Thursday, February 16, 2012

Forays in Innovative Picture Combination

About two weeks ago as I was on my way up to work in the morning, we stopped briefly on Saddle Road to snap some shots of Mauna Kea. Since I didn't have my camera along that day, I decided to try out the camera on my new phone. The aspect ratio on my phone is 5:3 which results in somewhat thinner pictures than I'm used to with my camera (which is much closer to 3:2). Because of this, I went ahead and took two different pictures of the mountain, in landscape and portrait mode, then had the idea to combine them into a single, cross-shaped image. Sort of a semi-panorama, if you will. The early morning sky was beautifully cloud-free, and allowed me to get this image:

Mauna Kea, 'midst Heaven and Earth, 'twixt Sea and Sky, etc., etc.
I think that from an artistic point of view this is an interesting image, because you have two orthogonal axes that draw the eye. Vertically, it gives you a sense both of the height of the mountain (13,796 feet above sea level), and of the infinite vault of heaven stretching endlessly above it. And yet for all its height, Mauna Kea is extraordinarily flat, and the horizontal axis gives you a sense of it receding off into the distance on either side. And in the middle, where the axes meet, is the Heart of the Moutain, a large crater that appears heart-shaped from this direction (it's a little on the small side here, but you can make it out). All in all, a very interesting picture I think. If you found it interesting or thought-provoking, let me know in the comments!


  1. I use the free program GIMP, similar to Photoshop without the huge price tag. You can find it at

  2. I like it! It's almost like a framing technique. The yellow gate adds a nice touch, too.


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