Tag Archives: fox valley sunset

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.

An Interesting Series of Pictures

Well, okay, they’re an interesting series of pictures to me.

I know enough about cameras that you shouldn’t point them directly into the sun to take a picture, but I do it all the time. You just never know what you’re going to get.

It doesn’t help to have a simple point and shoot camera, a good one, but a point and shoot none the less.

The controls are limited, banding of colors is likely, lens flare… but as I said, I do it all the time and at times things work out well.

In this series of pictures something odd happened.

I can explain away the dot of light in the upper left of these images. About a year ago I dropped my camera and put a tiny ding off to the side on the glass that covers the lens. But even then, after many, many pictures taken I’ve never seen it show up in another image.

The rest, no clue.

I was at Silver Springs on Sunday for the last two hours of daylight. I thought for sure the sun was going to come out, but the cloud cover moved in and made for a less than spectacular sunset.

At the very end the sun slipped below the clouds along the horizon and I thought for sure it would light up the whole underside of the clouds. That didn’t happen. Instead I got what follows.

I took one shot about every 30 seconds or so. After each shot I would look at it on the small screen on the back of the camera. I never saw what I see in the bigger images. Granted, it’s a tiny little screen, but still.

The third image is the one that creeps me out the most, but the whole progression just seems so odd. Even the wife looks at them and with her cynical attitude has to agree that they are a little creepy.

She calls it an angel. She thinks it means someone I know is going to die soon. I’m hoping she’s wrong.