January 2, 2019Comments are off for this post.

Skiing at Anthony Lakes on New Year’s Eve

Yes. That is a video of me skiing down Trouble Creek on New Year's Eve at Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort.

Happy New Year, everyone. Below are some scenic panoramas that my daughter Rachel and I shot at Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort and stitched together in Photoshop.

November 1, 2015Comments are off for this post.

Eloise Dielman

Remembering Dorothy Eloise Dielman (Reynolds)
April 3, 1940 - September 7, 2015

Scroll down this page to view a photo tribute spanning the life of my mother, Dorothy Eloise Dielman, beginning with the facebook post I wrote the day she passed away. Mouse over the thumbnail images below to reveal captions, or click on an image to view the slideshow.

Thank you so much for all of your kind words. Please feel free to leave your comments following the photos.

Rachel and Eloise at the S&W Country Diner. Culver City, CA. 2004

My beautiful and kind mother, Dorothy Eloise Dielman, passed away at home yesterday afternoon with her beloved dog Ozzie snuggled on her lap and her husband, daughter and son holding her hands. The one person who has been by my side since the moment I was born is now gone. She had amazing positivity and will to live, and after being diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer survived for six full years of brutal chemotherapy. Her body may have failed, but thankfully she was lucid and smiling right up to the end, and was able to make calls to family members and lifelong friends to say goodbye.

For those who did not know my mother, she was a great teacher and mentor, and affected countless lives in positive ways. She taught English at colleges and high schools and was a favorite of many students. Even those who never had her as a teacher. That is because she genuinely cared for everyone, and was the kind of person to whom people gravitated to get help with their troubles, both academic and personal. Mom had ex-students who graduated in 1985 visiting as recently as Saturday.

My mom taught me compassion, and how to care for others. She has been crucial in support of the boys and me during the divorce, and I have spoken with her once or twice a day since it started two years ago. She was so relieved that it is finally over. I can’t imagine how we will all survive without her sweet, reassuring presence. You’ve always had my back when I was down or in trouble, and were my greatest cheerleader in all of my endeavors. Thanks for giving us six years to prepare for this moment. I am happy you no longer have to struggle to get a breath. I love you, mom.

The photo above is a shot of mom that I love taken in 2004, before cancer, that shows up on my phone when she calls me.

Nels Dielman, September 8, 2015.

The early years growing up on the farm.

Eloise was born in a former log school house on Green Peter Mountain east of Sweet Home, OR, delivered by her mother's aunt. Until age 18 Eloise lived in a two-story log house further down the mountain on the north bank of the Middle Santiam River. Shortly after graduation from high school the family farm and house were covered by Foster Dam.

Grade school at Sunnyside, a two-room country school house.

Eloise attended her first eight years of schooling at the two-room Sunnyside School up Quartzville Road from her home. The precocious Eloise taught herself to read before she entered first grade. Her teachers allowed her to work a couple years ahead of her classmates. Eloise was valedictorian of her eighth grade class, having gotten straight A's for eight years.

Teen age years through graduation in 1958.

During her teens Eloise earned money in the summer picking strawberries, working in a bean canning factory, and in the box office of the Sweet Home movie theater. As she had in grade school, Eloise played flute in the high school band, and played piano for a local dance band. Having earned straight A's through four years of high school, Eloise was selected co-valedictorian of the graduating class of 1958.

Young woman raising a family and living in Germany for a year.

Eloise attended Eastern Oregon College of Education (now Eastern University) in La Grande, where she met her husband, Gary Dielman. At Eastern they started a family with birth of daughter Katrina in 1960. Eloise interrupted her studies to follow Gary to graduate school at the University of Iowa and then to Germany for a year at the University of Tübingen (1962-63). In 1963 son Nels was born in Iowa City, Iowa. In 1968 Gary got a job in the Modern Language Dept. at Purdue University, where Eloise earned her bachelor's and master's degrees.

