The Peak

The Peak

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"The Peak"

I haven’t put this much work into a shot before!

A 180-degree panorama from Peak Hill, New Zealand.
I believe this could be the first Astro taken from up here.

The Carina Nebula can be seen at the top of the sky, Large Magellanic Cloud to the right, and some awesome airglow from atomic oxygen excitation near the horizon.
I had a crazy idea, hike up Peak Hill with most of my photography equipment for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. I was 10 minutes into the extremely steep hike when I realised my 26.5kg bag was too heavy, but I had to keep going, I had to complete my plan. It was a slow grind over 2.5 hours with quite a few stops, the start of the track just goes straight up, with marble-like rocks on hard clay, making the track very slippery (coming down was a lot worse and I took a couple of spills but was fine)

I finally made it to the top, only to have the wind pick right up, there needs to be virtually zero wind when shooting long exposures, tracked panoramas are no exception.

This shot was my third attempt, I started the image sequence and the wind suddenly dropped! It stayed that way for 40 minutes, just as I completed the last frame of the panorama the wind hit hard, I was so lucky to be able to pull it off.

Then it was time to leave, the sky was getting brighter and I began my descent.

This one-shot took 4 hours of driving, 5 hours hiking, 7 hours standing on the hill, and 8 hours putting it all together, painfully stitching and blending the shots.
38 shots stitched – Ended with around 650 megapixels of resolution

38 shots stitched – Ended with around 650 megapixels of resolution
Canon EOS R – Astro Modified by Spencer’s Camera
40mm Sigma Art
Sky: 60s, 2.5, 1600 ISO
Ground: 60s, 2.8, 1600 ISO
Fornax Lightrack II

Printed on the worlds best 300gsm Ultra Pearlescent Hi-White with the state of the art Canon Pro-1000!
Heavy photographic weight, with an improved sheen level and pronounced pearl texture finish. Ultra white base for clean whites. Scratch resistant resin coat surface.

Please note: Some images may be slightly cropped for print dimension purposes