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Old June 14th, 2013, 09:07 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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Default Stitched Panos : Considerations

I didn't want to detract from a "Critique Required" thread displaying a stitched image. I am not an authority in this area of photography and have limited experience. Still, I thought I would include this info here that everyone is welcome to expand on if they choose to. . .


Asher made an interesting observation and suggestion in that post:

Quote:
As to the picture, now it's successfully stitched, I'd evaluate de novo what is needed to make your pano the most impressive. So is the lower border needed or could one cut aggressively and end up with a stronger pano.

Next, what is the potential of the grass, "path" to the right. Might you bring it out in some way as paths are always intriguing.
These are valuable considerations Asher. The thing is that while panos can create expanses that look interesting because of their wide format - - - unless the same consideration is given to the composition, leading lines, dynamic angles, etc, etc - - - they are really just pano snapshots.

With every iPhone/iPad and mobile device being able to shoot and stitch panoramic vistas these days - they are becoming increasingly commonplace for any user to take - - - so to make a pano that really has impact requires the same considerations as a more square format.

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Old June 14th, 2013, 09:09 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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For anyone wanting to improve at shooting stitched panos - something that you will find as you do more research, is that the use of a pano head is essential (my buddy is a 360 degree stitching expert in the gaming and movie field, and he has convinced me of this).

That is because the camera needs to pivot on the modal point of the lens to minimize misalignment. Spinning the camera on its tripod mount is not the same (fine for doing it for fun though). I just found this video, and I think it helps one to see what the difference is:

http://youtu.be/1jAhwFLimM0



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Old June 14th, 2013, 09:09 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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Just some food for thought as you advance into this area of photography . . .

I like taking several shots to stitch into wide panels, every once in a while. I generally am not interested in perfection though and am not interested at this time in investing my energy and money into refining this technique for my own work. And so I prefer to shoot quickly while hand holding my camera and spinning my body, making sure I leave enough overlap in each frame. Misalignments on parts of the stitched image, don't bother me because I just want to have an interesting record shot of a location that I really love.

I must say though - that except for resolution needed if I were printing really really big, that may require stitching higher resolution captures - - - that after using my son's iPhone to make a few wide panos - I'd just shoot stitched panos that way as there is little advantage to going through the work of stitching manually or purchasing expensive stitching software. In fact - - - for a pano that isn't capturing a wrap around scene, it may be just as effective to either use a wider lens or back up the camera and just crop the one frame into a panoramic format.

Here are a few ways that I have put together my hand held series of camera captures






14 image stitch at a wedding reception. I stood against the wall and took a series of 18 vertical frames - from one side to the other (180 degrees)



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iPhone Stitch

Here is a 13"x19" print that I gave to my son after my wife and I took his family to a park for the day. It was shot and stitched together with his iPhone. So easy and effortless - and good enough for such a print as this to hang in his office:




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Old June 14th, 2013, 09:13 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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Something I have had more fun with though, is shooting a set of images that not only includes the horizontal strip of shots - - - but where I may shoot above and below, just as one would do to make 360 degree panos (but limiting the point of view).

I do this all handheld. There are many misalignments. But the results are amazingly fun - when dumped into a stitching software and allowing the software to try and sort out where things go.











18 handheld images stitched together for roughly a 180 degree point of view


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Old June 14th, 2013, 09:49 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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Sometimes you get interesting results . . .

With this shot - I was standing out in the water in a cove at Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica. I shot with my camera held vertically both at a 28mm setting as well as a 72mm settings for completely different looks.


This first shot is a 360 degree vista with me spinning around in the water as I bobbed all over the place (as did everyine else who weren't in the same place as I moved from shot to shot). My wife who was directly behind me for most of the angles, is shown on the left side - and her arm from when I started shooting the sequence, is on the right side of the picture. There are 26 shots making up this pano. My lens was at a 28mm equivalent setting. All shots were taken with Manual Focus (zone), Manual Exposure and preset White Balance for consistency:






Here is a stitch with the same shots as above - but from the opposite side with Anne in the center behind me where I started the sequence. It shows how the beach was wrapped around me somewhat - - - although this view is also distorted (GOOGLE MAP HERE). I didn't clone the second image of Anne out (one too the right which was at the end of the sequence), as it shows how much she moved just from not being able to stay still in the water - as I rotated around (freaky wierd heh):





Here I was standing in the same spot but set my zoom lens to an equivalent 72mm setting. While I have the same 26 shot sequence to cover the 360 degree view, this is only 14 frames of the middle section. With a longer lens like this, I could also have taken 3 shots from each position (aimed up, straight ahead and down) for a similar view to the above pano - but with higher resolution:



This 14 image pano, will print up at 18"x106" at 240dpi without interpolation - the full series of images showing the 360 degree view, would make a high resolution print 18 inches high by about 16 feet in length at 240dpi.


SOMETIMES IT'S FUN . . . . JUST TO HAVE FUN!


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Old June 14th, 2013, 10:50 AM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Robert,

As far as it concerns what I do - all of my panoramas were done hand held. I just did not see this as something special.
Thanks for showing and presenting it though...
One row is fairly easy, two rows is a bit more difficult, three rows is the maximum of what I did (approx. 300Mpix) demands more discipline while shooting.

As long as you do the following things (some you mentioned already):
  • Same focus for all photos.
  • Same f-stop for all photos.
  • Same luminositiy for all photos (can be adjusted later).
  • Same white balance for all photos (can be neglected for raw).
  • Sufficient overlap for all photos to the neighboring ones.
  • Take care that nothing is too near requiring you to take care of the nodal point while shooting.
the results should be OK. Of course - moving things and people must always be observed...

I never saw the point in using a tripod, panorama head and nodal point adapter as the preparation takes a while and the moment is gone...

The only one I know using tripod, panorama head and nodal point adapter is a panorama specialist and earns a living with his work.

Best regards,
Michael
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If you need many words to describe what your picture means, it doesn't speak enough for itself.
my photos on flickr - here is the portion posted in OPF.

Last edited by Michael Nagel; June 14th, 2013 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Removed superfluous 'I'
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Old June 14th, 2013, 11:08 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nagel View Post
I never saw the point in using a tripod, panorama head and nodal point adapter
They are only necessary if you have objects close in the picture in addition to the landscape.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 11:15 AM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
They are only necessary if you have objects close in the picture in addition to the landscape.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nagel View Post
  • Take care that nothing is too near requiring you to take care of the nodal point while shooting.
That's why

Best regards,
Michael
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I do not call myself an artist, I just try to capture what I see.
If you need many words to describe what your picture means, it doesn't speak enough for itself.
my photos on flickr - here is the portion posted in OPF.
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