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Shooting Tips

Golden Gate Bridge Sunset Panorama – How We Shot It

By Matthew Saville on April 25th 2013

The Photo

 golden_gate_pano--2000(Click here for a larger version!)

The Equipment and Settings

The Shooting Conditions

This image was captured from the observation deck / bar of the Bank of America Building in San Francisco.  The view from up there is stunning, if you are ever interested in finding this perspective it is available to the public, as long as you are dressed “appropriately” for an elite (and expensive!) bar scene…  Here is a wide angle image that shows more of the view:

dsc_5080

To capture this image, I didn’t want to try and make a scene by setting up a tripod right by the window of this ritzy bar, so I hand-held the camera and balanced it on a railing or table or something.  At 120mm (without stabilization) on a crop sensor camera, it took quite a few clicks before I got all four original images perfectly sharp.

The Post-Processing

The four images consisted of two sets of bracketed exposures, two EV’s apart.

First, I merged each bracketed exposure manually and did a simple layer mask to help preserve highlights around the sun.

Second, I manually merged the two frames together to create the panorama.  Manual merging is pretty easy when you are shooting telephoto images, because there is no distortion whatsoever- all you have to do is line up the images and mask the edge!

Take care, and happy clicking!
=Matthew Saville=

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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

Follow his personal wilderness adventures: Astro-Landscapes.com

See some of his latest wedding photography featured on: LinandJirsa.com

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Nice .

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