Abandoned ski resort 360 night panorama: Breaking the star trail barrier

Abandoned ski resort 360 night panorama

Abandoned ski resort 360 night panorama — by Joe Reifer

During the supermoon I photographed an abandoned ski resort in the Lake Tahoe area. While we were scouting the location, photographer David Dasinger mentioned that he’d seen a 360 pano with reasonably long star trails. The full moon 360 night panos I’ve been shooting have typically been four exposures of 90 seconds, in order to keep the stars and shadows aligned when stitching. As an experiment, I shot a 360 night pano with four 6-minute exposures. The longer star trails stitched perfectly in PTGui. The ground required a little bit of extra retouching because the tree shadows moved during the long exposures. Other than that, I’m excited to report that it IS possible to have longer star trails in a 360 panorama.

Use the button on the bottom right to go full screen, and you’ll see the stars circle around Polaris over the wood house. The star trails are diagonal to the east and west, and almost horizontal to the south. Zoom in just to the right of the supermoon, and you’ll see our tents in the trees. More photos from this location soon.

Update 7/7/2013: Three additional panoramas have been added to create a virtual tour.

Abandoned Drive-In Theater 360 Night Panorama

Abandoned Drive-In Theater 360 Panorama -- by Joe Reifer

A full moon 360 panorama of an abandoned drive-in theater in the Nevada desert.

Stand under the screen and under the stars at the abandoned Sage Crest Drive-in theater in Yerington, Nevada. Use your mouse to navigate the interactive 360 below — the button on the bottom right will take you full screen. How many constellations can you identify? Also look for the bird who lives under the movie screen.

Technical details: Four shots around with a Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens at 12mm on an EOS 6D. Each exposure was 90 seconds at f/8, ISO 800. A fifth shot was taken to patch the tripod area and shadow. Really Right Stuff PG-02 panohead on a customized Nodal Ninja rotator and leveling base. Processed in Lightroom and Photoshop, stitched in PTGui Pro, and output using Pano2VR Pro.

Full Moon 360 Panorama: The Stonehenge of Western Nevada


A full moon shines over the Stonehenge of Western Nevada. The Thompson Smelter processed copper ore, and operated on-and-off between 1912-1929. Also known as the Wabuska Smelter, these stone mining ruins are just north of Yerington, Nevada. Use your mouse to navigate the interactive panorama below.

360 night tour of an abandoned cement plant

A full moon 360 from up on the catwalk at the abandoned cement plant

A full moon 360 from up on the catwalk at the abandoned cement plant

Long exposures at night with moving clouds can make stitching 360 panoramas difficult. The 6 panos in virtual tour below were shot some time ago. Over the last 6 months I’ve finally developed a reasonably efficient post-processing technique to get the clouds to stitch smoothly. I’ve also upgraded my pano player software to Pano2VR Pro, which makes building a virtual tour really fast. I’ll be adding 1-2 more panos to the tour over the next few weeks, and then creating a separate tour for another part of the facility. In a regular web browser, click the button on the bottom right to go full screen. The virtual tour also works on on iPad or iPhone. Enjoy the panos!