Flash of inspiration
This technique came to me one night – just watching sunset on a road bridge and thought about it. It applies to Tilt Shif lenses mainly – but I’m sure you can do it with a normal lens, or telephoto. Maybe not an ultrawide 16mm though.
So you invest £2000 on a 17mm TS lens and realise you can NEVER use an ND grad on it… the end of the lens is like a tennis ball, you just can’t fit the darn things on.
So you have to use HDR to get balanced shots, which can mean using 6 or 9 shots once you’ve done your shifting. The problems are, when shooting with a 5D4…
- Masses of hard drive space – 6 or 9 40Meg RAW files, ouch
- Need to use HDR – can introduce problems if you don’t know what you’re doing
- Time… wow, even on a powerful computer you’re waiting around
But yeah – I’d been doing this ever since I got the 17mm TSe
It’s far from genius really.
But I found this whilst shooting light trails over the M62 – the camera levelled on a tripod.
- I could get the whole scene in 2 shots – a low shot and a high shot
- The low shot was dark mainly – had the road in it
- The high shot was bright mainly – had the sky in it.
- I WAS taking HDR brackets at the time then thought…
Would LIGHTROOM stitch 2 shifted shots at different exposures… and would there be a tide mark?
The source files
The first shot is the lower one – this is 30 seconds, so you get long light trails – and lots of them
Next, I shifted the camera up to get mainly the sky – but leaving a bit of road for Lightroom to blend with. This was just 6 seconds long so we got a nice dramatic sky.
So here goes – highlighted them both and did a Panoramic Blend.
I’ve obviously done a few tweaks with lightroom to get it a bit brighter.
So here is the unedited blend
As you can see – lightroom just did its thing and got it right!
A video on how it’s done