Spotlight Pics: “Stairway and Beyond”

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“Stairway and Beyond” was created by Patrick Bertolino of Houston, Texas. The image was shot with a PC-E NIKKOR 24mm tilt-shift lens. “Instead of going all-in vertical and possibly dealing with distortion or too tight a composition, I slap on the tilt-shift lens and keep my camera in landscape. Next, I crank that shift knob all the way down, placing the field of view at the bottom of the frame. A quick, 3-shot bracket HDR at this low position helps sort out any exposure quirks as I shift upward,” he explains. “After that, I shift (not tilt) up to a more central spot on my subject and take another 3-shot HDR.”

Patrick also used multiple shots as an opportunity to light up dark areas as he did on the home office in the middle. In post-production, bracketed shots are blended first with no distortion control or cropping. The remaining images are auto merged in Photoshop or Lightroom. “I don’t use this technique on every shoot. It is reserved for special moments when the composition demands a little extra flair.”