Aspens, Colorado

A few years ago I became interested in playing with panorama photography, or “panos”.  I had seen my photography mentor, David Skernick, migrating his passion over to this format, and I’d also seen some of the beautiful panos created by Brian Valente.  

I’ve become experienced with using the panorama gear itself and reasonably competent processing the images in Photoshop.  But I’m still bewildered and very much the novice when it comes to being intentional about the image I’m trying to create from the scene available before my eyes.

One of the many joys of being on a Photo24 trip is getting to see the work of other talented photographers in real time.  It never ceases to amaze me how we can all be at the very same location at the very same time, and see it all so differently.  It’s one of the best, and most humbling, sources of learning.

By the end of this magnificent Fall-color-saturated trip, I realized that I had never actually removed the pano head from my tripod—everything I shot was a panorama.  I’m not displeased with the images I captured.  But I only captured them one way, which means that in a sense, I only looked one way.  It’s possible I was just being lazy.  I prefer to think I’d become myopic.

As we shared our photos with one another at the end of the trip, I felt a wave of inspiration upon first seeing those of Barbara Balik, and then one Photo24 photographer after another.  I like how they looked, and what they saw and shared as a result. 

Sometimes on a dive trip, I’ll leave the camera behind for a dive, just to refresh how I’m looking, how I’m seeing, and remember why I’m actually there.  I call these “gratitude dives”.

And I’m going to do these on land now, too.

banner photo by Scott Friedman