How the Art Happens - Belleview Mountain Panorama

February 23, 2023  •  1 Comment

Belleview Mountain Panorama

Belleview Mountain PanoramaBelleview Mountain PanoramaBright yellow aspen trees cover the valley floor below Belleview Mountain in western Colorado near Crested Butte.

Ansel Adams is quoted as saying "A good photograph is largely about where you stand". This statement is undoubtedly true about the photograph above. I would add that a landscape photographer frequently uses foreground objects to hide middle-ground distractions.


You see, this panorama was created looking up the East River Valley north of Crested Butte, Colorado. The town of Gothic lies between the stand of golden aspens and the majestic Belleview Mountain to the west. Gothic, Colorado is the site of the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab and has lots of science experiments dotting the landscape around the town. For a landscape photographer, these experiments are not at all photogenic. The town is also host to many small, miner's cabins that are quite photogenic but would be a distraction to this photograph.


So, to hide the distractions and the experiments I chose a perspective just below the road so that the aspen grove hid the buildings and science stuff. There are actually a couple of cabins in the aspen grove that disappear from this perspective as well.


It's pretty rare that we awake to cloudy skies in mid-September but this day presented a little cloud cover that adds quite a bit of interest to the sky above the peaks in the warm, early-morning light. The clouds also provide some shadows on the flanking slopes that draw the eye to the middle of the scene. This is almost critical for a panorama photo. I just had to wait for the lighting to develop. The peaks and the aspen grove had to be in full sun while the shadows had to land in the middle ground. Once the scene came together, I had to capture the 7 vertical frames quickly before the clouds moved too much. The lens I used was the Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 at 200mm. I like to use longer telephoto lenses for panoramas since they compress the apparent space between the foreground and the subject. A sturdy Really Right Stuff tripod, a remote release, and an RRS panorama tripod head are critical in getting all 7 images to align correctly. Back at the studio, I use software to stitch the 7 photos together to create the panoramic view you see above.


I hope you enjoy how "Belleview Mountain Panorama". Lots of moving pieces have to come together at the same time in landscape photography!


Michael Grasseschi(non-registered)
Well done!
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Crested Butte, Colorado photographer, Dusty Demerson creates fine art photography displayed as prints and canvases and provides private photo tours in and around western Colorado.

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