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Indians Eye to Eye (lichen covered boulder) by Jason Buchheim

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Jason Buchheim Jason Buchheim
Explore score
1.47 Gigapixels
Date added
Mar 31, 2009
Date taken
Mar 31, 2009

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 with ...

environmental, landscape, nature

This lichen covered boulder is in the backcountry of Snowmass, Colorado, on Burnt Mountain. I have been thinking of photographing this site for over a year and finally made it out with the Gigapan mount and tripod way out in the wilderness. Actually, the day before, I was here trying to photograph this by hand. I was concentrating really hard on lining up each shot to make a handheld Gigapan. I was about half way through when I heard some snowboarder on the hill above me yelling "hey, photographer, enough with the photos of the rock, move out of the way already" Well, I wasn't done, and I did not want to loose my 'nodal point' position. Besides, we were in the backcountry wilderness, there are a million different routes to go. But they wanted to go right where I was standing. I told them to go around. They did not understand why I would not just move. I understand that it is not obvious to a layman why moving would ruin my shot in progress. I held my ground. The first fellow snowboards by me no problem. The second fellow PUNCHES me as he is going by. Luckily it was a weak punch, but it did throw him off balance and he crashes landing upside down in a tree well below me. Well, I did not escalate the situation further beyond calling him an mild expletive. He dug himself out and did not crawl back up to my little spot on the planet.
Here is another view of this boulder from the year before (lots of snow) share.gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=3124
I shot this as a High Dynamic Range 3 images per location, but I could not find stitching software that would stitch it. PtGUI would align it great but would never stitch it, it just halted upon stitching. Autopano Giga kept crashing... So this is not the HDR version, and the Gigapan Stitcher performed marvelously.
Personally I feel this image has a painterly feeling, but the painter would have to be Jackson Pollack. Its very abstract, with lots of random splashes of color about.
It seems that the lichens like to live in the moister regions of the boulder, in the cracks on non-vertical faces. There definitely is a gradient of the lichen species with the amount of water that can be held onto. The fleshier lichens are in the cracks. Its amazing to think that this is the thickness of the life on the surface of the earth at this place, just a thin crusting between hard rock and atmosphere!
Lichens (IPA: /ˈlaɪkən/) are composite organisms consisting of a symbiotic association of a fungus (the mycobiont) with a photosynthetic partner (the photobiont or phycobiont), usually either a green alga (commonly Trebouxia) or cyanobacterium (commonly Nostoc). The morphology, physiology and biochemistry of lichens are very different to that of the isolated fungus and alga in culture. Lichens occur in some of the most extreme environments on Earth—arctic tundra, hot deserts, rocky coasts and toxic slag heaps. However, they are also abundant as epiphytes on leaves and branches in rain forests and temperate woodland, on bare rock, including walls and gravestones and on exposed soil surfaces (e.g. Collema) in otherwise mesic habitats. Lichens are widespread and long-lived however, many species are also vulnerable to environmental disturbance, and may be useful to scientists in assessing the effects of air pollution, ozone depletion, and metal contamination. Lichens have also been used in making dyes and perfumes, as well as in traditional medicines.
Stitcher: 0.4.4090 Images: 221 (17 columns by 13 rows) Camera: Panasonic DMC-FZ50 Capture time: 2009-03-28 16:05:33 - 2009-03-08 16:27:41 Aperture: f/11 Exposure: 0.00625 ISO: 100 Focal Length (35mm equiv): 420.0mm Horizontal Overlap: 14.3 to 19.7 Vertical Overlap: 15.8 to 23.8 Computer Stats: 2046 MB RAM 4 CPUs Total Time: 2:28:39 (0:40 per picture) Alignment: 24:01, Projection: 9:09 Blending 1:55:28

Gigapan Comments (1)

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  1. Stoney Vintson

    Stoney Vintson (April 17, 2009, 05:36PM )

    Jason, that is really beautifull. Sorry to hear about the other snowboarders. You can probably stitch the exposure bracketed version using Photomatix and feeding it to any of the stitchers. I have had luck with ptgui when I only have three exposure brackets. You could also try out enfuse with the gui from the wiki or tufuse w/ the tufusion gui.

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