Nice thing about working downtown is, just as I get out of work, it is that magic hour – the soft, warm glow of the setting sun, the city lights coming on, nice tonal range. So, I take a few minutes on the way to my car and take a few snaps.

Tonight, the sky was ablaze. I went to a spot where I could capture the city lights and the sunset in the skies. I took a couple of snaps. looked at the histogram and knew I had the shot but it would need work. Also, i knew I needed a wider shot than i could get with the lens I had. I knew once I started to correct the perspective in Photoshop, the images would be cropped in way too small. What could I do? My lens would not go any wider and I was on steps leading into the water. Definitely could not go backwards. Here is the initial photo.
Step One - The Idea
Step One – The Idea

So, I decided to try my trip of turning the camera vertically and taking several images in a row, each time, turning the camera slightly so there would be plenty of overlay, all with the intension of stitching the images together in Photoshop, giving me that wider angle.

So, now I have a series of eight images which look like this
Step Two - The Raw Image
Step Two – The Raw Image

 Yeah, ok I suppose Рfor Helen Keller maybe but the sky is way too light, and everything seems to be lost in shadows. I need to compress the tonal range yet not loose my extreme highlights and shadows. Something closer to this.

Step Three - Initial Adjustments
Step Three – Initial Adjustments

Yeah, much better. Not to copy those adjustments and apply them to the other images.

Step Four - Ready to Stitch
Step Four – Ready to Stitch

OK, looking better. Now a bit of jiggery-pokery and viola!

Step Five - One Image
Step Five – One Image

Not too shabby. It’s about what the scene actually looked like. But I am still not happy. it might be how the scene actually was but it’s not how I saw it. There needs to be a bit of drama. I pictured a blazing sky, bright city lights, the glow of the sky and city everywhere. Time to use the brushes in Lightroom and paint the town. The final result?

Step Six - Final Result
Step Six – Final Result
Is it too much? Too dramatic? Yeah, the second-to-last image might be more truthful but which would you rather look at?
Photo-Stitching Part II

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