Red Stick in the morning

Stunning panoramic photography captures Baton Rouge skyline just before sunrise

Baton Rouge Louisiana skyline photography

The first light of a new day cast a beautiful glow behind the Baton Rouge skyline.

The best photo opportunities seldom allow for late wake-up calls. I set the alarm for 4 a.m. to get across the Mississippi River to set up for a sunrise shot of the Baton Rouge skyline, and about 30 minutes before the sun broke the horizon I captured this amazing image, which shows the city’s downtown business district and the Horace Wilkinson Bridge spanning the Mississippi River.

Capturing the image was began a day working with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber to secure photos showing off all the Capitol City has to offer. And it was worth missing a couple hours of sleep to capture this amazing shot.

The image was created using a Nikon D810 paired with a Nikon 80-400mm lens set at 145mm. My camera was locked on an Induro tripod, and I captured 17 vertical images as I rotated the tripod head across the scene between each shot.

Camera settings were:

• ISO: 100
• Shutter speed: 15 seconds
• F-stop: 8

The sun’s first light created a colorful halo behind the downtown district, while the sky above the bridge carrying Interstate 10 across the Mississippi River turned a beautiful purple. The slow shutter speed allowed the details to really soak in, creating a silky flow of water on which the lights reflected.

The images were stitched together and the final cropping were performed using Photoshop, and minor adjustments (primarily sharpening and color balance) were made in Lightroom. Amazingly, there wasn’t much that needed to be done to the image other than stitch the individual frames together.

This set the tone for the day, which was spent walking through downtown Baton Rouge, and visiting some amazing work and living spaces in the revitalized district.

Click here to see my Baton Rouge Collection.

About Andy Crawford

Andy Crawford has been a photographer and writer for more than 20 years, with thousands of images and articles published in magazines and newspapers around the country. He now focuses on Louisiana photography, landscapes, HDR photography, urban prints and other fine art photography. He also is a portrait photographer.