California Trip, 2014: Coit Tower and Filbert Steps in San Francisco


The gallery below features photos of the spectacular views from the top of Coit Tower (six of which were stitched together to form the nearly 360-degree panorama above). Also featured below are the Filbert Steps, which descend Telegraph Hill through a garden area. The steps are actually a pedestrian extension of Filbert Street. I walked up Telegraph Hill via Lombard Street to visit the tower, and then descended the hill via the steps, which seemed to be the easier approach.

Click on any photo to open a gallery.

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American Northwest Trip 2017 – The Panoramas

At last, nearly five months after returning from my trip out West, I finished processing my final batch of photos (sometimes this photography hobby is like having a second job). This collection of horizontal and vertical panoramas feature photos from my visits to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, as well as Mount Rushmore and Portland, Oregon.

Uncharacteristically for me, I took almost no real panorama shots on this trip. In fact, only two of the photos below were shot as panoramas. The rest were created by stitching together pairs of similar shots that I thought would look better combined than as individual photos.

Click on any photo to open a gallery.

Canadian Maritimes in Panorama and HDR

Here is a compilation of panoramas and HDR photos taken during my two-week road trip through the Canadian Maritime Provinces in late August/early September, 2016.

All of the following photos are panoramas except where HDR appears in the description.

Prince Edward Island

We only allotted two days for Prince Edward Island but it ended up being one of our favorite legs of the trip. We stayed on the less-touristy northeast side of the island at an inn on a cliff overlooking the sea. The view from our room was spectacular. The entire stay was relaxing and serene. I only wish we could have spent more time here.

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View of a sunset from our inn.
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View from beneath the cliff on which our inn was situated.
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Same sunset as above, this one in HDR. The effect was almost like a painting.

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Cape Breton is an island at the northeastern tip of Nova Scotia. It is a must-visit if you’re in the area. The Cabot Trail, which encircles the majority of the island, is a drive of breathtaking beauty. The highlands, in particular, are reminiscent of Scotland. In all, we spent four days here but with all of the hiking and sightseeing available, you could easily stay a week or two.

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Our view after hiking to the top of Franey Mountain.
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View from our cabin at the Glenora Inn, where we stayed one night.

New Brunswick

The New Brunswick area has much to offer, including Fundy National Park, which we barely had time to explore outside of one early evening hike. We spent most of our two days in this province at Cape Enrage and the Hopewell rocks–where you can walk the beach at low tide and kayak around the same rocks at high tide. There are no high-tide photos in this collection, but I did take some and will share them at a later date.

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Hopewell Rocks
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Hopewell Rocks (HDR)
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Hopewell Rocks
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Hopewell Rocks (HDR)
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The grassy area across from the beach near Cape Enrage.
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The beach beneath Cape Enrage.

Nova Scotia

I didn’t take many panoramas during my stay on the main island of Nova Scotia, so there isn’t much represented here. The highlights from this leg of the trip included a two-night stay in the charming capital city of Halifax and a stop in the lovely town of Lunenberg, where we also visited The Ovens National Park. Nova Scotia has so much more worth seeing but a lot of our time on the island was spent driving to and from Cape Breton.

Cape Forchu, Nova Scotia, Canada
Looking out to the sea from the foggy rocks beneath the Cape Forchu lighthouse.
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View from inside one of the sea caves at The Ovens National Park.

Overall, it was a great trip that gave us a taste of everything the Canadian Maritimes have to offer, though we could easily have spent a week or more at any one of the four primary regions we visited. We fell so much in love with the area, in fact, that we are giving serious thought to exploring the possibility of moving there.

Photo of the Day: Panoramic Halloween Sunset in Cape May

We decided to spend Halloween in Cape May this year since we had never seen it in the middle of fall. While walking the promenade I stepped out onto the beach to take this shot. It’s the first panorama I’ve ever taken with my 35mm prime lens and I really liked the way it turned out–nowhere near as much distortion as I get when shooting a panorama with one of my wide-angle lenses. I might have to start using this lens more often.

It was such a clear day that you can actually see Delaware in the distance across the ocean.

Date: 10/31/2015
Camera: Nikon D5100
Click for larger view

You can view more featured photos at my Photo of the Day Collection.

Photo of the Day: Letchworth Gorge Panorama

Here’s a shot that wasn’t included in my previous post of Letchworth panoramas because it wasn’t originally intended as a panorama. I like to refer to photos like this as “accidental panoramas” because they are products of separate shots that I decided would look better stitched together.

This was taken on the way to the stone footbridge, which is the only crossing of the Genesee River in the entire park.

