We’ve all been to a place that was so grand and expansive that it was too big to capture in a single frame. In those moments we can work to capture the scenes as panoramas. Here is a selection of some of my favorite panorama photos of 2019.
GRAND VIEW OF MT ASSINIBOINE
Over the summer I had the opportunity to explore part of Banff National Park. For a few days, we stayed at the Sunshine Mountain Lodge, which proved to be a fantastic base for some incredible hiking. One of the trails travels more than 30 miles to Mt. Assiniboine.
Nicknamed “the Matterhorn of the Rockies” for the triangular profile that bears resemblance to the famed glacial horn. When my partner and I came to this spot I knew it was time to set up the camera gear.
RAYS OF SILICON VALLEY
On a cloudy and moody weekend afternoon, my girlfriend and I decided to visit a local preserve to combat some cabin fever. After hiking 30 minutes the cold breeze and sprinkling rain had us heading back to the car.
Starting the drive down from the hills we noticed little rays of sunshine fighting their way through the dense clouds. As the intensity of the light grew so too did my excitement. Pulling the car to the side of the road I hopped out to set up my camera and tripod. I wasn’t sure what would happen, but I hoped for just a few more light rays to break through the grey covering Silicon Valley.
To my wonder, the sky started to put on an excellent show. I felt very lucky to have not only seen but had the chance to capture the full panoramic scene.
On a photo trip to the Eastern Sierra in early May last year, a buddy and I spent some time near Mammoth Lakes. It was my first trip to this part of California and all I can say is WOW! As is par for the course on a photo trip, I woke well before dawn to visit the planned sunrise location. After I had finished shooting the first and second locations I hit a little trail to see what else was out there.
Before too long I found myself in this beautiful little gully with a great view of the distant mountains and this stream at my feet. I snapped a few photos of the scene before sitting down to just enjoy the moment.
The thought I had while taking this time to be present was of the water cycle that made this possible. How the melting of winter snow atop our mountain ranges flows into the icy cold waters of creeks which can provide a thirsty hiker a refreshing sip of water.
THE FULL PALETTE
In my photography journey over the last couple of years, I’ve learned many lessons. One of the most beneficial lessons has to do with taking some extra time to walk around a scene.
For this particular panorama photo of Artists Palette in Death Valley National Park, I set out away from the crowds. There is a parking lot at this very popular location and many people venture no further than the edge of the paved surface. Not to say there is anything wrong with this, but I felt the need to step away from this area to look at the scene from a different perspective.
What I found on this particular day was a really cool scene that featured a variety of colors and textures. I wanted to capture as much detail as possible so I decided to shoot a panorama. It was also cool that I managed to capture my girlfriend and a couple of strangers in the picture as well. You’ll need to look pretty closely in this version, but I assure you, they are there.
Thank you so much for letting me share some of my panorama photos and stories with you. If you have any questions about how I capture these types of photos, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ve also written an article on beginner panorama photography at Digital Photo Mentor. Also, if you liked the pictures in this article, feel free to check out my favorite astrophotography images of 2019 as well.
Thank you again. Until next time, I’ll see you on the trail.
Matt is a creative fine art landscape and commercial photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He stepped away from a successful engineering career in the midwest and moved to California to chase his dream of becoming a full-time professional photographer. Over the last two years, Matt has traveled the world chasing light and capturing one-of-a-kind landscapes.
He enjoys sharing his adventures with family, friends, and strangers along the way. When he is not hiking to a remote location, Matt enjoys volunteering for local and national conservation organizations. His mission is to share the world with people, inspire a sense of adventure, and to make a difference for the planet.