90 Cormorants Panorama From Brigantine

Now that I am retired, I have time to work on files from years ago that I had not finished or even gotten around to. The featured image is a 10 image panorama of a large group of Cormorants swimming down one of the channels along the Wildlife Drive at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville, NJ. I was on the Wildlife Drive photographing ducks when this group came by. I shot a series of 12 handheld overlapping images to get them all in as they were going by. There are 90 Cormorants visible but there are a few underwater, that surfaced after I had shot that area as I continued photographing the series. For some reason I always photograph my series for panoramas from left to right. Also most of my panoramas are handheld. Mainly because I am photographing something else when I notice an image that I think would make an interesting panorama. Photoshop usually does a good job aligning the images. For this image I was using a Canon 400mm DO Lens with a Canon 1.4X Teleconverter on a 1D MkIV body.

When shooting “moving” panoramas, I tend to try to overlap even more on each section. This helps when one section might have an element that is not what I wanted or liked and I would still have enough images to overlap for a finished image.

The finished panorama with black border (below) is 86 inches long x 21 inches high @ 250 ppi. If I ever print it, it would go even larger @ 150 or 200ppi.

Comorants 90 vf new 7_43G3856 copy

Cropped in sections from the panorama to show detail below.

Comorants 90 vf4 sectAComorants 90 vf4 sectAA

Eastern Racer Snake Panorama

We were walking back through a local park to go home when we saw this Eastern Racer snake slithering by us. This was a few months ago so I am trying to catch up on some older files I had not gotten to.  I was only carrying a m43 Olympus Camera with a 14-140mm lens. So I zoomed out to 14mm to get the whole snake but the Racer seemed very small in the frame with a lot of grass around it. So I  changed my strategy and zoomed in and shot a 3 image series @ 140mm to assemble into a panorama to make the Racer Snake more prominent in the final image and still show the whole Racer snake. Then I got closer as it was going by to get a Portrait @ 140mm of the Racer’s head.


Eastern Racer Snake Portrait @ 140mm, m43 Camera

Panoramas Are Not Just For Landscapes

I am still going through images I photographed earlier in the Summer. The featured image is a panorama of a Praying Mantis in our garden at home. Using 3 images and assembled in Photoshop. It was a windy day so the flower it was on was blowing wildly in the wind. I had no way to stabilize the flower, so I was shooting bursts at a high shutter speed to hopefully get a sharp enough image and have the frames needed to blend together. I was shooting with a Sigma 150mm macro lens so the movement of the subject Mantis was all over in the frames. I was shooting bursts to hopefully get some in the frame and in focus and have enough to work with.

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Single Image Closeup – 150mm Sigma Macro, Canon R, f/11, 1/400sec, 1600 ISO


Raymond Pool – Sun Rising Above Trees

A 3 image Panorama of the Sun rising above the Raymond Pool early in the morning at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. Shot with a 14mm lens on a m43 Camera and assembled manually in Photoshop. It seems like panoramas with a wide angle m43 lens are more successful if you manually assemble the panoramas in Photoshop. The auto align seems to go to wild extremes.


Raymond Pool @ 14mm, shooting through an opening by a tree

Davidsons Mill Pond Park Panorama

We went to a local park for a walk so I only took a lightweight camera setup, the Olympus OM1-Mk1 with a Panasonic 14-140mm lens. It is the perfect walk around camera when you are not going to photograph something very specific and just want something better than your camera in the iphone. Before we got to the trail through the woods, I saw this view I thought was interesting with the clouds. I shot a 3 image series to combine in Photoshop @ 14mm. It is interesting that when doing a panorama @ 14mm with a m43 format, you have some slight touchups to get a nice panorama. Full frame cameras seem to handle panoramas better. It also seems worse if you do even more over-laping frame sections. So I shoot more frames and then just pick a few to use for the final panorama. But this way I have choices of which frames I can select or turn off to get the best results.


2 image panorama @ 14mm, combined in Photoshop 


3 Horizontal Images Stacked Vertically @14mm ea.


2 Horizontal Images @ 14mm


2 Horizontal Images @ 14mm 


2 Horizontal Images @ 14mm 

Little Egret Panorama

I was photographing along the Indigo Trail at the Ding Darling NWR early in the morning on this day. We finally had found a large number of birds along the trail. It was quite dark under the trees, but we managed to get a lot of images of a variety of Egrets and Herons while they were foraging for food. With this Egret, I liked it’s reflection in the water and it was just keeping an eye on me as I was photographing it. After shooting a few images of the Egret, I shot vertical images for a long panorama. I was traveling light on this walk so I only had the 400mm DO lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. It was quite dark under all the trees so I had to raise my ISO higher than I like. After assembling in Photoshop, I trimmed the left & right sides a little so the Egret would be more prominent in the long vertical image. Then removed some “noise” from using a higher ISO than normal.


Panoramas Are Not Just For Landscapes

Many times when I am out looking for bird photo subjects, I am usually using a 400mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. Sometimes I will also carry an Olympus m43 Camera with a 14-140mm lens for landscapes or views that I like that need a wider view, giving me a FOV equivalent to a full frame SLR of 28mm to 280mm. But if I am walking around a big area, I just carry the Canon body with the 400mm & 1.4x teleconverter. So when I come across a cooperative close bird or other interesting subject, I then shoot a series of images as quickly as I can, handheld. Using a tripod slows down the quick shooting process and I let Photoshop align them. Usually I try for at least 4 or 5, but have had some success with 2 or 3. Depends how cooperative my subject is. This immature Little Blue Heron was an example of one overly cooperative subject. I was at Ding Darling NWR and I was photographing birds that were out on a sand dune and this one kept coming up to me. There had been a few fishermen there before me and were feeding him fish. So I guess he thought I would do the same. After a while he just caught a lizard and wandered off. Then he kept wandering around the area behind me on the other side of the Wildlife Drive. He was looking for a meal so I shot a few quick series of different images for some panorama series. Some vertical, some horizontal. The trick to this is a series of images as quick as possible because the subjects usually are moving. Handheld images are then aligned in Photoshop and then retouched to add either a missing area of background or just fine tuning here and there. The featured image is a 2 image pano of the walking Egret. Below is a series of panorama images shot at 560mm, then assembled in Photoshop. Then blank areas outside the assembled image were filled in by Photoshop. Once you get used to using this technique, they seem to come out more consistently. This also gives you large files if you really want to print them large.


3 vertical images for panorama. Photoshop filled in blank areas.


2 image vertical panorama


2 image short stack panorama


White Ibis – 2 horizontal Images for panorama

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3 images assembled in Photoshop and blank areas (dotted line outlines) automatically filled in by Photoshop content aware fill.

Selecting images for the panorama in Adobe Bridge to import and assemble in PhotoshopScreen Shot 2019-07-07 at 6.00.19 PM copy

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Images for panorama selected in Adobe Bridge

LW Pano v4_64img_300mm

One of my largest, small area panoramas. 64 image panorama – shot with 300mm f/4 lens. Largest amount of layers for the size of the area shot. Multiple rows of multiple images. I over overlapped to make sure I got the most detail and also make sure it would all align for the final image. Not sure how long it took for Photoshop to align everything. After 3-4 hours I went to bed and it was done when I woke up. Then I did a few touch ups here and there.


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