Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Top ten most viewed immersive panoramas

As some of my followers will know, I regularly create immersive panoramas of places I visit. I often share these using google maps as that is one of the only places that can actually show them on a variety of platforms and that doesn't use flash or java, both defunct technologies with major security issues. Anyway, one of the interesting things is that a lot of people apparently see these spherical panoramas and hopefully enjoy them. I thought I'd share these with you as a top ten. Unfortunately I can't embed them in here easily so you'll have to click the links to be immersed in them and hit your back button to get back to this page. When you open one of the panoramas, remember to look up and down in addition to around you. Some of these have some nice surprises in them. Enjoy!

990,507 views: Tarn beneath Mount Toll

This is a small tarn above Blue Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. This panorama has been viewed 990,507 times. Yes, close to a million times!

787,930 views: Emerald Lake

This is Lake Emerald in Rocky Mountain National Park closely after sunrise. This is one of the first of these panoramas I ever made but I only recently uploaded it to Google maps.

492,690 views: Santa Elena Canyon

The mouth of Santa Elena Canyon, Big Bend National Park. You can see Mexico across the river. This point is quite famous and photographed many times at sunrise. The Rio Bravo river forms the border between Texas and New Mexico and was often a crossing point in the old west for outlaws to escape the US and now it is a crossing point for illegals to come into the US. You can just wade over basically. Big bend is a place I want to visit again sometimes for photography.

291,152 views: Andrews tarn and glacier

This is Andrews tarn and Andrews glacier in Rocky Mountain National Park

249,557 views:Blue Lake, San Juan Mountains

This is Blue Lake in the San Juan Mountains near Telluride. There are several Blue Lakes in the San Juans and this is the one that can be reached by hiking from the Bridal Veils waterfall power station.

127,557 views: Blue Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness

Blue Lake sunrise. This is Blue Lake again in the Indian Peaks. The view is as very few people see it. At sunrise and almost wind still.

85,227 views: White Pocket

This is White Pocket in the Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, an absolutely amazing place. It is hard to reach with many miles of deep sand road to get through but well worth it in the end.

65,350 views: Little Hawaii

Little Hawaii. This is a "secret" waterfall close to Telluride in the San Juan Mountains. It is right next to a very popular trail but you would never guess it's here if you don't know about it. Locals know all about it but will not divulge the location. The GPS location I tagged on this image is not where it is supposed to be in respect of that.

53,482 views: Mount Falcon open space

Sunset from Turkey trot trail in Mt. Falcon open space near Morrison, Colorado. This is one of my favorite mountain bike rides in the foothills.

36,638 views: Shelf Lake

Shelf Lake approaching storm. Shelf Lake is a spectacular high alpine lake in Rocky Mountain National park that is only reachable through off trail travel. I got chased away from here by some thunder and lightning that day.

I hope You enjoyed these. Be sure to click through and look all around you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The glow

Intimate landscape in Zion National Park's Taylor Canyon. We were here at sunrise time and the light hitting the canyon walls bathed everything in a red glow.

The glow
The glow.
Nikon D300, 3 images stitched. Nikon 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 at 50 mm, f/16, 2.0s, ISO 200

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Swirly - Sunset on lollipop formation in White Pocket, Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness
Nikon D600, Tokina 16-28 mm f/2.8 at 17 mm, f/16, 1/15s, ISO 100

This was taken during a spectacular sunset on the White Pocket formations in the Vermillion Cliffs wilderness. The White pocket is one of the few places where you don't need a permit and I spent overnight here with some good friends photographing the place. There are many pictures of this place on my website and many more that I haven't worked up yet. Truly an extraordinary place with amazing formations on every corner. It is just really hard to reach with a many miles long deep sand road.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

On seas of calm

Sunset on the Great Sand Dunes, April 2015. I got sandblasted quite heavily on top of this dune and even though I was wearing many down layers and a good windshield, I still was colder than I often am on snow laden trips. Nevertheless, sunset on top of the dunes is still very much worth it and I highly recommend you try it if you get a chance.

