Better Panorama Stitching

Higgor Tor Panorama at sunrise, Peak District
Higger Tor sunrise in the Peak District National Park. Fuji XT3 with 16-80 lens. See below for full details.

It’s Friday again and I want to share another image from a recent trip.

Last week I shared a shot from Burbage Edge in the Peak District, looking back to Higger Tor. I shot the image at the end of the day, but this image was from earlier that morning on Higger Tor.

Ordinarily, I like to get to the edge of the Tor, in amongst the rocks. This time I decided to walk around a little more which is when I noticed the sun coming up behind this rock formation. I realised that if I timed it right, I could create a starburst effect with the sun.

This was much easier said than done. The lens I used was the Fuji 16-80 with a 3 stop soft ND Grad filter. I attached this to a Fuji XT3 body mounted on a tripod before stopping the aperture down to f/18.0 (you need a small aperture to create the starburst). Now I just needed to line up the camera on the tripod and that was the hard part.

I just couldn’t seem to line everything up to create the starburst with a good exposure. I kept trying and each time I thought I had it, the effect vanished. The sun then started to fade as the fast-moving clouds came in and I started to panic. I thought I wasn’t going to get the shot.

Finally, everything came together, and I managed two frames. It was only when I came to process the images that I realised in my excitement, I hadn’t set the camera to manual exposure. I left it on Aperture Priority and the second image was a stop brighter than the first. One image was a 0.6-second exposure whilst the other was 0.3-seconds (both at ISO160). Fortunately, I was able to manually adjust the image in the RAW converter before stitching.

You can see the two starting images as well as how I stitched them, in my latest YouTube videos. One demonstrates the processing in Adobe Photoshop and the other in Affinity Photo. Both videos include the RAW processing in Capture One 20 before the stitching.

Panorama Stitching in Photoshop

Panorama Stitching in Affinity Photo

I hope you like the image and video. Have a great weekend.

6 thoughts on “Better Panorama Stitching

    1. Thanks Jim. I can’t believe that I used to ignore this area and it’s less than an hour from where I live.

  1. Hi Robin
    Your images help me to learn englisch landscapes and nature better. They are often not as well know as others, but spectacular in their own right. I plan to do a trip over The Channel, sooner or later…
    One question: What is the advantage of post of the individual images before the stitch over post afterwards? Thank you in advance!

    1. Thanks Robert. It’s nice to know that I’ve been able to help you and that you like my photography. To answer your question, I think processing the image before stitching ensures you take advantage of the RAW file quality and flexibility. That at least was the theory a long time back but today I don’t think it’s as clear cut, especially as some applications like Lightroom produce a DNG RAW file of the stitched image. This may well preserve the quality just as well. The reason I do the RAW processing first is down to habit and that its still unclear which is the best approach.

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