when driving towards the falls, every time I have gone or taken someone there, the mist was everywhere.

Not sure when you are going, but its really warm here so it has been raining alot lately, not snowing.

If you have the chance, I would take the Maid of the Mist tour.

Lance.



rscheffler
Registered: Aug 23, 2005
Total Posts: 4620
Country: Canada

Don't forget your passport (or Enhanced Driver's License) if you plan to cross into Canada, and you can walk across. Not sure where you plan to stay, but Niagara Falls NY is a bit seedy and rundown as soon as you get away from the falls and casino area... The Canadian side is much safer feeling, IMO.

Also, when are you going? The Maid of the Mist is not year round and is currently closed for the season (according to their website). Regarding the mist, yes, depending on the wind, it will drift over the observation areas. In terms of best timing for light, in the morning the sun will be shining on the Canadian side on the west. In the late afternoon it will be the opposite. If you want sun on the horseshoe falls, I think you need to be on the Canadian side, and at this time of year, mid afternoon because the sun sets pretty early. But I'm not sure that the sun will come around enough to shine on the horseshoe falls.

For NYC those lenses will cover your basic needs. You could also benefit from a longer zoom, but if you don't have one, you will still get by fine.



Breitling65
Registered: May 31, 2006
Total Posts: 5184
Country: United States

You would need tripod for night Niagara shots on long exposure. Wide lens will help there too. Great place with lots of shots I made there



Will Patterson
Registered: Nov 06, 2006
Total Posts: 4626
Country: United States

aznmochamike wrote:
Thanks for all the tips you guys... another question i had was that if i dont go on the Maid of the Mist and just stay on the shore side for pix, would I still need rain protection? will the mist reach that far out?



Depends on the wind. It used to (20 years ago) not be a big factor, but since they built a few tall buildings to the west of the falls, the wind current now actually can carry the mist from the falls and send it west onto the people looking at the falls. The less wind the better as far as that goes.



aznmochamike
Registered: Mar 10, 2010
Total Posts: 22
Country: United States

i shall bring crappy tripod then since I cant afford new one yet lol... and i bought the rain protection since i will be going on Dec 27-28 for the Niagara Falls... Thanks again everyone... you were all lots of help because my camera would have been soaked if i didnt bring it



timpdx
Registered: Feb 02, 2005
Total Posts: 1767
Country: United States

I've used a crappy but small and super light Sony branded tripod for several world trips and find it actually works decently. For SURE with a lightweight tripod use the self timer and mirror lockup, that way the vibration will settle and you can shoot pretty darn well with a cheapo tripod. Also throw in your tabletop tripod. These are incredibly useful, IMO.

Tabletop tripod last year in Uzbekistan



My silly Sony $30 tripod in Dubai


Cheapo Sony tripod does Moscow. 7d looked absurd on such a whimpy tripod, but with MLU and timer, this image is tack sharp (as is the Dubai one) will be bringing the little Sony tripod to Tokyo in a couple of weeks to shoot night scenes there. No shame in a cheap lightweight tripod. Bring it!



jhulton
Registered: Dec 12, 2008
Total Posts: 362
Country: United States

In Niagara Falls, keep in mind that there is a wonderful Butterfly Exhibit and other "inside" things you can shoot to help with the cold!



docsmiles17
Registered: Jun 09, 2010
Total Posts: 699
Country: United States

just did Niagara falls last summer. I did not bring a tripod and was quite upset as the night views are amazing...your 24-70 will likely be your go-to lens. The butterfly exhibitory was great to shoot as well.

There is more mist on the canadian side, which I think is the best side to shoot from. get a couple clear plastic shower caps to protect your camera. They work well and they are free at most hotels.

Enjoy your trip