Photo-Hiking in the Hill Country

Hill Country Hiking – Bandera, Texas
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on manual (M) using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens hand-held. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/11 for 1/30th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Photo-Hiking around the Texas Hill Country on a cool autumn day is a treat for the senses and a workout for your legs. The hiking trails in this part of the state go on for miles and miles with switchbacks around every corner.

Garmin Dakota 20 GPSIt’s easy to become disoriented and the park trail maps are fairly worthless for the most part. That’s why there are three things that a photographer should bring on any photo-hike.

  • Plenty of Water
  • A Good Compass
  • A Mapping GPS

The Garmin Dakota 20 is a new model based upon Garmin’s proven Oregon design. This rugged little GPS combines touchscreen navigation, high-sensitivity satellite prediction, barometric altimeter, 3-axis electronic compass and microSD slot in an affordable ($349 USD) package. It also boasts 20 hours of battery life (2 AA cells) which beats the Oregon models by four hours.

Detailed topo maps are available from Garmin or on the Internet for almost every part of the globe. Some folks have even mapped out all the best photographic spots in a certain National or State Park and offer these tracks for free or for sale at very little cost. Now I’m no GPS expert but after using the Dakota 20 for navigation and geotagging my images a few times I can’t imagine going on a photo-hike without it.

4 thoughts on “Photo-Hiking in the Hill Country

  1. Thank you for this Jeff, I was wondering about these for a while and wondering which ones worked well. I can see how this would be invaluable for a landscape photographer.
    And once again I love the skys in your part of the country, as well as your ability to get them on film.

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