Today I’m posting an HDR panorama of the Hanalei Valley in Kauai, Hawaii. The main crop in the valley is taro. I mentioned in another post that I rarely lugged the tripod around while out with the family but I did usually have it in the car. When we stopped at this lookout I went ahead and used to capture images for a pano of this valley. As you can clearly see the dynamic range was quite large, especially with the bright clouds. I quickly picked an exposure (using manual mode) and fired off 3 exposures per position. I didn’t want to hold the family up so I didn’t take the time to capture the whole dynamic range. As such, the clouds still are blown out in spots but it’s still a picture worth having from the trip.
I tonemapped each set of brackets using the same settings then used Photoshop to stitch them together. After that I simply tweaked the contrast. One obvious improvement would be to clone or crop out the branch sticking into the top left part of the frame but I haven’t yet taken the time…
Headed to Montana in 12 days with my wife and friends. The picture above was taken early one morning during our last visit to the Stillwater Valley in Nye, MT. Had a blast and can’t wait to get back there. Our trip to Montana in the summer of 2009 marked the first time I ever used a real tripod and head, and the first time I made a “real” attempt at taking “good” pictures. I had just read through Scott Kelby’s tips on landscape photography but forgot most of them of course. Nothing overly special about this shot other than the memories. Simple processing with curves.
I’d better start practicing rising early if I’m going to hit the sunrises — it starts getting pretty light by 5am up there. That’s actually one thing I miss from living up north; I love when it gets light very early in the morning as it really helps get the day going.