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Old Feb 6, 2010, 6:38 PM   #1
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Well, after thinking on it all day I am going to just pick one. I've been toying back and forth between panoramic shots or long exposures. I was hesitating on the pano due to not everyone having software for stitching things together. But, I'm thinking there are some free downloads (or at least trial versions) of software out there to use.

So, the challenge for this month will be to learn the art of panoramic photography. Or, if you already know this, fine tune your skills. I don't know much about it and haven't ever attempted it. So, let's learn together. Anyone with tips on how best to do this please feel free to share your knowledge.

The only things I remember are best to use a tripod and make sure to get enough overlap. Also, don't use auto exposure.

A few links to info on panos -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panoramic_photography

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/pan...amic_home.html 0 some historical pano shots at the US National Archives

http://www.starbase1.co.uk/panotips.htm

There are hundreds out there.

Here's a link for some pano software on tucows.com - http://www.tucows.com/search.html?se...earch_type=all

Rules might need to be adjusted a little on this one. As usual, taken with a Pentax or Samsung in the past 90 days. But, I think we may need to extend the size to 1200 pixels on the longest side, whichever direction. Or, maybe not. I'm not sure about that.

Go have fun with this one. I'm thinking it should bring us some wonderful images.

Patty

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Old Feb 6, 2010, 7:26 PM   #2
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I like it...... this will motivate me to try it for the first time. Have occasionally taken a series of sequential photos, but never tried to stitch them together. Look forward to learning something.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 8:02 PM   #3
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While it is not ideal, it is possible to assemble a panorama from overlapping images. I posted this one a couple of years ago I think done with Adobe's Photodeluxe (the ancestor of PSE). I probably violated all the rules - autoexposure and rotated on a monopod. Late afternoon, low sun angle, three images overlapping.

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Old Feb 6, 2010, 8:53 PM   #4
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A philosophical question - what is a panorama? Is it an aspect? Does it have to be made up of multiple frames? Or is it up to us to decide? The reason why I ask is that I've seen some effective pictures that were all one frame, but were cropped to have a panoramic view/aspect (i.e., wider than what you'd expect, and usually taken with an ultrawide, so it gives the appearance of capturing more than what you would normally). And then I've done a stitched panorama that was shot with two landscape shots over each other, so the aspect didn't appear as a stitched panorama, but rather a picture that was cropped to be rather square (one of several panos I did in Washington). Are both options acceptable?

For stitching, I've been using CS4's panorama stitching feature, it works pretty easily. In addition, the program will match exposure/color if there's a little difference between frames (won't work miracles, but it does pretty good). Here's a link (not an entry as it was shot in the fall) to a 14 frame panorama that I did in CS4: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p495443786/e138ee482 .

Some random thoughts about things I've experienced when shooting some panos (I don't do it often and I'm certainly no expert!). A tripod definitely helps because that helps you keep things half-way even. However, to really have things line up correctly you'd need a pano head. Having your camera set up with the lens lined up with the rotation of the head will do all right for several frames, though it helps to make sure that the camera is level (I have a pano that I did that slopes up because my camera wasn't quite level - a hopeless situation).

This is a fun topic, it'll give me something fun to think of when I'm out shooting.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 9:58 PM   #5
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Very good questions, Harriet. It was one of the reasons it was tough to decide. There are so many pieces to consider and I didn't want anyone to feel they had to buy any special software or anything. I would like to leave it open to whatever anyone considers. Taking one image and cropping is fine. (As I've done with this image of the turtles.) Stitching two images or 14 images as you did is fine, too. That was why I thought we might be better off with 1200 pixels on longest side. Too narrow and it not's really viewable.

There is a device to attach to your tripod that can supposedly help keep the camera level. I don't have a ball or 3 way pan head on my tripod. So, I've often thought of using this. http://www.cyberguys.com/product-det...roductid=20144 This would also help since my level bubble on my tripod has burst.

Since this challenge could require more than just our camera, I'll keep it pretty open to whatever anyone would like to use or do. I think it was more the thought of thinking beyond the 4:3, or whatever aspect your camera may take. Landscape or portrait is fine, too.

I am open to any discussion on this if making it so open is troublesome.

Patty
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 10:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
A philosophical question - what is a panorama? Is it an aspect? Does it have to be made up of multiple frames? Or is it up to us to decide?
A simple dictionary definition: A picture or photograph containing a wide view. A single cropped image from an ultra wide angle lens might fit the definition, but not in the usually understood sense, which seems to require multiple images (or is that just a selling point for panoramic stitching software?). As I interpret Patty's theme (and in view of your question, she may have to elaborate upon her intent) it is intended as an exercise in stitching multiple images into one. In my example, it was not "a wide area surrounding an observer" (another definition), but a case of being too close to get the whole island in one frame - it took 3 exposures to do it. So is it a true panorama or just a not wide enough image?

Edit: Patty's explanatory post went up while I was typing this one - the question is answered for the purpose of this contest.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 10:25 PM   #7
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This is not my entry, as it was created several years ago, and I didn't use a Pentax DSLR. I just wanted to let people know that you can successfully merge multiple shots, even if the camera was hand-held. This image was created from four or five photos that I took with my Panasonic TZ3 P&S. I held the camera vertical, taking the shots in portrait orientation. Even though the top and bottom edges did not line up very well, the vertical orientation gave me enough extra room so i could crop the excess, creating what you see here.

This month's subject should be a lot of fun!
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 6:33 AM   #8
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CS3 has a Photomerge option that creates panoramas. Haven't used it yet, but will for the contest.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 9:37 PM   #9
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I've only actually attempted a multi photo stitch once and that last spring/early summer with this shot stitched together from 3 shots taken hand held. Not great, but actually turned out better than I thought it would.

This is the entrance to Old Fort Erie.

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Old Feb 8, 2010, 5:25 AM   #10
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Interesting challenge! Will look forward to the results.
Just a note on software - for mac users, there is a free panorama (and hdr) software called Photosphere that seems to work well. You can download it here: http://www.anyhere.com/
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