When my wife and I were standing at the top of the world (okay, at 10,000 feet above sea level on a dormant volcano), the idea popped into my head to do one of those cool planet photos. So I stood in one spot and took roughly 8 photos that I could play with later – once I did a Google search on how to do it in Photoshop.
Canon 60D | 18-135mm lens | 1/100 | f/7.1 | ISO 100 | Circular Polarizer Filter
When taking the panorama, I set the camera to manual mode so the sky and other exposure elements were more consistent throughout. I sort of did this on the fly, so it wasn’t very well thought out. I tried to take a panorama from a higher point, but some tourists from Germany were hanging out near the top and I felt awkward taking the panoramas with them standing right there. It was 50 degrees outside with a frigid wind blowing our eardrums to near freezing – so we didn’t hang out there waiting for the tourists to move.
Once I got back to the hotel and had time to play with the photos, I downloaded a trial version of Panorama Maker 5 and had it stitch the photos together. It kept freezing, but I was able to eventually make it work.
Then I imported the completed Panorama into Photoshop. I made the panorama a square by stretching the height to the same length. I rotated the image 180-degrees, then used Filter –> Distort –> Polar Coordinates. When I hit Ok, it created Planet Haleakala. All I had to do was use Rubber Stamp to merge the seam together a little better and edit out a person or two, and Viola!
Click here to check out the Website I used to learn how to do this in Photoshop.
There are a few things I learned from doing this, and so I’ll have to try again in a different setting and see how the outcome changes.
I was amazed with all the colors my wife and I witnessed when we made it to the top of Haleakala and looked down into the dormant volcano.
Canon 60D | 18-135mm lens | HDR | ISO 200 | Polarizer Filter
My goal in taking this photo was to share with other the beauty of Haleakala and the vibrant colors found inside the crater. The standard photos with a Circular Polarizer filter looked okay, but I also took some bracketed photos and used Photomatix to add HDR processing into the photo. While that photo looks great, it still can’t capture the true beauty of Haleakala, so I highly recommend the crazy drive to the top to check it out in person.
The other neat point of this experience is that the only time I have been above the clouds, looking down on them, I was traveling in an airplane 30,000 feet in the air. But today, as soon as we reach 6,000 feet, we were officially above the clouds. We continued another 4,000 feet up to reach the summit of Haleakala, so we were well above the clouds and blue skies surrounded up.
My wife thought I was crazy when I pulled over and hooked a suction cup mount to the side of our rental car, just behind the driver’s side tire. After driving for about 10 minutes to test the $30 mount to assure it wouldn’t fall off, I attached the $300 GoPro to the mount, setting it to take a photo every 60 seconds, and climbed back into the car.
We started driving, and with every bump, my wife and I cringed, hoping the jolt didn’t knock the camera off the car. We drove anywhere from 10 MPH to 40 MPH, depending on traffic and the many turns encountered on the climb from sea level to 10,000 feet.
GoPro | 1 photo every 60 seconds
I wish I would have set it to take a photo every 30 seconds. Even though I would have ended up with a ton of photos, there would have been more photos to choose from. But I do like this one, which proved that mount is strong enough to have attached to a moving vehicle. But if I plan to travel any faster, I might attach a string to the mount so if it does fall, it won’t end up smashed along the side of the road.