Shooting The Wave With The Sony A7r & Zeiss 35mm

I finally had a chance to go to The Wave this month. We actually did the lottery and won on our second try. Lucky us I guess. Some people have tried 9 times with no luck. 

I never really thought The Wave was all that cool from pictures I’ve seen, but really once I was there it was a lot cooler than I was expecting. It is also a lot smaller than I was expecting. 

But ultimately, I think hands down the best part about going to the wave is the amazing three mile hike you have to take to get there. Shooting this raw wilderness along the way is an experience I’ll never forget.

I’m not a huge fan of shooting the photo tourism spots and getting the same shot as three million other photographers, so for me the wave was less interesting to shoot than everything else that we found along the way.

For the hike I stuck mostly with my prime Sony Zeiss 35mm Sonnar lens which was absolutely awesome to shoot with. It’s not only very light in weight on the Sony A7r but also the perfect focal length for this type of hiking / shooting landscape work.

I’ve recently updated my review of the Ziess 35mm Sonnar which you can find here.

Untouched wilderness. Could be a really cool place to shoot sunset photography, if you don’t mind hiking back three miles in the pitch black.

The hike I think is something around three miles each direction through untouched wilderness. They only allow twenty people a day to enter, which I feel is too many as the wave itself is small only about an acre. And when you fill one acre with twenty people it feels busy.

The lines and colors of The Wave are absolutely amazing. From what I understand the colors come from Iron that’s in the ground there.

Here is what the terrain looks like. The ground below you is something like 200 million years old, you can even find dinosaur and ancient lizard tracks.

This is one of those locations I absolutely have to come to again. But next time I’ll be more prepared. I have a bad knee I’ve been working on so these types of hikes are still tough for me. I really wish I had a lighter backpack, this Lowpro was a bit too heavy and I didn’t need the weather sealing it comes with.

I actually didn’t even bring a tripod with me because of weight reasons and I only brought three lenses, my Canon 24-70mm f2.8, my Canon 16-35mm f2.8 II and my Sony Zeiss 35mm which I kept in my pocket when not in use.

I shot this particular shot of the girls with my trusty Canon 24-70mm f2.8L. You can see my wife helping me with the load. 🙂

There are some small sand dunes that form. They can be fun to explore.

If you ever consider exploring the wave, I’d recommend trying to get on the hike before sunrise, there is so much untouched wilderness you could get some amazing photos with the sunrise. If you want to shoot sunset you’re putting yourself at risk. Hiking back in the pitch black might be a challenge. It’s also very windy and very sanding so having gear that is weather and dust sealed is a must. I think I’m still picking sand out of my hair and ears three days later.


    Leave a Comment