25.12.11, Week 19: Sunset from Spin Hill

by pbnb

As it falls on Christmas Day, I had a choice to make with this week’s post: whether I pick a picture that epitomises the holiday or not. Had I not created a panorama I think I would have sided with the less adventurous and more predictable choice of something with a Christmas theme; probably one of the macro shots I took of some baubles. However, I saw this sunset during a break in my work and took enough pictures to stitch together a panoramic shot which I thought was impressive enough to trump the aforementioned competitor. Whilst it may not be representative of Christmas, it does encapsulate the beauty of a winter’s day sunset, something I’ve been trying to do properly since I first bought my camera.

I do not own Photoshop and I couldn’t find a way to create a panorama in Lightroom, so I downloaded a thirty day trial in order to create this image. I know this isn’t exactly groundbreaking news, but Photoshop is incredible. All I had to do was select the images in Lightroom and command it to create a panorama in Photoshop. The alignment, matching and sizing was all done automatically in the background as I carried on working on my current project for university. Having since seen the time and effort that my Dad has put into making panoramas with a film camera, I can safely say I appreciate the digital age.

The individual shots were taken rather brashly as I was afraid that the sun was going to disappear. Fortunately, I am getting much better at knowing what combination of aperture and speed settings I am likely to need and therefore managed to get it right straight away. Furthermore, with the genius of Photoshop, I didn’t have to worry about using a tripod to keep all the shots on the same plane. I’m really pleased with the strong contrast between the brightness of the sky and the silhouettes of the trees and horizon. I normally struggle to manage to get all of the colours to come out properly when the sky looks like this, something I’m hoping to rectify by using a graduated neutral density filter in the future. This time, however, the colours are represented exactly as I saw them, or close enough for my colourblind eyes to not be able to tell the difference. Actually, it could be a completely different colour for all I know, but it looks how I think it should.

If you’re interested in the picture, please click on it. Due to the dimensions of the picture and the restriction caused by column width, it is incredibly small as a preview in this post and looks much better as a larger picture.

Merry Christmas everyone.


This week I’ve mostly been listening to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack, much like the week of 11.12.11. However, when I haven’t been, I’ve been listening to Bon Iver’s first album, For Emma, Forever Ago. The album is truly beautiful, even if it leaves you feeling quite blue in its wake. I tend to listen to it whilst working and sorting images as its softness is unobtrusive enough to allow me to focus upon other things. That said, it is definitely best listened to while lying on a bed with your eyes closed.


      • Date taken: 24.12.11
      • Aperture: f/8.0
      • Speed: 1/160 sec
      • ISO: 400
      • Focal length: 35mm