August 21, 2010

Worm for the early bird

The rd day of my Nepali trip started early, the mornng call rang at 4:30am.  The destination is a village in Bagmati area (named after the Bagmati River).  Sit in the bus for about 30 minutes, we arrived at a spot where we need to open the torch, walked on small road to a small hill where we can see the small village about 2 kilometers away, still dark, but the lights of the houses, vague cooking smokes tell us its location.  Waiting for the first light of dawn, I set up my Canon 5DII with a EF 35/1.4L prime on the Arca Swiss B1 head, carefully level my tripot so I can take a full (stitched) panoramic image, while I started to hear shutter clicks from my fellow photographers.  What I have learned over the years, if I have time, and the scenery is not particularly great, a single shot is a snap shot at best in situation like this, I would just go for a large panoramic image so at least it has a large visual impact. And so I did.  I made a few series of 6-7 shots, stitched them together to get this image, cropped from original size: 17,010 X 2,643 pixels.
So why don't I use superwide angle lens?  Qucik answer is that I did not bring it in the trip, the widest I have for this Nepal trip for Canon is a moderate 24-105/4L, but I also carried a Phase One P65+ on Hasselblad - which I left in hotel, where in that bag I have a H35/3.5 that is equivalent to 21mm. But the real answer is that I don't usually use superwide for landscape, I do, just not usually.  Why did not bring them to being with?  The powerful Canon TS-E 17/4L, if you considered a stitched from left-middle-right, you then get a final image that is about 12mm, or a 14mm prime?  My approach of landscape image is more panoramic than traditional 4:3 or 2:3 ratio, my preference is more or less the classic 17:6 or even wider - like the one I did for the Kathmandu.  I could have use a very wide angle lens but ended up crop just the small middle senction of the capture, that is not my best choice.  The digital camera today and the avaialble software makes super panoramic image so easily, explore them, use them, then you would know.
This one, seeing the sunrise, we started to move back to the bus to go to our main destination - the village. With a Panosonic GF-1 on my hand (yes, it is always on my hand basically this entire trip), I quickly snap a series of image, handheld, pivot myself to sweep over the landscape. Resized from the oiginal picture of 9,904X2,397 pixels.
This one, still with Panasonic GF-1 with 20/1.7, the panoramic image stitched from 9 captures, resized from the original artwork of 24,665 X 3,579 pixes.

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