Blackwater NWR Sunrises

I am going through files from older trips to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. The featured image is a 3 image, handheld panorama of a sunrise, shot with a Canon 24 – 105mm lens @ 24mm. When shooting multi-image handheld panoramas, I tend to overlap the images more than if I was shooting with a camera on a tripod. I then go into Adobe Bridge and select the Raw files I want to use for the panorama. After selecting the files for the pano, I open them in Adobe Camera Raw and apply any settings in Camera Raw I want to use. I then load them into a layered Photoshop file. Go to Edit and choose Align Layers to line up your images for the Panorama. There are a few choices here, but I usually pick the “Auto” setting first. You can experiment with some of the other settings to see what works best for your images. Most of the time Auto works quite well.  After aligning the images, I then go to “Auto” Blend Layers which will blend the layers chosen into one final layer. You have 2 choices to click on or off at the bottom of the window – (a) Seamless Tones and Colors and/or Content Aware Fill Transparent Areas. I usually check on both boxes to start with. If you do not like how it blends you can go to the History Panel and go back and try checking or unchecking options. If that does not work, I manually blend them with “masks”. Also, Most Important, when shooting sunrises & sunsets do not look directly at the sun with the camera to your eye, you can damage your eye! I use the display to focus and compose.

BWR Sunset v2 ZJ0V7827

Blackwater NWR – Single Image @ 73mm

BWR Sunrise 105mm v2_80I9418

Single Image @ 105mm



9 Comments on “Blackwater NWR Sunrises

    • Thanks Belinda! After you do a couple of panoramas it gets easier. Plus you come up with other techniques or ways that help in the process.

    • Thanks! They are fun to do! Plus if you like making large prints you can get some pretty long / large prints without uprezzing your images.

    • Thanks Eliza! They are fun to do! Plus the more you do, the more confident you are that it will turn out the way you expect. The hard part is to get up early enough to drive 3 hours to hopefully capture a nice sunrise!

    • The older I get the earlier I seem to wake up, so it gets easier for sunrises! Also since we moved a few years ago it is an hour closer, so only 3 hours to get there.

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