This spherical panorama was taken on one of the carriage roads that goes around Eagle Lake on Mount Desert Island, July 14, 2015, 2:06 AM during a night photography workshop that I co-instructed with Mike Taylor and Vincent Lawrence. I positioned myself in the middle of the road where I would get a good reflection of trees on both sides. While I was setting up this shot a beaver crossed the road, bumped my tripod leg, and made a horrific splash on the other side. I’m not sure who was more startled at the brief encounter!
The Milky Way arcs straight overhead at this time of year and hour, with alternating green and purple air glow. The Andromeda galaxy is visible to the north east over the light pollution of Bar Harbor.
I shot two spheres of different exposures—one for the sky and one for the ground—and blended them via luminosity masks in Photoshop before stitching with PTGui Pro. The tripod was removed from the nadir afterward in Photoshop.
Camera settings: 10.5mm, f/2.8, ISO 5000, 30 seconds for the sky and 120 seconds for the ground.
Stitching data: 1 row of 7 photos plus a dedicated zenith for each exposure, as well as a dark frame of each exposure. I wanted a lot of overlap to compensate for the softness of the 10.5mm fisheye around the edges. The finished panorama is 65MP.
Equipment used: Nikon D810, Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 fisheye (lens hood shaved off for full frame use), Panoneed robotic head, Promote Control, and Really Right Stuff TVC-34L tripod w/ leveling base. Dark frame subtraction with Pixel Fixer, RAW conversion in Lightroom, exposure blended with Photoshop, stitched with PTGui Pro, and planned with my favorite app PhotoPills.
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.