Date: 9/9/2015
Camera: Nikon D5100
Click for larger view

You can view more featured photos at my Photo of the Day Collection.


cover3bAlso, don’t forget that the eBook version of my novel, The Eyes of Mictlan, is available for free during the entire month of November, and, if you download it through Story Cartel and write a review, you will be entered into their monthly drawing to win prizes such as Kindle eReaders, Amazon and Barnes & Noble gift cards, and bestselling print books.

There are three ways in which you can obtain a free copy:

  1. Story Cartel – For the next three weeks, you can download a FREE copy of my ‪novel from Story Cartel (registration is free) and, if you leave an honest review on your favorite book site or your blog, you will be entered into a monthly drawing to win a prize.
  2. Smashwords – You can download a free copy of my novel from Smashwords using the following coupon code: GH76V.
  3. If you do not have a Smashwords account (or do not wish to create one), you can message me on Twitter at @njrappa and I will send you a link to download a free copy in either mobi, epub, or PDF format.

There are no strings attached and the book is yours to keep, but I would be most grateful if you could take a few minutes to leave a review on your favorite book site (such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads). And as always, I thank you for your support!

Niagara Falls Panoramas

When we visited Letchworth State Park last month we realized that we were only about 90 minutes from Niagara Falls, so we said what the heck and took a ride. Here are a few panoramas from that day trip. Click on any photo for a larger view.

This shot features a nice view of the American Falls from the overlook on the American side.

American Falls

I took this one while standing near the Bridal Veil Falls, capturing a rainbow in the process.

Standing Near the Bridal Veil Falls

This was as close as we could get to the Horseshoe Falls because they were doing construction. I had to stand on a fence to get this shot over the construction fence.

Horseshoe Falls

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You can view more featured photos at my Photo of the Day Collection.

Letchworth: The Panoramas

Here are a few panoramas taken during my visit to Letchworth State Park in New York last month. Click on any photo for a larger view.

This shot of the Big Bend in the Genesee River gives you a sense of why Letchworth is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

The Big Bend

This one features the Middle Falls dropping down into the gorge.

Middle Falls

This final one was taken at ground level down in the gorge, at the site of the lost town of St. Helena.

St. Helena


You can view more featured photos at my Photo of the Day Collection.

Yosemite in Panorama and HDR

Here are some panorama and HDR photos from my recent trip to Yosemite National Park in California. The tree pics are vertical panoramas taken in the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias (redwoods), though it’s hard to get a sense of scale since most of these photos don’t have people in them. Click on any image to view a larger size.

View from Cook’s Meadow Hike
The cars in the background give some sense of scale.
View from Cook’s Meadow Hike
Near Bridal Veil Falls (HDR)
View from Cook’s Meadow Hike (HDR)
Grizzly Giant (one of the largest trees in the world)
View from along Vernal Falls Trail (HDR)
The Tunnel Tree
View from above Yosemite Valley
Mariposa Grove
View from along Vernal Falls Trail (HDR)
Mariposa Grove
View from Glacier Point at Night
Mariposa Grove
View from my drive back to San Francisco along Route 49 (the Gold Rush Trail).
Mariposa Grove

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San Francisco Panoramas

I’ve been falling behind on my travel writing lately; I still have yet to write about my summer trip to Europe, so it will be quite a while before I get around to posting the journal from my most recent trip to California. In the meantime, here are some horizontal and vertical panoramas I shot in San Francisco. You can click on any image to view a larger size.

On the beach about halfway through my long walk to the Golden Gate Bridge.
View from the top of Coit Tower
Another view from Coit Tower. Alcatraz and the Golden Gate are visible in the bay.
Near the Golden Gate. I was surprised at how roughly the waves crashed into the shore.
The Palace of Fine Arts
Inside the domed structure at the Palace of Fine Arts.
A view of the city at night from Pier 39.
Looking back toward the city from near the Golden Gate.
The Palace of Fine Arts, where I began my walk, is barely visible on the far right of the screen.
This is actually an HDR photo, not a panorama, but I decided to include it here.
Another view of the city from Coit Tower.

And I’ll leave you with a wider shot of the city at night.

View from Pier 39

Photo of the Day: Glacier Point at Dusk

During my recent trip to San Francisco, I rented a car and headed to Yosemite National Park for a couple of days. My goal had been to drive out to Glacier Point on my first day because I knew I wouldn’t have time on the other two days, but for various reasons I got to the park too late and didn’t reach Glacier Point until after sunset. Consequently, my photos from that night were basically shot in the dark with little to focus on, so I broke out my f/1.8 prime lens and hoped for the best. The resulting graininess from boosting the low light levels made the photos look more like paintings, but I liked the effect, all things considered.

This view of Half Dome from Glacier Point is a composite of two separate photos not originally intended to be a panorama, but the photos were close enough in composition that it worked.

Date: 10/17/2014
Camera: Nikon D5100
Click for larger view

You can view more featured photos at my Photo of the Day Collection.