Category: Panorama

Progress of the Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

This group of images shows the progress of the Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project. The bridge deck is nearing completion as the Ironworker’s Structural Gang and Cable Stay Gangs extend the bridge decks on all three towers toward one another. It won’t be long until all the structural steel and cables are in place and the bridge will be one piece from shore to shore.

Panorama of The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup.
Panorama of The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup.

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The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup #2
The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup #2

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The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup
The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup.

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Panorama of The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup. #4
Panorama of The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup. #4

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The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup from Waterfront Park.
The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup from Waterfront Park.

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Panorama of The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup. onOne Perfect B&W Version
Panorama of The Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span at sunup. onOne Perfect B&W Version

For this final panorama I decided to convert the scene to black and white simply to see what effect it would have on the image when compared to the color images.

 

Panoramic Images of the Ohio River Bridges Project in December 2014

The Panoramic Images of the Ohio River Bridges Project in this post were taken from the eastern side of Spaghetti Junction where I-64 and I-71 connect to I-65. It was a cold afternoon here in Louisville and the sky was filling with clouds in the west when I decided to capture these images.

Sunset on the Ohio River

Ohio River Sunset June 5, 2013 #2
Ohio River Sunset June 5, 2013 #2

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I find it amazing how much the sky will change during sunset. This first image was approximately 30 minutes after the sun had set and the sky was lit as if it were on fire. Once the sun was below the horizon the clouds mover further east and stretched high into the sky allowing the sunlight to diffuse even more. I was walking back down the Big Four Bridge ramp and couldn’t believe how wonderful the light had become. The way it cast a warm glow across the landscape, river and the handrail was irresistible and I stopped to capture this scene. The small section of blue in the upper right corner seemed a perfect complement to the overall orange cast in the scene and really enhanced the warmness of the oranges.

I processed this HDR image in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 using a three frame bracket set of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures. After merging them I applied the Balanced preset and boosted the Detail and Drama settings to Accentuated and Deep which really popped the texture in the sky and on the water. Upon returning the merged image to Aperture 3 I added some contrast and made a very slight change to the mid-contrast which further enhanced the texture in the sky, water and on the Big Four Bridge too. I adjusted the color channels to suit my intent for the image and finished with some minor sharpening and a small vignette.

Ohio River Sunset June 5, 2013 #3
Ohio River Sunset June 5, 2013 #3

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As I sated earlier the range of colors and the effect it has on a scene is simply amazing during sunset. I often photograph directly into the sun when it is necessary to my vision of an image. I was drawn to this shot by the way the orange sunlight was spreading out from the sun while the sky around it remained blue. I liked the way the sunlight reflected in the river and on the ironwork of the Big Four Bridge on the right. I elected to shoot through the handrail to emphasize the perspective in the frame and to capture the people strolling along the riverfront.

In this image the complementary colors are reversed from their relationship in the first image with blue becoming the dominant hue. Whenever I am shooting I like to keep the concept of complementary colors in mind as I compose an image. Since orange is directly across the color wheel from blue the overall effect is a complimentary color scheme that allows both colors to really pop.  Whether it is something as dramatic as a sunset or a subject within a landscape I keep the color wheel in mind and look for complementary colors that will add interest while not dominating the final image.

Instead of using all three frames from my bracket set for this image I decided to use only the underexposed and the normally exposed frames. I did this because a little boy walked into the frame during the overexposed shot. I didn’t want to go through the effort of masking him out of the shot so elected to try a two frame HDR. The resulting image had a broad enough dynamic range to gather shadow details and still retain detail in the sunset and clouds.

One additional note about these images before I wrap up; I decided to crop them into a more panoramic aspect ratio in order to give a more expansive feel to the final images. I find that landscape images often, but not always, benefit from a wider aspect ratio.

 

Panoramic HDR Sunsets Over Louisville Waterfront

Snow Cover in Waterfront Park HDR Panorama
Panoramic Snow Scene of Louisville Waterfront Park and Louisville Skyline at Sunset in HDR

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This panorama was captured yesterday evening as another winter storm was approaching Louisville. I wanted to shoot in Louisville Waterfront Park while it was covered in snow to capture the feeling of winter there. Louisville hasn’t had a winter with this much snow in many years and I wanted to get as much as I could before the temperature changes and it melts. I was walking up the access ramp to the Big Four bridge but didn’t take time to set up my tripod when I shot a three frame bracket set of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures at f11. That decision was made in order to shoot quickly and get as many photos as possible before I set up my tripod on the bridge itself and the light faded. In retrospect I should have opened up my aperture because the overexposed frames were blurred due to the long shutter speed needed to capture the low light levels in the scene.

