15.04.12, Week 35: Sunset from Spin Hill Revisited

by pbnb

The post from week 19 is called Sunset from Spin Hill and contained my first attempt at using Photoshop to create a panorama. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to buy Photoshop, so at the time I was using a thirty day trial which has long since run out. However, one of my girlfriend’s new friends from America told me about Microsoft’s Image Composite Editor (ICE), which I actually prefer to Photoshop for making panoramas. The ICE has been developed as a Microsoft Research Project, which is odd considering the company’s seeming aversion to accommodating the needs of photographers, as exemplified by their decision to prevent RAW files from being handled natively within Windows; one of the very few reasons I would consider getting a Mac, but please don’t take that as an invitation to clog my comment thread with ‘Mac fag vs. Windows  fag’ debates.

The composite image above was taken on one of the final nights that I was at home before I headed back to university to start the final term of my penultimate year. It contrasts quite markedly with the original shot of the same view. The other picture was taken with a much brighter and higher sun which makes the contrast between the ground and the sky more marked. This picture, on the other hand, is less bright and more subtle which makes it all the more important to look at full screen (click on it).

The nature of the clouds on the left hand side of the frame makes them look as if they are being drawn from the earth into a larger cloud that is forming  above them. Whilst it’s not as eye-catching as the other shot, I think this is what struck me most about the scene when I took a break from working and looked out of the window. I also like the clouds’ pastel tones and their watery disposition, which are far less angry than the other image.

The composition is quite different from the other panorama because I included more of the foreground in this shot and it is also wider. The width was a result of wanting to cover more of the clouds because I liked both ends as much as the middle. The amount of foreground is different because I was using my new lens, which is a lower focal length, and meant that I was able to include more of the scene. I prefer this composition because it creates a one-third to two-third ratio between the ground and the sky respectively, and therefore pleases my aesthetic taste for the rule of thirds.


This shot is the perfect example of a time when I am able to enjoy the silence I was craving in the post from Week 30. I could hear sounds, but they weren’t distinguishable as being anything in particular and I could simply focus on enjoying the scene and taking photographs.


      • Date taken: 11.04.12
      • Aperture: f/5.0
      • Speed: 1/125 sec
      • ISO: 400
      • Focal length: 24mm