Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mountain Top Perspective

Yesterday's focus was the sunset but today I'll show you the 180 degree (or so) vista. This really was a beautiful place to visit and I'd highly (pun intended) recommend it. Of course, I have only been there once, but it was indicative where the park ranger and the tour guide - who are there every day - got out their cameras. So this day was a little unusual. Do you see the dark blue triangle extending upwards from the sun? That is not a stitching artifact, it looked that way.

This small image does not do a panorama like this justice, so I encourage you to take a look at this larger version. The image stitch was accomplished using Microsoft's Image Composite Editor, which continually seems to do a better job than Photoshop Cs4. Very impressive since the Microsoft program is free.

One little quibble with MS ICE. My workflow for an image composite starts with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. I select the images and then use my export preset for ICE. It does a basic JPG export and then runs ICE on the result folder. This pops me into the ICE dialogue allows me to fine tune the cropping and export options and complete the process. I did drop the finished pano back into Lightroom and stack the result with the source images.

When I went through this process I was really disappointed with the colours. They came out very cold and not at all like the real scene. I tried to fix it by adjusting the colour balance in Lightroom, but I couldn't get them right. Then it struck me - sure enough I had done the export to jpg with the colour space set as ProPhoto. ICE obviously stripped out the colour space information for the stitch so the default of sRGB was taken by Lightroom on re-import which is just wrong. When I repeated it with sRGB export it worked great.

ISO400 24-105mm @ 24mm canon 40D.

Shutter speed ranged from 1/800 to 1/60.

9 image stitch.

Mauna Kea,Hawaii

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