Thursday, May 24, 2012

Panoramic Scotland!

When I was a junior in high school, I went on a short term exchange (for a long weekend) to Boston, MA.  The family that I stayed with was pretty awesome.  The bedroom they had arranged for me was actually their office space.  One entire wall was covered in cork board, which was practically covered in photos.  But one set of photos in particular has never faded from my memory.

To the top left of the wall, there was a set of 3 photos.  Each different photo made up a part of a rainbow.  They had printed out the photos, then laid them over each other to create a panoramic view of the rainbow.  I was smitten.  I have always wanted to do the same thing and never did.  I've never considered myself a pro photographer, I'm still learning about using a flash and some of the controls on my camera.  I was satisfied just taking normal, one shot, photos.

But in Scotland, there was all this beautiful scenery.. and one shot just wasn't doing it.  I couldn't get the entire scene in just one photo.  So I started doing this crazy thing.  I'd stand as still as possible, and scan the horizon while simultaneously taking photos.  I'd try to line it up so it was a straight-ish line, but with no tripod, I only did fairly.

I knew there was a high tech way to make this panoramic shot that I'd seen on the cork board.  But, since it was my first time, I had to do some research.  I googled panoramic photo photoshop to get instructions on how to do it.  After several days of trial and error (these suckers take a long time to load, especially using RAW files), these are my final products!

They might not be the best of the best, but I'm super impressed with how well they came out considering it was my first time.

Helpful Hint: To see them in big, click on the photo...  You just won't get the captions this way.

This shot is from Urquhart Castle (ruins)... which makes that body of water Loch Ness.  Do you see Nessie?

Same shot as above, just in B&W.

This was from the top of Spynie Castle (ruins).  In the distance (to the left) you can see Lossiemouth.

This one is from Duffus Castle (ruins).  RAF was actually flying over head (which you will see in another Scotland post), so I had to time this photo right not to get Tornado's in the photo.  Everything was soooo green.  I loved it!

This was taken on the way to Eilean Donan Castle.  We pulled off on the side of the road to take photos because the landscape was sooooooo beautiful.  

This was taken from the top of  Urquhart Castle (ruins).  I climbed some crazy narrow, slippery stairs to make it to the top.  This makes it worth it.

This is my favorite panoramic of all.  I left it uncropped because I didn't want to cut out the cemetery at the bottom.  This is actually a 345° view from where I was standing.  The only thing not photographed was stuff directly behind me, which actually would connect this photo and make it a circle (not sure you do that in 2D).  But in real life, the road in front of the mountain on the left actually connected to the road at the very far right.  

New favorite thing to do with my camera!!!!  Guess what you get to look forward to when I come back from Australia?!?!?!? :D  Teh Bear suggested I take my tripod with me to Australia so I could get even better shots.  Maybe I'm just a tripod snob, but I think I did fairly well without the tripod.

PS.  I still want to find a rainbow and do a printed out panoramic shot, because that is still the most awesome photography thing ever, in my opinion, of course...

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