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Panorama questions and tips


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Just now, John Mitchell said:

 

Thanks. Sounds intriguing, but I'll have to do some research. It's a lot for my tiny brain to digest at this hour in Van. :huh:

LOL. Just try it out, not much to research.  Sit there on rock at Elsie Point (where ship anchor used to be),  and "click - click - click".  Then play at home

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11 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

LOL. Just try it out, not much to research.  Sit there on rock at Elsie Point (where ship anchor used to be),  and "click - click - click".  Then play at home

 

Thinking about it now, I realize that the stitching software (I'm using Affinity Photo) should sew all those "matrix" images together if they overlap properly. I'm definitely still at the "playing at home" stage. I made this (see below) a few days ago from a series of seven verticals. Whether or not someone wants a panorama of the Burrard Bridge remains to be seen, though. 😎

 

stitched-panorama-of-false-creek-with-th

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8 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

I made this (see below) a few days ago from a series of seven verticals.

Looks good, was this seven hand-held exposures? I find that even when tripod mounted and panning around a vertical axis by virtue of the levelling base there will sometimes be slivers that need cropping from top & bottom of the final panoramic. Lightroom does it automatically but you can see them before it does so, and if you go to 'crop' mode. I would have thought that slivers would become wedges if the same is done hand-held. Possibly some software can fill these in with 'content aware fill', something I'd rather avoid.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

Looks good, was this seven hand-held exposures? I find that even when tripod mounted and panning around a vertical axis by virtue of the levelling base there will sometimes be slivers that need cropping from top & bottom of the final panoramic. Lightroom does it automatically but you can see them before it does so, and if you go to 'crop' mode. I would have thought that slivers would become wedges if the same is done hand-held. Possibly some software can fill these in with 'content aware fill', something I'd rather avoid.

 

I used a tripod and an old Minolta MD 50mm manual lens on my Sony a6000. The widest lens (other than a fisheye) that I own is 12mm (18 mm equivalent). I don't think that it would have covered that entire scene, but it would have taken in a good portion of it. Affinity Photo has a "crop to opaque" button that does a good job of getting rid of the slivers.

Edited by John Mitchell
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1 minute ago, John Mitchell said:

I used a tripod and an old Minolta MD 50mm manual lens on my Sony a6000

Thanks, and I like to use a 55mm manual Micro-Nikkor on my Fuji (also APS-C of course) . These longer lenses (roughly 80 - 85mm equiv.) work well as the overlap is easy to fix. I remember 'in the beginning' using a technique where you put an inversion layer on one side of a 2 frame merge and then you overlapped them manually until, magically, when they were aligned the inverted layer cancelled out the positive layer. Easier to do than to describe, glad I don't have to do it any more though.

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27 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Thanks, and I like to use a 55mm manual Micro-Nikkor on my Fuji (also APS-C of course) . These longer lenses (roughly 80 - 85mm equiv.) work well as the overlap is easy to fix. I remember 'in the beginning' using a technique where you put an inversion layer on one side of a 2 frame merge and then you overlapped them manually until, magically, when they were aligned the inverted layer cancelled out the positive layer. Easier to do than to describe, glad I don't have to do it any more though.

 

Yes, the 50mm focal length seems to work well. BTW, how do you "fix" the overlap? I blew my first attempt at overlapping. Luckily, I took several series.

 

Also, what f/stop would you choose for a distant scene like the one I shot? I used f/11 for maximum DOF, even though I thought f/8 would probably have done the job and been a bit sharper (no diffraction).

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12 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

Shoot a matrix of individual photos, then stitch them later in post-processing.   For instance you could decide to shoot English Bay in 3 rows, 5 columns = 15 individual frames.  Lock exposure somewhere in center, then just shoot 1, 2, 3 down (first column done).  Move bit right, shoot second column, can go up now. etc etc until you have 15 photos.    

 

1 6 7 12 13

2 5 8 11 14

3 4 9 10 15

 

Each number is single photo;  ordinal is shooting sequence  Exposure locked around in center (i.e where 8 or 11 are).  50% overlap for super resolution (i.e. when you move from 1 to 2, overlap 50%.  When you move from 1st column to second, from 3 to 4, overlap by 50%. Etc etc.)

