Infrared Photography Panorama Style

“The sailing clouds went by, like ships upon the sea.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Clouds scudding across the azure skies. Words can take you to some beautiful places but as the Chinese say, a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s why I keep an eye peeled on the sky. When the clouds start racing, or even lumbering through the red-rock country of Sedona I grab a camera because interest is added to the scene.

Even if it’s mid-day, I grab a camera and head outdoors. My camera of choice for these times is infrared. I enjoy the high contrast black and white rendering of clouds rendered against a deep dark sky. A Lumix G6 was converted by LifePixel and it has expanded my shooting times as infrared shines when it’s time to put the camera up for regular color photography. I used the Kit lens that came with the camera and was pleasantly surprised at the solid quality of the captures. (G Vario 14-42mm  f3.5-5.6) It makes for a super light-weight combo.

bell rock with courthouse butte ir panoramic photoBell Rock Vista in Sedona – Infrared Panoramic image with Courthouse Butte

I tend to try to push the envelope and experiment when I’m on self-assignment. In yesterday’s adventure, it was to add panorama to infrared. It took quite a bit more work. I’ll let you be the judge to see if it was worth it.

Five images overlapping by about 40% were captured. With the camera set to black & white, three exposures one stop apart were saved in jpeg format to ensure detail in highlight and shadow areas once they were processed. Each set of three images were treated in Aurora HDR software.

screenshot of images in panoScreenshot of images used before processing

Each of the final five images was loaded into Adobe Photoshop to process the panorama. Whoops! That was an unusual fail. Could be the handheld capture caused some extra deformity in the files. Usually, I can depend on Photoshop to render a solid panorama but with this set of images, there was way too much distortion in the resulting output. (I’ll experiment with these files again when I have some more time and see if different rendering intent might be of help) I couldn’t find my AutoPano Pro software on this computer so I resorted to having Photoshop load all the files into Layers and added my own Masks blending the images together by hand. It’s good to remember the ‘Old School’ methods when the automatic software options aren’t there for you.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob


PS – Another cloud description I enjoy. “Clouds hastening like messengers through heaven.” —John Hall Wheelock

PPS – Cloud quotes referenced in this post were found in The Free Dictionary by Farlex. I’m book-marking that page for future reference!