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Unusual Perspective, Unique Subject, Complicated Workflow

laddad

Kinston, NC, US
1356 posts

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laddad Gold Member Nikonian since 14th Nov 2005
Mon 26-Nov-12 01:04 PM | edited Tue 20-Nov-12 02:25 AM by laddad

This is the view of a First Order Fresnel Lens at Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, NC, USA. The lens is approximately 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide. The catwalk between the Fresnel lens and the outer window to the lantern room is only about two and one half feet wide. This picture was taken with the camera lens only about two feet from the massive Fresnel lens. The lens was focused manually & blindly since I could not get behind the camera. The back of the camera was only inches away from the outer window. This photograph is the merging of two HDR images taken with a D800 and a Nikon 8mm f/2.8 circular fisheye lens. The first shot was made directly facing the Fresnel lens and the second image was taken when the camera turned to the left by 90 degrees. The camera settings were 1/125 second and f/11. The capture was done at sunset. Seven bracketed images were made from each position. The lens rotated at its nodal point with a Nodal Ninja Spherical Panoramic Head.

The images were captured in raw format. The raw images were processed and converted into tiff files with DXO. Three of the six brackets from each position were selected and "fused" in Photomatix to form HDR images. The resulting two HDR images were merged and "defished" in PTGui. The resulting final image was further post-processed in Photoshop.

The most fascinating part of this final image is it's perspective. The massive Fresnel lens gives the appearance that it was shot from a distance of twenty feet or more. In reality the front of my camera lens was only about two feet from the Fresnel lens! I have shot the lantern room of lighthouses for several years and I remain amazed!


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