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Old March 19th, 2014, 10:49 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Default Handheld Panoramas with the Ricoh GR

I have the privilege of being an Ambassador for the Ricoh GR digital camera and get the opportunity to use the camera for my own work and share with you the results. I'll report here how I've used the camera and leveraged its automatic bracketing ability, to take panoramic images. Something I've been doing for some time, as the panoramic view, is to me, the scene pumped up with power and pizazz!


The sweep of view of a panorama is spectacular when it allows one to experience, in one glance, what one can only get to realize in real life by moving ones head all around to gather the scene! If done well, it can convey drama that even exceeds the actual visit! Of course, it's not better than being present and having sounds and scents and actual presence of the place.

My methods have been from using ultra wide, lenses such as a 14mm or else an 8mm fisheye, de-fished, or else the Zork tilt shifter with Pentax 6x7 lenses, wide view cameras, Gigapan Robot, a 360 degree Pano head by Really Rights Stuff to name a few of the most sophisticated highly accurate approaches.

However, stitching overlapping sections of a scene requires little to no equipment. One can dispense with the heavy tripod and just handhold the camera. All one has to do is generously overlap and try to keep the center front of the lens in the same point in space, no matter what angle the camera is held at.

If one avoids close objects, (for which parallax errors become obvious), then Kolor.com's Autopano Pro or Autopano Giga can stitch the pictures in 2-10 minutes as id you'd taken the view with an ultrawide camera lens. In Autopano software, one has many options. I routinely configure it for "multiple viewpoints" for handheld shots and have the output in .PSB or .PSD files in layers, (for each of the bracketed steps of bracketed exposures) and pictures, so that in one photoshop file, one can, in the end, decide to use for some part of the large complete panorama, a portion of one particular layer where some missed out detail is waiting to be added back! I'll give an example of this is a separate thread. But want to mention that one has to have one's eyes open and avoid overlooking stitching errors that can occur with this method, but which can be readily repaired by adding back a correct feature from one of the original layers.

Although I use mostly Autopano Giga, one can use Gigapan stitching software, Photoshop or any other stitching software that one is familiar with.

In the end, when stitching is done, the software will usually allow options for how the image iso objected, as a flat 2D rectilinear plane, a cylinder, a sphere and so forth. It's always worthwhile to explore which projection works best for that particular subject, lighting and composition. A good idea is to use the software's capability to fix the horizon and make verticals true before rendering.

So, having given this long preamble, to admit that it does take attention to some details, here are some recent panoramas I've taken with the Ricoh GR using either the 28mm lens or else with the add on adapter to make a focal length of 21mm.

For those who do not know:

The Ricoh GR and Ricoh GXR digicams can be set to take 3 bracketed images with one shutter press. That's how I routinely work and this makes for a simple way to avoid blocking out shadows or highlights too much.

Hope you enjoy these images. I had a lot of fun making them! Please freely add your comments!

Asher
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Old March 20th, 2014, 02:24 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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The all night Hamburger Place on sunset Boulevard. Someone had the genius of putting a beautiful yellow train carriage on Sunset boulevard in Los Angleles, on the North side as one drives west from Los Angleles towards Beverly Hills, Westwood and Pacific Ocean!

This picture is taken, impulsively, while stopped in traffic, and actually just through the windshield of the car!




Asher Kelman: Carney's All night Hamburger Train

Ricoh GR 2014


Comments welcome!

Asher
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Old March 20th, 2014, 03:58 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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One quality of the Ricoh GR, (demonstrated admirably by Paul Abbot, here, and here, to sample just a few of his enviably well crafted images), is it's beautiful rendering of images in B&W. My approach is to shoot in color and reassign hues in Photoshop to different levels of the grey scale. That allows one to customize the conversion according to the elements in the image and to optimize the separation between elements that would otherwise have close representation of their form as their hues may be naturally to close.

I first noticed a tree devoid of leaves in front of some of the wonderful old homes in Beverly Hills. I wondered whether it was waiting for spring to sprout new leaves or perhaps it was dead and just not yet removed.




Asher Kelman: Waiting with Friends

Ricoh GR, 2014

Across the street, a fence hid the famed Beverly Hills High Schools original architecture.

So I crossed over and perched by camera on top of the wall in portrait position and aimed the camera successively as I rotated it across the 180 degree view, but without actually seeing what was in each capture.