 

It does take bit of getting used to but it is way too superior to what in-camera stitching can do.  You don't even need to decide before hand "I am going to do 5 or 6 or 7 columns;  just keep moving until you covered entire scene. Whole thing can be done very fast once this way of shooting panos becomes second nature.

Excellent. What software are you using to stitch the images?

 

Mark

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34 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

Yes, the 50mm focal length seems to work well. BTW, how do you "fix" the overlap?

I do it by eye, take note of a part of the scene 1/3 in from the edge, move the camera so that the edge of the frame lines up with it for the next frame. Rinse and repeat. I guess for a landscape with no distinguishing features that might not work but it usually does for me. I think I'd probably use f8 unless I was troubled by 'foreground interest', maybe compromise at f8/11, sharpness still excellent on the Micro-Nikkor and on yours too I suspect.

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36 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

This is one of the most helpful articles that I've found so far

Yes, very clear, of course B&H are not going to pass by the opportunity to suggest some pretty fancy gear. He suggests using the grid in the viewfinder to help with finding that '1/3' position, good idea. He also suggests shift lenses, I use one of those, an Olympus 35mm, excellent for panoramics on either full frame or APS-C. Just shoot with left-shift, then right-shift, geometrically perfect.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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26 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

I do it by eye, take note of a part of the scene 1/3 in from the edge, move the camera so that the edge of the frame lines up with it for the next frame. Rinse and repeat. I guess for a landscape with no distinguishing features that might not work but it usually does for me. I think I'd probably use f8 unless I was troubled by 'foreground interest', maybe compromise at f8/11, sharpness still excellent on the Micro-Nikkor and on yours too I suspect.

 

Think I still need some practice using the grid. The f8/11 compromise sounds like a good idea. My Minolta 50 mm lenses is sharp across the frame at f8, but diffraction starts setting in at f11. It's nor really that noticeable until f16, though. I guess you can't blame B&H for wanting to peddle some pricey gear. Won't work on a cheapskate like me, though. 😁

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2 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

Excellent. What software are you using to stitch the images?

 

Mark

Mark - Photoshop CS6.   I hate it does that cutting in the corners & always end up [Select --> Fill --> Content Aware //  Rinse/Repeat], but overall it is ok.

 

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3 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Thinking about it now, I realize that the stitching software (I'm using Affinity Photo) should sew all those "matrix" images together if they overlap properly. I'm definitely still at the "playing at home" stage. I made this (see below) a few days ago from a series of seven verticals. Whether or not someone wants a panorama of the Burrard Bridge remains to be seen, though. 😎

 

stitched-panorama-of-false-creek-with-th

Its good pano John.  Taken from Granville Island, just outside Market.   I have similar (not pano) & never sold, here or anywhere else.  Yours might though

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45 minutes ago, Autumn Sky said:

Its good pano John.  Taken from Granville Island, just outside Market.   I have similar (not pano) & never sold, here or anywhere else.  Yours might though

 

Thanks. It's a heavily photographed view, but you never know. I lucked out with the ferry. It came along just at the right moment. I hope to dream up some more original subjects now that the rain is letting up.

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10 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Thanks. It's a heavily photographed view, but you never know. I lucked out with the ferry. It came along just at the right moment. I hope to dream up some more original subjects now that the rain is letting up.

John -- outside pano topic, but these little False Creek water taxis are decent subject.  You probably already have some. 

aquabus-water-taxi-transporting-passenge

 

There is also water taxi station at Heritage Harbor (where you took Burrard / Stanley pano), but you might have to wait.  I sold some shots taken there though

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I am still using "Old NIKON D800s and I have a number of commercial clients

who want very large files (over 300MB in 16bit color) and I shoot 3 to 5 frames

then stitch them in Lightroom, easy and pretty quick.  Took a bit to learn, but

it was time well spent.  I've also done quick panos that were shot without a tripod

and stitched together,

 

Chuck

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5 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

John -- outside pano topic, but these little False Creek water taxis are decent subject.  You probably already have some. 

aquabus-water-taxi-transporting-passenge

 

There is also water taxi station at Heritage Harbor (where you took Burrard / Stanley pano), but you might have to wait.  I sold some shots taken there though

 

Oh yes, I've got a number of those. I don't think any of them has ever licensed. However, they are cool little crafts. They come in two varieties -- aquabuses and the less colourful False Creek Ferries like the one in my pano above.

