Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

The Wide View

“Park Avenue”, Arches NP, Utah

Unfortunately, we’re home a few days early.  I wound up canceling the Yellowstone portion of the trip, mainly because of weather conditions there.  We were going to head up to Wyoming from Las Vegas (where the temperature was in the mid 90’s).  Temperature-wise, the transition to northern Wyoming would have been a bit of a shock.  Early morning temperatures were going to be in the single digits, while the afternoons would barely be in the mid to upper 30’s.  Those kinds of conditions aren’t unusual for Yellowstone in October, but we hadn’t packed anything that would have kept us from turning into icicles.  As luck would have it, it’s currently much warmer there now.  I think the high today is supposed to be in the 50’s.  Our timing just sucked, I guess.  Maybe next time……..

Actually, a number of things didn’t go as “planned”.  For a variety of reasons, I did only a few of the hikes I’d wanted to do.  I never made it to Fisher Towers (near Moab), for example, except to take a quick peek at them.  Nor did I make it back to Antelope Canyon in Page.  Or Red Rock Canyon (near Las Vegas).  Or Valley of Fire.  Just too damn hot there during that week.  It may be a “dry heat”, as some say, but walking around in the desert at 97 degrees can wear on you quickly.  Keep the lip balm (and water) very close.

Not that we didn’t have fun.  We did.  Even with the sea of orange barrels and cones dotting the interstates out and back.  As I’ve said before, some company is making a fortune producing those things.  In places, they extend for miles and miles (like Indiana).

And we did see some new things – like the Burr Trail.  This is a road (partly paved and partly dirt) that runs off of scenic byway 12 near Boulder, Utah.  Originally, this route was used by settlers to move cattle from the high country to the Waterpocket Fold area of what is now Capitol Reef NP.  It’s beautiful and it’s quiet.  Somehow we’d missed it on previous trips.

We also got out onto Lake Powell for the first time.  The lake was created, of course, when Glen Canyon dam was built.  In a very real sense, Page, Az was also “created” at that time.  Before the dam was built, Page didn’t exist.  I’m not sure building the dam was the best idea they’ve ever had in that area, but it’s there nonetheless.  As is the lake behind it.  What’s interesting about the lake is the water filled canyons that seem to be everywhere.  It would take days (or weeks?) to explore all of them.  And you’d probably get lost.

As for the image, it’s a nearly 180 degree panorama of the area known as Park Avenue in Arches NP.  In my opinion, it may be the only good way to photograph this spot.  Otherwise, you just get pieces of the whole.  Using an extremely wide angle lens (12 mm, maybe?) might work, but the far end of the image would appear to be very small, I think.  Although you can’t really see it here, the detail is very good.  It looks much better as a large print.

There was one small mystery, however.  In the 5th or 6th frame used to make this, there was a man walking on the trail (wearing a bright red shirt).  It’s the only frame in which he appeared.  After doing the “Merge to Panorama in Photoshop”, he’s completely gone.  Vaporized.  Or at least his pixels are gone.  I’m not at all sure why Photoshop did that.  I’m sure there’s a simple explanation, but I haven’t found it yet.  Any ideas?


8 Responses to “The Wide View”

  1. oneowner

    I think Photoshop will automatically remove a “ghost image”, or objects that don’t show up in each related frame. The coverage is then applied from the files that don’t contain the object. You could probably clone the guy in the red shirt back in by carefully layering your finished shot with the original but. as far as I’m concerned, this shot is fine the way it is and really doesn’t need a distracting element added. Welcome back to Webster (I’m not going to say it, but you know what I’m thinking).

    • Paul Maxim

      Sounds plausible to me, Ken. You’re right, though. I didn’t want the guy in the image anyway. So PS actually did me a “favor”.

      Ah yes, back to Webster. I’m not going to say it, either. But probably for a different reason……….Damn, I can feel those icy winds of January already.

  2. Earl

    Beautiful panorama, Paul. I believe Ken’s absolutely right about where the guy went…he was Photoshop’ed into oblivion. Sorry you didn’t get to do all the things you’d planned on doing — sounds like a grand reason for another trip to tidy up those loose ends. 🙂

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Earl. The more I play with these panoramas, the better I like them. As for the guy being vaporized, I still think that it’s strange. In this case, I didn’t care. But if it was a “thing” (as opposed to a person), I might not have wanted it removed. Then I’d have had to do what Ken suggested and put the “thing” back in.

      Another trip? Of course! The only question is “when”. Soon, I hope. Before I get too old and mean to do it any more…………

  3. John Linn

    Paul, very nice pano… a great subject for the treatment and well done. And the tonal range is well managed in what I would expect may have been an issue?

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, John. With respect to tonal range, I did think I might have a problem. The left side of the canyon was coming into shadow while the right side was in bright sun. But it worked out fine. I didn’t have to make any corrections at all – everything fit very nicely into the histogram.

  4. Cedric Canard

    Spectacular picture Paul. It would be interesting to see how a 12mm or similar wide-angle lens would render such a scene but my guess is that a pano will win if only for the extra detail.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Cedric. No question that I’m still in the early learning stages of doing panoramas. In this one, for example, I managed to cut off the top of the structure on the right. Definitely a “flaw” in this image. But the detail is pretty amazing. But then so is the final image size. Darn near 200 megapixels (flattened).


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