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Old Feb 8, 2010, 7:31 PM   #11
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My husband wanted to go up north yesterday and photograph the Swift River on the Kangamangas Highway. We went, but it was so cold and windy up there that we spent most of the day in the car just driving around. I hadn't planned on doing the pano thing yesterday, but we stumbled upon this scenic overlook.

I'm going to look for something else as I did everything wrong when I took this. Hand held, auto exposure, had set to f5.6. I was freezing the minute or so I was out of the car to take this. But, wanted to experiment with the stitching software in PSE8.

Anyway, here is what I got yesterday. The sky was amazing yesterday. Just wish I'd found a better scene to go with it. I am not sure where we were. Somewhere on Route 16. So, I'm not sure which mountains these are.

Patty

p.s. This image is ~4 x ~16. It was four images stitched together. I saved it as 1200 pixels wide and my laptop set at 1680 x 1050. There is still a good quarter of my screen open on the right due to the 1680 setting. Does everyone feel that the 1200 pixels is a good width to set images at (for landscape ones that is)?
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Old Feb 8, 2010, 10:22 PM   #12
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Wow Patty, for a stitched pano in which you "did everything wrong," it sure came out nice! I cant wait to see what your image will look like when you do everything right.

I'm trying to decide where to shoot this month's panorama. So far, no brilliant thoughts have ocurred to me.
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Old Feb 8, 2010, 11:06 PM   #13
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Oooh - very nice and a pretty scene! You did very well with the stitching (I really like the way Photoshop does it now - it used to be very lame, but it does a great job now).

My entry, at least for now, was taken at lunch today. I actually did a bunch of stuff to come up with this, decided to see if I could manage something really complicated and pull it off. I'll post a crop (yes, I said crop!) of the panorama I actually created for this month's entry (unless I take something better later on in the month) and a link to the full version (which is still reduced size so you can make sense of it on a monitor, but way too large for the challenge).

First, I did use a tripod. Second, I set the camera for manual exposure, took a reading and started shooting, just like you are supposed to for a panorama. Third, as many recommend, I had the camera shooting vertical orientation, not landscape (though you can't really tell since I resized it so much). The first problem I had was that I had angled the camera up slightly, which made things off by the 4th or 5th frame, so I had to readjust. The next 5 or so frames were nicely lined up, though I still wasn't on the nodal (I have a regular ball head).

Because I was shooting at noon, with the very harsh noon sun, and my subject was West Los Angeles, there was way too much dynamic range for the scene. So each frame I used is actually an HDR - I took 5 auto bracketed shots using 2 stops between frames and used Photomatix to merge them into one HDR frame (see, I was making it complicated). Using manual mode is good for panoramas, but not good for HDR as the camera changed the aperture between frames. It didn't make a difference with this one since DOF wasn't an issue here - everything was far enough away.

I ended up using 11 frames, breaking down my processing into two batches - the first frames where they started off OK, but then were tilted by the last frame. I stitched those together, flattened, and then used the skew tool to correct the error so the buildings were all vertical. Then I stitched the other 6 frames that were properly aligned, flattened and saved that. Then I took those two panoramas and stitched them together, creating one large panorama. My computer is a laptop and so it doesn't have as much RAM as many desktops - I figured it would run out of memory before it could line up and process 11 frames. Doing it this way allowed the computer to do it in smaller bits, so it didn't have so many layers going at once.

Normally when I do HDR I add contrast in Lightroom, rather than trying to do it all in Photomatix. I didn't want to mess too much with the frames since they came out pretty much the same color and tone. So after I had the panorama done and resized down to something manageable, I used Topaz Lab's Detail plug-in (that I've been playing with) to add contrast and sharpening, also changed a bit of the colors to give it a slightly fantasy look (seemed appropriate for this urban scene).

I may think it looks terrible tomorrow, but I thought it looked good tonight. Maybe that's because I was amazed that I could pull it off at all.

Anyway, here's the cropped version (don't know how many frames this really is):

*Removed - new photo posted below*

And here is the link to the whole thing. I resized it so that the vertical dimension is 1020 pixels, which is about right for my monitor at work. http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/v1/p234950842.jpg .

Last edited by mtngal; Feb 10, 2010 at 10:51 PM.
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 11:33 AM   #14
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Harriet - I think the full version is absolutely superb and should be downsized to the proper horizontal dimension and posted that way - the cropped version looks less like a panorama. You also lose much of the three dimensional effect by cropping off the ends. The kind of image people expect in a panorama does not require a great vertical dimension, as it is the breadth and scope of the image that is more important than the detail of the subjects in the image. Very nice effort.
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 3:10 PM   #15
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You are right, penolta - it does lose something with the crop. Tonight I'll resize the full version and post it here for the challenge.
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 7:57 PM   #16
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Thanks, mtnman. I really can't take credit, though. It goes to PSE8 making it so easy.

Harriet, I agree with Penolta. The full version looks much better.

Patty
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Old Feb 10, 2010, 5:44 PM   #17
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Unless I manage to come up with something else in the next couple weeks I think this will have to do.
Hand held, 4 shots.
F:4 1/1000sec. @70mm

image size 42.25 X 12.9
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Old Feb 10, 2010, 8:08 PM   #18
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My first try at this, may replace later. This is an interesting technique and a fun challenge. The below shot of our local ski area took five pictures and covers side to side about 150 degrees. 14,174 foot Mount Shasta in the background. I'd like to figure out a way to curve it somehow to give more of a round effect. The Kx and the Photoshop merge did a good job of capturing the light changes from area to area.
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Old Feb 10, 2010, 10:57 PM   #19
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Here's the full version of my West LA pano, resized to fit here. It's not exactly the same file as the first link - someone elsewhere pointed out that the buildings were leaning on the right side. That turned out to be caused by using auto for the merge method when I did the third merge. I went back and re-merged the two halves using reposition instead - the vertical lines are once again vertical. At the same time, I had noticed some ghosting on a couple of cars, so I copied and pasted them from the middle exposure. It wouldn't have been noticeable at this size, but they bothered me when I looked at the larger size. Anyway, it was a fun exercise, one I'll continue to mess with this month.

So here's my entry:

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Old Feb 11, 2010, 6:17 AM   #20
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I'm glad to see everyone is having fun with this. We're getting some really nice ones here.

Patty
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