Friday 29 November 2013

Baobab Panorama

Baobab Panorama - Canon 40D, Canon 17-55, 8x0.3s, f/8, ISO 100
I haven't posted anything for a while, and this post will be rather short, but rest assured that this blog has not been abandoned.

When my wife and I visited Madagascar in 2010, I took a number of shots for a panorama at the famous Baobab Avenue, just north of Morondava. When I got back home, I wasn't satisfied with my attempts to stitch this panorama (mostly because the sky was too bright), so I left it.

Recently, I got an email from a very friendly lady who wanted to buy one of my photographs, and asked if I have any baobab images in panoramic format, and perhaps in black and white. So I remembered the panorama I took, and reprocessed it again (now using Lightroom rather than Canon's own DPP which I used three years ago). This time I was very happy with the result, and the friendly lady now has a nice big canvas of this image on her wall.


This image was taken just after sunset, and is composed of eight shots, since back then the 17-55mm lens was the widest I had. Since we're basically looking into the sunset, the sky is much brighter than the foreground. This might have been a good opportunity to try HDR, but I was under a bit of time pressure, or perhaps it just didn't occur to me.

I always start with basic adjustments to the images in Lightroom, in this case I dialed down the highlights as far as they would go, lifted the shadows and increased the exposure to brighten the foreground some more.

After stitching the eight exposures in Hugin, which was quite straightforward this time, I imported the image into Photoshop. There I selectively darkened the sky some more (I use curve adjustments with masks). At this point, the image looked like this:

Baobab Sunset in colour

So now you know what it looks like in colour. If you look closely at the lower left, you'll also notice a blurred copy of one of the tourists - the exposures were 0.3s long - and he was cloned out of the final image. Lastly, I converted to black and white, and added a little bit of sepia toning. It looks good on canvas.

So that's it for today. Various family members are coming to visit for the holidays, but I hope to get one more blog post in before we leave for a road trip to KwaZulu-Natal in mid-December. This means that any print orders received after Friday the 13th of December will only be carried out when I get back in early January.


  1. It’s almost magical, thank you so much for sharing. I can only hope to be able to take pictures this good when I get up and running!! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Do post a link to your pics when you have something you'd like to share.