Hanalei Valley Lookout – Last in the Hawaii Series

Hanalei Valley Lookout offers one of the most famous views on Kauai. The valley is one mile wide and six miles long. Most of the taro grown in Hawaii is grown here. On the valley floor is a one-way truss bridge built in 1912. The bridge was damaged by a tsunami in 1957, and subsequently reinforced.

Although the lighting is all wrong on this shot, I wanted to share with you what ease it is to do a complex panorama from Lightroom using the export to CS4 command for panoramas.  Before using this feature in CS4, I used third party software such as Pano Factory or other stitching software.  New to CS4 is a refined stitching algorithm that really does a great job.  The shot above is a 7 shot stitch using Lightroom and CS4.  So what is involved in making photos like this?

  • A level shooting platform in which you can maintain a constant horizon throughout the rotation.
  • Set your camera to full manual.  This means WB, focus, and exposure.
  • After doing your overall scene exposure evaluation (try the zone system approach), set the exposure.
  • Using a cable release to trigger the shutter to minimize the introduction of external motion, take a series of shots overlapping by 30%.
  • Process the brightest image in LR and sync the setting to the others in the series.
  • Select the images in LR and export to CS4 for panorama.
  • Make your final adjustments in CS4 or return the image to LR for the same.

Congratulations, you just hit a home run.