I was going through and organizing photos from the film days and found that there were a couple of photos that I had taken that could be combined into panoramas. This one was from a hike along Happy Lake Ridge in the Olympic National Park. The view is across the Elwha River valley over to Hurricane Ridge.
The Happy Lake Ridge trail is seldom hiked … even less since the Elwha Road washed out adding miles to access the trailhead. It is a nice loop trail, the upper end dropping down to Boulder Lake and then out through the Boulder Creek Trail and the (undeveloped) Olympic Hot Springs. With the wash out of the road, there are several miles of doubling back to get to the parking lot… but it is still mostly a loop.
I took this image a few years back and was recently going through my image bank and found that redeveloping the images with the latest Lightroom tools made a significant difference in the results. I think that part of the difference is a change in my aesthetic, since that can also change over time.
If you haven’t re-processed your prints in a while, it may be worth going back and visiting some of your favorites to see what you think.
The Dosewallips Road is washed out in a couple of places and is now a 6 mile trail to the old car campground. The trail (road) starts in the Olympic National Forest and runs up into the Olympic National Park. This shot is just about at the trailhead … and shows what it looks like in mid-March. (except it’s usually cloudy and raining). It was shot with a 24-84mm zoom lens set at 24mm. A pretty typical wide angle lens without a lot of “wide angle” distortion.
Now look at the image below, which was taken with the same lens set at the same 24mm. However, in this case I have taken a series of images in the landscape format and stitched them together using Lightroom’s Photo Merge>Panorama option. This results in a much different image … I chose to continue higher into the overhead … but is also has a different viewpoint, since much of the sides were eliminated in the merging process.
I like them both, but they certainly have a different feel to them … you can always turn a series of images into a panorama, but the visual impact is different. And, if you aren’t careful with your exposure settings, you can get a result that doesn’t merge well. The bottom image was taken using “Auto” exposure control and as I moved the camera up to where the sky was in the image, the exposure changed. All I could do was to throw out those images where the exposure didn’t match and you can see the result: the image doesn’t extend to ground level.