To celebrate the 125th anniversary of Yosemite National Park, I decided to hike Half Dome and, if lucky enough, to create a panorama at “The Gates of the Valley.”
My friends and I took on the exhausting Half Dome hike. I wasn’t really prepared for it. However, since this was my idea I stood up to the challenge and completed one of the toughest hikes I’ve ever done. I was struggling with cramps almost half of the hike. I don’t ever remember being more exhausted in my life. But, at the end, it was totally worth it. The view of the valley was amazing.
To take the panorama, I arrived at the desired spot a few minutes before the sun was setting. I remember my legs were shaking from total exhaustion. But, somehow, I managed to find the place, set up my tripod and capture the desired composition. As far as I remember, the tripod was placed on a huge log. All the other details seem very foggy due to how tired I was. The picture was a great closure to my extraordinary day. I want to dedicate this image to the Great Yosemite National Park.—Kris Walkowski
Image details: Six-image panorama taken at sunset. Settings: 34mm @ ƒ/14, 1/3 sec., ISO 100. This image was stitched/processed via Photoshop and Lightroom.
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Want to learn more about creating panoramas? Russ Burden shares some great tips in his Panorama Primer. Adam Woodworth also has a great tutorial on when and how to create panoramas of our home galaxy in his article, Photographing The Milky Way.