The Full Bend in the Little
The Canon SX20IS has “Easy Panorama” Mode, which aids in the creation of panoramas by displaying a thumbnail view of your first image beside the second so you can match them up, etc, etc. It is actually pretty clever. They also provide the PhotoStitch application which does a pretty good job of auto assembling the images into one. The only way to get really good panoramas is to use a panorama head on your tripod, which keeps the sensor plane aligned with the segments of an arc so the images really do overlap perfectly. Or you need a panorama camera, which swings the actual lens. I have never owned either. I am not all that into panoramas since I have never figured out how to display or view them effectively. Still, I could not resist trying out Easy Panorama mode on the new camera.
This is four images covering about 100-120 degrees of view. You really do need to view it on WideEyedInWonder at the largest size your monitor will do (click the image to open the WEIW link). The first shot, on the left, is almost due north and the last shot on the right is south of east, tending toward south-east. I used the corner of the wooden rail around a observation deck over the Little River at Rachel Carson NWR as my tripod, and set the lens to 28mm equivalent. You can see the rail at the lower right. Also, if you view it a larger sizes you will see that stitching of the last two images is not perfect. The wooden rail did not make a perfect panorama head.
What is interesting to me is that, long thin format aside, if you looked at the image without knowing it was a panorama, and were not familiar with the location, you might not guess it was a panorama at all. Rivers do bend like that.
For comparison, here is the unprocessed first and last 28mm shot.
Since Easy Pano mode is a mode in itself, set on the control dial as you would Auto or Program modes, you are reduced to the auto exposure the camera provides, but it did pretty well in this tricky light. The last exposure, as you see above was facing pretty much into the sun. I was particularly pleased at how naturally the variation of light in the sky is rendered.
Once stitched, I imported the image into Lightroom for post-processing. Recovery for the sky, Fill Light for the foreground, Blackpoint to the right, added Clarity and a touch of Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset.
Individual exposures were at 28mm equivalent, F2.8 @ 1/800th @ ISO 80.
I will never be a big panorama shooter. However, given the tools the Canon provides, I may try one from time to time, just not nearly often enough to buy a panorama head!
From Around Home 2010.