Dumpster Diving

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Tioga Lake pano

Well, not really dumpster diving… more like combing through the archives. It’s always fun to take a walk down memory lane, and when you carry a camera around with you, well… there are lots of memories created to return to later. Just recently, as I was wandering through an old hard drive where RAW images from a trip to Yosemite in 2010 are stored, I came across a series of photographs that I hadn’t yet processed. Every now and then I’ll encounter a broad and grand vista, one that is hard to capture in one shot, even with a wide angle lens. In this type of situation, I’ll sometimes turn the camera on its side to portrait orientation, and then pan across the landscape making several tighter shots, with the intention of merging the images together into one panoramic photograph later when back at the computer.

Yosemite National Park is one of the most spectacular, majestic and remarkable places I have ever seen. Truly breathtaking landscapes are around every corner, and on this particular morning Sam and I were in the high country, making our way up, over, and through the Tioga Pass from Lee Vining to Tuolumne Meadow. The reflection of the Eastern Sierra in Tioga Lake was a jaw-dropping scene, one that not only reminds me of what was a great trip with Sam, but also of some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever experienced. The pano above is made up of about 10 separate images, and is actually quite large… I could probably print it 50 inches wide if I wanted to (and if I had a wall to hang it on), and the wider, single-image view below shows you how challenging it is to include everything you want to from a scene like this in one shot.

Tioga Lake

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16 thoughts on “Dumpster Diving

  1. Please excuse my ignorance as I’ve never done stitching of photos, but what software is needed for that?
    I use Lightroom4 and Apple’s iPhoto to play around with but I’ve never noticed a ‘image stitching’ facility in either one.
    Any tips would be gratefully received. I have many times captured sections of vistas but as you mention here, lens restrictions are unavoidable.

    • David Patterson

      I use Photoshop to stitch panos together. I used to do it by hand merging different layers for each shot, but the software has advanced so much that it now does an amazing job all by itself. My guess is that any piece of software that utilizes layers will allow you to create panoramic photographs this way. Using PS, the option to stitch is under File>Automate>Photomerge

    • David Patterson

      Thanks PJ… didn’t get around to processing these back when I made them. Happy to re-discover them. Hope all is well.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Truels… I was drawn to the interesting sky and glorious mountain backdrop, though the reflections certainly added to the scene.

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