Blackwater River Panorama Landscapes Near Sundown

When we were going to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, we planned for the first day to include the sunset and the second day to be there for the sunrise. Usually they are very dramatic and colorful at Blackwater NWR. Normall we go to the end of the Wildlife Drive for sunsets and the beginning of the Wildlife Drive for sunrise. The sunrises are better on the Little Blackwater River. While the sunsets are better by the Blackwater River. While we were on the Wildlife Drive heading for the far end, we noticed and liked the colorful clouds on the Blackwater River so we stopped and shot a few panoramas as the sun was getting lower. Even with 12mm or 24mm lenses, it still did not give me all I wanted in my shots. So I shot a series of images handheld, to blend together to get the view I wanted. The featured image was a series of shots in a vertical format to blend together. I wanted to include more sky and reflections in the water. The image below was a series of images shot horizontally to blend together.  With 12mm or 24mm lenses it seems like you have to shoot the images with a lot more overlap on each image than with longer lenses. Also instead of using Photoshop to automatically align and blend the images, they come out better to manually align each image manually and make soft edge masks to blend together for the final image. Photoshop tends to really distort the few images on each end and distort the edges badly, especially the extreme images on each end. The clouds and reflections then look really distorted and warped.


14 Comments on “Blackwater River Panorama Landscapes Near Sundown

    • Thanks Belinda! This is one of our favorite places to photograph! Late summer is rough for birds (Eagles especially) . But great for landscapes and sunrises & sunsets. Winter months has the largest concentration of Eagles in the Northeast.

    • Thanks Mike! This is one of my favorite places to photograph! Especially for sunsets and sunrises! Next I have to work on my Dragonflies from my trip!

  1. Completely incredible photo. You have blown my mind slightly with the technicalities.

  2. Thanks Ali! I am a Commercial Photographer so for my own personal images I tend to “see” or do things differently. I tend to see an image i want to do in my mind and then work out a way technically to do it.

  3. Wow! Wish I was that close! Takes us about 3 1/2 hours. You might like the Tubman Trail section also. It is hit and miss, but sometimes is Great. Used to be an Eagle Nest you could watch from the lookout tower there. One year we saw a Golden Eagle which is a huge bird. Snow Geese in the Winter are also amazing. Some years they do not show up, but most years are there in large numbers. Amazing when they take off together. Eagles in large numbers are there in the Winter. One year I did a 50 Image pano of the Snow Geese in one of the channels along the Wildlife Drive with a 400mm lens. I think it took Photoshop 8 hours to put it together! If you want do a search on my blog for Blackwater and you can see what you might see in different months since you have only be there since April.

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