My landscape photography appears to have taken a back seat to just about everything else going on in my life for the last year. There were no new photos at all for the first 3 months of 2018. I photographed the progress of my bathroom remodel project for most of the rest of the year, with only a few scattered excursions into other photographic subjects (including myself, to create a new avatar for forums I participate on). My only concentrated effort to capture landscapes in 2018 was last November and I wasn’t too satisfied with that outing.
Last month I went looking for townscape subjects on request. A former Quincy resident asked me for a group of black & white images of the town she grew up in, so I tried to get a few specific subjects I hadn’t already captured over the years. Even those I didn’t consider my best work. I want to blame it on the lousy weather, but my own long-term complacency is probably more to blame.
It just wasn’t a very good 2018 for me and coming into 2019 wasn’t very exciting either. Occasional bursts of energy have kept these past number of months from being a total wash. I am proud of my bathroom, but it’s not finished yet. My Jeep is running well, so I’ve had a few nice rides. And the rare visits from friends have made me cheerful. But my photography was nearly nonexistent. Until last Monday.
Monday was haircut day for me in Greenville. I’ve been going to Vicky Griffith at Country Style since late last year. She does a great job, not just cutting my hair the way I like it, but also trimming my eyebrows and my goatee, which I have allowed to grow longer than ever before. I left her shop mid-afternoon and headed back home. About a mile before Crescent Mills, I noticed how majestic Mt. Hough looked all snow capped and surrounded by thick green forest. I thought to myself that Stampfli Lane would be a good place to get a nice photo of the mountain range. But I didn’t have my camera with me, it was too early in the day anyway, so I just kept driving.
My next stop was Express Coffee Shop, in Quincy. The owner, Lucio, was on a ladder out front and the parking lot was almost vacant. I thought it would be a good time to chat with my friend and get myself something to eat that I didn’t have to make myself. Few customers means I get a little more attention. It just so happened that the waitress said something that made me want to show a couple of my photos to her that I keep on my phone. It was then I realized it had been too long since I had gone out to make landscape photos.
When I got home, I looked up on the Photographer’s Ephemeris what time the sun would set. Since my camera gear had not been pointed at any vistas in a while, I thought it would be a good idea to make sure my batteries were charged and my equipment cleaned. About an hour before sunset, I headed back to Stampfli Lane. It had been so long that I’d done this, I forgot that the sun drops behind other mountains before actual sunset. As I turned onto Stampfli, I saw that only the tops of the mountains were being hit by the sunlight. There wasn’t time enough to find the best spot along Stampfli Lane. I had to settle for a spot just a couple hundred yards from the highway.
It was not disappointing. I knew immediately that I was going to try to capture a wide panoramic view of Mt. Hough and try to fit Mt. Jura into the shot as well. The first shutter release was at 7:15PM, about a half-hour before actual sunset. The last shutter release was at sunset, 7:45PM. I mounted my Nikon D810 vertically on my tripod, did my best to level it so I could swivel the camera from left to right after each shot to get a series of photos I could stitch together to make one big panorama. I pressed the shutter almost 200 times. A few series didn’t make the cut during my initial cull operation. I was left with 128 possibilities.
The 2 photos below represent the last 2 series. The light was the best, the focus the sharpest. The first one is of Mt. Jura & Mt. Hough and is comprised of 13 shots. The second photo is of Mt. Hough and took 16 shots, but several were cropped off to exclude Mt. Jura from the finished photo. All photos were shot in manual mode, f/11 and 1/15 sec. I used a Tamron f/2.8 70-200mm zoom lens with pano 1 at 70mm and pano 2 at 100mm. Both panoramas were developed in Adobe Lightroom only. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed making them.
Your comments below would be appreciated.