Category Archives: Panorama

An unexpected blessing

Since I started photography nine years ago, I have photographed different genres such as portrait, pets, events, landscape, nature, architecture, sports, maternity, food, etc. Most of them are for my own personal projects for portfolio building.  Once in a while I receive requests for my service, however most of them are for events which I immediately turn away. There always seems to be a need for event photographers. ūüôā

In October last year, an art consultant from Houston, TX contacted me because she found a photo of Lake Pflugerville that she wanted to purchase for her client, a local hospital. I was so excited! The photo she wanted to purchase was taken at the lake using my Sony mirrorless camera during one of my walks. It was a photo that has a caption of “One of Lake Pflugerville’s docks” that I uploaded in one of my blog posts in 2015.

After several back and forth emails, I found out that they would need to enlarge the photo to 96 inches wide. My heart sank, because I know for sure that this will turn out to be pixelated when upscaled to that size. I browsed through my photos to check if there were other photos that I can offer her that can be enlarged to the desired size. Not wanting to turn her away and lose this big opportunity,  I decided that the best thing that I can do is to photograph the lake again and come up with different photos that she might like. But after some consideration, she told me that she really thought that one photo that she found online was the one that will work well in the hospital, so I had to mimic that photo that she liked, this time making sure that it can scale up.  

Because Pflugerville had not had rain in a while, the lake water was low and the hydrilla and pondweed were overcrowding the water .  The original photo that I was trying to mimic did not have the same condition.  But I just had to try to get the best of what is available.

To ensure that the photo can scale up, I had to take 21 photos and stitched them to become one panoramic photo of the lake. I used my Nodal Ninja 6 with Nadir adapter panoramic head, a Nikkor 60mm lens on Nikon D600, and Manfrotto tripod.

Long story short, the photo was approved by my client’s client. I had it printed on a museum quality archival paper from a local pro printing shop so I can sign it before mailing it to the client. My client framed it and three months since the initial contact with the art consultant, it’s now adorning the cafe’ at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Pflugerville.

Len’s photo in Pflugerville’s new hospital

This whole experience has several take-aways. First and most important in my opinion is to keep shooting and posting photos. Make sure that you put your best work out there. You never know who’s going to bump into your work. Second is that you have to be prepared. Know your gear and apps and what it can do for you. This comes with practice. Third, be friendly and professional. Communicate clearly. And if you were asked to deliver something at a certain date, make sure you meet that date or even better deliver it early. Fourth, read the contract carefully for terms and conditions, payment information, and make sure you understand copyright and licensing.

I’m very thankful to God for this blessing. And now, I leave you with a quote that applies to a lot of us . . .

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. “

Lake Placid NY Waterfront Properties

Lake Placid NY Waterfront Properties

This summer, during our trip to the Adirondacks, we had the pleasure of touring Lake Placid by boat. ¬†We spent about a couple of hours on a tour boat that went around Lake Placid. There were so many beautiful waterfront properties ¬† In the Adirondacks, even if the properties are huge and elaborate, they are still referred to as “camps”. In the late 19th century, the affluent families such as the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers started coming to the Adirondacks and built their huge summer retreats known as the¬†Great Camps.

The Great Camps were built using native materials such as logs, barks, roots, and stones. ¬†Because these materials were handcrafted, they show very unique irregularities. ¬†These camps also blend right in to their surroundings. ¬†Unlike the cookie cutter houses that we have in the master planned subdivisions where the houses are very similar if not the same, the Adirondacks architecture is very unique and built with great craftsmanship. ¬†It’s definitely a work of art.

During our tour, the young guide mentioned the history of some of the camps, who visited there, who owns them (and used to own them) and what they do for a living, and other facts about Lake Placid.  He also mentioned the rich and famous people who have visited the area.  It was actually quite interesting.

As we toured around the lake, I was able to photograph some of them. ¬†There were some challenges due to the fact that we were on a moving boat. Also, I was just sitting as I didn’t want to block the other passengers who were at the tour as well. ¬†As you can see from the photos below, the Adirondacks architecture has a rustic style.

Lake Placid Lodge

One of my favorite properties on this boat tour was the Lake Placid Lodge. ¬†This lodge which was built as a rustic camp in 1882 by a German family, is a great example of the rugged yet elegant Adirondack style architecture. ¬†Although not in its original form because it was rebuilt due to a fire in 2005, the architects and the artisans made sure it epitomizes the spirit of the Adirondacks Great Camps. ¬†If interested, here’s an article¬†that gives more detail of the rebuilding efforts of the lodge.

The rustic elegance of Lake Placid Lodge

The rustic elegance of Lake Placid Lodge

Adirondack Waterfront camps on Lake Placid

I don’t quite remember some tidbits that the guide shared on these other properties. I just photographed them for their beauty and unique qualities. I’d be content even I live on top of one of these boat houses.

This one is an oddball. Although it’s nice, it just doesn’t fit in with the Adirondacks style.

