View Full Version : Grand Canyon Pano

Lyle Gruby
08-08-2013, 10:45 AM
My wife and I took a 2 week trip out west hiking, little bit of camping, and seeing some western icons. It was AWESOME and I can't wait to go back. This is from our very first evening. We were able to get a camping spot in Grand Canyon with an afternoon storm in the area. I found a spot with room between the clouds and the horizon and waited for the show. It was an evening I'll never forget. All C&C welcome. (I left the strong blue color cast in because that's what color the canyon turned. The sky was definitely more pink, but I just haven't taken the time to manipulate it after the HDR and pano merge process)

Lyle Gruby
08-08-2013, 10:47 AM
16-35 f4 at 32mm
ISO 200
RRS tripod

Roman Kurywczak
08-08-2013, 11:56 AM
Hey Lyle,
I like the choice of Pano presentation. While some may not like that 2 very strong elements are near both frame edges....I think you have enough interest in between that the comp works. I may try to work on the central canyon area a bit more to eek out any more details you can....but a very nice scene and well handled!

08-08-2013, 02:11 PM
I also like the Pano crop.
I think a touch more contrast would bring out some more detail
on the canyon cliffs.
The color is very nice.

Leigh Cojocar
08-08-2013, 07:19 PM
Was this a long exposure or did you do a lot of NR in the sky?

Don Nelson
08-09-2013, 03:29 PM
Nicely done pano --interesting juxtaposition of two sky events -- sun setting on left and a couple of heavy storms on the right, and well anchored with the bit of near canyon on right as well.
I think Dan has hit it correctly -- there needs to be more contrast in places.
I will add that there is quite a bit of blue in the canyon -- a direct result of illumination from the sky (a giant softbox when then sun is not shining, and is blue in cast).

You have a good working start.
If the raw were mine, I'd remove a lot of the blue in the canyon (unfortunately the reds of the canyon aren't in your image to be boosted). I'd do a little more with the sky and sunset.
Maybe start with something like this: (hope you don't mind.....and you can do a lot better starting with your tiff or original raw image(s) in processing: (and I'm only a naked calibrated laptop in the North Cascades of Washington, so missing my big calibrated screen).

John Ippolito
08-10-2013, 03:01 PM
Pano crop works nicely for me, and agree that two very strong elements work here as well. Good suggestions above with regard to more detail in the mid canyon, maybe by adding some points of black to the neutrals with masking. Don has made some good points as well. A lovely scene with dramatic lighting.

Morkel Erasmus
08-11-2013, 09:06 AM
What a light show this must've been! It's always hard to properly critique or appreciate these large panos, even at 1200px wide it's never going to do the image justice. How many images were merged?
I like the colour contrasts and can appreciate the cold toning in the canyon. I wouldn't remove the blue hue there totally as Don did (the grey just looks too mute for the vibrance the scene must've contained). I would definitely try and work up the natural reds in the canyon walls a bit more and even tease out some more details there with localised curves/contrast adjustments. It's worth spending some time on this one...

Lyle Gruby
08-12-2013, 03:15 PM
Thanks all for your feedback. Sorry for the long response time. I posted this as I was heading out the door for an out of state wedding. In my haste, I forgot to re-sharpen after resizing. Definitely agree the middle canyons needed more sharpening/contrast which I did on the original before resizing. Adding a black point is a great idea. I hadn't worked much with the sunset yet. I agree with Morkel that I'll leave in some blue in the canyons. I doubt there is any red value in the walls, the blue was very intense both in the sky and in the canyon.

As for the questions raised:
I hadn't actually done any noise reduction, these were several multi-second exposures.
I think this is 12 shots put together. 4 horizontal shots with 3 bracketed exposures each. The wind was very strong which made this very difficult. I usually shoot landscapes in aperture priority, but I wound up switching to manual because the canyon walls were so much darker than the sun and sky that I couldn't get any consistent results using the camera's meter. I probably could have gotten the full exposure range in 2 shots, but I wanted to use 3 just in case I messed something up. (Which I did, I had several blurry shots due to the wind)

I agree it's hard to get the impact of these large pano's until you see them large. I'm hoping to print this as a 5' horizontal x 3' vertical. I was planning on using photoshop to upsize some. Has anyone ever done that? Does PS have a good algorithm or are there better ones available?

Morkel Erasmus
08-12-2013, 04:43 PM
Photoshop does a good job at upscaling, you just need to properly sharpen afterwards (sharpen for print is different than sharpening for screen display).
If you are planning to print on canvas, don't believe the "always print at 300dpi" myth. I've printed a 3 meter by 1 meter canvas - for a CLIENT - at 150 dpi (better for upscaling as there's less extrapolation) and it looks A+++. :cheers:
For fine art paper, I would say stick to 300dpi.

Andrew McLachlan
08-13-2013, 08:00 PM
Hi Lyle, I really like how you laid out the elements for this pano. It is a beautiful scene. I think the blues might look best if they fall somewhere between your original post and Don's repost. I just love the cloud formations...very nice!

Mark Dumbleton
08-14-2013, 11:24 AM
Spectacular light show. I can't add anything more than what has been said already. Great image!