Text And Photography By Stephen Oachs
Digital photography is an amazing medium. The rate in which quality and performance are increasing is staggering, and the possibilities are endless. It’s as if the digital age has opened up an entirely new world of thinking; I’m constantly amazed at the new things I see and how modern-day photographers push the envelope to create mind-blowing work that borders on the bleeding edge.
I had been primarily a wildlife photographer until a few years ago when I started spending more time focusing on nature landscapes. I found landscape photography enjoyable. I also found it to be challenging when trying to find my own unique take on the classic vista points and well-photographed national parks.
To make his massive image files, Stephen Oachs shoots a series of individual frames, which are then stitched together. The process isn’t especially complicated, but it does require solid technique, attention to detail and some special equipment. The results are stunning. I chose panoramic images as my first attempts in finding my own landscape style, yet my end results just felt like the same work everyone else was capturing, except wider. Then I stumbled into the world of multi-row panoramics, and I was addicted.
My newfound passion wasn’t so much due to the expansive views multi-row panoramas provide, but for the ability to achieve extreme resolutions that allow me to create very large prints (10- to 15-foot widths and larger) while still showing extremely sharp, non-pixelated results. Imagine being able to view a supersized panoramic image from just a few inches away and having it be tack-sharp! That’s exactly what I’ve been able to achieve by mastering the skills required to produce high-quality panoramic images.
In addition to the extreme resolution and endless printing possibilities, I also love the amount of depth and sense of scale you can achieve with multi-row panoramas. By capturing multiple images with a telephoto lens, the final “stitched” result offers up unique perspectives, even with the most iconic, and highly photographed, locations. The reason for this is telephoto compression