A Sizable Issue

There were various issues that I encountered while passing through the mountains that I tried my best to work around in order to capture some decent images of these massive mounds of earth.

Obviously my near frantic schedule prevented me from going off the planned route too often to seek out perfect locations for many shots. Not to mention I couldn’t stop nearly as often as I had the urge to at times. So being limited in my time and trajectory meant that I had to take what views and light both mother nature and the highway department saw fit to bequeath to me from moment to moment.

At the same time, even if I was handed a perfect scene, with a perfect view, a perfect sky and perfect light, pulling over to the side of the road on a winding mountain pass or in one of the many canyons roads that I went through wasn’t an option 99% of the time. Death wish yes, option no.

However, even if I had the luxury of stopping on the roadside and shuffling out of my car for a few moments to grab a few frames, much of the time there literally were mountains on both sides of me that began ascending almost straight upwards beginning only few yards off the road. Trying to squeeze a whole mountain into a mere 18mm (27mm equivalent) lens while you are standing under/next to it just isn’t possible and they are far too large and close to pull off a panoramic trick. Not to mention that they are often stacked one on top of the other so densely that there’s no clearly defined end to most of them anyway. It’s just one peak after another after another and the best you could do is grab a shot of a series of peaks, sans any down slope on one or both sides.

As an example of what I’m talking about, here’s a shot taken at 18mm with the camera tilted upwards at a pretty good angle to get the ridge line and at least a little bit of sky.

Oh, and just so you know, being that close to so many things that are that large really gives one a sense of perspective.

Speaking of which, that shot has very limited context and it’s hard to get a sense of scale as to how the size of that slop and far up that ridge is. So here’s a straight shot that I took later on at some point where the mountains opened up briefly before closing back in on the road again. If you click through, I left this one at full size so you can roam around in the scene a bit. (Though I did reduce the quality a little so it would load faster.)

The mountains open up here and there like this and when they do there’s usually some sort of town or other conglomeration of buildings that are usually not particularly photogenic. Also, any time you get the frame close to a piece of the road you get butt ugly signs, wires and traffic messing with the scenery. Sigh… Anyway…

As you can see, after driving a little bit further I was back to being squeezed in on both sides again. Actually, the slopes on the mountains that are depicted here are fairly tame compared to many of the ones that I drove by… I’m still digging through my shots and will post a better example of how they shoot straight up from the road when I come across a decent example.

In the end though, not all of my mountain shots are prefect examples with nice down slopes on each side as this image I posted before has.

Not that it makes them any less attractive. In fact, I think in some cases it actually adds to the sense of how massive they are when they overpower the frame like they are trying to bust themselves out of the edges.

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~ by ghendar on January 18, 2010.