36 Shot HDR Panorama

"Secret Beach" Maui
Canon 5D Mk II, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, Induro C213, RRS BH-55, PCL-1, and Slide

Another image from our Maui workshop last week. This one is a 36 shot high dynamic range (HDR) stitched panorama. I split the scene into 12 segments and fired off three shots of 0, -2, and +2 EV for each segment.
I imported the Canon 5D Mk II RAW files into Lightroom and prepped them for Photomatix Pro by turning the Tone Curve to Linear and setting the sharpening amount to 0. I would normally export the files to a working folder and batch process with Photomatix Pro for speed. I wanted to see how long it would take to export each segment's HDR components via the Lightroom plug-in for comparison. After I sent the first three components and decided upon Photomatix Pro Details Enhancer settings, I saved a preset. Not necessarily required since the Details Enhancer has sticky settings (they will stay as you last had them.) This is a preference and can be changed so that the settings return to the default each time you tone map. We do not recommend this, keep them sticky!
I continued through all of the remaining images saving the output as a 16-bit TIFF. Expecting a brutal stitch from Photoshop I changed PS's performance preferences and reduced the amount of RAM devoted to PS to about 45%. Strangely, this actually improves PS performance for big panos. The discussion as to why goes a bit beyond the post; I'll re-engage on that one soon.
The 12 TIFFs stitched flawlessly. Of course, it really helped that I followed all the rules with this one most importantly I located the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L's entrance pupil and aligned it with my tiripod's axis of rotation (using the Really Right Stuff PCL-1 and "Nodal" slide.)
I added a bit of contrast and removed a pesky swimmer.
Hope to see you here soon.
Fiat Lux!