Pre-Sunrise Clouds – 24 Shot Panorama @ 400mm

I like going to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland for their colorful Sunrises and Sunsets. (Also for Eagles & Ospreys and…) On this day the clouds were very interesting so I was shooting a few different versions, compositions, focal lengths and Camera/lens combos. Then I noticed a thin long length of colorful clouds above the trees but below the main larger clouds. So I tried a 400mm with a 1.4X Teleconverter pano version. I shot 24 images with that combo, with large overlaps on each shot, all handheld. This is the Featured Image above. I used a lot of overlapping images because it usually lines up better, especially when the camera is handheld. If I do not need them I can just use a few instead. Below are more versions with different camera and lens combinations. Also some eagles that flew by in the colorful sky adding some interest and a subject in the colorful sky. In the featured image about 2/3rds over to the right there is a small dot below the clouds. That was another Bald Eagle flying through and I decided to leave it and not clone it out.

BWR Sunrise v2_17mm_80I9304

Blackwater NWR PreSunrise @ 24mm (2 image blend for foreground detail)

BWR Sunrise 24mm_3img pano

Blackwater NWR Sunrise, 2 Image pano @ 24mm

BWR Sunrise_75mm v1

Blackwater NWR Sunrise @ 400mm, Canon 400mm DO lens

BWR Sunrise 105mm v2_80I9418

Blackwater NWR Sunrise @ 400mm, Canon 400mm DO lens w/ Canon 1.4X Teleconverter

BWR HiFlight_Imm Bald Eagle v1_43G9645

Immature Bald Eagle Soaring in the Sunrise, Canon 400mm DO w/ 1.4X Teleconverter

BE HiFlight_Sunrise BWR v3_43G9720

Closer Bald Eagle Flying in the Sunrise, Canon 400mm DO w/ 1.4X Teleconverter

Davidson’s Mill 50 Image Landscape Panorama

While I was photographing small birds in the tall trees at Davidson’s Mill Pond Park in Monmouth County NJ, I was waiting for some subject birds in the trees to photograph. I was using a 400mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. There  was a lull in bird activity so I thought I would try a multi-image panorama of the field and trees in the distance. I was wondering if I could hold the detail in the grasses and tree branches, so I took off the teleconverter to help hold detail in the trees and leaves. I was also using a tripod to help with the detail (camera shake) and to keep a level horizon. I first shot a line series of 25 shots in a row. I thought it was too long and needed more height. I decided to try 2 rows of 25 images per row to get more height. So with the 2 rows of 25 images each, I had 50 images to align, stack and blend. I selected my images and opened them in Adobe Camera Raw and adjusted my settings for sharpness, color, noise reduction, lens distortion, etc. Then I selected the option to open all the files in one layered Photoshop file. Once in Photoshop, I did an Auto-align images, then Auto Blend to combine everything. It automatically aligns and combines the sharpest areas (hopefully) in the files. There are multiple choices for blending modes, but with telephoto lenses Auto seems to work fairly well. If not, you can try one of the others. So I ended up with a 50 Image pano (25 images per row, 2 rows, 50 images total). Final image is 164 inches long. It was more a test to see how the telephoto pano would work, since most of my panos are more wide to normal focal lengths or macro panos and stacking, but that would be a future blog post. Other options in Photoshop are multiple images of the same subject to blend and increase sharpness and/or reduce noise in your image (since noise is random in each image) Or multiple images of the same scene crowded with people moving about, then removing the people automatically by blending the layers in a certain way. So it always fun to try new ways to photograph your subjects and you never know when it will come in handy to get the shot you want! After that I shot 15 horizontal shots for a vertical panorama of a single tree, Again with a 400mm lens.

.DM Tree 16img Horiz Pano

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