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Iain Harley
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Panoramas From the Road: Between the Clouds Before we get into the meat of this post, if you're viewing this on a mobile device, these photos really don't translate that well on it. These are large panoramic photos and really need a large screen to do them justice. Now on with the post. Occasionally during my Eastern Sierra trip I had the idea to take panoramas to try and take in the full view of what I was seeing and feeling. I tried to focus on a part of the view I was seeing that would fill up my frame, but I felt that it didn't full get the whole feeling with only part of the view, but this led to other problems. All the panoramas I took were literally on the side of the road, meaning I was in the middle of driving, with someone who's not a photographer. So, not wanting to annoy them I left the tripod in the car and took these panoramas free hand. When taking handheld panos my general rule is to take many photos and to go well beyond and after my intended start and stop points so that the photo software has lots of points in common to stitch the photos together, and I will hopefully have plenty of excess photo that can be thrown away on the edges. The top photo was taken off highway 44, directly north of Lassen National Park and looking out west. We had been climbing for a while at this point and got to a point where we were on top of the fog that had filled the canyon we drove up out of, but just below the cloud base. Not a sight I see all that often. This shot is a 5 shots stitched together in Lightroom. Looking Down on Mono Lake This shot is another off the road viewing area, this time off Highway 395 at just about 7,700 feet up. We had just crested a summit and sighted this Mono Lake Viewing Area. This is a view looking south-east down in onto Mono Lake with the Sierra bordering on the right. A storm had just swept through a couple days earlier leaving these great clouds. Towards the bottom middle, and leading into the photo, is highway 395. This pano was made up of 7 shots, handheld, and again stitched in Lightroom Eastern Sierras in Black and White This panorama, from the same spot as the previous one, just looking more west onto the east facing side of the Sierra Nevadas, was a precursor to something I thought I might be doing once situated in Lone Pine; making use of black and white. The desert on here isn't much for color, at least during the non-prime time hours of sunrise or sunset, but is high on texture. From the scrub brush up front, to the trees, and finally to the mountain faces themselves, I though black and white would accentuate this gritty feel. I originally took this panorama in black and white (the camera saves RAW files in color, and spits out JPEGs with whatever treatment I select) and while I liked in general what the camera did, I felt it could be more. This, I'm surprised to find out, is a 10 shot panorama, though in terms of dimensions is a good thousand pixels slimmer than my 7 shot panorama looking down on Mono Lake. Lightroom certainly threw out a lot of extra space. I've linked the 3 photos below to show them in full screen, as Blogger doesn't allow for easily showing that. Up in the Clouds Looking Down on Mono Lake Eastern Sierra in Black and White

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Some panoramas from my recent trip to the Eastern Sierras

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The Golden Arches: Lathe Arch, with Lone Pine Peak on the left, and Mount Whitney on the right Thanksgiving saw me on a trip through the Eastern Sierras to visit some longtime family friends. Along the way were a lots of photography spots to choose from, but knowing this wasn't a photo vacation, I picked and chose a handful of spots I wanted to hit. Day 1 of travel had a stop at Burney Falls, a wonderful waterfall just north of Redding, CA before checking in at Reno. Day 1 was nothing but rain and hard rain, so Burney was pushed to something to check out on the way back. Day 2 started off bright, sunny, and promising. Sadly, Bodie State Historic Park, my hopeful stop for Day 2, was closed due to the road leading to the park being washed out. Lone Pine, CA was our final stop and where we'd be spending 3 days. I had 1 thing on the photo checklist for Lone Pine, Mobius, and it's nearby neighbor, Lathe Arch. I don't know when exactly I became aware of Mobius Arch. I actually think it was through, of all places, Instagram. It might have been through the Visit California Instagram feed where I originally saw it, then used Instagram's location search to see more photos, then just searched online for more concrete information. Mobius Arch The Mobius arch isn't a technically challenging shot, as you can see. It's a rock that can frame some of the peaks of the Eastern Sierra Nevadas. In my shot I get all but the actual peak of Lone Pine Peak on the left and Mount Whitney, the tallest peak of the lower 48 states, on the right framed by  this nicely shaped rock, with some alpine glow on the peaks. The trick to this shot is showing up early enough to 1) get the morning light and 2) get the perfect spot. Though I was out the door at 5am, it seems I wasn't as early as another photographer who got Lone Pine Peak and Mount Whitney in his shots. After that the challenge is focusing in the dark and continually checking focus as the light comes into the frame. I find when I run into other photographers in the field they tend to be either quiet and uninviting, or standoffish and territorial as if they owned the shot they were going for. I had the pleasure of meeting a friendly photographer who made the early morning shoot enjoyable not just for the scenery but also the company. Go and check out James Cebedo and give him a follow. He's got some great stuff. At the top of this post you can see Lathe Arch. It is considerably smaller, but far more uncomfortable to shoot. There isn't much room for a tripod to set up so I shot most of my Lathe shots handheld with the camera above my head. I love a camera with a tilt screen allowing for this to be more than a guess and shoot scenario. Lathe was mostly an after thought. After I had finished shooting Mobius I and another photographer I met there walked the 10 yards or so to Lathe. It was already past prime morning light, but I think the shot still turned out well.  I have more shots from my time in Lone Pine and the Eastern Sierras, but, sadly, I have no Burney Waterfall shots, as it was raining even harder when we went by it on the way back, and Bodie was still closed. Well, maybe next time.

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Definitely keeping an eye out for this, especially with how much I use a Chromebook now.

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Take 5 minutes of your day to make your voice heard in keeping an Open Internet.

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Couldn't have said it better myself. Calendar marked!

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Spring Has Sprung: The Golden Brick Road, lined in lupine I realize it's been awhile since posting, but here goes. I have a backlog of photos taken with some new gear (more on that in another post. Hopefully) so I'm going to post some that have only seen minimal processing within the Google Photos service? App? All in all I'm really impressed with how much Google Photos has progressed over the years. Until I get Lightroom setup on a new computer, Google, and a handful of other apps, will have to handle the workload.  As most people are aware California enjoyed A LOT of wet weather this past winter, and with wet winters come a lot of wild flowers in bloom when spring rolls around. These shots are just a small taste of lupine growing wildly around. I had a hard time trying to show depth; to convey just how much of this stuff was growing here. I tried the above shot, using the road to bring the eye through the photo. Lupine close up  With this shot I actually used my super tele lens to get a nice close up of some lupine then blur the rest of hillside out in a hope to convey some depth. I don't think it worked well as it went from in focus to blurry really quick without much of a gradual blurring. Lupine hillside I think the re-framing of this shot did a better job of conveying the size of the hill with not as drastic of a drop in sharpness. It's funny, the last two shots I used my 40-150 (80-300 in 35mm terms) lens, at it's full zoom. I confess I didn't really think I'd be using that lens for landscape work, but I think it worked out pretty well.

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Buddy, doing his best bird impersonation.
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A nice day out. #shotononeplus #OnePlus3T
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