Wyoming Panorama of the Wind River Canyon

May 07, 2016

     Putting together a panorama landscape image requires planning and knowledge of just about everything; a little experience often goes a long way in these circumstances.  Wanting to put together a panorama of the Wind River Canyon for quite some time, I couldn't get over the "where" factor.  It's a big canyon, but a panorama landscape requires a certain amount of space for the photograph to work effectively.   

     I'd planned on trying out my panorama landscape idea for yesterday, but wildfire smoke from Canada put an end to that great idea, then it started to rain!  It poured sometime after midnight this morning, and is still raining right now as I write this Wind River Canyon Blog.  The canyon is wonderfully green right now, and the migrating birds are starting to arrive.  I motivated myself right out the door this morning in the rain; camera under my jacket as I drove the truck up the Wind River Canyon.

     You really should use a tripod when putting together a panorama image, but I've made them without one!  My favorite, which is not on my Hogbats Photography website, is of the Buffalo in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone; it too was hand held.  Without a tripod you need steady hands and an idea.  It also pays to understand the way panoramic "stitch" software works, and I'm no expert----so here goes.  

     I took three photos side-by-side of my intended Wyoming landscape this morning, overlapping the images ever so slightly.  This is harder to do effectively when hand-holding your camera, remember; I shot RAW as this is the best way to manipulate the files.  I opened the picture files in my camera's software (Canon Digital Photo Professional in this case) and worked the landscape images the way I wanted them to look----but, you must work all the photos exactly the same way or the panorama "stitch" software will not recognize the adjoining pixels from image to image.  I read recently that the panorama software accomplishes millions of computations when putting together the three pictures!  I saved in a tiff file, then worked each of the three files in an HDR (high-dynamic range); also included in Canon's software; now you have three huge files/pictures.

     Canon's supplied software also includes panorama "stitch" software that is effective, simple, albeit crude.  The tiff-file panorama Wind River Canyon landscape image that resulted from this morning's wet and beautiful shoot was over 212 megabytes!!  I then opened the tiff-file in Adobe Lightroom to tweak the image further, adding sharpening and dialing down the bright upper-altitude fog.  The jpeg image saved is still over 42 megabytes!  Remember, this was photographed just this very morning in the Wind River Canyon, here in Wild Wyoming.   Wind River Canyon Panorama Spring 2016Wind River Canyon Panorama Spring 2016Three Image HDR Panorama of the Wind River Canyon in Wyoming.      You can see some of last spring's landslides that are active again, even as I write this week's blog, the high-altitude fog and rain giving the image/picture a "fresh-look."  I wish I could include the "smell-of-the-air" in this panorama landscape:  It awakens the senses like some kind of drug, all supplied by Mother Nature.  The ancient canyon-stone foundation on the left-side (from the early 50's?) is the only one like it in the entire Wind River Canyon.  If you can zoom-in on the panorama image, you may also notice certain anomalies left by the movement of fog and software goofs where the pictures are "stitched" together.

     We had a family medical emergency that stopped my daily photographic routine the last couple of weeks, and I just couldn't find the motivation to write the Wind River Canyon Blog last week; hopefully everything fine.

     Thank you for reading my blog, I hope you learned a little something.  Try a panorama of something, you will be surprised at the results----trust me, it's easier than it sounds.

*All images and writing by Michael John Balog/Hogbats Photography, Wind River Canyon, Wyoming.  Visit HogbatsPhotography.com for award-winning hummingbird images and many more wildlife photographs documenting life in the Wind River Canyon.