Christmas Thunder

This is a 56 frame stitched image with a 100mm equivalent focal length… why? Cos I could! :laughing:
The original image (this is cropped and resized) was around 175 megapixels.

Open to critique too.


Ominous looking sky…is that a water can or a jerry can on the left?


Thanks. :slight_smile: I think it was originally a chemical or oil container - but I have no idea what it’s role is now!
Farmers round here find all kinds of uses for containers like that - even mailboxes. :smile:

I did actually consider cropping it out - but I like little bits of random interest so I left it in.


Love the photo but IMO the red draws the eye too much and my eye struggles to stay on the otherwise amazing composition. I think the wide angle really suits the subject though and would hate to crop it out. Perhaps if you selectively desaturated it a little?


Mmm, yes, thanks. I did wonder about it drawing the eye too much… how about this?

Applied some desaturation and darkening using an instance of color calibration with drawn/parametric mask.


That’s very interesting! Really impressive weather. Compositionally the slope of the land and sweep of the road really give the clouds a direction to “move”. Very dynamic.

The only thing I’m noticing is a color shift from left to right, which may be natural. The cloud goes from bluer on the left to more purple on the right and the grass goes from more green on the left to slightly bluer (?) and less saturated on the right. Then again, that may well be how it was.

Edit - On the topic of the red can, is there enough image to pull it in from the edge just a tad? I really like that it’s there, but it crowds the edge just a bit to my eye, particularly with such a wide image.

1 Like


I must confess I hadn’t noticed it, but now I have have I can’t unsee it :wink:

I think it’s natural… and a bit of a coincidence between the clouds and grass… but I can’t help wondering if the stitching (I used Microsoft ICE) could create that sort of effect. As I write this, I’m attempting to stitch the same set of ‘minimally processed’ TIFFS in Hugin, to see if it looks the same. I’ll keep you posted.

Nooo… unfortunately not. When shooting the set I was planning on cropping it out… :person_shrugging: :slight_smile:

Did you use a polarizer? That is a no-no.

I like this a lot. What a sky! Toning down the red can is the right call. Love that the road meanders right up the middle.

1 Like

Uh-uh - no polarizer here. Good point though… that would be weird I suspect with a scene this wide.
Glad you like it. :slight_smile:

Hugin or my computer - or both are struggling at the moment. It’s been trying to align the images for the last 10 minutes… :face_with_spiral_eyes:

1 Like

You’re welcome. :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Great scene and composition.
My only critique is that to me the sky looks a little over processed - I’ve never seen a storm cloud that colourful (nor with the colour shift others have mentioned). Any slight tinge of blue/green in the clouds often means hail, but here you have a lot more than a slight tinge.

1 Like

Your title and then the finished product made me immediately jump to this song in my mind. I also am hearing thunder quite often here in Western Brisbane at the moment, so your “pic” goes well with the atmospheric soundtrack.

Love the red splash of colour on the left.

Yes, when I am told I can see the exposure/colour shift, but it still is an awe-inspiring composition.

Thanks for posting!

1 Like

Thanks Martin - I wasn’t aware of that one! Sounds quite appropriate, although the video is a bit… radical… :smile:

@lphilpot, @Soupy , your suspicions about the colour shift were indeed well-founded. A version stitched in Hugin looks the same on the left but considerably greener on the right!

Unfortunately I haven’t yet been able to coax Hugin to produce a matching projection - I’ve always been a bit Hugin-challenged.
I think I’ll let this version stand as is for now.

I wonder if the issue could be that I exported demosaiced, white balanced TIFFs from darktable with exposure lowered in dt to avoid any clipping, then brought the stitched file back into darktable to do the rest of the processing.
Maybe MICE’s colour/exposure matching algo doesn’t work well under those conditions.


Once I started thinking about music this one came to mind. Kind of the wrong part of Australia though…

I would prefer to have the light spot under the red can also taken down somewhat towards grey.
I agree that it suits the image to have this kind of “stone in the shoe” in the periphery of the image, but like lphilpot it troubles me to have this object so close to the edge that it mentally interferes with it.

In the original image the “white” was to me at least as eye-catching as the red, so if you now can’t move the object inward somewhat, I think it ought to be made somewhat less prominent.

Otherwise, I think your image is a really good one. Well done!

1 Like


Only kidding! :wink:
I’m inclined to agree actually. Thanks for the feedback. This is one of those images that seemed simple initially but with further examination throws a few curveballs.

Nice country sort of sound …

1 Like

So Steve, is not thunderstorms predicted for Christmas where you are this year. Sounds like the whole East Coast of Australia is in for a wet one this year.

BTW, I use microsoft ICE as my default stitcher. I sometimes use Hugin and if I didn’t have a windows computer it would be my default.

1 Like


I’m actually just south of Cooma, so out of the real warning area, still, expecting some crash-bang overhead or nearby.

You should try xpano!

1 Like