Random Sunset Panorama
There’s a spot near my house which has a great vantage point for watching the sunset. Yesterday I noticed the clouds were forming up nicely as the sun got lower in the sky so I decided to pop over to that spot and catch some pics of the event.
I shot four sets of images — two sets of brackets for some prospective HDRs, some shots of other cloud formations with some of the local vegetation blowing in the wind, and one set of images for a panorama shot. For the panorama I shot in manual mode so the exposure remained consistent throughout the shots. If you shoot in Av or any other automatic mode the camera will meter every time you press the shutter. As you sweep the camera from a light part of the sky to a darker part, the camera tries to compensate by increasing the exposure. When you stitch the frames the sky won’t match from frame to frame. I also bracketed the panorama frames +/- 1 stop…just in case.
After stitching the center exposures in Photoshop I applied a couple of curves adjustment layers — a separate curve for the blue and red channels. I then added an exposure adjustment layer, set it to +1.8 stops, then applied a gradient mask so that only the right side of the image was actually increased by 1.8 stops. Pretty simple treatment and quick to apply.
Here’s an 8-exposure HDR taken earlier in the evening. Tonemapped, applied two sets of curves, blended a Topaz Adjust “Photo Pop” layer at 50% opacity. I wish there was an interesting foreground subject or feature to have included, but the sky makes it worth the shot IMO.