Teacher "Mrs. Dielman" at Baker High School

In 1972 the Dielmans moved to Gary's home town, Baker City, Oregon, where Eloise was immediately hired to fill in as a math teacher. The next year she joined the faculty of the English Dept. and taught at Baker High School for twenty-four years, with one year off on sabbatical to earn a PhD in American Literature at the University of Oregon. In 1989 Eloise discovered a fire was in the ceiling above her English classroom and spread the alert that led to the evacuation of the school. After retiring from BHS in 1995, Eloise taught at Eastern Oregon University, served at the same time as Chair of the Board of Directors of Blue Mountain Community College and Chair of Baker City's 5J School District Board of Directors.

Recent years. Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother.

The Dielman clan grew bigger, starting thirty-one years ago with the birth of Katrina's daughter, Anya. Then came Nels' children, Rachel (14) and Miles (11). Most recent is Anya's daughter, Naomi, age 15 months. In 2003 Eloise was chosen Legacy Woman of the Year for her many contributions to the community. Up until just two weeks before her death, she was still leading a group of women writers, as she had done for over twenty years.

Goodbye, Mom.

Thank you for loving Eloise. Please take a moment to share your recollections.

Additional links to large images: Newspaper Tribute, Facebook Comments, Facebook Reposts, Facebook Likes.

January 3, 2015Comments are off for this post.

How to line up shots for stitched panoramic images

I like to carry a simple point-and-shoot Canon S900 pocket camera. It is convenient for capturing of-the-moment photos, but it produces a frustrating lack of detail when I am faced with large panoramic nature scenes.

Adobe Photoshop CC and other programs now have very advanced image stitching and photo merging capabilities. Here I will show you how to frame up your shots for the best possible stitched results. Of course, you can make much better quality images with good camera and a tripod, but this method is to make the most of hand-held pocket cameras.


Four techniques:

Standing at the side of the highway, with my camera zoomed all of the way out, this is what I see through the lens. The aspect ratio is 4:3, and the resolution is 4000x3000 px.

While this is very nice looking, I would like to create an image of much greater detail, that shows the grand, looming presence of the mountains that I experienced with my naked eye.

All four examples are taken from one spot on the side of the road.


Example 1: Zoomed-in landscape pan

PROS: My favorite. High resolution and low distortion. CONS: May need to zoom out for better composition and context.

1A. Holding your camera in landscape mode, zoom in to your subject, and choose a frame that includes all of the foreground and sky that you need for your final composition.

1B. Start panning across horizontally. Move your frame about one-third each time. You will need the overlap to make up for lens distortion and vignetting.

1C. Continue panning across until you have all the shots you need for your composition. Be careful to keep a point of reference, like the horizon, to make sure you shoot straight.

1D. Here are the actual photos. It took ten images to pan across the mountain range. Note the natural, in-lens vignetting. This should be removed in the stitching process. You are now ready to stitch photos in your graphics program.

1E. RESULTS: 10 images, zoomed-in, landscape orientation 17247x3166. You can see some residual vignetting in the sky. Sometimes the software will remove this. Other times you'll need to touch it up. Below, I've stretched the mountains ever so slightly.

Download the ZIP of ten images below to stitch your own panorama together.

01-Nelsdrums-Zoomed-In-Landscape-10.zip (31 mb)


Example 2: Zoomed-in portrait pan

PROS: Highest resolution, least distortion. CONS: Difficult to line up shots. Can be time consuming when stitching.

2A. Holding your camera in portrait mode, zoom in to your subject, and choose a frame that includes all of the foreground and sky that you need for a final composition.

2B. Start panning across horizontally. Move your frame about one-third each time. You will need the overlap to make up for lens distortion and vignetting.

2C. Continue panning across until you have all the shots you need for your composition. Be careful to keep a point of reference, like the horizon, to make sure you shoot straight.

2D. Here are the actual photos. It took fifteen images to pan across the mountain range. Note the natural, in-lens vignetting. This should be removed in the stitching process. You are now ready to stitch photos in your graphics program.

2E. RESULTS: 15 images, zoomed-in, portrait orientation (B) 24340x4819. You can see how my camera dropped from left to right. Below touched-up perimeter and more contrasty versions.

Download the ZIP of fifteen images below to stitch your own panorama together.
02-Nelsdrums-Zoomed-In-Portrait-15.zip (55 mb)


Example 3: Zoomed-out pan

PROS: Uses the least shots, very fast to shoot, shows more context. CONS: Most radically distorted pixels, hardest to stitch together in proper perspective, lowest resolution.

