Archive for the 'panorama' Category


10/31/2010: Cape May Sunrise hdr Panorama

Happy Sunday!

Looking east from the sundeck of the Montreal Inn in Cape May a few moments before sunrise, yesterday.

Sunrises, I think, touch a special place in the soul, and, of course there is noting like a sunrise over the ocean where you can see right out to the edge of the world. On a morning like this, even if just for a second there, it takes a hard heart indeed…or one deeply troubled, beaten well down…not to embrace the cliché: every new day is a miracle. It is easy for the hopeful to take such beauty at the beginning as a promise of the potential of the day. And, of course, part of the wonder comes from the fact that every sunrise is not so spectacular. Our lives don’t always allow us to see the sunrise at all, and there are days when the sun just sneaks up behind clouds (literal or figurative) with no display (or none we can see). So we have reason to celebrate the moments like this one. The moment itself is a gift from the creator, and so is the ability to appreciate it.

On the technical side, this is a 9 exposure HDR panorama: 3 sets of 3 exposures blended and tone-mapped in Photomatix, the results stitched in PhotoShop Elements, and the the panorama final processed in Lightroom. Best viewed as large as your monitor will take it.


10/4/2010: Green point, quoddy head panorama

This needs to be viewed as large as your monitor will allow. Click the image and use the size controls at the top of the window that opens.

The fog never did lift during my visit to Quoddy Head State Park. I hiked as far down the coast as Green Point. This is a panorama of 4 28mm equivalent shots, looking south, assembled with PhotoShop Elements Panorama tool, and processed in Lightroom (Fill Light, Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance, and Sharpen).

This is the standard Canon SX20IS wide angle view north from the other side of Green Point. This has to be the epitome of Maine’s rock-bound, fog-bound coast!



9/23/2010: HDR Marsh Pool Panorama

This is another experiment in HDR Panorama…and this time I had a tripod with me! It does make it easier, and, despite the lack of a true panoramic head, I am pleased with the results. I especially like the rendering of the sun on the pines at either side, which would have been quite impossible without the HDR treatment.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. 9 exposures in bracketed sets of 3. All at ISO 80 and Programmed Auto. Bracketed 2 stops, with the center exposure moved down 2/3EV via exposure compensation.

Each set of 3 was blended in Photomatix, using tone mapping. In this case the smoothing had to be adjusted to a minimize the light sky band along the tree line. The 3 HDRs were then taken in to PhotoShop Elements 7’s Panorama engine, where they were automatically combined. I also a darken brush along the tree line to smooth the sky line a bit more. Finally, the image was saved as a PhotoShop file and taken into Lightroom, where some Recovery was applied for the sky, added Clarity and just a bit of Vibrance, and the Sharpen narrow edges preset. I also used the selective luminance tool to intensify the little bit of fall color in the tree line and bushes on the left. This is a LOT more processing than I generally apply to any image, but perhaps, if you view the Pano at larger sizes on my SmugMug site it was worth it (click the image above, or here, and use the size controls at the top of the window…though it should auto size to your monitor).


9/15/2010: Mousam Marsh HDR Panorama

So, what would happen if you combined HDR with Panorama? This is 12 exposures, 4 sets of 3. I processed each set of 3 exposures in Photomatix for tone-mapped HDR, then the 4 HDRs were stitched in PhotoShop Elements, using its excellent Panorama tool. The pano was then taken into Lightroom for final adjustments (straighten, levels, sharpen, etc). If you look at it large enough (which I recommend anyway as the little image here does it no justice) you will see that the fence posts on the left center are not perfectly aligned (the wind was blowing so hard I had trouble holding the camera still), but, in general, for such a complex process (and no tripod), I am happy with the results, especially for a first experiment. This is a sweep of about 180 degrees, from Great Hill, past the mouth of the Mousam River, and all the way around to the Route 9 bridge…the equivalent of 4 28mm fields of view.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent field of view. Exposure sets separated by 3EV, auto bracket with the center point adjusted to –2/3rds EV using Exposure Compensation. Processed as detailed above.

To view the image in larger sizes, click the image above and use the size controls across the top of the window on the SmugMug site that opens.


9/11/2010: Earl Passes By: panorama

This is an iPhone 4 panorama made up of 10 exposures…five across and two deep…stitched in AutoStitch on the phone itself. You should attempt to view it as large as your monitor will allow. Click the image above and use the size controls across the top of the window that opens to set the size.

For comparison, here is a one of the 10 frames.

iPhone 4, Camera app, AutoStitch, and final processing in Picture Perfect. Uploaded to Smugmug with SmugShot.



Bush Place Panorama

This vista (or the owner of the house on the point, former President George Bush Senior) is so popular that they have had to build a parking area. Well, okay, there is also a famous local feature right below the parking lot called Blowing Cave, a hole in the rocks that spouts a gout of water and booms at the right tide, but most people discover that by accident when attempting to photograph the Bush estate. It was lovely evening, though windy with the passing front that piled the clouds out there over the sea.

This is is 8 shots, 4 across and 2 down, taken with the iPhone 4 and assembled on the phone in AutoStitch, processed on the phone in PhotoGene (levels and sharpen, some straightening), and uploaded to the web from the phone in SmugShot and Flickrstackr. 

From iPhone4 HDR and Pano.



No Name Creek: iPhone Panorama

This is 12 images from the iPhone camera, representing over 220 degrees of view, taken from the same spot as yesterday’s HDR (you might want to compare). It really needs to be viewed as large as your monitor will allow (click the image and use the size controls at the top of the new window). AutoStitch on the iPhone makes this kind of shot easy. You just take roughly overlapping images and the program does all the aligning, stitching and exposure blending for a very polished result.

Often I use a panorama matrix that is two shots deep…4 across and two down for 8 images, or 5 across and 2 down for 10, but with this sweep I kept it simple. I was not about to attempt 24 overlapping shots. When you do two shots vertically you get an automatic HDR effect, since the upper shot is generally metered off the sky, and the lower off the foreground, and the AutoStitch exposure blending routine does an excellent job of preserving the best of both. With a single layer pano you lose that benefit, and, indeed, this set correctly rendered the sky but left the foreground too dark…even with levels adjustment in PhotoGene, since I was not willing to sacrifice sky detail for the landscape exposure. In  Lightroom I would have used the dueling Graduated Filter effects I have outlined in the past, but I was determined to keep all processing on the iPhone for this iPhone shot. Therefore I used Tiffin’s FotoFX app to add a .6 Graduated Neutral Density filter effect to darken the sky. Once saved, I reopened the image in PhotoGene and adjusted curves, exposure, contrast, and saturation for the finished image, which is a pretty good rendering of this huge sweep.

From iPhone 4 HDR and Pano.