'Photographing the World 4' BTS Episode 3

What happens when a location becomes overrun with photographers? You have to wake up at 3 am to stake out your spot.

This episode of "Photographing the World 4: Behind the Scenes" starts with our test of the FujiFilm X-T2 and the iPhone 7. Surprisingly, we preferred the gimbal footage out of our cellphone. Keep in mind that this is in bright lighting conditions. Obviously, almost every camera with a larger sensor will beat the iPhone when the light starts to dip. But once again, this is proof that you don't need expensive gear to take great photos or video. We ended up filming a bunch of b-roll throughout this tutorial on our iPhones as well as all of these behind the scenes episodes.

The next location for this tutorial was Mesa Arch. This arch has become famous around the world for reflecting the light from the sunrise upward, illuminating the bottom of the arch. When I first saw pictures of this arch, I assumed that it was overly Photoshopped, but it's actually a pretty incredible natural occurrence. As you can imagine, photographers flock to this arch every morning, and it can become quite crowded. Elia decided to arrive at the arch four hours before sunrise to guarantee that we would be able to choose a spot. In hindsight, we probably could have shown up one hour before sunrise and still have been the only ones out there, but because we had so much time, Patrick and I were able to capture some incredible time-lapses of the stars. 

During the lighting event, Elia shot while we captured b-roll, and then once all of the photographers left, we actually filmed the lesson. Back in the studio, Elia did some simple edits to finish the shot. 

Our next lesson took place at Dead Horse Point. I still haven't visited the Grand Canyon, so Dead Horse Point was the largest canyon that I've ever seen. Although there were other photographers there, we all had plenty of room to spread out. Elia ended up photographing a massive pano with the help of a Nodal Ninja with an index rotator. This final image, although pretty straightforward, is probably my favorite of the tutorial. 

To learn more about "Photographing The World 4," check out the Fstoppers Store and stay tuned for the next BTS episode coming next week. 

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Or you could wake up later and get a less cliched shot of Mesa Arch...

Less cliche but not what the arch is known for or what the buyers of our tutorials would want to see.

True- every place you turned in Moab there was THAT sunrise picture of Mesa Arch- it is the iconic (and painful to get) shot!!

And stay for the sunset (much less painful!) just down the road in Canyonlands - https://nypics.smugmug.com/Travel/Utah-NP-selects/i-FxppT5r/A

Careful, Dead Horse Point is not in Canyonlands National Park. Elia is wrong here.

Igor Butskhrikidze's picture

thumbs up!

Rob Davis's picture

These are the people keeping chain restaurants alive God bless 'em.

Gabe Border's picture

I like many others completed the merit badge that is Mesa Arch. Slept in parking lot though.

standing on that ledge, holding a dry branch...my stomach turned

Hey guys,
I just wanted to thank you for being responsible drone pilots by following the rules. As you have quite a reach with your site and your videos it is really important to be a role model! I see so many people just not giving a s... and that reflects bad on all of us who do the right thing. I watched a YouTube video earlier today and those youngsters didn't even do their research before lift-off and just ignored the fact that they were not supposed to fly.
Snowy greetings from Vienna!

Edward Blake's picture

From a commercial point of view, sure, but that is absolutely not why I shoot landscape. The idea of being surrounded by other people while I'm shooting is quite horrible.

Some Camera Guy's picture

IMO, great episode. I watched it twice.

user-146450's picture

Sure i saw this lot at mobias arch lol. Seriously went to mesa and had the same experience - there is a lethal drop on the right side and i was blown away how many people braced themselves over it to get a unique shot.

By the way, not flying a drone isn't because of commercial reasons, or because you might harm people if you don't control it. It's mainly because of wildlife. Drones disturb birds, scare away mammals, and in general stress animals. So you may disturb their reproduction, search for food, may scare away youngs from their parents etc... In general, you should not use drones in protected areas.

[edit] Even bears are afraid of drones apparently, it raises their heartrates quite a bit : https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(15)00827-1?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982215008271%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

I'm sure you can explore and find a site that isn't overrun with other photographers, and get a truly unique shot. An "iconic" shot is cliche.