Golden Gate & Full Moon, Panorama

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

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Taken on June 28, 2007