Once I started processing the bracket sets I discovered that all my handheld frames that were overexposed were blurred from camera movement. This left me with only an underexposed exposure and a normal exposure to work with for my HDR merger. I decided to use only those two exposures, -2 and 0 EV, in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and see what sort of results I would get. Much to my surprise the merged files had great detail in the shadow and highlight areas even though I wasn’t using any overexposed frames. I merged the two frames, applied the Balanced preset, adjusted the Detail slider to Accentuated and the Drama slider to Deep and saved the resulting HDR files back into Aperture 3. After I had done that for the nine frames I shot for the panorama I took them into Photoshop CS5 and ran the Automate/Photo Merge to create my panorama. After they were merged as a panorama I flattened the layers into a single image which I then returned to Aperture 3 for final adjustment and cropping.

Snow Covered Waterfront Park at Sunset in HDR
Snow Covered Waterfront Park at Sunset in HDR

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I followed the same basic procedure for this image except that I used my tripod which gave me a bracket set for each shot of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures. I again used NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 to merge each section of the panorama and applied the Balanced preset with the Detail slider set to Accentuated and the Drama slider set to Deep. I then took all eleven merged HDR images into Photoshop CS5 and created the panorama. After that it was back into Aperture 3 for final adjustments to Saturation, Luminance, White Balance, Definition, Contrast, Mid-Contrast and Sharpening before making my final crop.

Snow Covered Waterfront Park at Sunset in HDR
Sunset over a Snow Covered Louisville Waterfront Park and the Ohio River in HDR

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The last image is another tripod mounted series of bracketed images shot with +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures and merged in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 with the same preset settings as the other two images in this post. I followed the same processing steps using Photoshop CS5 and Aperture 3 to create the final image. I moved a little further north on the Big Four Bridge when I shot this set to give it a different perspective too.

Though I was able to salvage the handheld images I shot by discarding the over-exposed frames I still prefer to have a three frame bracket set of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures to work with whenever I’m creating HDR images.

 

 

January Sunset Over Louisville Skyline in HDR

A panoramic HDR image of waterfront Park and the Louisville skyline under a dramatic sunset.

Beckley Creek Panorama

Beckley Creek Morning
Beckley Creek Morning

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This is another 3 exposure HDR image processed in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and Aperture 3. I used the Balanced preset in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 after merging the three exposures with a 20% anti-ghosting setting. My goal was to recreate the scene in as realistic a way as I could while still exploiting the increased tonal range that HDR provides.

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Memo From the Department of Shameless Self Promotion

I am still accepting participants for my next HDR Workshop on May 17-18, 2013 here in Louisville. The last session was a great success; the participants all felt that it was time well spent and were applying the things they learned the next day. Here’s a link to the sign up page at Outdoor Photo Gear.

http://outdoorphotogear.ticketleap.com/using-hdr-photography/

 

Spaghetti Junction Sky

Spaghetti Junction Sky
Spaghetti Junction Sky

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The point where the three Interstate Highways intersect in Louisville is known locally as Spaghetti Junction. The weather was changing yesterday from a cloudless sky in the morning to this winter sky around mid afternoon. This image overlooks the Spaghetti Junction intersection and southeast Louisville. It appeared that there was a grid that had been overlaid on the city sky that extended into infinity. The perspective of the clouds intrigued me and I decided to capture it.

I first processed this image in Aperture 3 where I made a few adjustments to the RAW file before taking it into NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 where I worked on enhancing the texture and tonality of the image. I then returned it to Aperture 3 where I applied some exposure, saturation and vibrancy changes. I lowered the saturation slightly and increased the vibrancy in order to achieve the overall feeling I felt when I shot the scene. I had a couple of dust spots that needed attention so I used the Spot and Patch tool in Aperture 3 to clean them up. I then took the image into Photoshop CS5 where I manually adjusted the vertical perspective to compensate for the distortion my 12mm lens had created. Back in Aperture 3 I applied a very slight vignette before saving the image for the web.