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Old Sep 4, 2014, 7:26 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Australia, New South Wales central coast
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Default Rescue job on a panorama

G'day all

We've just completed a photo workshop at a small town in central Queensland and one of our students invited us up to their cattle station about 75km away from town. A small cattle station by Aussie standards, about 8km wide x 25km long with about 2000 head of cattle, and in beautiful country, great hills with near-vertical escarpments and lots of rolling countryside.

Late one afternoon we all piled into their Land-Rover and rattled & wobbled around while being driven about 5km up to the back boundary fence-line, where from that vantage point we could 'survey' the valley and the backdrop of the escarpment. Towards actual sundown with the colour starting to become 'golden', the panos started to be shot.

Our host, Christine was standing on the rear flat bed of the Land-Rover; her canon 5D-iii on a reasonably sturdy tripod, exposure locked in, the dummy run having been done to ensure overlap was okay etc etc and away she went shooting 18 images while covering the 150-deg sweep across the horizon.

Looking at the images on the computer later on, I discovered that 3 images, #15-16-17 had a different colour than the others. Checking the camera, its WB was on AWB not Daylight as I had expected. Bugga

Fixing the colour issue
Using PS Elements in 'Quick 'n Easy' mode, one menu offers Colour Temperature adjustment ~ something missing from the Expert menu options. I progressively went thru images 15-16-17 and added warmth at 1% variations to each image until I had 15 modified images. I then overlaid image 15 onto image 14 and eyeballed the colours – replacing the modified image 15 until I got an exact colour match. I repeated this for all 3 images.

It meant that image 15 had a 3% colour movement, image 16 had a 5% and image 17 had a 4% change and they all blended at both ends with image 14 and image 18. About 1-hour's work all in all.

Merging into the pano
I use Pixtra software for my panos, and merging is usually quick and accurate. However, this time it kept crashing. I finally came to the conclusion that it was the laptop crashing, not Pixtra. Having 18 images of 22Mpx / 8Mb each was just too much for poor old Windows to handle. We decided that we needed to reduce the size of the images so that they could be processed.

I chose 4000px** [rather than the ex-camera size of 5760px] on the long side. After getting some advice here from an earlier post querying the resizing issue, the reduction process was done progressively. Using PS Elements again, I used the File > Process Multiple Files option, and did the resizes from 100% > 95% > 90% > 85% > 80% > 75% > 4000px. [the JPG artifacts show up as 'splotches' and 'pixel squares']

Now I had 18 images of 4000px each, and into Pixtra they went – and came out the other end beautifully. An image of 20,000px long x 4,000px high ~ 215Mb as a TIF image.
** I chose 4000px knowing that when printed at 250DPI that I would be able to have a [very detailed] print of 16-inches wide.

[pano shown here in much reduced size]

Final processing for printing
Back into PS Elements for cropping and any final adjustments. Christine, the owner of the cattle property had mentioned that she wanted a canvas print of this image to become the major visual centrepiece on the lounge room wall. In its current format the image had cropped to a long & skinny 80” x 16” image at 250DPI. I looked at this wall and could easily see a canvas of 120-inch wide x 24-inch high pano fitting in nicely ~ except that I felt it would be too long and narrow. “Let's make it a triptych” we decided.

Back into PS Elements and the pano was then cropped from 80” x 16” into 3 images of 28” x 16”, thus giving a slight overlap at the edges of the centre image. Then a resize of each image brought the photoshop canvas out to 32” x 20” - ready to be printed now onto a 'real' canvas of the same size.


Now we're just sitting back and awaiting the results …

Hope this has been useful to some
Has Fuji & Lumix superzoom cameras and loves their amazing capabilities
Spends 8-9 months each year travelling Australia
Recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/
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