I was very interested in doing a vertical panorama and a boardwalk at Pierce Cedar Creek seemed to be an ideal subject. I was inspired by a vertical scroll painting at the University of Michigan Museum of art, Plum Blossoms in Snow, by Asian artists Chang Ku-nien and Chen Shu-chen and thought it was was exquisite. There is something so dramatic about their use of the vertical which engages physical movement of the viewer and tells a story. Here is the painting and text description from the U of M Museum of art:
We went out around 6PM on a sunny day to find a long piece of boardwalk. We found a somewhat long but uneventful stretch and I tried to wring out something interesting with a few photos. However, any drama would have to come from Bob in post processing. (Bigfoot anyone?)
Bob suggested another boardwalk on another trail and we soon turned a corner to find a beautiful long boardwalk with the sun at the end spilling down the boards. It seemed like a gift — we took several sets at different settings to make sure we like our interpretation of what we saw. The result is below:
Mary had a very specific idea about a boardwalk picture at Cedar Creek. When she has an idea this specific, I know that what I need to do is to listen carefully and to make sure the camera settings and the Photoshop work is contributing fully to the realization of her idea. The late afternoon when the images were captured featured a partly cloudy sky and a brilliant sun working its way towards the sunset. This shot was to be a vertical panorama, with an aspect ratio of 1 wide by 3 tall, so that it would print without unintentional cropping. (Due to this, all of our panorama shots are either a 3 to 1, 2 to 1, 1 to 3 or 1 to 2 aspect ratio). This finished image consists of six individual shots made with our 17mm to 40mm wide angle lens, with the camera held in portrait mode. I wanted to be sure that the blue in the sky would be recoverable in post processing, so I set the camera to f/5.0 and the ISO to 200, which made for a shadowy boardwalk and a bright, but not blown-out, sky, with the notable exception of the sun, which is inevitably blown out, just like in real life. It is all colors, it is white. (The sun is rather uncompromising in how it makes its presence known in an image!) If you have a blown-out sky, there is no color data to recover.