Mystic River Bascule Bridge - 5 shot panorama

I have always wanted to photograph one of my childhood favorites - the Mystic River bascule bridge - and since we are staying in Connecticut for the month I finally have the opportunity. My family owned a dry goods store on the corner here for years, so I have many childhood memories of being around downtown Mystic and specifically watching the bridge raise and lower once an hour - its quite a sight.

Using Rick Sammon's Photo Sundial app I checked to see when the light would be ideal, and my hunch was correct - just after sunrise the bridge would be bathed in a warm yellow orange light. I forced myself out of bed at 5:45 am and drove downtown, walking around the boardwalk as the sun started creeping over the horizon. Finally around 7:15am the sun was high enough to paint the entire scene with a nice soft light. After playing around with panoramas in week 43 I decided to try it out correctly this time. I shot 5 frames hand-held vertically starting with the bridge to my right, then panning down river to the left. I was sure to overlap my images by about 30% to give Photoshop's photomerge feature enough room to work with while stitching together everything. I carefully aligned each shot to complete an almost 180° shot, making sure to avoid any traffic over the bridge.

I touched up each photo before running the composite, if I don't photoshop gets confused by the lens vingetting and averages them out to create some ugly dark spots in the sky. For panoramas I prefer to crop down to a 16x9 aspect ratio, it seems better than the custom ultra-wide and short ones artists sell, but more focused than a basic 4x3. I'm not 100% sold on the warping effect of the foreground dock, but overall I love the image and want to print and frame this right away. So much more of New England to get this month!