panorama » You Can Sleep When You're Dead: Blog by Colleen Miniuk

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May 082015

“An Unforgettable Memory” photo copyright Hannah Petersen

“An Unforgettable Memory”
Above is an image that barely showcases the expansive view from the 10,418-foot summit of Mt. Kendrick, one of the highest lookouts in Flagstaff, and an unforgettable hike.  For as long as I can remember I have always had an insatiable desire to take on the most physically and mentally taxing challenges and this hike had been no exception. A 9.2-mile round trip hike had nearly ended my hiking career for quite a few months and I would do it all again because not a thing can compare to the view of the world at the top of a mountain.

As I stood at the top of Mt. Kendrick, beaten by hail, drenched by rain and sweat I couldn’t resist taking out my Olympus PEN Mini EMP-2 with a 14mm lens and capturing the view before me. At the time I honestly had no idea what my camera was set at, I just knew I had to capture what drives me to be a photographer. Nature has and always will inspire and rejuvenate me.

To capture the view I specifically knew I wanted to take a panorama, which meant setting up the three and a half pound tripod I carried 4.6 miles. On top of that, the day couldn’t be more perfect, even though it had hailed and rained, it allowed for the perfect cloud cover, I couldn’t of been more pleased. However, the single complaint I did have was that I was too short to get the camera over the tops of the trees. I had always wanted to get that perfect panorama to make up for my past mistakes such as getting to the top of Mt. Humphrey’s without the adequate equipment to take the necessary picture that would capture all that was before me.

The time than arrived to get back down the mountain and it did not bode well for me. On the way down I took a miss step and ended up falling onto my left knee tearing it apart enough to get myself put into the ER and receive three stitches. The absolute worst time of my life, because if I have not mentioned, I hate needles with an insatiable passion and am not afraid to admit that I will start crying like a baby. Worst part of it all though, I still had to hike down over four miles of a mountain with a gruesome hole in my knee and I have to admit, I was more concerned about my camera and making it back down again than the repercussions my fall would have.

Injured and bedridden for the next few days, I had ample time to edit and work on getting the panorama put together. In post processing I learned that I took the images with F/3.5, a shutter speed of 1/3200 of a second and an ISO of 200. The F/3.5 allowed me to capture the wide variation of light that I quickly amplified and boosted up the contrast. One can see that I have a love for contrast and even though this image may not be the best, it has “An Unforgettable Memory” to go with it.

About the Photographer:
My name is Hannah Petersen and I cannot nor will I ever deny that I am not an avid hiker and I utilize photography to capture the wondrous things I see. It can be anything from a plant, an enchanting view, a random building and the occasional individual, if they spark my interest. I strive to capture what my eye sees; the lens of my world and my world has vivid colors, striking contrast, and a passion for the little details.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

Apr 292015

Photo copyright Karli Crocker

One of my best pieces of work that I have composed within this past semester is a panoramic picture I took while in California for Christmas Break. Some of the most beautiful beaches are in California, and I had the opportunity to visit Davenport Beach. I love the beaches, and landscape photos. When it comes to nature and wildlife I find it to be the most beautiful part of the world, and since it always sparks my interest it is almost impossible for me to go anywhere without snapping a few thousand photos of my surroundings. Although I did not end up bring my camera on this adventure, I always have my phone that is what I was able to snap my favorite photo of the semester with.

I went on a hike just off the sandy beach with my boyfriend and dogs in Davenport. As we climbed up the cliff, I looked back and noticed the beautiful view that felt as if it was surrounding us. I was so disappointed that I did not bring my camera with me on this beach adventure, but I could not leave without taking a picture. I found a place to stand on the cliff and observe the entirety of the view. I looked at the landscape with my iPhone 6 camera, scanning as if I was going to take a panorama, from all different levels and angles from where I was standing. After taking a few test panoramas with my phone, I found the perfect place to set up for the exact picture I wanted to capture. It took me a few times to perfect the shot; I was waiting for the perfect sunset lighting too, but I finally came up with the perfect panorama picture of the beach.

I have a huge emotional attachment to the beach, and even though I have so many snap shots of beach scenery, this photo really captures my ideal imagination of the beaches. Like I stated above, I took this photo with my iPhone 6 on panoramic mode, and for a phone photograph, I find it to be very crisp and beautiful. I enhanced the colors just a bit in post process, but this photo is an accurate representation of what my eyes captured. I am now actually grateful that I had my iPhone so that I was able to take a panorama a lot easier than it would have been with my camera.

About the Photographer:
I am a college sophomore at Northern Arizona University. I am a double major in Photography and Criminal Justice, and no I do not plan on using those degrees together to be a crime scene photographer, as much as everyone suggests it to me. Photography has always been a hobby of mine because my Dad was a photographer. He taught me from a young age about photography, and how to hold a camera, and the rest came naturally. Having a dual major makes time for photography very limited, but I am interested in building my own photography business, as well as start painting my images on canvases to display in art shows in the future. I am hoping that my photography business can help contribute to the debt I will soon acquire by going to Law School to become a lawyer.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!