 

aquabus-ferries-and-water-taxis-docked-i

Edited by John Mitchell
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In shooting a matrix either for a horizontal panorama, vertical panorama, higher rez file, or a super wider angle beyond your wide angle lens, the key shot is the first shot.

Make the first shot holding the camera looking straight ahead, neither up or down and without horizon tilted. The rest of the overlapping shots in the matrix will all line up in relation to the first shot.

 

My Canon 5Ds has a level in the viewfinder that I use to line up the handheld first shot. I then shoot the rest of the matrix handheld by twisting my upper body. If however I am going wide to the point that I have to move my feet, then I use a tripod.

 

The software needs to analise detail in order to do the lining up. If you have detail in the entire shot then a 50% overlap works well. However if you have a clear blue sky with no detail, or wavy water that changes between shots in the matrix, then you should count those areas out when determining the amount of overlap. I will sometimes use a 80% overlap under those conditions.

 

If you are making a vertical panorama hold the camera horizontal and make your first shot straight ahead not looking up or down and not tilted on the horizontal. Then move your camera up and up to complete the matrix. However in this case the keystoneing of the buildings or trees as you move up means that each image in the matrix looks too different at 50% overlap for the software to match shots. Therefore on a vertical panorama you need to allow a 90% overlap once the matrix moves up more than one shot.

 

Here is an early attempt. The first shot was centred on the two small green trees below the first floor. This allowed for the subject movement in the first image. Everything above lined up at 90% with that first shot, so there was no keystoneing of buildings in the final panorama.
 

first-canadian-place-at-72-storeys-the-t

 

A more conventional use. First shot level with bottom cropped in software later, and then 2 shots above that to complete panorama.

 

humanities-wing-in-brutalist-architectur

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6 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

In shooting a matrix either for a horizontal panorama, vertical panorama, higher rez file, or a super wider angle beyond your wide angle lens, the key shot is the first shot.

Make the first shot holding the camera looking straight ahead, neither up or down and without horizon tilted. The rest of the overlapping shots in the matrix will all line up in relation to the first shot.

 

That is great tip Bill. 

My question is:   How does software you use for stitching 'know' what the first shot is?  Is it based on exif timestamp? 

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I think it is based on the camera's time metadata in the initial RAW file. Line up with the earliest shot in the matrix. I have tried locking down only one photoshop layer that was not shot first, and also tried changing the layer order in the panorama stack. It still lines up with the earliest shot.

 

Here is a panorama with first shot straight ahead, second shot looking down, third shot looking up. No retouching overlap mistakes necessary, everything lined up with first shot. Cropped because before cropping merged panorama image had shape of )(

 

the-eaton-centre-an-upscale-downtown-mul

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2 hours ago, Bill Brooks said:

I think it is based on the camera's time metadata in the initial RAW file. Line up with the earliest shot in the matrix. I have tried locking down only one photoshop layer that was not shot first, and also tried changing the layer order in the panorama stack. It still lines up with the earliest shot.

 

Here is a panorama with first shot straight ahead, second shot looking down, third shot looking up. No retouching overlap mistakes necessary, everything lined up with first shot. Cropped because before cropping merged panorama image had shape of )(

 

the-eaton-centre-an-upscale-downtown-mul

 

That worked out well. Was it handheld?

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Pic I took today,  matrix 2x2

 

1 4

2 3

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=284632

 

Was not shooting pano, just wanted bit wider (and higher) from what normal frame would give me.  Higher res also allowed HDR tonning in post-processing.  I strongly recommend "Matrix method";  so many advantages

 

Will not upload to Alamy as these types of shots have next to zero chance for sale, but using as example

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In the past I used to shoot, stitch (from portrait images) and print Panorama's for personal use. I used to avoid anything containing overhead power or telephone cables as they could cause stitching problems. When shooting multiple images to stitch, I would create markers to identify the start and finish the series by shooting images with my hand partially blocking the lens. As others found, a 50mm lens was often ideal, but once I came across a photographer that specialised in using long lenses.

 

I have had license users crop images to skinny panorama's for banners across the top of web pages or across the top of an article. Now it would have to be something very special before considering creating a panorama for Alamy.

Edited by sb photos
Expanding upon subject
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