May 16, 2015, 12:29 – 01:16 AM
This is a spherical panorama that I shot of the Milky Way over Boulder Beach in Acadia National Park during a night sky workshop that I taught last year. I set my tripod in a natural bowl in the boulders on the beach and shot two spheres: one exposed for the sky and one exposed for the ground and refocused on the boulders. I blended the images together in Photoshop first via masks, then stitched them with PTGui Pro. I left the tripod in the nadir to show what a properly calibrated nodal slide should look like after stitching; it should be a smooth circle with no sawtooths. In fact, I hardly needed any control points at all in PTGui as it was already nearly perfectly aligned before stitching. I waited until the Big Dipper was outlined by the trees in the opposite direction of the Milky Way’s arch before shooting the panorama.
Camera settings: 14mm, f/2.8, ISO 6400, 20 seconds, 3786°K for the sky and 14mm, f/2.8, ISO 3200, 120 seconds, 4024°K for the ground.
Stitching data: 2 rows of 6 columns x 2 exposures for a total of 24 photos. Finished panorama is 18192 x 9096 or ~165 megapixels.
Equipment used: Nikon D810, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Promote Control, and Really Right Stuff TVC-34L tripod w/ leveling base & multi-row panning head. Long exposure noise reduction via Pixel Fixer.
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.