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+1 @ banding jpg, I just played with the smaller jpgs in 8bit on this for draft/concept. Also, this is but one of them. iirc, I bracketed exposures in different pano sets, so I might have some opportunity for "mix & match" with the sky ... but this is the first one I tried to work with.
The tripod was intended to be part of the point ... but I was wondering @ a diff crop would work better with the tripod ... maybe sans Horseshoe Bend, but with it being such a prominent photographer's "point" that so many have stood on ... I kinda want to include both.
Seing it without the tripod also is interesting, as now, it rebalances things toward the bend and the ledge. At a minimum though, I think the removal of my vest is likely a good thing.
Yeah, this isn't a highly recommended vantage point, from a safety perspective, and not for the faint of heart. There's a backstory to this kind of thing.
Many years ago (1980's), I was down in Australia (Albany) and went out with a tour company called Mountain Goat Tours (iirc). When I called them, I asked if there would be opportunity for me to bring my camera gear, and they said "Sure". So, I show up with 27 pounds of gear (all I own at the time). Fourteen miles over and around three peaks we go.
We make the ascent to the first peak and have lunch in the clouds, then on the way to the next peak, we have to traverse down a ravine. Well, with 27 pounds on your back, it doesn't take much to get "top heavy" going downhill ... and I flip down this cloud dampened ravine and slide for about seventy five to one hundred feet, much like the scene in Romancing The Stone. Relatively unscathed other than my pride, we move on to the second peak.
To reach the third peak where we would resume our ascent, we had to "walk" (i.e. hug the mountain) about 1/4 way around the second peak on a ledge that was only 6-10 inches wide in parts and VERY gravelly with nothing wider that 12-18 inches. Roughly 1/2 an hour around this ledge. It was there that I came to realize why the tour group called themselves Mountain Goat Tours.
By the time we reached the place to resume our ascent on the third peak (nearly twelve hours since our day started), the group was so worn, tired & stressed by the treachery we had traversed (unknowingly when we signed up for the tour), we opted for descent.
Once again, 27 pounds on your back and a descent (now with weak legs) rendered me into an accelerated state, rolling downhill like like a tumbleweed until a friendly sapling was kind enough to retard my descent, so I could wait for the group to catch up. By this time I had no longer had any pride, so nothing was hurt.
BTW ... the pics from the tour ... no chance to unpack/shoot other than lunch on the first peak (which was swallowed in cloud fog) and a few shots of others traversing the ravine.
Ever since then, I've had this "thing" about places that only a "mountain goat" oughta be ... very precariously understanding my footing & balance in conjunction with my camera gear. Likely doesn't make sense, but it is what it is.
My biggest fear about things like this, isn't me ... but rather some 'bonehead' coming along and startling or bumping me (another story in the Blue Ridge Parkway) while I'm doing my "balancing act".
Ya win some, ya lose some ... but even if you don't come away with the pic, you were there.
Edited on Aug 10, 2012 at 04:59 PM · View previous versions