I've wanted to put together a wide panorama of Rangitoto Island at dawn for a while now but being winter I've struggled to drag my weary but out of bed early enough. That is until a few weeks ago when I managed to drive over to Takapuna early one Sunday morning.
I made a few errors when shooting, possibly due to a lack of caffeine, which made the resulting 6 image panorama (3 for the top, 3 for the bottom) difficult to put together.
Firstly I used a polariser to slow down my shutter speed, as I well should have remembered at the time this caused the sky in the 3 shots to become uneven, luckily these was pretty easy to remedy later.
I also bracketed exposures. When the slowest shutter speed is 30 seconds and you're taking 3 sets of 6 images the time between the first and last shots is nearly 5 minutes. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but at this time of day the light colour and intensity was changing so quickly that the first and last images were completely different exposures and colour. This wasn't to much of a problem for the top half of the image but the rocks and water in the foreground were difficult. I managed to cobble together a blend of several different exposures before manually stitching it together with the top half but no matter how much I tried I was unable to cheat physics and it just doesn't look quite right.
Finally, I'm not entirely happy with the rocks in the foreground. While they do add a bit of interest and help anchor the image they don't really sit in harmony with the top half, I need to find a better spot next time.