Austin Just After Sunset

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/5219476411/

Austin Skyline After Sunset (panorama from nine images)

This shot looks much better large so after reading click on the image to view it on flickr, where you can view in a larger size.

I thought I’d post a semi-old panorama of the Austin skyline (taken 9 months ago).  It’s already out of date given that the cranes are no longer part of the scene, but I hope to capture a new one soon.  The sun was completely gone but there was just enough orange left in the western sky to reflect some sunset color off some of the buildings.

A wide panorama like this can be a bit tricky when the light is changing.  When you shoot images for a panorama you ideally use manual mode to keep the same exposure for each individual image.  This makes it easier to generate smooth, consistent exposure and colors when you stitch/blend the images.  However, one must shoot quickly around sunrise/sunset so that the colors don’t change between the beginning and end of the final image.  This is especially true if your exposures are long and you’re overlapping each image by 50% (my typical choice, although it generally works well even with only 20% overlap).

Processing was pretty “normal” by my standards.  I used Photoshop to stitch the image from nine exposures (each at 90mm, f/5.6, 1/2s), bumped up the exposure about 1/2 stop, played with curves, reduced the noise with Noiseware, and selectively sharpened (via layer masks).  I had bracketed my images so I used the underexposed frames to get a couple blown-out areas back, notably the top of the Frost Bank Tower (the one that looks like a nose trimmer).

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2 responses

  1. Great shot Mike! Where did you shoot this from? Looks like you got the perfect time of night, too! Excellent!

    December 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    • Thanks, Evan. I shot this from a parking garage along Mopac (NE corner of the intersection with Bee Cave Rd). There are several garages in that complex, some with gates, some not — I honestly don’t remember which one I was in but you can figure out the best spot if you head over there (I’m planning to get an updated pano from that spot this week sometime). In the winter when this was shot, the sunset happens straight behind you so you get some nice colored reflections off the buildings). I think I’m going to zoom in a bit further and really focus on the buildings for my next round.

      December 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm

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