Asher Kelman: Beverly Hills high School

Ricoh GR, 2014
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Old March 21st, 2014, 07:27 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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UCLA, is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States and boasts a high achieving student body of diverse ethnic background. It's located in Westwood, California, just West of Beverly Hills and set in wonderful very gently rolling hills with trees, sculptures and significant architecture spanning over 100 years.

The UCLA Medical Center is one of the jewels of American healthcare providers. Besides being awfully competent, the head of the hospital has made everyone be considerate and that really is amazing for such an institution.

So here's a set of pictures of the Medical Campus, starting with the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital.



Asher Kelman: Resnick Neuroscience Center, UCLA

Ricoh GR (31 images) 2014

The stitching, here was a challenge as there were parallax errors in the stair handrail on the right, and that was repaired by in photoshop. This would have been avoided had I used a tripod and set up the center of rotation accurately. Still, this casual 2 minute set of overlapping images gives a pretty good panoramic image of the entire building.




Now an interesting use of the image - for a graphic for PR for the university.

Here's a derivative using the topaz "Simplify" plugin, (available for Lightroom and Aperture too), used in Photoshop CC.



Asher Kelman: Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, UCLA: Graphic Derivative

Ricoh GR (31 images) 2014


So this demonstrates that the simple digicam can be used ambitiously for serious professional output, either using the stitched image, itself, or else, derivatives using available software that give some artistic and nuanced character to the pristine photograph.


Asher
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  #5  
Old March 22nd, 2014, 06:29 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
U

Now an interesting use of the image - for a graphic for PR for the university.

Here's a derivative using the topaz "Simplify" plugin, (available for Lightroom and Aperture too), used in Photoshop CC.



Asher Kelman: Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, UCLA: Graphic Derivative

Ricoh GR (31 images) 2014





Asher
I love this. Looks just like many hand-painted architectural drawings that I seen for new developments.

One amazing thing about panos with small sensors - - - is that the sensor size is no longer a limitation - it becomes a huge sized sensor that can print massive prints at high resolutions without interpolation.
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Old March 22nd, 2014, 07:56 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Watcher View Post
I love this. Looks just like many hand-painted architectural drawings that I seen for new developments.

One amazing thing about panos with small sensors - - - is that the sensor size is no longer a limitation - it becomes a huge sized sensor that can print massive prints at high resolutions without interpolation.

Robert,

I appreciate so much your comment. Yes, small sensors obviate much of the necessity for super wide angles, except for macro where parallax is a terrible issue for hand held photography. What we need is great zooms for these tiny cameras so we can pick up birds in trees at a distance!

Asher
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Old March 23rd, 2014, 04:37 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Now two different looks at the UCLA Medical Plaza outpatient Clinics. The first is treated with Photoshop CC after stitching, to increase contrast while the second is further enhanced with Topaz Clarity.






Asher Kelman: Medical Plaza Outpatient Clinics: Oblique view

UCL Hospital Campus, 2014

Ricoh GR







Asher Kelman: Medical Plaza Outpatient Clinics: Frontal view

UCL Hospital Campus, 2014

Ricoh GR


Again, your feedback is encouraged!


Asher
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Old March 23rd, 2014, 05:18 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Also see the Gr used to make a stitched panorama with live cooking demonstration in low light of an Italian Restaurant in Beverly Hills, here
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Old April 16th, 2014, 03:49 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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I am amazed how well received the GR based panoramas are. No client was concerned that a larger camera was not used. In fact, the Ricoh GR looks like a special professional camera. The results are certainly more than meet the expectations of PR departments for fund raising, reports, brochures and posters. Still, I'm looking forward to repeating such scenes with a Pentax 645D or 645Z. For that I'll use a Gigapan Epic Pro Robot or else a Really right Stuff Panohead. After all, if one is no longer going to be discrete, one may as well have a professional platform for the larger MF camera and make a scene of it, LOL!.

But for the present, I can highly recommend the Ricoh GR for serious professional landscape work, especially if one takes advantage of the built in bracketing mode. Programs like http://Kolor.com Autopano Giga can work in layers and will produce 3 panos: one fused image taking the best exposed pixels from each layer and one separate panorama for each exposure level. All these are delivered in a layers photoshop file where one can use masks to do final editing.

Asher
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