Everyone has been making these beautiful “twirl” photos in Photoshop lately, and it got me thinking that it might look really interesting in a spherical panorama of the Milky Way—half like a galaxy and half like a crazy time warp! So here’s my take on the abstract twirl…

The Milky Way and green air glow that is behind the twirl were taken by Matt Pollock and I from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine on July 26, 2014. This is a crop of a spherical panorama, looking straight up like a fisheye lens. The full sphere consists of 5 photos of the sky blended with 4 photos of the ground. It took about 22 minutes to shoot from 11:30 – 11:52 PM. We spent the rest of the night shooting a timelapse for star trails.

Camera settings: ISO 6400, f/2.8, 40 seconds, & 3550°K white balance for the sky blended with ISO 6400, f/2.8, 160 seconds, & 3786°K white balance for the ground.

Hardware used: Nikon D810, Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 (lens hood shaved off for full frame use), Promote Control, and Really Right Stuff TVC-34L tripod with leveling base & multi-row pano package.

Software used: Edited with Lightroom, stitched with PTGui Pro, and blended with Photoshop. Pixel Fixer was used with a dark frame to remove hot pixels from long exposures at high ISO.

Prints available at http://galleries.aaronpriestphoto.com/Night/Airglow-on-Cadillac-Mountain/
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Time Warp