EOS 60D | EF-S 15-85 @44 | 1/320s, 1/1250s, 1/80s | f/7.1 | ISO 100
24 shot vertical stitched HDR Panorama. Old Rag Mountain, Shenandoah National Park, taken near Sperryville, VA. Panoramas processed in Hugin, HDR created in Photomatix, edited in Photoshop.
Made a trip down to Shenandoah National Park this past weekend to catch some of the foliage, do a little bit of hiking, and of course take pictures. What I did not count on was just how crowded the park would actually be. It was packed, every turn off, every parking lot, jammed full. It was at that part that I realized that getting any photography done inside the park would be more trouble than it was worth.
So my friend and I left the park. Having been in the area before I decided to follow some roads that ran parallel to the park but at the bottom of the mountains instead of along the ridge line. After struggling to find decent spots, we stopped at this field that I had been to before and got out to take some pictures.
The light was really nice, but the scene presented some major challenges. First, I could tell my friend was getting a little annoyed at how long it was taking me, and second, as nice as the scene was, I knew the only thing that would work would be a panorama.
Panoramas always pose problems, in order to get smooth transitions, the exposure needs to be constant for every shot. Sometimes that works fine, but in this case the light was so dynamic that exposing for any one item in particular would leave much of the rest of the scene either under or overexposed. I decided to try my hand at an HDR Panorama and set up my bracketing... at which point my remote decided to stop working, but I got all my images taken.
Processing was no easier. Three different exposure level panoramas were created, merged to HDR then processed. The final image size was quite large and processing was not the easiest. Due to the difficulties in the field getting this shot there were some technical faults in the shot (namely the overexposed sky) but I guess that usually happens when you shoot directly into the sun. After trying to pull back the exposure levels as much as possible I just decided to embrace it and make it part of the scene. After all, I was shooting directly into the sun.
I wasn't sure about this shot when I took it in the field and when I started processing it, but after 2 and a half hours of processing, I can safely say I am proud of this image and I hope you enjoy it!
As always, I strive to keep my images natural while adding my own interpretation, especially when creating HDR images such as this one. Final image size: 2.59 GB fully processed, 14222x3953 pixels, clocking in at over 56 megapixels. I will be looking into ways to get this printed, contact me if interested!