On seas of calm
On Seas of Calm. Nikon D600. Token 16-28 mm f/2.8 at f/16, 1/5s, ISO 100

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Dream Lake October 2007

One of the major advantages of shooting raw is that you can go back later and process using newer processing tools and styles. Certainly in the last 8 years not just the quality of cameras but also the quality of tools has increased tremendously. In 2007, I made my first sunrise trek to Dream Lake and beyond. I have never blogged on those images but have shared a few on my website. However, at the time I was disappointed with the color in many of the images as they came up in Lightroom. I had also taken a few images on Velvia that were much better with respect to color and detail but I lacked a good scanner so I never shared those either. I was testing scanning some film using a viewer and a macro lens on my DSLR and naturally did a comparison with the old 6 megapixel DSLR images. It struck me that those images were all processed using the very old processing engine from Lightroom at that time and at a time Lightroom did not have any camera matching profiles. I simply hit reset, which chooses camera default for me and the most current pressing engine and the images came out looking very similar to the Fuji Velvia scans. Sliding a few sliders and they looked better! I also discovered that I had shot many panoramas for stitching at high resolution that I had never seriously stitched because I didn't like the color. Stitching these gave me better resolution than the Fuji Velvia scans. I will share a few of these old, new images below. As always click on the images to see them bigger and two order prints.

The red dawn
"Red Dawn". Nikon D50. Stitched from 3 images each at 18mm Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 200, f/8.0 6.0s
This was just before dawn. The mountain was glowing quite outerwordly as you can see.

Purple at sunrise
Purple sunrise. Nikon D50. Stitched from 6 images each at 26 mm Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 200, f/4.0 1/40s
When the first light rays hit the top of Hallett peak, the color had changed to purple everywhere.

Radiate Radiate. Nikon D50. Stitched from 6 images each at 26 mm Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 200, f/4.0 1/40s
Just moments later the color changed again to the more neutral blues you see here.

A window on time
"A window on time". Nikon D50. Single image. Nikon 18-55mm at 18mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 200, f/8.0 1/30s
This is from a single shot but I really liked it. The velvia version of this image has the tree areas almost completely black. The digital shot easily reproduces those.

"Witness" Nikon D50. Stitched from 6 images Nikon 18-55mm at 24 mm, f/3.5-5.6, ISO 200, f/11 1/50s
This tree was always intriguing to me and I had set up the shot as you see here, but I had never been able to make it stand out like I wanted. With the more modern tools in the current Lightroom, it was trivial to brush it up a bit and make the whole image pop as I saw when I was there. Works really well in this treatment I think.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lightroom 2015.3 and 6.3 available

I know a lot of my readers use Lightroom. The last 2015.2/6.2 release has been quite the disaster with a messed up import screen and a lot of bugs introduced that slowed the program way down. I could not get the 2015.2 nor the 2015.2.1 version to work reliably on my main machine, a retina mac book pro, regardless of whether I turned off the graphics card acceleration (something most of heavy users of Lightroom should probably do) or whether I turned off the "add photos screen" so I had to revert to 2015.1.1 to get anything done. This morning Adobe released 2015.3 which promises to fix most of these issues. I will install later today and report on whether it now works right. Get it here.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Gate keepers

It's been a daunting task to keep up with the images that are being ingested into Lightroom. I have a set of images to share from the Great Sand Dunes, which I visited back in April. I've only shared some fully immersive panos from that trip but I haven't shared much in the way of actual images. See an example of one of such immersive panoramas here. Worse, I haven't been able to share many of my images from a trip to White Pocket in 2014! The best images from that trip except for the ones in the link are still locked up in my Lightroom catalog. At the same time, some revelations in digital imaging as well as the new panorama tools in Lightroom have made me go back to even earlier times. The image I share below for example was taken on October 31 in 2009 in Zion National Park while exploring the Narrows with my friend Dave. We were there just on the cusp of fall color hitting and once in a while we would find trees in the canyon that were in color like the one on the right here while the one on the left is still mostly green. We were in full wetsuits and at places we had to hold our gear above our heads as the water was near our shoulders. I was reminded of these images and the trip while hearing about the tragic deaths that occurred in the slot canyons in this beautiful park just recently. The image below is a stitched high resolution composite of 9 images along the gorgeous Virgin river in the park just a few days ago. I shot this with my D300 camera using the kit lens using my old homemade panoramic head. I stitched this using the new panoramic tools in Lightroom and edited and cropped. The native image is 7530x7530 pixels or 57 megapixels as I cropped from the full stitched image for a better composition. I hope you enjoy the image

Gate Keepers. Zion National Park. Oct 31, 2009. Stitch from 9 images, Nikon D300, Nikon 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 at 35mm, f/16, 2.0s, ISO 200.