We had a lot of rain with this last storm. The neighbor’s yard had a small pond in it, which I have not seen in at least 10 years, the pond along Route 9 south of Brown Street was over its banks, which I have never seen before, and, as you see from the photo, the Branch Brook Marsh right on the Wells Town line was completely under water…and though I don’t have a photo of the other side of the road, it was completely flooded as well, as far as you could see out toward the sea. That is a lot of water. In this shot, which is a short sweep panorama with the iPhone SE and the Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens, if you did not know better you would think you were looking at a lake. The water is only inches, a foot at most, deep over the matted grasses of the marsh. Apple Camera app with Smart HDR engaged. Processed in Apple Photos.
What a day! The best that fall 2021 has to offer. Great sky, some color in the trees, and the open expanse of the remnant bog at Laudholm Farms in Wells, Maine, USA. This is a “sweep panorama” with the iPhone SE and the Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens. A lotta pixels in there! Apple Camera app. Processed in Apple Photos.
This is one of the upper pools on the Batson River at Emmon’s Preserve in Kennebunkport, Maine, USA. Nothing spectacular but an interesting place for a panorama with the fall foliage. iPhone SE with the Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens, held in portrait position and swept from left to right through only a portion of its 360 degree reach. Smart HDR was on in the Apple Camera app, but I have no idea if it works with sweep panorama. Processed in Apple Photos.
Something even more different than yesterday’s landscape for the Pic of the day…a sweep panorama under the same brooding sky…looking out over the Merriland River as it heads for its junction with Branch Brook at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm. Sweep panorama mode. +1 EV (necessary on this camera for this mode, and this scene could have actually used more compensation). Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure ISO 100 @ f5.6 @ 1/250.
Yesterday they promised heavy thunderstorms with big hail in the afternoon, and when it did not materialize I headed out on my ebike to look for sky. In the coastal plain of York County, that means either the beach or the Kennebunk Plains. The Kennebunk Plains, as I have mentioned in the past, is a sand plain…one of the few undeveloped habitats of its kind in New England. It was kept open in the past by wildfire…and is now maintained by controlled burns. The Nature Conservancy owns part of it and the whole of it is managed as a Wildlife Management Area by the state…to protect several endangered birds, reptiles, and flowers. And because it is open, you get to see the sky in all its glory. This is a “sweep panorama” from the Sony a6500 with my ultra wide lens set up. Sweep panorama is a mode that allows you to swing the camera around the horizon and take one long continuous photo…the camera actually takes dozens of individual photos and stitches them together in-camera. This is about 180 degrees of land and sky. I held the camera in portrait mode, vertically, to take in more sky. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos for an HDR effect.
Some people like a sunny, cloudless day. Not me. I like blue sky, but I like a few clouds for little drama…or a lot of clouds for a lot of drama 🙂 To me, the clouds make the landscape. This is the junction of Back Creek and the Mousam River, about 2 miles from our house. It is only 2 PM, but already the light has the slant of late evening. That’s winter in Maine. This is an 180 degree sweep of snowy marsh and winter sky. The little tuffs of marsh grass showing keep the eye busy in the lower half, and the clouds dominate the upper. The light is simply wonderful. The lone figure on the right gives scale.
Sweep Panorama mode. Auto exposure with -1/3EV. Sony HX90V. Processed in Lightroom.
Mount Agamenticus, at a majestic 692 feet, would be barely a hill anywhere but on the southern coastal plain of Maine. In fact, it would take 5 Mt. As, stacked, to meet the British standard for a mountain, and Britain is not known for its tall mountains. Still, sitting where it is, with its far flung toes in the sea on one side, and the relative flat of the coastal plain all around it, it provides impressive views. On a clear day you can see Boston to the south, the coast from the Isles of Sholes off Portsmouth New Hampshire as far north as Cape Elizabeth, and the Presidential Range, including Mt. Washington, far to the north and west. I, along with several hundred other folks, was inspired to brave Route 1 Columbus Day weekend traffic and the twisty drive up the mountain to see what fall was looking like from Mt. A. When I left the mountain at about 11, there were cars circling the parking lot looking for a space. Two things to note in the sweep panorama above. 1) we do not have a lot of maples in Maine, and therefore not a lot of color, compared to, say, Vermont, and 2) southern Maine, the most populated area of the state, anywhere in-land from the coast, looks pretty much like unbroken forest as far as the eye can see. It is almost, even on Columbus Day, as though Columbus had never sailed…or that is the way it looks from the majestic heights of Mount Agamenticus (ignoring, of course, the parking lot). 🙂
Sony Alpha NEX 5t with 16-50mm zoom. Sweep panorama. Processed in Lightroom.
The fast sensors and processors in today’s digital cameras make panoramas both easy and fun. There is no need to take overlapping frames or to align and blend them after the fact. You simply sweep the camera smoothly across the landscape and the panorama is recorded as one long strip. And I love being able to capture the sweep of the landscape. I generally hold the camera vertically, so the pano is not as wide as it would be otherwise, but it makes for a more natural perspective.
However, I have never figured out what to do with the panoramas once I have captured them. Display on a standard computer or laptop monitor, no matter how large, simply does not do them justice…and you would need a very large open wall to display a print…even if you could make one. This panel of three panoramas is somewhat of a compromise. I like the amount of detail captured and it still maintains the feeling of sweep, while being, somehow, easier on the eye than the individual shots. Or that is what I think.
All three are from our visit to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument near the Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico.
Sony WX220 pocket camera. Processed in Lightroom and assembled in Phototastic Pro on my Surface Pro 3 tablet.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument between Albuquerque and Santa Fe New Mexico is one of the newer NMs…designated and opened in 2001. Kasha-Katuwe means white cliffs in Keresan, the traditional language of the Cochiti Pueblo, who are partners with the Bureau of Land Management in protecting and developing the area. The cliffs are adorned with many hoodoos…conical formations weathered out of the volcanic tuff…and heavily banded with magenta layers. All in all it is a very impressive landscape. Carol and Anna climbed the Slot Canyon Trail to the top of the cliffs for a panoramic view, while I worked along the base of the cliffs on the Cave Trail, taking many panorama shots to try to capture something of the effect of the cliffs. To view this for full impact, you need to click on it and open it full screen.
I was experimenting with the little (tiny) Sony WX 220’s panorama and HDR functions. This is a simple sweep panorama with the camera held vertically. Processed in Lightroom.
It is one of those triumphs of the conservation spirit (and rare common sense) that a combination of public and private agencies managed to “save” Laudholm Farms from development. The land is held jointly by the Wells National Estuarine Research Center and the Laudholm Trust, and between them they have managed to preserve both a large and diverse ecosystem which includes two healthy tidal rivers, marsh, woodlands, upland pastures, etc. and the magnificent buildings of a true, late 1800s, Maine Salt Farm. Quite an accomplishment. I am truly thankful to have such a valuable resource in my back yard! It is a great place in every season…and with the Friends group renting snowshoes, is one of the more accessible winter outings in our area. I love it!
This is a two panel shot of the farm buildings. The top panel is a wide sweep panorama and the bottom is from the same spot in a more conventional 24mm equivalent view. Together they give a good impression of the farm in winter.
Sony HX400V. As above. Processed in Lightroom and assembled in Phototastic on my Surface Pro 3 tablet.