In today’s Before and After we are going to take a look at one of the coolest places I have visited, Hanging Lake in Colorado. A 1.1 mile hike with a 1,000 ft elevation rise is what it takes to get to this natural marvel and when your hike starts at an elevation of 6,100 it is no easy stroll through a park. Add in hauling your camera bag to top and it borderlines as no fun at all.

After your hike you are greated with just an incredible view of a lake at the bottom of of a series of huge water falls that is pretty much suspended on the side of a mountain. The first waterfall is call spouting rock as the water is just pouring out of the side the mountain.

Yes that is me at the bottom of the waterfall. pretty sweet huh?

Off we go, here are the 7 photos that we are going to create an awesome 180° panorama with. I could have done better in closing my aperture down for a little more depth of field but I have a great excuse as I just got done with that beastly hike and the air was a little thin 😀

Here are the images in Lightroom 3 and I am going to select them all, right click, chose “Edit in” and then “Merge to Panorama in Photoshop”. Starting like in Lightroom rather than Photoshop will allow me to easily send the image back into Lightroom for more editing.

Once the photographs are into Photoshop, Photoshop will give you a few option as how to create the panorma. For this project, I just used Photoshop’s full auto option. Your computer will take a few moments as it processes and created the panorama.

When you are shooting your photographs that will be used in a panorama, try and give yourself some room to trim your image, so shoot a little wider than you would normally. Once the panorama is created you can see I will need to do some trimming.

Once trimmed, just close the photograph in Photoshop and it will automatically be re-imported into Lightroom right next to your originals in Lightroom’s filmstrip.

Now back into Lightroom we are ready to make this photo go from meh to boom!

The day I was at Hanging Lake it was a very overcast bland day and it even rained on me a little. Without the sun creating some contrast, all the colors and shadows are very muted. So first thing I went after was creating that contrast and separation in the Tone sliders by raising the exposure and raising the black clipping.

Which gives us this.

Then I went to the Presence sliders and boosted all 3 options to create a color boost and also moved the Curve of the shadows down even more to created just a little more of refined contrast.

After Presence and Curves adjustments:

Almost done, but after our adjustments, the photograph looks a little cool. Roll in TRA’s Totally Rad Presets and add “Afternoon Delight Lite”


BOOM! We got ourselves a rocking panorama of an amazing location.

Click here to see this photo in the huge size it needs to be in to really appreciate it!

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