3A. Here I have zoomed all of the way out, and will shoot overlapping images from left to right.

3B. Move your camera about one-half of the frame at a time. Note how the perspective changes drastically with the addition of near-field foreground elements.

3C. The more images you shoot zoomed-out, the more distorted your final stitched image will be. Try not to go over 120 degrees wide. You are now ready to stitch photos in your graphics program.

3D. RESULTS: 3 images, zoomed-out, landscape orientation 9588x3050. Whoa! Look at that perspective.

Download the ZIP of three images below to stitch your own panorama together.

03-Nelsdrums-Zoomed-Out-Landscape-3.zip (9 mb)


Example 4: Multi-row zoomed-in pan

PROS: Possibility of making massive, detailed images. CONS: Most difficult to shoot properly, more chances for stitching errors.

If your graphics program supports it, you can actually stitch a whole grid of images together. To do this, you will need a good eye and points of reference in the viewfinder to line up the shots properly.

4A. Here we have the 3 stitched images. They are fairly low resolution. To recreate this in high resolution, you need to shoot additional rows of images.

4B. Find a good reference point, zoom-in and shoot across horizontally like I have described above. Give yourself plenty of overlap.

4C. Continue across until you have all you need for the composition, then move down for the second row.

4D. Create a second row from your previous reference point. Continue until you have an equal amount of second row images. Add additional rows as needed. You are now ready to stitch photos in your graphics program.

4E. RESULTS: 12 images, zoomed-in, landscape orientation 38352x12200

Using the methods described here, I was able to make all of the panoramic images on this site using only a small, handheld point-and-shoot camera. Let me know how it works out for you.

Baker City Hi Rez Eastern Oregon Scenic Winter Panoramas

Skiing at Anthony Lakes on New Years Eve

January 2, 2015Comments are off for this post.

Baker City, High Res Eastern Oregon Scenic Winter Panoramas

Winter vacation 2014. My daughter Rachel and I created a bunch of panoramic images of the snowy mountains framing either side of Baker Valley in Eastern Oregon. Using our little point-and-shoot Canon cameras, we shot multiple exposures in horizontal sequence. Each image below is made up of 3-15 stills stitched together in Adobe Photoshop CC.

On the west side of Baker Valley, lie the Elkhorn Mountains, part of the Blue Mountains, in the northeastern part of Oregon. The highest point in the range is Rock Creek Butte, which is 9,106 feet (2,776 m) above sea level.

Far to the east, but visible from most everywhere in the Baker Valley is the Eagle Cap Wilderness, located in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon, within the Wallowa–Whitman National Forest. The Wilderness was established in 1940. In 1964, it was included in the National Wilderness Preservation System. At 8,560 feet, Red Mountain, is the highest peak in Baker County. Sacajawea, the highest peak in the Eagle Cap, is 9,838 feet (2,999 m) above sea level. Eagle Cap is also home of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and North America's deepest river gorge at 7,993 feet (2,436 m).

Click on each image to load the high resolution files. Then zoom in so you can see how the mountains loom the way they do to the naked eye.

It's fun to click on the full-sized images, zoom in, and pan by scrolling back and forth.

February 24, 2013Comments are off for this post.

Selfless Portraits

A couple of my friends did Selfless Portraits recently, and it inspired me to do the same. Very relaxing, really.

My subject's name was Julia, and she comes from Rio. She was wearing polka dots and glasses, while looking at her mobile phone. Don't ask me how, but her index finger can really do that position.

She looks as though she was reading a text message. Who could it be from? She certainly looks a bit serious. I translated her thoughts to Portuguese, "Oh, não. Não ele, de novo!"

If you do or receive a Selfless Portrait, please send me a link!

UPDATE: I had to stalk Julia via Facebook to inform her about the artwork. Apparently Selfless Portraits didn't notify her at all?!? Crazy, I know. Turns out she loves it. Fun.

UPDATE: Cool. After 36 hours my Selfless Portrait moved into the number one "most popular" slot. Thanks, no doubt, to all of my FB friends for liking.

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All images are the copyright and/or trademark of their respective owners. ©2020 Nels Dielman. All rights reserved worldwide.