Photo Locale of the Month – May 2016

It is late May and it finally feels like summer in East Tennessee. The weather has been unseasonably cool and rainy, until just a few days ago, when – almost overnight – temperatures shot up into the mid-80’s. Now that’s more like it!

Out West, May is an ideal month for exploring the National Parks of Utah and Arizona. I took several road trips while residing in Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Lake Powell, and elsewhere. It was four years ago when my car seemingly drove itself during one of the hottest weeks of the year to one of the hottest places in the country: beautiful Monument Valley.

Goulding's Trading Post and Museum 1 - view of Sentinel Mesa

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Photo essay: Panoramas

I don’t always consider myself to be a good photographer. I am self-taught, which is respectable, but as shutterbugs go, I am not the most patient. Additionally, I so often pack my tripod for a trip and then opt not to haul it around. As such, night photography is often in “P” (Program) mode rather than “M” (Manual) mode. I still pull off some good shots, but I don’t deny that they could have been better.

One category in which I excel – I think – is panoramic photography. It isn’t so much that I’m a natural; some places simply lend themselves to “wider-angle” photography. Natural wonders are obvious choices – the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the Alps, I could go on and on. On rare occasions, cityscapes make for terrific panoramic images as well. The trick, of course, is a) to seek these vista points out, b) to step back and recognize a place’s potential, and c) to have a camera on your person.

Below are several of my favorite panoramic photos from my travels. My process is to snap snap snap an epic view from left to right, then “stitch” the individual images together in post. I use Windows Live Photo Gallery for this feature. It is a free program; don’t be surprised if a version of it is already installed on your computer.

Unless otherwise indicated, pics were taken using a Canon Powershot or a Nikon DSLR. You may have to click on them to see the full detail.

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