Archive for the ‘panorama’ Tag

Taking a Small Step Back   4 comments

Lake Powell, Arizona, Page, panorama, lake, marina, boating

I forgot all about Lake Powell. Many of my recent posts showed shots from Upper Antelope Canyon which sits just outside Page, Arizona. The bigger attraction in Page is actually Lake Powell. Lake Powell, the second largest (in terms of total capacity) artificial lake in the United States, was formed with the development of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1966. The Dam restricts the flow of the Colorado River with the purpose of producing hydro-electric power.

We only over-nighted in Page, so this is as close as we got to Lake Powell. The lake, for the most part is not readily visible from land. If you really want to experience the lake, you have to get out on the water. As you can see in the distance, boating is very popular on the lake. For the experienced Lake Powell visitor, it seems the right approach is to rent a houseboat for a week or two, or maybe even for the whole summer.

If you really want to explore the lake, you’ll need to set some time aside. The lake is nearly 300km (186 miles) long and has 96 major canyons to explore.


That Pueblo I Promised   7 comments

Arizona, pueblo, pueblos, puebloan people, Wupatki National Monument, Flagstaff

Yesterday, I mentioned the pueblos north-east of Flagstaff in the Wupatki National Monument. This rock dwelling is in the ballpark of 800 years old. It’s one of several that can be found in the area. The main pueblo (the Wupatki Pueblo) had over 100 rooms!

This is an easy stop off the main highway heading toward Flagstaff from Page or the east exit from the Grand Canyon. It’s a nice walk, some pretty cool buildings, and a good break from the long drive to Phoenix.

Braving the Cold   4 comments

Seriously, who would force their kids to come out modelling for photos when it’s -30C outside? Not me. I just asked and she agreed. Honest! Still, judging from the pose, there was still a little bit of ‘hurry-it-up-Dad!’ going on.

The above is my first time with a technique or method that has earned the name the “Brenizer Method” (Brandon Brasseaux shared this technique in a recent post). It’s named for the photographer who popularized the method. Mr Brenizer seems to prefer calling it bokehrama because it is simply a panorama shot with a shallow depth of field. The exaggerated shallow depth of field really makes your subject pop.

I shot 49 images, but this is a stitching of fewer than half the images. My decision to select just fewer images was primarily subject size in the frame, but also the processing to include a greater number of images was testing my patience. I used a 100mm lens set to f2.0 for the images. Manual focus allowed me to retain a consistent focus throughout the images.

To give you an idea of my proximity to my model, the initial frame is just her head and shoulders. I was pretty close.

Give it a try if you like, but make sure you leave plenty of time for your computer to crunch away. This is processing intensive.

Day 188 – Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park   8 comments

In the foreground is Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park. I believe that’s Chancellor Peak off to the right. This is a combination of six shots merged into a panorama. I was planning to return to this spot for some long exposures at dusk and after dark, but this ended up being one of the last shots I was able to capture before my camera failed just two hours later.

This scene is the setting for a really well-placed campground (Chancellor Peak campground) at the south entrance to the park. Camping in the national and provincial parks throughout BC is a real pleasure. The only drawback I’ve found is that if you’re travelling along the TransCanada Highway, you’re also following the rail tracks. If you don’t chase campgrounds well off the highway, then you’ll be regularly listening to freight trains rushing passed in the night.


Day 130 – Enerflex MS Walk   5 comments

Enerflex MS Walk at Winston Churchill Square in EdmontonYesterday I said I was on the lookout for new techniques to feature in the blog and it was suggested by David Williams (fellow blogger) that I do a pano. Luckily, I’d prepared for this one earlier.

This past Sunday morning I took pictures at the Enerflex MS Walk (a walk to raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis). I had only learned about the walk a few days before so I wasn’t sure what I would find when I got there. What I found was a huge crowd! The Edmonton Eskimos Cheer Team was on hand to get the crowd pumped up. There were a few local restaurants (like Moxies) set up to provide free food to the walkers. White Lightning, a local indie rock band, performed for the walkers after they’d completed their walk and settled into their free lunch. And there were heaps of volunteers keeping everything and everyone sorted.

I liked the costumes best. Some of the walkers went all out with the outfits. My favourite was a group that came as characters from Wizard of Oz (Dorothy, scarecrow, wicked witch, lion, and tin woman). The shot above is just before the walkers set out.

Processing notes: I combined five images into a panorama using Hugin. There was originally six, but one of the images in the middle was making an awful mess of the pano so I had to pull it out. The result left one of the women in the middle foreground without a rather substantial chunk of her head so I had to put that back in manually from one of the other shots. I tried something new and tried one of Brandon’s presets in Lightroom  to give this a bit of a sun-bleached look.

Day 97 – Scouting Muttart   4 comments

The Muttart Conservatory is one of the major attractions in Edmonton. It’s an enclosed botanical garden showing off all kinds of plants and flowers from warmer climates than we enjoy here. The pyramids are the dominating structures at the site with four of them defining the landscape. Each pyramid captures a different climate including: tropical, arid, temperate, and the changing climates of the feature pyramid.

The barbed wire fence on the right side of the photo appears to be intended to keep unwanted visitors out of the greenhouses. I wonder if there’s big business is plant espionage. Thanks to some high piles of snow I was able to scramble to the top of a wall to get this perspective.

This was my first scouting mission to the conservatory in preparation for a wedding I’m shooting here at the end of May. Later this week, I’m planning on going inside to do some test shots. Since this will be the only time I’ve seen flowers in the past six months, I suspect I might take one or two shots of the various plant life. You should probably prepare yourself for the blog going a bit floral shortly.

Processing notes: This is a panorama from five shots. I merged the images using Hugin. I then used Viveza to darken the sky a bit and took it into Silver Efex Pro to convert to B&W using an orange filter. Finally I split tone the image in Silver Efex Pro and added the border.

Day 66 – Old Scona   9 comments

Affectionately known as “Old Scona”, the Old Strathcona High School began teaching young minds over 100 years ago in 1908. In the early years, it was also serving up University of Alberta courses upstairs while the university was still under construction. The school was built in the Edwardian Classical Free style (said to be a blending of elements from Greek, Roman, and Renaissance architectures) in 1907.

The school has an excellent reputation. It has been recognized as one of the best high schools in Canada. It’s also reportedly one of the top International Baccalaureate schools in the world. They have about 350 students in their care in any given year.

This is a panorama of five HDR shots captured just as the sun was about to drop down behind the top of the school. Each HDR is bracketed by two EVs. HDRs were processed in Photomatix Pro. I then assembled them into a panorama using Hugin. In Photoshop I made some exposure corrections and blended back in the texture in the sky that was blown away by Hugin (wasn’t happy about that). After some further exposure adjustments to get the snow closer to where I wanted it, I put it through the Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in to convert it to black and white.