Nikon D800, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens @28mm, f.16, 1.3sec, ISO 100, 6 frame panorama stitched in Photoshop CC.

I was fortunate enough to spend two days shooting at Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas recently. Unlike most days in Las Vegas, we had storms and rain, and it was spectacular. The clouds were whipping through the cliffs like frothy waves. I found myself shooting and shooting and it seemed everything was an interesting picture, and my lens just couldn’t capture it all at once…and that reminded me to shoot a panorama. I leveled my tripod head, turned the camera vertical, pre-focussed, used manual exposure mode, and shot six frames across the escarpment. In the hotel, I stitched it together using Photoshop CC, and then added finishing touches in Lightroom. Having that software makes it so simple to create panoramas that it’s now on my mind at every location.

The clouds continued to swirl and twist and climb and it was fascinating to watch. Which reminded me that I could make a time-lapse sequence and share the majesty with others. I love my Nikon D800 because it has a built in intervalometer, which made a picture once every three seconds for about 12 minutes. Several other pro level Nikons do this, too, and you can buy an inexpensive intervalometer to add to your camera, or if you’re a Canon shooter you may consider the Magic Lantern firmware that usually includes such tools. I finished one image in Lightroom, then applied those settings to all the others and stitched them into a video in Photoshop CC.

It’s so great to have tools that allow me to share a vision with you. In fact, having the tools often inspires me to create more and different visions I wouldn’t otherwise consider. What tools do you have in your bag that you haven’t used in while? Dust them off, get inspired, and go shoot!

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Oh, and cut me some slack on the horizon; the camera is level, but I’m standing on a huge alluvial fan which slopes away to the left in the images. I tried using the slope as level, but it just looks like the cliffs are falling over.

Special thanks to Tesla Motors of Las Vegas for taking a drive with me and making some fun images, as well as to for providing stellar music options.

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Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Straight shooting footage!


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About Levi Sim

Passion drives Levi to make photographs, teach, and help new friends. He tells people he's a photographer, but he really does more than just make pictures. His professional photography is primarily commercial work for businesses, both small and large, and he really helps show how great it'd be to work with those companies. He excels at photographing people, from two-year-olds to oil field workers to couples married for 60 years, everyone has a good time making pictures with Levi. Besides people and businesses, Levi enjoys all other aspects of photography, and practices landscapes and still life, as well. Other people enjoy photographing everything, and Levi wants to be able to help, so he practices as much as he can to be ready to help. He also runs a local photography club, is a Rotarian, actively helps at church, is a husband, and poppa to a peppy four-year-old girl. Levi writes regularly for and is co-author of books on Adobe Lightroom.


Adobe, Gear, Landscape, Panoramic, Photography, Shooting, Software, Timelapse


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