Acadia National Park & Mount Desert Island - Aaron Priest Photography

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Carriage Road at Eagle Lake

This spherical panorama was taken on one of the carriage roads that goes around Eagle Lake on Mount Desert Island, July 14, 2015, 2:06 AM during a night photography workshop that I co-instructed with Mike Taylor and Vincent Lawrence. I positioned myself in the middle of the road where I would get a good reflection of trees on both sides. While I was setting up this shot a beaver crossed the road, bumped my tripod leg, and made a horrific splash on the other side. I’m not sure who was more startled at the brief encounter!

The Milky Way arcs straight overhead at this time of year and hour, with alternating green and purple air glow. The Andromeda galaxy is visible to the north east over the light pollution of Bar Harbor.

I shot two spheres of different exposures—one for the sky and one for the ground—and blended them via luminosity masks in Photoshop before stitching with PTGui Pro. The tripod was removed from the nadir afterward in Photoshop. I’ll be teaching how to do all this in an upcoming May workshop in Acadia: http://galleries.aaronpriestphoto.com/Workshops

Camera settings: 10.5mm, f/2.8, ISO 5000, 30 seconds for the sky and 120 seconds for the ground.

Stitching data: 1 row of 7 photos plus a dedicated zenith for each exposure, as well as a dark frame of each exposure. I wanted a lot of overlap to compensate for the softness of the 10.5mm fisheye around the edges. The finished panorama is 65MP, this image is a 3:1 crop out of the middle.

Equipment used: Nikon D810, Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 fisheye (lens hood shaved off for full frame use), Panoneed robotic head, Promote Control, and Really Right Stuff TVC-34L tripod w/ leveling base. Dark frame subtraction with Pixel Fixer, RAW conversion in Lightroom, exposure blended with Photoshop, stitched with PTGui Pro, and planned with my favorite app PhotoPills.

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