Panos and Monos and a Whole Lotta’ Fun!!!

In my last post (only 11 days ago for those of you who are counting), I introduced my exploration into panoramic images.  To me, a panorama (or pano) is an image that is much wider than it is longer.  Panos show the world in a little different way.  They can be made from any image – it’s just a matter of cropping to create the pano.  I prefer to make a number of overlapping images, and then use the magic of Photoshop to merge them together to create a pano.  A quick note on panos – they are best suited to stationary subjects!  I don’t think I can make a pano of a band of wild horses walking to the water tanks.  With that said, let’s see some new panos!

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This pano was made by combining 8 images together. The subject is a stretch of U.S. Highway 50 from Echo Summit (on the left) to Meyers CA (to the right), and was shot from a turnout on CA Highway 89. I love driving this piece of road towards Meyers because the view of Lake Tahoe is superb. My lovely bride, however, doesn’t like this road because of the dropoff. The text was an experiment, as my photo challenge last week was text overlay. After making the pano, I tried a new editing workflow to make the colors ‘pop’ more. I like the new workflow, and am adjusting it to my processing.

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This is the same stretch of highway, but I used 10 images to create this one. This pano has more content on the left side, and is the image I submitted for my challenge. I used the word ‘Journey’ in this image. Remember that I am on a ‘Journey in Creative Photography.’ It seemed appropriate.

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This view of Jobs Peak (on the left) and the Sierra Nevada Mountains was made from 10 images, and was shot from the Dangberg Home Ranch. The clouds and the sky cooperated – I can hardly wait for snow on the mountains!

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Our sunsets have been amazing this past week, so I got out the tripod and camera to see what I could do. I like the results! All the sunsets were made from my backyard, but I may have to see what other views of the mountains and sunsets I can find!

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Makes you want to live here – or at least come to visit!

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I made this pano to see how it would look in black and white (or monochrome – mono), but I kept it in color.

And so, we come to the ‘mono’ portion of the post.  After reading several articles on black and white images in one of the photo magazines recently, I thought I’d give it a try.

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This is a composite made from 6 images.  I was going to make a pano, but I would have lost too much texture from the clouds.  It was early for the sunset (the sunsets above were shot a few minutes later) and not much color, but I like the texture of the clouds. A little desaturation and other tweaking, and voila!

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Painted Hills, Central Oregon, last July.

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Same image in black and white. I need to work on my technique, but there’s definitely potential.

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Same location, different view.

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And still a fun technique. Of course, the colors in the Painted Hills just can’t be improved upon.

And if you think trying new shooting and editing techniques isn’t enough fun, you missed a great show at the Dangberg Home Ranch (www.dangberghomeranch.org) last Saturday.  The Nevada Gunfighters put on a great show.  Here’s a couple images – please go to my Nevada Gunfighters page for more pictures.

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As I recall, Miss Emma – she runs an escort service, of sorts…

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Miss Strawberry Tart. Former School Teacher and now escort, of sorts…

There you have it!  Panos and monos and a whole lotta’ fun!  The raptors are slowly coming back to the Carson Valley, and it’s just about bear time at Taylor Creek.  I won’t forget to visit the wild horses, too – I promise!  I hope you had as much fun looking at my pictures as I did making them.  Until next time – Enjoy!  PHOTOROGR

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I just get distracted too easily…

I’ll admit it.  Three weeks between posts is abhorrent and shows a lack of discipline on my part.  I just get distracted too easily.  Between taking pictures, exploring new techniques in shooting and editing, friends visiting, printer issues, some business stuff, and ensuring I spend time with my lovely bride and the family, the blog suffers – sometimes for a couple weeks.  When you see the pictures, however, I think you’ll appreciate what I’ve been doing.

I fixed the printer problem by purchasing a large format printer.  I can now print up to 13″ x 19,” and shouldn’t be distracted by printer dysfunction anymore.  By the way, the prints are great!

I spent some time working with the PhotoMerge function in Photoshop and Lightroom.  I successfully merged a series of images of the Sierras that I made in 2008.  I was on my way to work when I saw the mountains with a band of snow, a band of light, a band of dark, and some low clouds.  I was in awe and stopped to grab a few pictures.  My plans to merge them were always set aside (see, distracted too easily), until now.  Here’s the result – not a great image, but it proves that I can do it.  More to follow!

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Susan’s dad asked for a Walker Burger a couple weeks ago.  (It’s a great distraction!)  If you haven’t been to Walker Burger, it’s worth the drive from anywhere.  Thankfully, it’s only a 40 minute drive from the Carson Valley on US 395.   Go soon, because they close for the winter on October 15.  Not only are the burgers the best on the planet, but the ‘Garden Dining’ experience is wonderful.  The Blue Jays were great and the small birds enjoyed the bird feeders.  You can buy a bird house there, or just enjoy the bird houses in the dining area.

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We’ve had some phenomenal sunsets due to the smoke from the California fires.  Most exciting for me, however, was the morning that the sun was screened by the smoke and I got great pictures.  See what I mean!  (Check the Landscapes and Scenery page for more sunset images.)

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Yes, this is the sun screened by the smoke. The color is great, but I was very excited to catch a couple sun spots.

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If I put a stem at the top, it could be an orange or a peach, but it’s the sun. Not the sharpest focus, but the colors are beautiful!

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One of my favorite sunset images. The smoke can be seen low on the horizon making a wonderful golden glow, but the light on the contrails makes the picture for me.

Last weekend, a good friend came to visit.  Brian and I served together in the Air Force almost 30 years ago.  We drove a bunch of miles, but the horses weren’t cooperating, the leaves are already gone in the Sierras (dadburned drought), and the Glen Alpine Falls were a mere trickle.  We had a great couple days, catching up on family and life.  I’d say ‘just another distraction,’ but it could have been a different story if I’d gotten some pictures.

I caught up with some of the horses this week.  Most were uncooperative, but Blue let me walk around his band and make images.  In spite of his gruff demeanor, he’s just a big Blue puffcake at heart.  Don’t tell the other studs, though – they will NOT believe you!  Check out the Wild Horses page for more images.

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Blue! Nothing more need be said.

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I don’t get ‘artsy’ with the horses very often, but I loved the line of heads as they walked by.

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Socks – chillin’ under a tree while his ladies were enjoying a dirt bath. Seriously…

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Blue with a couple ladies and one of the kids!

For the business stuff – I’ve been working on new note card designs and filling an order for Christmas cards.  I have two images in the Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates Foals of 2015 calendar, and got  notified that I have an image in the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce 2016 landscape calendar.  It’s very exciting for me!

So, I hope I’m forgiven for the long wait and I hope you enjoyed these pictures.  Many more to follow – please stay tuned!

Enjoy – PHOTOROGR