Twitchell Lake panoramas, January 1, 2010

Here are a couple of stitched panoramas taken In January 2010. The camera was a Nikon D60. I was standing in the middle of Twitchell Lake on a very cold New Year's day 2010. I didn't have a tripod, so I simply oriented the camera in portrait format and shot 6-8 images, overlapping each imaging by about 25% with the previous one. I concentrated mainly on keeping the horizon level and consistent. I found it helpful to imaging that I was a tripod rotating around its vertical axis with no change in the horizontal orientation.

I stitched the panorama in Photoshop Elements 8, which is the latest version of the software. A lot of people dump on Elements, but I have found it more than adequate for all my photo manipulations. The stitching was dead easy. Just browse and select the images you want Photoshop to stitch together and let the program churn. After the stitching was done, I flattened and cropped the image, and then I created two layer masks. I used these to adjust the levels and contrast for the sky and tree portions, after which I added a moderate sharpening layer. I have started to get interested in combining multiple exposures into HDR images, and I don't see any reason why Elements 8 shouldn't be up to the task. (Note that I am not looking for bizarre tone mapped effects, I just want to replicate the effect of a split neutral density filter.)

These images are appropriate 2000x1000. They will display to best effect on a wider-format monitor. Be sure to click on the large image if you see a magnifying glass icon to make it full size.