Beautiful, Fine At Photographs of Nature and Wildlife of Wyoming

How the panorama was created
Mounting and finishing the print
Framing your panorama

How the panorama was created

I had long envisioned making some panorama prints of several favorite places in Wyoming, but the limitations of panorama roll film cameras' field of coverage and the ability to make large prints always kept me from putting my vision on film and in print -- until recently.

With the advent of wide format printers I could finally print whatever I could capture on film, but there was still that matter of film format and coverage. Most of what I envisioned could not be done on commercially available cameras.

I started reading about making panorama prints from 'stitched together' frames of film, but after purchasing several programs that promised to make the process easy, I ran into several problems, not the least of which were precise and invisible seams in a print that would measure 8 feet wide. Even the tiniest misalignment would become readily apparent. The second most daunting problem was with the necessary file size and resolution to make a quality print.

Commercially available stitching programs just wouldn't allow me to do what I wanted, so after designing and building some of my own equipment, I decided that assembling the image manually would be my best approach.

How I got started

First, I needed some way to keep my camera level and allow me to swivel the camera and lens precisely at predetermined increments. Surveyor's equipment seemed a good starting point, so I found a surveyor's tripod and modified it for mounting the camera. I then added a special plate and counterbalance to hold the heavy camera. This was critical for making precisely stitched images that aligned properly.

It was then time for testing the unit. After several tests and some minor changes to the equipment, it was off to the mountains to field-test my new set-up

The ideal view
The location I chose was one I had photographed dozens of times in my career as a state photographer, Schwabacher Landing along the Snake River access below the rugged Teton Mountains of northwestern Wyoming. I had tried to make a sunrise picture the morning that this panorama was shot, but the light fizzled and I went away with nothing.

Later in the day, about 10 a.m., I went back to that same spot. Although the light was not the beautifully colored light of dawn, the conditions for a panorama were perfect -- high white clouds obscuring the harsh direct light of the sun, creating a shadowless light over the scene. Everywhere I pointed the camera, the light metered the same- perfect!

I set up the camera and specially modified tripod, leveled everything, chose my lens and started at the extreme left side of the picture. I overlapped each frame by nearly half, until I had shot the entire scene.

The result: A truly impressive panorama scene
I had shot a series of pictures that spanned over 220 degrees, something I could not have done with a commercial panorama camera. The light hadn't changed at all. It gave me time to check and recheck my work. I shot a second set with a different lens. I had my shot, at least the one I had pre-visualized, but it wasn't the one you see.

Then Serendipity!

Up walked the cow moose. What a beautiful addition to my picture. The cow moose continued to wade and drink and was not at all distracted or alarmed by me. As she stood there drinking and moving I continued to shoot, eventually getting a picture that could be integrated into the whole scene when I stitched all the shots together.

Putting it all together

I knew I had all of the elements for a stunning picture -- perfect lighting, a remarkable scene, and the equipment that kept everything level and aligned. Now the work of assembling all these individual pictures began.

Since there were no stitching programs that could handle the size of the print I wanted to build, I resorted to the old standby, Adobe® Photoshop® software. With over 20 hours of computer work, learning as I went along, the final print was assembled. I made the highest resolution scans I could get from my Nikon LS2000 scanner.

The finished panorama, although technically not a single photograph, was created from several pictures, then assembled to faithfully represent the spectacular view I experienced that day.

Photograph or digital creation? You could argue both. The image was not taken on one piece of film at a particular instant in time. Because it was assembled from 12 different pictures and one element was relocated, it must technically be called a digital creation.

Either way, the end results are truly stunning and representative of what you would have seen had you been there that day in July of 1998 at Schwabacher Landing along the Snake River access in the Tetons of Wyoming.

Order your copy of the print right away!

Return to Top  

Mounting and finishing the 8 foot print

When you purchase the 8 foot panorama, you will receive your print together with a certification card identifying it as a limited edition print. It will have the print title, the number in the series of 125 prints and the photographer's name.

Your 8 foot panorama print will be shipped to you mounted. Before leaving our premises, it is carefully inspected by the printer and the photographer so you can be assured that it will leave here in perfect condition. It is then double wrapped and crated to guarantee its safe arrival.

Outlined and pictured below is the process we follow each time we prepare the large panorama print for delivery.

Your print comes mounted on ½" black Gatorfoam, using Seal's pressure sensitive, neutral pH mounting adhesive. The print is cut flush to the outside dimensions and delivered ready for framing. The actual trimmed print size is 20" X 95".

IMPORTANT: Minor surface imperfections almost always show up after mounting a print. They do not affect the life of your print and after framing they should be nearly invisible. We cannot guarantee a flawless print surface. It is simply a fact of life when mounting a print of this immense size.

Return to Top   

Framing Your Panorama

You should take your print to the framers the same way it left the premises when shipped. As you can tell from the photographs above, framing a large piece like the 8 foot panorama is not typical of the work most frame shops do -- so please check with your framer to make sure they can handle this project beforehand.

Information about our framer can be found below. We're happy to share the name and address of the experts who do our work.

In the pictures that follow, you will see how we had the large panorama print framed:

Once the print arrived at the frame shop, we picked out the molding we wanted to use: a traditional style that is large and wide with a sculpted surface and neutral color. Its large profile is ideal for a print this size.

We selected a green inner frame about 1" wide to accent the lush green hues that appear in the print. It kept our eyes from wandering outside the picture area, complimented the color scheme, and was deep enough to add a spacer to keep the print surface from touching the Plexiglas.

The two frame materials were nailed and glued together after carefully measuring the piece. The Plexiglas was cut to size, and one of the sides had the protective covering carefully removed with gloved hands. Since Plexiglas scratches easily, this may well have been one of the most critical parts of the assembly of the print/frame.

The inner surface was left covered until the print was ready to be inserted. Only a brief dusting with an air gun was used to eliminate any foreign particles. Even the most delicate cleaning can scratch Plexiglas.

The print was dusted one last time and quickly inserted in the frame. A few brad points were inserted to hold the assembly together, and then the print was examined for any dust that may have been missed at first glance.

Working quickly, with minimal handling will give you the best job. Our framers wore cotton gloves throughout the entire assembly process to protect the glass and print surface.

The final part of the assembly after adding the remainder of the brad points was to cover the back with a dust barrier. Then came the decision on what type of hangers to use for such a large and heavy piece. We decided to use heavy-duty straphangers on the two sides of the frame in addition to adjustable hangers on the wall to level the panorama after hanging.

Here's what the finished project looks like being held by the two people who did the work. Look at it compared to the other prints hanging on the wall in the background. What an impressive sight! And what a great job FrameMaster did framing the 8 foot panorama print! I have worked with Myra at FrameMaster for over 20 years and trust her expertise implicitly.

This print will be on permanent display at FrameMaster, not only as a sample of the quality of work they do and the types of projects they can handle, but to allow people visiting the Cheyenne area to take a look at this unique piece of art.

We love the results and are sure you will too. If you own the Wyoming Panorama, send us some good pictures of your finished print on display, and we may post it on future updates, share it with others in our newsletter, or include it in our testimonial page. Let the world see how you've incorporated this unique, limited-edition artwork into your business, lodge or home decor. You'll be proud and so will we.

If you're interested in contacting FrameMaster in Cheyenne, here is all the information you need:

Order your copy of the print right away!

Return to Top   



© All Rights Reserved - Jerry Geist
Site By: Marc Dorsett, Graphic Artist

The Wyoming Panorama nature and wildlife photography of Wyoming