Sunset Panorama Test

I’ve played around a little with making panorama’s in Photoshop, but never one of a sunset. So I thought I would do a sunset panorama test.

I already knew the software could handle sharper, brighter images, but I was curious if it could handle the more muted tones and less sharp edges of a sunset. While out Saturday evening watching the sunset at Silver Springs State Park, I took a few shots with making panorama’s out of them in mind.

So far so good and I’m pleased with how they are turning out. Of the six that I tried, only one failed. The software couldn’t find enough of an edge on one I guess in order to merge them correctly.

Once the images are merged and I figure out how to crop them, on three of them I wound up with images that are 13 X 29 inches and 240 ppi. That means I could double it’s size to 26 X 58 inches and still have enough resolution to get a decent print out of it at the bigger size. Only seems appropriate to go bigger on panoramic sunsets, but I could see them working at 6.5 X 14.5 inches or even smaller.

Ideally I want to see them at 26 X 58 feet, but that’s a different story and sunset panorama test.

The three images that wound up at that size were all shot with the lens at 18 mm. It’s an 18-55 mm lens.

The other two shots you’ll see in the gallery below were shot with the lens at around 30 mm. If I try to get as much image as possible out of the merged images, that gave me final sizes of 14 X 24 and 13 X 26. Not enough width to my liking, especially when shooting here in Illinois out over an expansive area of basically prairie. They still look decent, but some of the expansive feel is gone.

I’ve always known that my horizontal peripheral vision goes beyond 180 degrees and I recently heard that peripheral vision can go to almost 210 degrees. I haven’t looked up what it is vertically.

Which will eventually bring me to my next sunset panorama test. I know I’m losing a lot of sky vertically, my vertical peripheral vision is much greater than what the camera can do. So next time I’m going to shoot vertically and pan for 5 shots. I already know the software can merge 5 horizontal shots with pretty good end results. Now to try it with vertical shots. I’m hoping to wind up with final shots that feel like how I see things. I’ll probably have to use a tripod to accomplish this. The times I’ve tried before shows that it’s a bitch to try to pan evenly horizontally over 5 shots.

The math in my head is telling me that shooting vertically and merging five shots will give me a final image of about 20 X 60 inches and 240 ppi. Which means in theory I could do a print of 40 X 120 inches and still get decent results.

Of course, I want to do a print of that at 40 X 120 feet. I have that all figured out with even more details, but that’s a different story I’ll tackle later.

6 thoughts on “Sunset Panorama Test

  1. bob

    can do either vertical or horizontal. will work without tripod, but best with it. these look excellent. am sure they would blow up nicely. inside cam there is way to turn on grid on screen. this helps hold the horizon line for composing and moving cam for pano’s .

    three hand-held vertical panos.

    1. Ken G Post author

      I’ve perused yours in the past Bob. That little bit more of vertical I think will help. I figure since I intentionally go to spots with shooting in mind, it would be no big deal to bring along the tripod. With the point and shoot it was light enough that I felt confident in moving it around without issues. This camera has a little more weight to it and at the moment I don’t have the confidence to hold it steady.

  2. Richard Velders

    Wasn’t that the most beautiful sunset? I got to enjoy it as well over the river. Beautiful photos! Great to save in my archives. Dick

    1. Ken G Post author

      That was a good one Dick. Weatherman kept saying cloudy so I didn’t have my hopes up and I kept waiting for the sun to drop behind a thick bank of clouds. That never happened. I think I may have found another spot to try for sunsets, actually has hills and valleys, but may have to get permission to camp out on a corner just off the road. Will have to see how that goes.

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