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 onceand 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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