Rodney Campbell's Blog

Cathedral Gorge…

by on Sep.30, 2015, under Life, Photography

Our first destination in the Bungles was at the southern end of the range at Piccaninny Creek. From the car park we’d hike into the most famous of all the Bungle Bungle walks – Cathedral Gorge.

It was only a 4km round trip to Cathedral Gorge but it was a very hot day so it was hard work for the two of us :). From Piccaninny car park, the walk winds its way through the iconic bee hives, heading down between two walls of rock before opening up into Cathedral Gorge. Water pounding through here in the wet season has created a huge amphitheatre of red rock with a pool of water in the middle.

Cathedral Swirls

Cathedral Swirls

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 1/13 sec at f/8, ISO 100

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

This vertical panorama was a bit of an experiment for me. I’m normally a seascape shooter where I can make use of graduated neutral density filters to deal with vast exposure differences between the landscape and the sky. This works perfectly well when the horizon is relatively flat. Here however I’m inside an open gorge with the overhanging edges putting those areas in deep shadow whilst the opening up to the sky is nuclear bright. Shooting at 10:30AM with the sun high in the sky also adds to the drama :).

So I knew I’d have to bracket some frames and use blending or HDR techniques to deal with the exposure differences across the frame.

Rising Cathedral

Rising Cathedral

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 1/20 sec at f/8, ISO 100 x 3 Frames

The final panorama is the result of stitching together three roughly 50% overlapped horizontal frames moving from bottom to top.

For the bottom image I took three bracketed frames at 0, -1 and +1EV. In the end I simply used the +1EV frame adjusted to stitch in the panorama.

For the middle image I also three bracketed frames at 0, -1 and +1EV. Similarly this time I just used the 0EV frame adjusted to stitch in the panorama.

Lastly for the top frame which included the hole to the sky I took nine (9) bracketed frames exposed around an exposure compensation of -3EV. The end result, frames at 1EV intervals from -7 to +1EV. I used the -7 to 0EV frames to create an HDR merge. I had to process this as naturally as I could so that it would match and blend with the two straight single exposure RAW images above.

The final result – this surprisingly not horrendously bad vertorama at the amazing Cathedral Gorge.

Time for a selfie with my daughter in this special place.

Cathedral Cavern

Cathedral Cavern

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 1/2 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Quiet Contemplation

Quiet Contemplation

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 1/1 sec at f/11, ISO 100

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