High Plains Storm

We had some amazing storm activity last week here in Colorado out on the High Plains east of Denver. The high plains storm itself did cause some hail damage in the area, but nothing major. It did however make for some amazing photography if you were willing to do a little storm chasing.  Here’s a panorama I created with my new Fuji X-T1.  This is a 12 image panorama shot vertically in raw and then processed in Photoshop. I’m really happy with the raw images coming out of the Fuji’s X-Trans APS-C sensor and starting to get used to the electronic view finder (EVF). I had a hard time getting used to it at first but am enjoying the information within the EVF such as horizontal balance and being able to see the histogram before taking the shot. I’m still putting the camera through its paces, but really enjoying the size.  This was taken with the XF 18-55mm kit lens and I’ll have to say it’s a very good kit lens and very sharp.  I’ll have my full review of the camera here in a couple of weeks.

Tornadic Storm Clouds on the High Plains near Bennett, Colorado by Rick Louie Photography
High Plains Storm near Bennett, Colorado | Click to Enlarge/Purchase

Capture Notes:

  • ljsaltiel

    Terrific panorama Rick. Lots of drama in that sky and the green grass is a perfect foreground. Have you compared the automatic panorama feature vs taking a series and stitching them together? I have yet to try that.

    • RickLouiePhoto

      Thanks, Len I appreciate the comments. I actually did compare it on this image. Here are the 3 nit picks I have about the pano function on the Fuji:
      1. You are forced to do 180 degree pano. You can’t control how far you go – not a big deal because you can always crop shorter, but then you may lose some bottom details.
      2. You can only shoot it in landscape mode. If you could shoot vertical you would get more info and then could crop as needed.
      3. You only get a single .jpg file and it won’t save raw’s for you. .jpg file is limited on what you can do much post processing.
      4. It did have an issue at the end of the pano processing, but it may have been the way I was moving the camera – not sure, but there was some artifacts I had to remove.
      5. The .jpg isn’t that big so not sure how big you could actually print the image. I don’t think you could use it to make a large fine art print.
      Positives – create a very vibrant pano. The in camera processing on vibrant mode is very good! I may have to try to print one, but I know looking at it in lightroom you do lose quite a bit of detail when you look at it at 100% crop.

      I’ll post a sample when I do my review.


      • ljsaltiel

        I really need to take the XT-1 on its paces. I have been so busy lately that I haven’t shot in almost a month. I am surprised that you can’t shoot a pano vertically as I think it is just software. The Sony allows any direction that you want. Thanks for your response.

        • RickLouiePhoto

          Hey, Thanks, Len. Yea I discovered it this weekend. the menu doesn’t change from the right side so that’s why I didn’t notice it. Thanks.

      • ljsaltiel

        Hi Rick. I have been playing a little more with the XT-1 and found that you can shoot a panorama vertically. When you are in the panorama mode, push the right selector button and it will cycle through the directions (vertical left to right; vertical right to left; landscape left to right; and landscape right to left). You can also have the pano be less than 180 degrees. Push the right selector button and you will cycle from 180 degrees (Large) to something less (medium).

        You may have discovered it already. It is not very clear but it does work.