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Half Moon Bay California - Large Panorama | by Darvin Atkeson
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Half Moon Bay California - Large Panorama

Bested when Viewed On Black or Fluidr


If you have a large monitor, check out the 3323 x 1200 uploaded image.


I have also uploaded a wallpaper (single shot) version for those of you with wide screen monitors.


I set out with the intent of filming the surf off Pescadero State Beach about 40 miles south of San Francisco. I was getting some good light but unfortunately as the sun began to set I could see a large cloud moving in from the south that would obscure the sunset. The only way I was going to get a sunset was to drive north and quickly. As I drove up the coast the clouds seemed to move as fast as the car. It didn't look like any sunset was in the cards. As I approached the south end of Half Moon Bay I gave up and turned towards the beach. It didn't look good to the south where the sun was setting. I jumped out of the car and walked down to the bluffs that overlook this beautiful golden sandy beach I never knew was there. I must have driven right past about a zillion times but never thought to take a look. The park had very nice paths and benches overlooking the Pacific. Looking north I could see the town of Half Moon Bay and some slight color from the sunset.


One good thing about having a descent lens is that you can keep photographing in low light and the camera will pick up colors and light that the human eye doesn't quite pick up. The scene looked good on the back of the camera but I just didn't think these were going to be my best shots of the day so I just played around with the camera settings pushing the exposure well beyond the recommended exposure setting in the viewfinder.

I've found this is the best way to learn new tricks and techniques and the images did look okay on the back of the camera but it wasn't till I got home and opened the first images in Adobe Camera RAW that I realized I had captured more light than I had initially thought. While looking at the image I realized it was the first in a panorama series I had taken. With

the camera on the tripod in the normal Landscape mode I rotated it around to get several shots for a panorama shot. Now normally I take the time to switch the camera to portrait if I intend to do a panorama shot as you get more screen area but I didn't think these shows would amount to much more than just space on my hard drive. As it turned out it was a good thing I left the camera in landscape mode as it caught the waves in one single shot.


The final panorama measured 7826 x 2826, still a good sized panorama. I've posted it here on Flickr at 3323 x 1200 so be sure to check out the detail in the original size upload.





© Darvin Atkeson


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Taken on February 5, 2010