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Rhone valley panorama
If you're in a hurry: visit the full interactive panorama on my website at beanywhere.ch
The goal of this shot
It took me five attempts until I was able to finally take this blue hour panorama above Sion in the Swiss Rhone valley. Each of my visits meant driving there, hiking up, configuring my setup and taking the photos. Sometimes the light was not good, another time I made a mistake in some camera settings and so on and so forth. I was facing several technical difficulties and personally I found it quite difficult to do panorama photography with long exposure times (in this case ~20-30 seconds per photo) while the light constantly changes. At the same time, high differences in contrast (bright sky where the sun just set versus almost black areas deep in the valleys with lots of trees) bring an additional layer of complexity, as because of the difficult light situation I was not able to take HDR photos (it simply would have taken too long). Nevertheless, long exposure times were important for me, as I wanted to create these stunning light trails to make the population and the high traffic in Valais visible. Spoiler: the moon was not planned…
Gear overview
My fullframe camera was equipped with a 50 mm lens, to minimize distortion and to use a focal length that corresponds to the field of view of the human eye. In addition to that, I obviously used a solid tripod with a Novoflex panorama system mounted on top. I use the Novoflex VR-System Pro II, which is a multi-line panorama system, helping to reduce effects caused by the wrong nodal point (which would happen if I simply rotated the camera on its own axis). I also used a remote shutter release to avoid any vibration of the camera. 
The technique
The panorama is made out of 28 single photos, each photo with a resolution of 8192 x 4608 px. I have taken every individual image with a fixed aperture and shutter speed and ISO set to the lowest possible value of 100 to avoid image noise. Auto white balance neede to be turned off to avoid differences in the look of every image. 28 pictures times 30 seconds means almost 15 minutes of time to take the panorama. During this time, the light changes remarkable, which means different colors and light when coming back to the same part of the panorama while photographing the second line. I had to be as fast as possible and some tricks during editing the images afterwards were needed to make everything look the same.

The result is a panorama photography with a resolution of 50939 x 14378 px, big enough to zoom in and to create a virtual roundshot that visitors can dive in on their devices. The panorama stitching work was done in ptGui Pro, while the creation of the interactive panorama was the final step made in pano2vr. You can view the interactive roundshot (and many more) on my website, where you can zoom in, just take a loooong look or use your smartphone/tablet in VR mode to turn around yourself while diving into the details of the Rhone valley in Switzerland. 
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Rhone valley panorama
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Falko Burghausen

Rhone valley panorama

1
11
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Published: