Taking Panoramic Landscapes - The Easy Solution
I love panoramas. There's something very appealing about their shape. It's probably because we see the world more in these dimensions than the near square format of standard film/sensor frames. It might also explain the upsurge in the popularity of widescreen TVs!
Panoramas have a reputation of being hard to take. There are dedicated panorama cameras available but unless you've got at least a thousand dollars to spare, you probably can't afford one! But you can take panoramas with any kind of camera.
All a panorama is, is a sequence of images where you turn slightly for each different frame. In the old days, before PCs and the likes of Photoshop were around, you'd take your prints (there wasn't much point in shooting panoramas on slide film, for obvious reasons), lay them out on a table and position them over each other where they overlapped. A bit of sticky tape held them together. [As a side note, this technique was used by NASA to build up mosaic pictures of the planets and satellites their spaceprobes visited, up till the late '70s/early 80s when computers were introduced to make the process less laborious].
Now that PCs and image manipulation packages are easy to come by, high-quality panoramas can now be created by anyone. If you're shooting slide or negative film, you will need to have your images scanned before you do anything else.
Just to be clear, the Nodal Point is not the same as the film/sensor plane. Generally, for most SLR cameras and lenses, the Nodal Point is located somewhere towards the center of the lens barrel and lies in front of the image/sensor plane.
The Problem With Parallax
Now, if you consider a camera held up to your face - it will suffer even greater parallax errors as it's farther from your spine (the point of rotation of your head) than your eye. It's surprisingly common for people to take panoramas in this fashion and then find the individual pictures don't match up.
So use a tripod and rotate the camera on the tripod. The parallax errors will be significantly smaller but there will still be some error involved. However, the images will match up better than with the head rotation method.
A few months ago I bought such a bracket - the Kaidan Kiwi. This comes in two halves which produce an L-shaped bracket. Its instruction manual explains how to set it up and find the nodal point for your camera and lens. However, you have to get your tripod perfectly level before using it, otherwise you end up with a curved panorama rather than a straight one.
I've had good success using this bracket, but it is large and heavy and certainly a bit too cumbersome to be carrying on long walks or while away on vacation.
AutoStitch To The Rescue
It really is that simple. Unless successive images are radically different in exposure (i.e. one image to too light or dark compared to another), it seamlessly blends them. It performs all the warping of the images necessary to get them to align (other software I've used can cause ghosting in the overlap areas where it hasn't quite aligned the images). It also aligns multiple rows of images rather than just a single strip.
Even better, it doesn't require you to set up your camera to rotate about its nodal point. When I was in Crete last year, I tried shooting a few panoramas with my Canon EOS 300D held up to my eye (I didn't have a tripod with me). When I got home, I tried stitching the pictures together using various bits of software (including software dedicated to stitching images together) and didn't get satisfactory results. I knew, though, that it was because I'd swivelled the camera about my spine. But I tried these images with AutoStitch and they came out perfectly. See for yourself here.
I went walking up the Wicklow mountains in Ireland no too long ago and up to a high point called Djouce which offers a view over the rolling hills south of Dublin. As an experiment, I shot 8 frames while rotating my head about the scene (camera to eye as per normal). I wanted to see if the Crete photos were a fluke as the panoramas from there were composed of, at most, 3 frames each (sometimes 2).
Give AutoStitch a try. It's free and, so far, it produces the best panoramic results of all the panorama/stitching software I've tried.
One thing to remember when taking panoramas is that the exposures of each frame should be the same. So if you make your first exposure at f/8 and 1/125 of a second, take them all using those settings. Yes, you will have to put your camera into manual mode. Otherwise, you run the risk of having radically different exposures for your images. For example, if you're panning over a landscape that contains water, like a lake, any sunlight reflected off the water may make your camera take a shorter exposure than for the other frames in your sequence. Setting your camera to manual mode will prevent that.
Gary Nugent is a software engineer by profession and has been in the business for over 20 years. Photography has been a hobby for an even longer period of time and he's now even more passionate about it since making the switch to using a digital SLR camera. He runs the Great Landscape Photography website: http://www.great-landscape-photography.com
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Photography series explores mothers and daughters, and their relationships around the world - Washington Post
African Safari Photography Best Five Destinations
Good wildlife safari photography is not only about composition and camera equipment because you first need to find your subjects before you can even lift your camera. This best five African wildlife destinations list helps you do that.
Olympus Digital Cameras - Digging Into The History
One of the oldest companies, Olympus has had a long and historical journey. Olympus digital cameras are being used all over the world today.
Use A Tripod!
Using a tripod is essential when taking photos - and not just for night shots. To get ultra crisp and sharp pictures, your camera cannot move at all when the shutter is open.
Choosing The Right Digital Camera
Let's get something straight right out of the box. If you're looking to buy a new digital camera, you don't really have to be an expert in pixels and mega pixels and all that kind of stuff.
How Many Megapixels Do We Need?
Are you having megapixel envy each time you walk by the camera section of your favorite electronics store? So do I. But, do we really need more and more pixels? The answer depends on what we intend to do with the images.
How to Buy the Right Digital Camera
When buying a digital camera there are many things you should consider. First you should understand how a digital camera works.
Using Film Speed Effectively
So you have this great new camera. Now you're standing in front of a display of more film that you've ever seen.
Fuji Digital Cameras
Fuji digital cameras entered the market in the late 90's. Started in Japan in 1934, Fuji has always tried to stay ahead of the pack.
Digital Cameras and Digital Photography
Before you rush into buying your digital camera this holiday season make sure your properly informed. Many consumers during the holiday season rush into purchasing electronic equipment in a mad panic to get that high end gift for their loved one or spouse.
How to Create a Great Video - a Simple Guide on How to Shoot Home Movies with a Camcorder
So you have bought a camcorder and have shot some footage, but truthfully you don't much like the results. Maybe I can help.
Why 1.5 Megapixels is Enough
Dots Per Inch is a useful measure of relative resolution. But if you don't know the image size in inches or some other measure of size, then the amount of dots per inch doesn't mean much.
Light Meter Readings for Film and Digital
Reflected Light Readings for Film and Digital ImagesIn order to correctly expose your film or digital CCD there are two variables that must be identified: average reflectance and average light. Unless you have some good reason to meter for other than these two averages, stick meticulously to the method outlined below.
Start a Photography Business from Home
Anyone with the right camera equipment, and the necessary skills can set up a home business, marketing photography. You need only to convert a room of your house into an office, and then you can work immediately.
Becoming A Digital Artist On A Budget
So, you want to become a digital artist but paying several hundred dollars for Photoshop seems too much. Don't worry, there are dozens of very inexpensive tools you can use available on the Internet.
Digital Camera Printers
The digital camera is not meant only for capturing images and storing them on the computer memory disks. The real effect comes from the hard copy of those fantastic images taken by the users, that is the printed photographs! In order to get the printer copy of the images a very important device necessary is the printer.
Photography Poses - The Missing Ingredient
You've read all the "best digital camera" articles, got the best price on your first digital camera, and even glanced at its owner's manual. Are you itching to take some shots of your family, or what?Slow down, soldier.
Tips for Taking Better Vacation Photos
Photos are a great way to share your travel experiences with family and friends. Here are a few suggestions to help you capture vacation memories you will treasure for years to come.
Video Camcorder Formats and Media
There are way too many tape, disk and stick formats out there:VHS - The old standard, too big, not digital, easily played anywhere without conversion.VHS-C - A small cassette that fits in an adapter to play in a regular VCR.
Portrait Photography: Tips and Methods
Portrait is defined as, "A likeness of a person, especially one showing the face, that is created by a painter or photographer, for example." In the area of portrait photography there are some guidelines that you should consider when you go to take photos of people.
Digital Camera Bags - Purchasing and Using
Some compact cameras are small enough to fit in your handbag or pocket, but I still recommend purchasing a camera case. It will save your camera from unnecessary wear and tear.
|home | site map | Seashell Photography|