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Notes on using this feature, photography equipment and software, and technical image information

The following 2015 Trip Chronicles focus on my more important trips this year providing images and commentary in chronological order. My photography work is about landscapes and close-ups that during spring are primarily wildflowers but also may include anything else photographers aim cameras at. During summer I also backpack into Sierra Nevada wilderness for landscapes. All road trips are at least mentioned briefly with dates however those that did not result in notable work may just include a single sentence without images. The commentary includes insights into trip planning strategy and especially trip timing as that is the most difficult to understand element for photographers because the peak of wildflower blooming or in the fall, leaf color change, is often brief at any location changing somewhat year to year.

I also provide insights into strategy once out at locations, not all of which end up with success. Additionally provide some events during trips as they unfolded, life on the road, adventure out in the field, and particularly what, where, when, how images selected for this feature were taken. I take numbers of images but only a few are strong enough for public exposure and of those only a representative selection will fit into a feature like this. In other words I may capture a few strong images of a particular subject or similar subjects, though only one will likely fit into a feature meant to entertain a public audience.


From the Contents page all trip dates can be accessed by its listed links. There may be one to a few dates per each page. Moving so, changes the browser to that new page. On each page are links at top and bottom to return to the Contents page or one may use a browser Back button. At the bottom of each page is a link to my David Senesac Photography home page. At top right on the home page is the primary link into the Contents page. On each page are sub-links to enlarged vertical slice view links explained below that changes the browser to those pages.

equipment and post processing software

All these downsized images were captured in this feature with my 24 megapixel APS-C Sony A6000 mirrorless with either a Sigma 60mm f2.8 DN, a Sigma 30mm f2.8 DN, or a Sony SEL50210 lens, atop an Induro CT113 carbon fiber tripod with a Manfrotto MH054M0 magnesium ballhead. Also use either a Gigapan Epic auto robotic head or a Nodal Ninja III MK II manual panoramic head for stitching panels processed with Kolor Autopano or in a few cases Photoshop Photomerge. Focus stack blending for close-up images is usually performed with Zerene Stacker while I use Photoshop CS6 for landscapes and all final processing with latter. I use a collapsible diffusion disk (Impact), and sometimes a collapsible silver reflection disk (Litedisc) with close-up lighting. Also in my close-up work , the A6000 in camera fill and bounce flash, 10mm, and 16 mm extension tubes (Vello) and a Benbo Trekker tripod.

images sized for web display

All HTML and CSS within this feature was manually coded. Mouse hover over images for image names and full image sizes. Images are all downsized jpg's to fit a typical desktop computer monitor in this era thus full image widths are limited to 1000 pixels and heights to 888 pixels except for vertical slices. So adjusting browser window width for a bit more than 1000 pixels wide will view well. Of course displaying large images with large file sizes are impractical on the Web because of long Internet server download times. More importantly for those creating art, any image viewable on the Internet can be illegally copied even if one shows only small sections per screen. That of course removes fine detail that depending on a subject can significantly impact image aesthetics. Accordingly I've two mechanisms developed that shows part of most images at near full detail.

enlarged vertical slice view

Below many images shows an enlarged vertical slice view link. Selecting those links is quite recommended and change a window to a jpg window with 3 sections. At top displays an identical reference image as on a feature page. Beneath that are several standardized lines of image information. Also below images are 3 arrows that point to adjacent vertical slices that are displayed at bottom. A full image is downsized by 50% then 300 pixel wide vertical slice sections are copied in. These vertical slice images are set up as links instead of being embedded directly in feature pages because they are moderately larger files that would otherwise take too long to load browser pages. However at 1000 pixel widths, they can download ten times faster than a full image 10,000+ pixels wide. Vertical slices readily show why 952 pixel wide images on feature pages are inadequate to represent large images. These are images I have interest in setting up for print sales although some images that do not have these links I have just not gotten around to. Thus show how frame detail is sharp from bottom to top. One may return to main feature pages using a browser's back button. The second mechanism used for wildflower close-ups displays only a single 300 pixel wide vertical slice jpg. Generally large images with an exceptional amount of fine detail like a landscape of a receding dense field of different flowers will not view aesthetically when significantly downsized because detail becomes blurred with a result that views as though it is less sharp than even a small image with large elements that is simply post process sharpened.

focus stack blending and stitch blending

Almost all images used focus stack blending of several images with different manually selected focus points per shot at optimal sharp f8 to f13 apertures to create individual frames. Additionally many landscapes are composites of multiple column and row stitch blended frames. Accordingly image sizes may be much larger than even the most advanced DSLR's or digital medium format cameras can produce with single frames. A 3x2 panel of frames would contain 6 frames, each of which were created from 2 to 6 shots thus a total of maybe two dozen individual shots. The raw composite width using my mirrorless 24 megapixel Sony A6000 that is 6000x4000 pixels would be about 14000 pixels and height 9000. Note it is not 18k wide because of necessary overlap for stitch processing. For close-up images almost all are single frames made from several shots focus stack blended. However each frame is likely to have required more individual shots than single landscape frames due to more 3-dimensional depth of field concerns. And yes creating such images does require a lot more work both during image capture and especially in post processing some of which can be difficult.

pixel file sizes and printing

Most images also show file sizes either in the feature text, via the enlarged vertical slice view information area, or on the slideshow. The file size is an indication of how large an image may be printed. Image sizes of close-ups are almost always single frames thus limited to the maximum sensor size of 6000 by 4000 pixels. If focus stacked at f11 that will create a sharp enough file at 300 pixels per inch printing for a 20 by 13.3 inch print. Printing at 250 pixels per inch will also view adequately sharp at near viewing so that same size file could print as large as 24 by 16 inches. Landscapes often have much larger file sizes because they are stitch frame blended. Although printing size are shown at 300 pixels per inch, most could also be printed larger at 250 pixels per inch and still appear sharp at near viewing because each panel is also focus stack blended. Images are not cropped for standard off the shelf frame ratios thus if printed, I recommend custom framing. Otherwise image aesthetics are usually certain to suffer.

   David Senesac


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