Chilliwack River Winter Panorama

winter panorama of the chilliwack river near chilliwack lake provincial park

The Chilliwack River

-click to enlarge-

3 exposures stitched, Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM @ 17mm

Now that I have written a post about getting away from solely using wide angle lenses for landscapes and to look for the details I thought I would post a wide angle panorama!

This is the Chilliwack River near Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park taken at the same time as some of my other Chilliwack River shots.

One thing I keep noticing with this shot is that the majority of longer exposure river shots I see are looking upstream while this is looking across/downstream. Does this make it look unnatural or different in a negative way?

Image Post-Procesing Objectivity

panorama of mount redoubt and nodoubt peak from chilliwack lake provincial park

Alpenglow on Mount Redoubt and Nodoubt Peak from Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park
(click for larger version)
6 exposures stitched, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM @ 144mm

   When I spend time shooting I will normally take a quick overview of the days results immediately. There are often a few shots that will stand out – and those are often processed and sometimes show up here on the blog right away. I have learned that taking a long step back from a series of new photos can be beneficial to me in terms of my objectivity in culling the weaker shots. If I were to go through all the shots immediately I still carry my mental image of what I had planned for a photo. Not everything I try works out of course, and sometimes my initial expectations turn out to be too high. Sorting and processing images a month or two later gives me a lot better perspective of what is a “good” shot or a bad one – as many of my initial expectations have settled down. This has generally worked out so far – and I think I am better at choosing strong images than I used to be in part because of it.

However…

   I recently had an experience where the month+ delay in processing a panorama didn’t really seem to help. I processed and stitched this panorama 3-4 times – never quite happy with the colour of the sky. Things got to the point where I was no long able to view the photo at all objectively.

   For this particular panorama I stood in the snow next to Chilliwack Lake for over an hour, freezing, taking the odd shot but waiting for the right light. When it came – I shot about 3 panoramas (and many single shots) with a few different compositions. I like the composition of this one the best. The colour of the sky seemed quite purple compared to what my brain was telling me looked “natural”. This could be a case of over analysis – but I try to process images such that they are faithful to what I saw at the time. So I processed the 6 shots that make up this image again in Camera Raw with some PS adjustments to account for the colour. Then I did this again. Still not happy I put the image away for a few more weeks. I should note the purple color is present in the raw file – not as a result of some other colour processing I have done.

   Now that I have picked up this panorama again, I am still not sure if this looks natural. I like the colour on the mountain peaks, this is how it looked when I was there – but the sky still bothers me. I have stared at it so long I no longer remember what it looked like in person – perhaps that is the downside in waiting to do post processing? Maybe I just have to drop an image for longer or toss it entirely? I again processed an alternate panorama – taken about 7 minutes before the one posted above – and the sky looks bland and the clouds undefined – the whole image is uninspiring.

So what is the good thing about all this?

   During this process I learned a few more Photoshop techniques that I otherwise would not have. Tweaking sky colours using Selective Color in Photoshop, for example. Next time I have a sky colour problem as a result of changing colour temperature etc – I know how to fix it. I have also learned that sometimes I might need to move on from processing an image that just isn’t right – or leave it behind entirely.

Chilliwack River Up Close

water flows over rocks in the chilliwack river

   Not my usual sort of shot I realize – but I think I like it.

   I recently revisited some logging roads in the Chilliwack River Valley I had explored for the first time in in february. The Fraser Valley had seen some fresh snow, and I had several spots along the Chilliwack River that I had marked with the GPS as good potential photo spots for the future. While I was waiting for a snowfall with decent post-storm weather, I had not really thought this all the way through. There was a LOT of snow on the logging road, and thankfully some trucks had flattened a lot of it down so I could drive my Nissan Sentra up the road a ways. I stopped short of hitting a lot of the marked spots as the road was still fairly dicey in such a small car – even with my snow tires. I am starting to think there might be a better off-roading vehicle than a Nissan Sentra. When I came to the river I parked myself there for about an hour. It was about -10°C (14°F) with a windchill estimated at about -20°C (-4°F) – much colder conditions that I usually shoot in.

   After I had exhausted the possibilities at that location – I headed back to Chilliwack lake to see what the conditions might be there. My previous post shows the great alpenglow on the mountains that evening.

Mount Redoubt & Chilliwack Lake

mount edgar, mount redoubt and nodoubt peak from chilliwack lake provincial park

  A few days ago I drove out to Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park to see if I could get a view of Mount Redoubt in the not so distant North Cascades National Park. Last time I was there it was fall and there was little snow on the peaks. This time I had a bit more than I bargained for as the park gate was closed and we had to hike in from the road. There was also about 8 inches of snow on the ground which I was not expecting. I shot about 200 exposures, a lot of panoramas of Mt. Redoubt, and some wider shots like the one above.

  On the far left we have Mount Edgar. In the middle: Mount Redoubt (left peak) and Nodoubt Peak (right peak). Mt. Redoubt and Nodoubt Peak are actually in North Cascades National Park in Washington State while Chilliwack Lake is in British Columbia.

  Still not sure about how I feel about this particular shot. I really like some of the panoramas, which I will post soon, but my post processing skills and the colour of the sky in some of them are still locked in a battle of wills.

Mt. Cheam Panorama

cheam range knight peak  lady peak cheam peak

8 exposures stitched, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 IS USM @ 97mm

From left to right: Knight Peak, Lady Peak and Cheam Peak (Mount Cheam).

When I took this panorama of Mt. Cheam and Cheam Ridge back in September I had intended on returning when there was more snow. On Thursday I made it back out and the snow conditions were exactly what I was hoping for. This shot is from a slightly different vantage point on Seabird Island but it worked out quite well.

I think overall I like the wide version above versus another one I shot just a while later that is a bit of a closer view of the mountain

Cheam Ridge Panorama

Knight and Lady Peaks with Mt. Cheam on the right (also known as Cheam Peak). Mt. Cheam is a familiar sight to those who live in the Fraser Valley. This panorama was taken from the vantage point of Seabird Island between Aggasiz and Hope. I will try this shot again when the winter snow is on the peaks and maybe a bit less haze in the sky.

5 exposures stitched, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Zoom Lens @ 70mm

Click for larger version…
knight lady and cheam peaks on the mt cheam ridge