HDR Sunset – First Attempt

Wine Country Sunset Panorama

Sonoma County Wine Country HDR Panorama at Sunset

I’m not completely happy with this, but it is a technically challenging subject. This is a picture with an incredibly high dynamic range. Shadows on most of the landscape on the dark side and the setting sun on the other extreme. This is a compilation of 21 (7 HDR triples) images. It took a while to process and the only correction I did in post processing, other than the HDR processing and Panorama stitching, is to add an adjustment layer of curves with the lightening preset. I played around with it a little, but I think I am going to be happier with the ones with a little more sun kissing the highpoint of the topography.

I took several hundred bracketed shots on Wednesday. These are the last series. Another couple hours of processing and we’ll see what we get tomorrow when I process the earlier images.


6 thoughts on “HDR Sunset – First Attempt

  1. Pingback: HDR Sunset Panorama Take 2 « David Miller Imagery

    • That is a great question. I simply set my camera to aperture priority and used the internal meter at several points across the panorama. I was using center weighted metering. This gave me my range. I then switched to manual mode. Used the same aperture and set the shutter speed to a setting in the middle and set my auto bracketing to more than cover the range. In this case, that was two stops above and below the middle speed.

      • I was asking because i have been working on HDR stereographic panoramas and although i have been getting ok results the skies have been hard to keep consistent. Because of this i have spent quite a while fixing them.

        Normally when i do a 360 degree panoramic without HDR i can compensate by bracketing and making adjustments in raw to make sure the sky has a nice tone across it.

        Do you batch process your HDR single image before your merge them?

      • I have tried stitching the images first, normal, under, and over exposed and then merging in HDR, but not worked for the following reasons:
        – the panorama software distorts the images to stitch then together. It seems to do it a little differently each time. The result is that the HDR software cannot line the images up properly to do the processing
        – this may not be a problem with all HDR software, but mine wants all the images exactly the same size. The stitch software I use never makes the output panoramas the same size, so I have to crop them and that is tough to get them exactly the same size and to crop each the same way.

        I am not exactly sure what you mean about the sky being the same tone. I assume that you mean the same at the stitch points. The sky should be lighter in the part of the sky where the sun is and darker in the rest of the sky. Doing the HDR process first tends to even out the tone across the whole sky.

        Hope that helps

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