Michael Nath  

Benson Slough Panorama by Michael Nath

August 2020 - Benson Slough Panorama

About the Image(s)

Attached is my photo for August. It is a stitched panorama of the Bear River in Cache Valley Utah about 5 miles north of the small town of Benson. I was out on a drive with a friend looking for something to photograph when we happened upon a small parking lot (room for 3 cars) maintained for public access by the local hydroelectric dam. I was helping my friend to learn how to stitch together individual images to make a larger panorama while preserving detail. It consists of 9 shots, all made at 1/400s, f11, ISO 800, at 48mm with 24-70m lens taken in portrait orientation to ensure foreground and sky. The 9 images were stitched together in photoshop then cropped to the final composition. Minimal editing with curves and histogram. The resulting print measures 6" x 27". My friend likes her results but has had a lot to say about not being able to print her final image on 8x10 paper. We are still friends though.

6 comments posted

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Just marvelous! Perfect focus! Great detail! If this were mine, I'd enlarge it to about 90 inches wide, then call everyone I know to come see it.   Posted: 08/02/2020 12:18:48

Michael Nath   Michael Nath
Thank you Paul for the praise.   Posted: 08/02/2020 14:39:45

Jean Wu   Jean Wu

Is the original look of the landscape curved or it was resulted of stitching? I had many challenges using photo stitching if I didn't have perfect shots on the same leveled evenly. Same for iPhone, when taking a large area of panorama, the images curved most of the time. Overall, it is a nice landscape image.
  Posted: 08/09/2020 11:38:50
Michael Nath   Michael Nath
Both. The river exists as a large curve and all the images were taken handheld without leveling the camera which resulted in a "ships prow" effect due to the tilt of the camera. I am also standing on top of about a 30 foot embankment looking down towards the river which exaggerates the effect. I cropped out a lot of the sky to place the horizon line (the top of the mountains) near the center of the image to create a semblance of symmetry between the sky and the foreground.

Using a level tripod and composing along the optical axis of the lens would have eliminated all the curvature but I choose to use resulting curvature of the river to produce a "smile" with the water while keeping it within the frame of the photograph.

Glad you liked it overall. You have a very good eye for detail Jean.   Posted: 08/09/2020 14:27:09

Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
I like the smile after you pointed it out, sometimes my eyes need help seeing things. I love the blue-green-gray colors of the water. I have not attempted a stitched panorama, so my question is do you always put the camera in portrait orientation?   Posted: 08/10/2020 18:31:40
Michael Nath   Michael Nath
More often than not I have the camera in portrait orientation. This maximizes the amount of foreground to sky distance that makes the final crop much easier. It takes a few more images to encompass the entire panorama but, in my opinion, produces a much better stitched image to work with. The final orientation all hinges on what you decide to keep in the image. It can be a horizontal rectangle, or a square, or a vertical rectangle, or even an ellipse if you use a layer mask. For some good examples and instructions, see if your local library has "The Art, science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography" by Glenn Randall. ISBN # 978-1-937538-47-7 published by Rocky Nook.   Posted: 08/10/2020 20:11:26


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