This one came out infinitely better than my original attempt. It still isn’t perfect, but it is a whole lot cleaner than the first one.
There are so many pieces to doing one of these well, as I’m learning. If you have all those pieces done correctly, then it is a somewhat simple process. If you don’t, you can end up with some odd gaps in your finished image that don’t fit or blend into the rest.
One of the most critical that I’ve run across so far is having a solidly stable tripod and a really still day. Any movement can really mess this up.
Unfortunately, I’ve also discovered that I don’t have a very stable tripod. It has this slight play and wiggle range that any bump at all shifts my camera just enough to throw things out of alignment.
I was still able to work with it, but guess what just went on my “camera goodies” wish list near the top of the priority order?