Gordon Watson  

Bridge of Light Over Hofn by Gordon Watson

March 2023 - Bridge of Light Over Hofn

March 2023 - Gordon Watson


March 2023 - Gordon Watson

Original 2

About the Image(s)

My wife and I are currently (at time of writing) on holiday in Iceland. Apart from the scenery, Iceland is famous for the Northern Lights, which we managed to capture at Hofn in Southeast Iceland. This is an 8-image stitched panorama which stretches from horizon to horizon across 180deg. Each image was in portrait format, taken with a 5sec exposure at F4, ISO800, focal length 24mm, then stitched in Lightroom. I decided not to use my widest angle lens to avoid the significant distortions that can occur across such a wide panorama. After stitching, I had a large area of very dark rocks in the bottom right, so I stretched out the water horizontally in Photoshop to reduce this dark area. I've also used the Photoshop warp tool to level the horizon towards the right, but as this was edited on my laptop screen, I will re-visit it when I return home and can use a larger monitor! I've attached one of the individual panel images, and the initial stitched result from Lightroom.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
11 comments posted

Sanford Morse   Sanford Morse
Beautiful panorama. I wonder if you need so much rock in the foreground.   Posted: 03/09/2023 13:46:57
Gordon Watson   Gordon Watson
Thanks for your comments Sanford. One of the problems with such a wide panorama (remember it spans 180deg of sky) is that you inevitably get a lot of foreground at either end. I agree there is a lot of rock in the foreground and I already tried to reduce this, but I will probably have another attempt at editing this image on a larger screen.   Posted: 03/16/2023 12:11:12

Henriette Brasseur   Henriette Brasseur

I like how the shape of the foreground rocks mimics the arc of the Northern Lights. You picked a difficult subject to photograph but from your image's description you gave a lot of thought from taking to processing this image. Quite a challenge but I give you credit for taking such a memorable image. The only things I might change would be to take out the two vehicles on the right, and if possible, tamp down the bright lights of the city lights. I once saw the aurora borealis at a research station outside of Churchill, Alaska. I was so excited that I took only one image spending the rest of the time admiring the aurora borealis.   Posted: 03/13/2023 17:00:06
Gordon Watson   Gordon Watson
Thanks Henriette. Actually photographing the Northern Lights is not that difficult - being in the right place at the right time with a clear sky is the hard part! One of the cars is our hire car, which is sort of why I left it in, but of course that does not mean anything to anyone else. I brightened the town lights in processing, so maybe a bit too much?   Posted: 03/16/2023 12:17:12

Ian Cambourne   Ian Cambourne
Gordon, I am so jealous!!! If I was permitted to photograph just one thing on this plant, it would be the northern lights, without a second thought. Congratulations on as you said to Henriette, right place, right time, right conditions. The foreground rocks don't bother me in the slightest, they provide a good base. The cars, to me down here, yes they are an unnecessary distraction, but they are an integral part of "your" story and memory. The urban lights could be toned down a little, but still remain to provide a sense of location and habitation of this area. I do like the fact that you have kept some clouds and stars in the sky. Most of all, I applaud your actions before you even pressed the shutter. All the pre-thought, how many images you want to get the final resultant image, where to start and where to finish, exposure settings and how to use the elements before you in the composition all contribute to the final image. More of these please.   Posted: 03/19/2023 05:11:35
Gordon Watson   Gordon Watson
Thanks for your comments Ian. The aurora is on a lot of people bucket list. This was the second holiday where I have photographed the Northern Lights. The first time was in 2015 in Sweden, but I had a UV filter on my lens and every single photograph had concentric rings of light (Netwon's rings) due to the interaction of the light with the filter. I was so gutted, so getting the chance to photograph them again was a real thrill, which is why I 'rushed' this image onto the dialogue even though it was a quick edit on my laptop.   Posted: 03/19/2023 06:04:46

Jay Joseph   Jay Joseph
Just an overall outstanding image Gordon. I like every aspect of the image. I especially like the mountains and the reflection in the water and on the rocks. Great work in post-processing to get a memorable image.   Posted: 03/19/2023 20:14:57
Gordon Watson   Gordon Watson
Thanks for your positive comments Jay.   Posted: 03/20/2023 03:59:59

Sophie Pouillon   Sophie Pouillon
Wow, this is beautiful and striking.
I am thrilled to see this beautiful image on my screen. The hardest part about this is being there at the right time. You were lucky to see them.
In fact, what counts is the result, a magnificent image that shows the splendors of the earth, our earth that we are constantly damaging.
I congratulate you for this splendid image which makes dream and makes jealous all the photographers. You have done well to enjoy this beautiful moment.
  Posted: 03/21/2023 05:40:54

Trey Foerster   Trey Foerster
Outstanding pano nd excellent PP. I agree, clone out the cars and dim the city lights and maybe burn the horizon maountain line to create more DOF. A very well done image! We have Nortthern Lights here last night, nothing like this though. The foreground rocks don't bother me but I'd dim the reflected light on them a tad too.   Posted: 03/24/2023 13:33:36
Gordon Watson   Gordon Watson
Thanks for your suggestions Trey - I'll certainly consider them when I re-visit this image.   Posted: 03/25/2023 04:43:53