Fall weather in the San Juan's of South Western Colorado can be unpredictable. I had gone out on County Road 7 early in the morning, hoping to catch some sunrise shots of Mt. Sneffels and surrounding mountains. As I was heading into the backcountry, it was apparent that an early fall storm was in the process of moving in. This location was my targeted spot for the morning shot. By the time I arrived, dark clouds had moved in, and the lighting was pretty dark. Because I do panoramic stitched photos with dozens to 100's of shoots moving clouds can be a problem. Fortunately, on this particular morning, the clouds were moving very slowly.
I set up my panoramic head and adjusted my exposure for Expose to the Right to avoid over-exposing the brightest clouds on the left side of the scene. Because I had many nearby objects, I needed to set my aperture to maximize DOF. I choose f/22. To keep my shutter speed in an acceptable range, I set the ISO to 800, which allowed me to have a shutter speed of 1/160 which would avoid blurring of the clouds. Using a focal length of 70mm, I shoot a series of 6 rows by 10 columns yielding 60 images. This image is shoot facing south. Because the clouds were moving in from the South West, the skies behind me to the north were still clear, allowing brighter light to illuminate the fall colors of the Aspens in the foreground.
Post-processing started with adjusting exposure to compensate for the Expose to the Right settings I used for shooting the set of images. I adjusted highlights and darks to adjust the histogram for correct levels. I then applied the same settings to all 60 images and exported them as tiff files for stitching. PTGui was used for the stitching, and the finished image was saved as a PSB large format PS file. In PS, I applied some curve adjustments to brighten the dark areas.Upload YOUR Picture • WIN $200 Cash
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