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(March 18—23, 2009)

Elizabeth Gentile

Home Show

Caroling Geary

Deer Lichen Diversity

NW Florida Panhandle, Emerald Coast, Florida, USA

March 22, 2009, 9:30 am

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© 2009 Caroling Geary, Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons License

Deer lichen are common in the scrub forests of the Emerald Coast. Two years ago for the panorama Deer Lichen Lives on Air I said "it is hard to identify several local species of the worldwide Reindeer moss plant family." I'm closer but still far from sure how many species there are. The slow-growing branching-forms seem endlessly creative in their variations. Here they are tightly intermixed. In this panorama, hotspots pick out potentially seven kinds of deer lichen with links to larger photos from nearby locations.

The Plan

I planned to capture the greatest diversity of deer lichen in a local area, photographed at the time of the equinox: March 20 at 11:44 UT. The path for me is a symbol of the equinox, dividing the world equally into this side and that. Here, the path shows the ground, not soil, but tiny grains of quartz crystals, gleaming white. Lastly, the panorama could show the ecology, the neighboring plants.

The Problems: see Behind the Scene below.

The Result

All the images are used uncropped. As you spin around, imagine that your gaze rises and falls. Focus on the foreground. To see the diversity of species, click the links.

To focus on various species, see the high resolution panorama at wholeo.net (13 MB) and zoom in. To enjoy the scene, see the full screen panorama (3 MB). To get a quick view, see the small panorama (500 KB).
13MB large version of this panorama

Call for local deer lichen identification

Deer lichen - local sites and links

Canon 300D (Digital Rebel) digital SLR, 50mm f/1.8 lens (equivalent to 80mm film camera), ISO 100, f/22 at 1/80 second. Nodal Ninja pano head on Gorillapod SLR-ZOOM tripod on turntable. 32 exposures photomerged with Adobe Photoshop CS4. QuickTime and Flash panoramas created with Pano2VR 2.2.3.
Behind the Scene: The Problems
The Problems

I am not level-headed enough. I could not level the tripod and the best I could do slipped in the sand as I turned and clicked the pano head mounting between stops around the 360-degree circle.

I bracketed exposures to capture detail in the glaring sand and glowing lichen tops as well as dark depths of the surrounding forest. However, this process was so slow that the light changed radically with passing clouds, so the exposures didn't match.

Also, the tripod was too high to photograph the lichens. I had fixed the focus on a middle ground, hoping the depth of field would keep the near lichens in focus. It didn't.

I returned the day after the equinox with lower tripod (Gorillapod), slower exposure time, smaller aperture, no bracketing, and closer focus. Still not successful. Also the 15-degree increments did not give enough overlap between images in all cases.

Returned on March 22 at 9:30 in the morning, with the short tripod's flexible legs spiral flattened into a rotating turntable. The aim was to get as low as possible and to be able to turn the camera supported with pano head over the central nodal point in 32 11.25-degree increments. Partially successful. Although the focus was as good as possible, the slower shutter speed blurred some stems in the wind as well as the background. The leveling still varied around the circle. The camera was not low enough to capture all the diverse lichens.

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