On November 10th, 2019, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Sounders won the Major League Soccer Championship, an exciting time for all Seattle Sounders fans!
I wanted to commemorate their win by taking a panoramic photo of downtown Seattle and turn it into an amazing high quality photographic fine art print. It took 18 photos, a late night, some creative editing and a few finishing touches to create this epic 12’’x36’’ panoramic print. I’m going to show you how I did it, step by step.
Always Be Prepared
Whenever I go out for a shoot, I always leave prepared. My camera bag had all my normal equipment plus extra batteries, memory cards and tripods. I checked the weather forecast and made sure I was dressed for any sudden changes in climate - you just never know! I also checked the sunset forecast at Sunset WX. It tells you the probability of a good sunset based on a color chart. I made sure to bring plenty of snakes and some extra coffee.
I made sure to arrive early to my location so I could scope out the best vantage point from which to shoot. Once I found the perfect spot (fantastic view overlooking downtown Seattle with a clear shot of CenturyLink field,) I set up my camera and tripod
Now it was time to shoot! The atmosphere was prime, with the Olympic mountains popping out from behind the clouds, a ferry in the distance, and of course, CenturyLink field. I took a series of vertical photos from CenturyLink Field to downtown Seattle until the sun went down (then I could see which photos looked best in various degrees of light). I took care to overlap each picture by about 25%. I ended up with more than 500 photos to choose from.
Choosing the Photos
I opted to use a series of photos I took at dusk, as I felt it would really illuminate the Sounders’ big win. The city looked and felt so vibrant at that time of night - you could still see the peaks of the mountains in the distance along with the dramatic clouds.
I used Lightroom to stitch together 18 photos to create the panoramic view. I also used Photoshop for more editing. If you’re interested in a detailed tutorial on how I approach editing, let me know and I’ll make one for you.
Once the photo was stitched together, it was time for cropping. I knew I wanted a 12’’x 36’’ print, so I changed the aspect ratio to 3:1. My focus for this panoramic photo was the gorgeous view of downtown Seattle, so I cropped out the excess parts of the photo on the sides.
You can see in the finished print that the freeway lights wrap around the city to bring your focus to it. To me it’s symbolic of the unity of the team and fans when they won the championship.
To really give this print a truly commemorative feel, I added a title to the bottom center. Then I added a short game description on the bottom right, and got my buddy Ben Brown of Gum Mountain, to help me create a cool infographic for the game stats on the bottom left.
And that’s how it’s done! If this was helpful to you, please let me know and I will be sure to make more guides to help you in your photography journey. As always this print is available for purchase.
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