T2i Panorama on PhotoSynth

It was so nice on Sunday that Tyla and I walked down the street to the park so that I could try my first big panorama with our Canon T2i. I set up the tripod, switched to manual focus, switched to aperture priority, set the ISO, and I was off. I used a 55-250 zoom lens and zoomed all the way in. I used a remote shutter release to speed things up and reduce camera shake. Click, move, click, move, click move. It took about 20 minutes to capture all the photos.

The end result isn’t spectacular. I apparently did not have the tripod completely level. I used Microsoft ICE to piece it all together and then uploaded the result to PhotoSynth. I’ll have a lot more of these coming in the future that look a lot better, but I wanted to do a little test run to figure out some of the gotchas.

You can view the full zoomable image on my PhotoSynth profile page. The full image is 1.63 GIGApixels and takes up almost 1GB of disk space so hopefully you can forgive me for not posting the entire thing as a JPG!

If/when we finally sell our house, I’m really going to miss seeing this view as we drive up the street! I can see part of it from our balcony too.


At the men’s championship game on Monday, two of my favorite pastimes were combined: panoramic photos and crowd watching. (Also, I didn’t know that pastime only had one t until the spellchecker told me.)

They spliced together a 5000 megapixel image. You can view it online, scroll around, and zoom in. The idea is to tag yourself in the image if you were there or even purchase a print, but I found plenty of joy by looking around the stadium and finding funny people. Here are two that I found. Can you find any good ones?

Skiing With Tyla

Last fall we picked up ski equipment for Tyla at the ski expo, but we haven’t had a chance to try it out until last weekend. January and the first half of February saw almost no snow fall in the Cascades, but thankfully that has ended and it is dumping again. Saturday was the perfect combination of good conditions (snowed a day or two before), perfect blue skies and temps around 30 degrees. Time to go skiing with Tyla!

We used the two free lift tickets that we won from a giveaway and upgraded them to include gondola access for $8/each. Those gondola tickets proved to be well worth the money as the views were incredible! Visibility was essentially unlimited. We could see Adams, St. Helens, Baker, the Olympics, the Puget Sound, and of course, Rainier. The sun felt good but it wasn’t hot enough to melt anything. We had nice packed powder all day long with no sign of ice.

Tyla will tell you she’s not a good skier, but every time we’ve gone out I’ve been amazed at how quickly she progresses. I’d love to see what would happen if we could ski a few days (or at least weekends) in a row!

When we took a break for lunch, she told me to go take a run by myself so she could rest so I buzzed up Chair 6. The snow was a bit sticker/thicker than I expected but I managed not to tumble over any cliffs with my wife watching.

Pictures are posted in the photo gallery. While we were at the gondola unloading area, I snapped off a bunch of pictures in hopes of getting a good panorama. It’s not perfect, but I liked it enough to make it the new header photo on the site. You can download the full resolution version of it too.

Snoqualmie Lake

On Saturday, Tim and I set out to do the longest hike yet. It starts with a 12 mile drive down a dirt road and then you hike 7.5 miles into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to Snoqualmie Lake. For those of you playing along at home, it’s hike #18 from Beyond Mt. Si.) It’s a huge lake and there aren’t very many people there. We found out why.

The first 5.8 miles are fairly easy as you only gain about 600 feet and it’s along a very old, narrow road. The trail follows the Taylor River and crosses a couple waterfalls that are destinations in their own right. The trail is decreasingly small as it gets closer to the fork at 5.8 miles. The south fork heads to Nordrum Lake but we headed north to Snoqualmie Lake.

The next 1.7 miles were some of the roughest trail I’ve hiked. The trail was very narrow and crossed a number of large rock slides. It turns out that trails up the mountain also make a great place for water to flow down the mountain. Much of that stretch of the hike was up small creeks and there were a couple places where we crossed fairly large streams on logs that people had placed over the water.

We were getting pretty tired by the time we hit the lake, but wow was it gorgeous. There were three other small groups there that had set up tents and that was definitely the way to do this hike. We only met two other people on the whole hike who were doing it all in one day. After 3.5 hours of hiking, we spent 30 minutes at the lake, had lunch and then headed back.

The hike down to the fork actually took us a bit longer than the hike up did. Trekking poles would have come in very handy. I had some in my hands at REI the day before but made the mistake of not buying them. We were happy once we got back to the fork but the prospect of hiking 5.8 miles wasn’t looking great. By about the 10 mile mark, I was getting tired and by 12-13 my feet were starting to scream at me. By the time we got to the car, I had a new definition for tired and sore.

The lake was beautiful. I’m glad we did the hike so I know that it’s possible, but I’m not itching to do something that big again in the near future.

Pictures from the hike are available in the photo gallery and an HDView photo is available too.

PS. On Sunday morning, Tim and I were talking about how sore we were when ScottF’s wife came up and told us he summitted Rainier on Saturday. In ONE DAY. Nobody does it in one day, but he did. 21 hours of hiking from 6000 feet to 14,000 feet in snow the entire way. All we did was hike 15 miles to a lake and back. I feel like a wimp. Kudos to Scott though! I hope to follow in his footsteps (although probably a lot slower) some day.

Thunder Knob

Tyla and I headed up to Concrete, WA to camp with her family for the Fourth of July weekend. Photos from our weekend include shots of a hike to Diablo Lake and Gorge Dam, making fire with flint, mini golf, and blowing my new vuvuzella at the parade.

And since I’m obsessed with these HDView photos, you can see Diablo Lake and Gorge Dam in glorious detail. While the Gorge Dam photo doesn’t have a wide field of view, you can zoom in quite far. The full size image is over 100 megapixels!