After two weeks I figured it was time to take a hike through Tyresta again, to see if there were more signs of spring. The snow was completely gone this time, but the flowers were still struggling up from the ground.
I'm very satisfied with this panorama, because it was shot hand-held with a single lens - the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6. I used 20mm along the horizon and 10mm for the six up and six down shots. There are some stiching errors that you can see if you look down, but all in all it ended up much better than I had expected it to. Much faster to shoot, as well.
For visitors with Firefox, Chrome, (Mobile) Safari or any webkit-based browser supporting CSS 3D or WebGL, the panorama above is presented using Bigshot VR[a], and not SaladoPlayer. I figure Bigshot is good enough to dogfood right now, so I turned it on for all 360 panoramas on the blog.
This was one crazy bird (a Western Capercaillie[b]). Spring is mating season, and this guy wanted everyone away from his territory so he could attract a lady with his song. The fact that I'm over ten times his size and carries a metal club (tripod) didn't stop him from advancing on me and making a threat display. Then again, I did back away - so maybe I was dealing with a master of strategy.
The hike ended up a bit different from what I had planned. Originally the plan was to cross the burnt area and get to Stensjön, but a bit in the weather changed from sunny to dark clouds and I realized I didn't have any rain cover, so I turned around and walked back. Then, unwilling to completely follow my steps back, I turned south just as I exited the burnt area and rejoined the Lake Byl hiking trail. By then the weather was nice again and the golden hour wasn't far away, so I decided to turn north and take a hike around Lake Byl.
That trail is called the "Baby Stroller Hike", so you can guess the difficulty of it. On the map there are a couple of "twigs" sticking out from the trail - these are usually points where I stopped to take pictures and put the backpack down. The GPS keeps recording, but since it usually ends up with very few visible satellites, it just keeps assuming that I am travelling in a straight line.
I believe in not owning too much photo equipment. I have as a goal that besides my workstation (but including my laptop with photo editing software), I should be able to carry everything, plus food and water, on a day hike. (That's why I hit the gym five days a week, BTW.) That way, I can assemble a kit of everything I need for the kind of photography I intend to do without having to worry very much about tradeoffs. This time I wanted to try out the macro focusing rail and my home-built camera slider. While the resulting configuration was workable, this is the last time I'm bringing such an unfocused and untested selection of gear. Unfocused, because the slider is for movies, the macro rail is for stills. When you intend to shoot movies you look at things differently from when you shoot stills. Switching betwen the two modes is not easy - not for me at least. Untested, neither had been really used outside of my office, where the desk is flat, there's no wind, etc. From a strict result-oriented perspective, it was a disaster. The macro rail got used for a single photo - that's not good enough to be published here. The slider was used - again and again - but failed to work as I had intended. None of the clips I shot were suitable for use. Leaving both items at home and travelling lighter would've been much smarter. I could've tested the slider closer to home, and brought the macro rail when I had the explicit intention of doing macro work. As it were, I ended up like a one-man band - conceptually interesting, but not really the way to do it.