A unique house with a railroad track leading to the dock.

This is why people pay premium to stay and play here. Look at the waters and the surrounding mountains.

Hopefully, these photos gave you an idea of the Lake Placid waterfront properties that you will find in this area, or what you’re missing if you haven’t visited there. ¬†Lake Placid is just one of the lakes out of the 3,000 lakes that the Adirondacks boast. ¬† If you want quiet adventures you can check out one of the non-motorized lakes instead. ¬†Either way, they’re all beautiful and relaxing.

Let me leave you with this quote by John Muir.

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers but as fountain of life.”

John Muir, “The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West,” Atlantic Monthly, January 1898.

 

Photo Project Theme Week 33 ‚Äď Tiny Planets

You’ve probably seen some photos online of weird but interesting looking tiny planets. ¬†This isn’t a new Photoshop project but I thought I’d make some of my own photos into my own Tiny Planets.

To start with, I selected a photo from our family’s recent trip this summer to the Northeast. ¬†The photo that I found that I thought would make a good Tiny Planet was shot in Maryland while we were on the road. ¬†My husband was driving and I was on the passenger seat of our motorhome.

My criteria for selecting this photo are:

  1. Clear sky
  2. Interesting subject
  3. Similar things on each end of the photo – in this example I have trees that are quite similar in height and looks so I can easily blend them together.

Maryland farm with red barn

Maryland farm with red barn – Original unedited

As you can see, this is just an ordinary photo, with boring sky, power lines, ¬†and some movement at the bottom since the vehicle was moving fast. ¬†I didn’t even roll down the window when I took this photo. ¬†Nothing exciting here, just a snapshot.

In order to use this for my tiny planet creation, I had to make it into a panorama.  I cropped the top and the bottom of the photo and I also did some minor adjustments to make the colors pop a little.  This is what it looks like after some minor tweaking.

Maryland farm with red barn. - cropped with minor editing.

Maryland farm with red barn. – cropped with minor editing.

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Photo Project Theme Week 32 – Instant Inspiration

For the past few months, I have been feeling kind of uninspired as far as my photography goes. I have not gone walking and exploring nature in awhile. ¬†Even going for a walk which used to be fun felt like a chore so I didn’t really go out. ¬†So many beautiful sunrises and sunsets have gone by, yet I¬†have not even picked up my camera to shoot. ¬†For some reason, I just didn’t feel like shooting anything just for fun. ¬†I have been telling myself that I have seen better or that I’ll see another beautiful sunrise or sunset again soon so I’ll just wait. ¬†Who am I kidding? ¬†I’ve lost a lot of opportunity to shoot, and the awesome sunrises and sunsets are not going to be exactly the same. Each one is different. ¬†And it’s not just sunrises and sunsets. ¬†I have had opportunities to shoot some photos of my parents before they left a few days ago to move to another state. ¬†I have always pictured some shots of them in my mind but have not taken time to ask them¬†to allow me to make those photos. ¬†And now what? ¬†It’s too late. ¬†I’ve missed a lot of chances. ¬† And yes, as we know it, regret is always in the end.

Just to get me back into the groove, this past Sunday, I forced myself to walk around Lake Pflugerville as it’s the closest trail from my house. ¬†I didn’t take my mirrorless camera which used to always hang around my waist in my little belt bag every time I go for a walk. ¬†I figured I’ll just walk for exercise and not take photos at all. ¬† But as soon as I saw the beautiful sunflowers, there was a feeling of excitement. ¬†They were not perfect as you can see but the yellow color of the sunflower against the blue color of water and sky was just very appealing to me. ¬†So I grabbed my phone and took several shots.

Here’s one.

Sunflower at the lake.

Sunflower at the lake.

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Photo Project Theme Week 30 – Falling for Fall

Fall is my favorite season.  The weather is nice and the colors are beautiful.  I have not seen beautiful fall colors since we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas seven years ago.  So I really miss it.

This year, we were very blessed to be able to go to Oswego, NY to visit my brother-in-law and his wife and enjoy fall once again (even for just a week). ¬† I was so ready to fall for fall once again. ¬†The leaves in the Adirondacks where we were originally planning on visiting past peak ¬†and most of the leaves have fallen but where we stayed, the leaves were just at peak or about to peak so we were there at the right time. ¬† Prior to arrival, the area had 12 gorgeous days but then the wind came and blew a lot of the leaves off ¬†but nevertheless it was still so beautiful. ¬†I loved the crisp fresh air and the smell of pine needles, ¬†the beautiful mix of leaves in shades of red, yellow and orange on the ground, the smell of forest after the rain, the green moss on rocks, and water from rivers, ponds, streams, lakes. ¬†Wow! ¬†Just amazing. ¬† We don’t have this in Texas!

I captured so many photos from this trip that I have not even gone through looking at them all.  But I am so excited to share my photos so I scanned through them and picked one photo taken for each day we were in New York.

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