Sunday, November 8, 2009

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Panorama no. 8

This panorama was shot at sunset on December 29, 2008, at Texas’ justly famous Enchanted Rock, a billion-year-old granite dome exposed by eons of erosion. This was shot on one of the boulder strewn slopes, as the sun was rapidly disappearing beneath the horizon. The lighting changed so much during the shoot that I was sure this panorama was a write-off, but this weekend I decided to assemble it anyway, thinking that one or more subsections might be usable and interesting. Surprisingly (to me at least), modern panorama generating software was able to compensate for the continuously changing lighting, and produced, with a little effort, a pristine 360° image. And, because the pano was shot high dynamic range, the ever deepening shadows caused no loss of information.

This was the only panorama I managed to shoot that day. My earlier attempts to shoot a panorama whose centerpiece would have been a boulder about as big as a small house, failed when I had, with great care and not a few misgivings, setup my equipment on the absolute edge of the furthest point of the ledge on which it sat, and found that the boulder still didn’t fit entirely in frame, even with my 10mm lens (which was acting like a 16mm lens on the camera I was using).

I’d planned to spend two days shooting at Enchanted Rock, staying overnight at the Bamberger Ranch in between, but I was so disgusted at that first day’s failure (and the amount of time I wasted in getting there by following an absurd “short cut” to the Rock that Google Maps had selected for me, and the staggering number of people that were there, and the difficulty/danger of climbing to obscure boulders while carrying 40lbs of camera equipment), that after dinner with the Bambergers (and Leroy Petri) I decided to throw in the towel and just go home. At the time, Margaret said she’d like to join me at the Rock for a day of photography, and we’d planned to do that this past summer. Sadly, she died before that could happen.

What’s the line from the Death Cab for Cutie song (What Sarah Said), “every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time”?


  1. great shot, I am heading out to erock soon. can't wait!

  2. Thanks. It's an amazing old rock (and an amazingly old rock, with its age estimated at one billion years), so enjoy!