General Thoughts
Sunset Panorama — Capital Reef National Park, UT © jj raia

Sunset Panorama — Capital Reef National Park, UT © jj raia

Rummaging through and trashing many photos from a 2014 trip out west to clear up hard drive space, I came across a sequence of images that were intended to become a panorama, but had never gotten around to processing them. They had subsequently been forgotten as the days passed, quietly remaining hidden among the thousands of images residing on my hard drive. As time went on, more and more photos were taken and processed, sending them even further from memory, until I happened upon them yesterday, almost four years later. They turned out to be difficult to merge together as I had just begun to take panoramas at the insistence of a photographer I met in Canyonlands National Park a few days earlier, and probably didn’t take a sufficient numbers of overlapped panels moving across the scene. There were only three images when I should have taken more, and subsequently, the software merged only two, leaving the third image of the right side out altogether! So I tried to merge the two with the third for a second time, and although the software did merge them, the sky was horrible at the  seam where they were “blended” together. But through the magic of Photoshop’s clone tool (it’s inventor should be canonized) and quite a bit of perseverance, the sky was finally blended seamlessly.

The reason why the scene called for a panorama was that even though I could use a very wide angle lens (17mm), it was still unable to incorporate the tree and the entire sky since I couldn’t back up much further because of a drop-off. In addition, the cliff on the right would appear more distant, with less prominence and not be the supporting element needed within the scene to help balance the tree on the left connected by the blazing clouds. By zooming in a bit to 26mm for the three panels, it brought the cliffs closer, appearing more as they were.