Austin Skyline, Final Light of Blue Hour

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/6034766054/

Austin Skyline, Blue Hour. 5-frame HDR Panorama, 30mm, f/8

To do this image justice it really needs to be viewed large.  Click here for the full-res version.

On a photowalk last weekend (see previous post) I shot some frames in hopes of stitching a panorama of the Austin Skyline as viewed from the SRV statue on Auditorium Shores.  I bracketed my shots with a mind toward using HDR and/or compositing to capture most of the dynamic range.  I had no intention of filling in the deep shadows of course — It was getting dark after all.

In processing I set off to try the HDR route (I believe this is my first ever pano in HDR) and based on advice from Dave Wilson I first tonemapped the separate frames (3 exposures used for each) using the same settings in Photomatix.  I used something on the order of 60% “strength” and tried to keep the HDR look toned down (FYI, the original exposures really do have this much blue in them). I tweaked the perspective of the individual frames a bit in Lightroom then merged to a panorama in CS5 using the ‘cylinder’ setting for the stitch.  I could write an entire post about my perspective and stitching issues but suffice it to say that using the ‘auto’ setting was giving me very skewed perspectives from my wide-ish angle frames (30mm on a full-frame body).  The automatic blending of the exposures after the stitch usually does a bang-up job of matching colors and creating a seamless stitch but I did have to manually tweak one area to make it match.  Hopefully it’s not too noticeable…I won’t point it out of course.  The HDR was a bit too saturated for my taste (it still kind of is…can’t make up my mind how I want this to look) so I used the vibrance adjustment to tone it down.  Curves adjustments were used in various places for some final tweaks.  No original exposures were masked into the final image.

Advertisements

5 responses

  1. Nice work Michael, great view and a really nice Pano

    August 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm

  2. Nice !

    August 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm

  3. Lovely. Thanks for all the details on how you accomplished this. I’m still new to HDR and still battling the halo effect.

    August 12, 2011 at 6:25 pm

  4. looks great Mike and I had a great time shooting with you!

    August 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s