Volunteering for the National Park Service

Volunteer in Parks (VIP, in park service-speak)

Been doing this since 2005 – drafted by the head district ranger

Donated thousands of images during that time

In reward, the park service has used many of them

Often as the main posters for their biggest events such as

75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps, and

Shenandoah National Park’s 75th anniversary

As well as newsletters, brochures & visitor  center displays

Following in the footsteps of other park service volunteers….

Some guy name Ansel something-or-other was one


Click for full screen

Timber Hollow Overlook Panorama

Nikon D800E, Nikkor 24-70 2.8 @ 70mm

11 images, vertical orientation, stitched

Full resolution – 90″ x 23″ at 300 dpi

More recently did this with the 70-200 @ 200mm

22 images, vertical, should double the size/res of the above

15 feet wide at 300 dpi – that’s big

Zooming shows windows in buildings down in the valley 🙂

I’ll post this latest one another day


Shooting panoramas (well) –


Everything level (tripod & camera)

Everything manual (exposure, focus, WB, ISO…. EVERYTHING)

Set it for the 1st exposure and do not change ANYTHING

NO polarizer

Something like 1/3 overlap from exposure to exposure

Do all of that, use any decent stitching software, and you’ll have a seamless panorama like the above.


Shenandoah NP  is in the midst of a 3-year project to redo all of their signage.

One such signage are large displays at overlooks along Skyline Drive

Their camera (which I decline to use) is a 43 MP Hasselblad

I offered to shoot a test shot for them with my D800E

This is the first one I tried (purely a test, not great photography)

Terrible day with haze across the Shenandoah Valley

The nearest mountain range, barely visible, is only 5 miles away

Unfortunately this pollution is getting more & more common

Since it’s 90 minutes travel time for me, getting here on a clear day is going to be a problem

It requires more than clear sky

I don’t know how to predict “haze free” except to go look

Did I mention – 90 minutes one-way (and park service doesn’t pay, even for gas)

Gotta’ figure something out since I try NOT to go to the park on clear days and doing this “just in case” isn’t going to happen much

Needless to say, after the park service processed it, they were enthused


SNP 75th Anniversary Poster

CCC 75th Anniversary


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