Golden Gate & Full Moon, Panorama

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This is an image that I've been trying to put together for nearly 5 months now, and I've only just manage today.

Back in June I made a trip up to Battery Spencer to take some shots of the full moon rising over the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge with fellow flickrite SouthPaw42. I got the idea to try taking a panoramic shot of the moon rising over the bridge, despite the fact that each of the exposures was 20 seconds long, along with 20 seconds of noise reduction between each.

After shooting the 8 shots I used to create this panorama I took one more, which quickly became my most viewed photo here on Flickr.

I had had a few problems stitching this together, the biggest of which actually seemed to be that the distortion in the Nikon 18-200mm, while not terrible, was just enough at 24mm to throw off the algorithms that find common points and align images together. Last month I used the DxO software demo to correct the optical distortion problems in these images to help them align.

The next challenge came from the fact that as the fog moved and also the moon, many elements of each from changed enough to further confuse the software.

Now, finally working with Photoshop CS3 it did a decent job aligning the shots, but offered poor control on all the other aspects of creating panoramas, so this really took a couple extra hours of tweaking to get just right, or at least as right as what you see now. Oddly enough, the points in the fog where you'd guess the seams are actually are real - the seams actually lined up pretty naturally despite being taken at least 40 seconds apart.

Hopefully it's been worth the wait.

Nikon D40 | Nikon 18-200VR@24mm | f/4.5 | 20s | ISO200 | Tripod

cglovesdogs, Thad Roan - Bridgepix, and 1639 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. roland.dizon81 96 months ago | reply

    Mumbley Joey, The reflection of those lights passing through made the bridge really golden, nice moon shining!

  2. Shellnort 95 months ago | reply

    WELL worth the wait! Wow.

  3. Images by Ophelia 94 months ago | reply

    OMG! a favourite for sure, your amazing!

  4. ashwinudupa 94 months ago | reply

    Good one,

    But I am surprised the moon didn't move during the 20 seconds of exposure. I usuaaly end up with an oval shaped moon in long exposure, due to the movement of the moon.
    Would like a reply.


  5. Rossella, Italy 92 months ago | reply

    one of my favourite picture of my life.

  6. martybm5 92 months ago | reply

    Amazing !! Your hard work paid off. This is an incredible photo.

  7. mspled 87 months ago | reply

    I know I am late in commenting on this shot, but just wanted to give you a general comment. I now shoot with a D7000 after a couple of years with a D40, and seeing these shots you made make me pine for the good old days with my D40, which I loved. Thanks for sharing some amazing photos, and taking the time to give background on your shots- inspiring and educational!

  8. DanSpratt 86 months ago | reply


    Here is one of my Bridge Shots. The Tyne and Millenium Bridges in Newcastle.


  9. jrobblee 83 months ago | reply

    This is a stunning shot with beautiful lighting. The light from the moon is fabulous. The stitch work is wonderful. The softness is the sky and clouds is wonderful. Absolutely amazing photo.

  10. empty locket [deleted] 83 months ago | reply

    This is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  11. flatsol 82 months ago | reply

    i still haven't made it up to this hill, but you've definitely inspired me.. .and I grew up here!

    i'm experimenting with panorama now too. getting the stitching right takes a lot of time! Try PTGui/Enblend vs PS CS3-5 vs Nik HDR Efex. There are differences.

  12. luigig75 78 months ago | reply

    one of the best I've ever seen of the bridge

  13. mmatt444 77 months ago | reply

    I love how the clouds seem to be rolling over the bridge. This is so amazing!

  14. Saad Nadeem Photography 77 months ago | reply

    wonderful photograph!

  15. Hemonto 76 months ago | reply

    Excellent photo. Deserve a standing ovation.

    I would like to invite you to submit this photo in our exhibition for Autistic Children.

    Please visit the link to submit your photos :


  16. Jishnu Nandy 73 months ago | reply

    Mind Blowing piece of work!

  17. coulportste 58 months ago | reply

    great capture

  18. MAGART 56 months ago | reply

    Excellent shot!

  19. offbeat surprise [deleted] 23 months ago | reply

    Incredible shot! Beautifully and masterfully done!

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