First Pano of 2013

Sunset Panorama
Streaky cloud sunset
I've said it before, but I enjoy panoramic photos, even if they are troublesome to put together. I do panos so sparingly that I often forget why I don't do them more often, until I get to doing another pano. Though to be honest it's when I decide to try for an HDR pano where I really get into trouble. This shot is not an HDR panorama, but does include some new for me techniques for shooting. For those keeping track, this was taken on the same day as this. The clouds give it away.

The first of these techniques was to shoot my shots with the camera in the portrait position. This didn't make sense to me at first as my camera covers more area horizontally than vertically so it would take more shots to cover the same area, meaning more chance of my stitching software to mess up. So I tried to take shots with more overlap to help the software out. The main benefit I saw with this is that the I had more excess photo to crop for the final shot. I wasn't cropping out parts of the photo that I wanted to be shown due to not enough excess photo.

The other technique I used was the Auto Exposure Lock button. Essentially I half press my shutter for the middle photo, then keep the AEL button pressed to take all the shots of the photo. This locks the light meter to be the same for all shots which in turn gives me a more consistent looking sky. The previous way I was taking shots had the camera re-reading the light and possibly changing the shutter speed (since I shoot in aperture priority mode)  and getting some strange results.

In terms of processing, I hit the individual photos first with DeNoise then tried stitching them in Hugin and Photoshop Effect 10. PSE10 had the best results, so cropped and sent back to Aperture. From Aperture it went to Topaz Labs Adjust and Detail to finish it off and to bring some shadow detail out. And yes, this sunset is bookended by Trinidad Head on the left and Pewetoll Island on the right. With these new techniques I might just make more panoramas.

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