Pano of North Vietnam Rice Fields

I had with me my 85mm and my 16-35mm lens…that was it. If I tried to capture this scene with my 16-35mm, everything would look too far away. Of course, I couldn’t fit the entire scene into one photo with the 85mm…so, what to do? Create a Pano with the 85mm!! I just started on the left side in the sky and shot overlapping  vertical photos to the right, and then went right to left capturing the foreground.

Then it was all the work of the incredible piece of software called Autopano Giga 3 to stitch all the photos together to create this Pano.

Kalalau Valley

Kauai, Hawaii is one of my favorite spots on Earth. I lived there for a few years in the early 90’s. I had not been back since this past June. I used to work in Poipu, and so it was one of the first spots I visited. Wow, how it has changed. I barely recognized the place. However, on the North side of the island, it pretty much looks the same as I remember it. A few more developments and houses, but basically the same. That was good to see. It IS very expensive though. We couldn’t do much as everything cost a fortune, so we just drove around, did some walking and hung out at the beach…a glorious week back in Paradise!!

Early Morning Stop in North Vietnam

What a great motorcycle tour through North Vietnam. My guide  (Ngoc) and I left Hanoi, and traveled over 405 km together through the mountains of NW Vietnam to the town of Sapa. I had been to Sapa about 15 years ago with a group of students, and I hardly recognized the place. What used to be miles and miles of trails has turned into small roads crowded with cars, trucks, tour buses and motorbikes. It was still nice, but it was kind of sad seeing the area turn into a major tourist destination.

Having said that, the road on the way to Sapa still has its charm and remoteness. We passed through some incredible rice terraces that few are seen by the typical tourist. Being on a motorcycle was liberating. It made it really easy to go off onto back roads, and stop to take photos. This photo below was one of those “off the beaten path” places. After seeing it late in the afternoon, I wanted to see it in the early morning. So, after a 4:00 alarm, we drove our bikes in the dark, and hiked up to the same spot. Totally worth getting up.

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