The colors are here in the Northeast, so a few days ago, I drove to this random park called Cunningham Falls; it turns out it’s not so random.
I don’t know the area, so; I picked a random place to visit on Google Maps. Little did I know this is a popular spot because there were a lot of other photographers that showed up as well. I took all kinds of shots from different angles, including this, which is a twelve-shot panorama.
For panoramas to work, they need the right subject and, the Mediterranean is full of these kinds of scenes. I was here twice in September, once for an over-night and, a week later, to retrieve my lost passport. It was on the second trip that I made this. After I did, I went to an outdoor cafe facing the beach, not too far from KFC.
In case you were wondering, Platja is the Catalan word for Beach. This particular platja is in Barcelona.
I took this panorama on a previous trip to Barcelona in 2017. On my most recent trip, I spent time at other beaches, North and South of here. I created this by stitching together four photos in Lightroom and then worked on it with various other tools such as Luminar and Photoshop.
I intended to post this last month but ran out of time before my vacation. Some of the photos I publish represent many hours of work, spread out over time. I thought this was ready last month and then, after getting back, worked on it more before posting it this week. If there is a point in any of this, I suppose its that the end can be a moving target.
Another reason I like to come back here is the sense of quiet reverence that surrounds it. Just a few steps away are the sounds of the city, but in this particular spot, the noise is muffled, and people talk in hushed tones. In any case, this is a popular spot to take photos, so once I get the shot, I move along to make way for the next person.
Here’s another perspective of the sandstone formations I saw while visiting Wisconsin Dells. We took a boat tour up the river and made a couple of stops to see the formations. These are the kind of things I’d expect to see in Arizona, not Wisconsin.
We were here at the hottest time of the year. It’s funny because when we leave Florida in the summer and head north, we expect we’ll be getting moderate weather. During peak summer months, that’s not the case; it’s hot all over.
To create the star effect I set the aperture to f16 and positioned myself with the sun peeking out. F16 makes the aperture opening very small, and that creates a flaring or starlike effect with bright lights. However, it was so sunny I couldn’t be sure it worked until a few weeks later when I got home to look at the results on a monitor. Here, in the comfort of A/C, I can confirm we have a hit.
Here is an image from nearby Tom Bennett Park in Bradenton. I’ve been here twice this week trying to get some photos that do the landscape justice. To make this, I combined four vertical images, and each was a combination of two focus stacked images; so eight in all.
I’ve been doing a lot of focus stacking lately. If you’re not familiar, it’s taking two or more photos of the same thing, each focused at a different distance. Then by combining the in-focus parts of each image, everything is sharp. It’s an excellent technique to use when you want to have a strong foreground element. It makes good sense in a lot of landscape scenes. Also, since this is a multi-image panorama, the resolution is very high. Therefore, having everything in focus is even more beneficial.
I was at this same park a day or two earlier when I came to walk with my dog. This time I came alone to shoot, but after I did, I felt a little guilty that Mr. Wiggles got gypped out of a walk. I could have brought him because the photography wasn’t particularly difficult. Mr. Wiggles has me wrapped around his paw. I’m not done here so I’ll probably bring him along next time.
Now tell me, do we get amazing sunsets in Florida or what? I took this crazy panorama of my hometown of Palmetto last Friday. In fact, my drone took this photo. I sat out front with a refreshing beverage in a lawn chair and sent my robot drone up to take the picture. Okay, so I’m exaggerating a little, I had to pilot it, compose the shot, and press the shutter button, but with a little more AI, maybe it could do that too.
Typically, when I take photos, I get my gear, put it in the car, and drive somewhere. Then I get the gear out of the car, walk, compose, and click. Then, I walk some more and do it again, over and over. After all that, I end up with one or two good shots, and then I’m tired. But this time I decided to sit back in a chair and send the drone up. No driving, no packing, no walking.
This whole experience got me thinking that these drones are very close to becoming robots. Fast forward ten years and I’ll be sitting in my living room with a VR headset talking to Siri. I’ll ask her to send up the drone, fly somewhere special, look around, and take a photo as if I was there myself. I won’t leave the comfort of my home. Does that sound absurd? I wonder if the idea is not too far off the mark.
One of the first stops on our summer road trip was in Wisconson. While there we took a boat up the river at Wisconsin Dells in an area known for rock formations like this. I can imagine seeing these in Arizona or Utah, but here in Wisconsin, it was a big surprise.
This formation is known as Stand Rock, and during the summer, trained dogs will leap from one surface to the other. If you look closely, there is a net in the space between the rocks. When we arrived, it had just rained, so the demonstration was canceled for safety reasons.
Nevertheless, there is a famous image of this rock taken by HH Bennett over a hundred years ago. That image is in the lower part of the frame, and it depicts his son jumping from one rock to the other (without a net). Among other things, Bennett was a pioneer in photography because he invented the shutter which freezes motion.
Back then there was a lot of logging here. If you look closely at the old image, Stand Rock is mostly exposed. Today it’s covered in a thick canopy of trees as logging has long since ceased. Anyway, I thought it was cool that not only is there an old photo of this rock, but it is related to photographic history as well.
Here is another panorama of Sarasota from Bayfront Park. Last year I posted an almost identical image that was taken during the day but have been waiting to do it again at night. Back then that big building (third from the left) was still under construction and it wasn’t lit up. So, now that it’s complete I wanted to shoot it again since the scene seems more complete to me.
To take this I mounted my camera vertically on a tripod and took ten shots from left to right. With the resolution of the Sony camera, it will be about seven feet across when printed!
Here are some links to other panoramas I’ve taken in and around Sarasota…
I took this from Palmetto Florida one evening last summer. There is a lot going on in the sky as an afternoon thunderstorm dissipates over the water. I needed a panorama to capture the expansiveness of the sky. It’s made up of ten photos in two rows so there is a lot more to see than I would get from an ordinary photo.
This image is a good representation of what it’s like here in summer. You look one way and it looks dark and ominous, you look another way and it’s a nice sunset. That’s why I used a panorama, so we can see in both directions.
But in reality, panoramas are the predecessors of 360 images. With your browser or a VR viewer you can look in any direction. I like still pictures because of the creativity I can put into them. VR is a different thing altogether but they each have their place. Maybe one day all photos will be VR, wouldn’t that be interesting?