Saturday, April 01, 2006

Stormy panorama

My wife and I were returning to Chicago yesterday from a week-long “Spring Break” trip to Tennessee. We encountered a strong thunderstorm while driving through Indianapolis about a half-hour before sunset. Conditions were treacherous – strong winds, sheets of rain and heavy rush-hour traffic made for difficult driving.

We emerged from the storm into the last light of day near the town of Brownsburg, Indiana. As we drove farther ahead of the storm, we began to see a fuller view of the ominous shape of the storm clouds. I pulled off the highway at the next exit, parked in a bank's parking lot, and jumped out of the car to capture the sight of storm clouds bearing down on the town at sunset.

The wide angle lens I have was woefully inadequate to capture the full spectacle of the approaching storm, so I took several shots across the horizon (handheld) and stitched them together in PhotoShop to create the panorama above.

Click on pictures to enlarge. Photographs © 2006 James Jordan.

15 comments:

glenn said...

That's absolutely amazing . . .

Yorkshire Soul said...

Fantastic work!

PhilB said...

Amazing shots. Great job.

Caryn said...

Wow! That's crazy. LOVE the shot. The clouds are ominous and beautiful, and you captured them so well.

James said...

thanks, all! I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time ... and I didn't screw up the shots. I had to work very quickly, because the light was fading fast. It was also fortuitous that I had 400 ISO film already loaded in my camera.

thatsteveguy said...

Could be right out of the film, "Independence Day". Cool...

Empress Baggie said...

Wow! That top picture looks sort of like the hoax picture of the hurricane that gets passed around on the Internet during hurricane season.

What an absolutely gorgeous shot!

JD said...

That truly is an amazing shot and some amazing stitch work there ;)

you can't even see the seam

Jem said...

Wow - thats awesome James! Welcome back! :D

James said...

steve, thanks! It certainly had that eerie feel to it.

empress, yeah, that's it. This photo actually is that of Hurricane Katrina making landfall at Gulfport ... yeah, that's the ticket! Thanks!

jd, thanks for the compliment ... I took great pains to make sure the seams didn't show. The panorama is made up of four photos, so there are three seams - one is a little right of the Arby's sign, the next is just left of the tall lamp post and the third one is just to the left of the car in the bank parking lot.

I put each photo on its own layer in PhotoShop and carefully adjusted levels and color saturation to match before flattening the image and working on the seams with the clone tool.

jem, thanks, and it's good to be back.

~m2~ said...

wow, james -- really, really cool.

Empress Baggie said...

Hurricane Katrina at Gulfport? Really? No kidding?

Let's start a chain e-mail and see how fast it gets around. Maybe faster than Penny Brown!

Snortle!

Har har!

James said...

m2, good to hear from you. Glad you liked this one.

empress, we could combine the two and issue an amber alert for Penny Brown, last seen as Hurricane Katrina bore down on a Burger King in Biloxi.

Maria's Photos said...

I can't believe that cloud. It looks like fire in the sky! You did a great job capturing it and piecing it together.

y0himba said...

That is absolutely beautiful. Is there a Hi-Res version? Full size. If so, please contact me by using my Blogger profile? I would love to have it, if you don't mind?