Landscape and Panoramic Photography

HDR

Lower Lake Levels

As I mentioned in a previous week’s post, lake levels were down in 2016 in the mountains of far western Nepal after an especially hot year. I am accustomed to ‘bathtub ring’ images of Lake Powell in the American Southwest, but we could see our own ‘bathtub ring’ effect around our study lakes in the Himalaya.

bathtubringsaroundretreatinglakenepalBathtub Rings around Retreating Lake, near Jumla, Nepal (16″x42″)

cloudreflectionsinlakenepalCloud Reflections in Shrinking Lake, near Jumla, Nepal (16″x41″)

 


Shadows at Sunset

The rain stopped and many of the clouds started to clear off by sunset, so I climbed out of my tent, grabbed my camera and tripod, and rest stepped my way up the hill above camp to photograph the landscape as the sun descended over the ridge the west. I think the panorama with the rock in the foreground was one of my most successful photographs on the trip (first panorama). Although I don’t usually include my own image in my photographs, I also liked the way my shadow falls across the hillside opposite the setting sun (second panorama).

 

rockshadowatsunsetnepalRock Shadow at Sunset over the Lake, near Jumla, Nepal (16″x44″)

risingshadowsretreatingcloudssunsetnepalRising Shadows and Retreating Clouds at Sunset, near Jumla, Nepal (16″x60″)


Camp in the High River Valley

After descending from the pass and high plateau, we continued up a river valley and made camp on the bank near sunset. Rhododendron bushes and small trees lined the hillsides at the edge of tree line, and landslide debris was piled on the hillsides (first panorama). Another rainstorm rolled through around sunset, and I was able to photograph a few grazing horses on a ridge top in front of the clouds (second, third panoramas).

landslidedebrishillsidenepalLandslide Debris and Hillside, near Jumla, Nepal (16″x55″)

horsesstormcloudsonridgenepalHorses and Storm Clouds on the Ridge, near Jumla, Nepal (16″x32″)

streamstormcloudshillsidenepalStorm Clouds over Hillside and Stream, near Jumla, Nepal (13″x53″)


Cloudy Pass

We rested at a high plateau on the pass near ~14,500+ feet. Horses and sheep appear to graze at this elevation, and the soil appears to be eroding rapidly (first panorama). The landscape is mostly covered in shades of brown, but occasional patches of yellow wildflowers seem to flow through dry stream beds (second panorama). On our way down from the plateau, we passed a herd of horses grazing near 14,000 feet (third panorama).

erodedpassandcloudsnepalEroded Pass and Clouds, near Jumla, Nepal (16″x62″)

flowersonpassnepalFlowers on the Pass, near Jumla, Nepal (16″x72″)

streamvalleyhorsesonpassnepalStream Valley and Horses on the Pass, near Jumla, Nepal (16″x64″)


Lakes and Town in the Cloud Forest

More panoramas of our campsite from our two days coring lakes in the cloud forest in the Himalayan foothills. After dinner, I liked to sit and watch the clouds lift and lower over the cliffs in the distance (second panorama).

pondstreesinthecloudforestcamp

Ponds and Trees in the Cloud Forest Camp, far western Nepal (16″x72″)

thornbushwallcloudscliffsbw

Thornbush Wall and Cloud-Draped Cliffs in the Distance, far western Nepal (16″x50″)


River Crossing, into the Cloud Forest

We passed through rice fields, crossed rivers, and finally drove up a steep, narrow dirt road into the rhododendron cloud forest. After establishing a camp at the end of the road, we spent a few days studying lakes formed by landslides a few centuries ago. Here is a panorama of one of the smaller rivers and steep hillsides. Also, a view from our camp of the surrounding town and boulder-covered landscape at the end of the road.

steephillsriverboulders_farwesternnepal

Steep Hills, River, and Boulders, far western Nepal (16″x41″)

villageatendofroad_farwesternnepal

Village at the End of the Road, far western Nepal (16″x75″)


Campsite in the Terraced Fields

High winds brought the edge of a thunder storm past our camp in the terraces. Before bed, I watched the lightning flash in the clouds over the nearby hills like strobe lights. When I got up in the morning, fog was clearing off the valley and revealed a cobble stone paved road leading through the fields.

terracecampsunriseTerrace Camp Sunrise, far Western Nepal (16″x70″)

terracecampfogsunriseTerrace Camp Fog and Sunrise, far Western Nepal (16″x69″)

cobble-stoneroadthroughfieldsfogCobble Stone Road through the Fields and Fog, far Western Nepal (16″x50″)


Cirque Camping above Kite Lake, CO

While working Boulder this July, I drove up to Kite Lake near Fairplay and Alma, CO. The camping areas near the lake were packed, so I hiked up a cirque along Buckskin Creek and set up camp near 12,500 feet in an isolated meadow. The cirque was relatively close to the parking area, but the steep hill blocked the view of the road and trails, so the area felt like the middle of the wilderness. The next morning, I slid out of my sleeping bag before sunrise to hike up a few peaks in the area- see future posts for peak panoramas.

SnowFieldandStreamnearKiteLake.jpgSnow Field and Stream, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x54″)

UnnamedCrescentLakenearKiteLake.jpgUnnamed Crescent Lake, near Kite Lake, CO (16″x60″)


Wild Basin Waterfalls

My first weekend in Boulder, I drove to the southeastern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park and hiked up to the back of Isolation Peak. On the way back down, I stopped at Ouzel Falls and Calypso Cascades to take a few long-exposure/bulb photographs of the flowing water.

OuzelFallsAndStump

Ouzel Falls and Stump, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (16″x28″)

CalypsoCascadesAndLogs

Calypso Cascades and Logs, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (16″x27″)


Ute Mountain and Clouds

On my drive to Boulder, CO, I stopped along US 285 near San Antonio Mountain to photograph the summer clouds passing over the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

UteMountainClouds

Ute Mountain and Clouds, Rio Arrive County, New Mexico (12″x18″)