My Panoramas and a couple of questions

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Oct 26, 2010
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Madison, AL
I'l start by sharing what I have so far (these are pretty small, taken from my FB page):

Local field. Just learning the ropes:
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Same. Local wildflower "patch":
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A friend's farm near the school. A beautiful spot of land!
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Founders Hall at Athens State University:
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The Library at Athens State University: (I didn't intend for the fisheye look, but I kind of like it)
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Cavnar Field at East Limestone High School (my alma mater):
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PLEASE C/C them. Don't worry about hurting my feelings. Do keep in mind that the originals are HUGE (one of them was ~16" x 55" before I cropped and resized) and have good sharpness given the size.

Now, I have spoken with the Baseball coach here at school (Calhoun Community College... Go Warhawks!) and have arranged to shoot the baseball field tomorrow after it is striped this afternoon.

What lens/focal length would you suggest?

I have access to the following:
18-105 / f3.5-5.6 VR
105 mm / f2.8 VR
70-200 / f2.8-? VR
35 mm / f1.4

I plan to shoot mid-day-ish, hoping for either clear blue sky or some nice white clouds. Any tips for how much sky to include? This is more an aesthetic/personal preference question, so please share your preference/opinions.

What to do if the sky happens to go boring and grey? These are for a Digital Photography assignment, so I want them to be GOOD, so I want to make the best out of the situation, whatever it may be.

Thanks guys!!!
 
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Also, I am using Photomerge in Photoshop CS5. Is that generally what most do/would use to stitch Panoramas together?

I had a couple of instances where I wanted to change the order of the pics to place a different object in the center. Anybody know how to do that?
 
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
I'm using PTGui for my stitching - it's proved pretty useful and I use it for creating stitched landscapes as well as 360 degree panoramas for real estate. There's a trial to download if you're interested on their website (I'm not affiliated!)

First up, I'd recommend scanning the scene and metering off the brightest area of the view you'd like to stitch (obviously not the sun if that's in the frame!). If you are in reasonably even light you'll then have a base reading to shoot from (e.g. 1/100th at F11)

Next, I'd pop the camera into full manual mode and dial in the base reading.

Next, I'd change the White Balance to a manual preset. e.g. sunny

Finally I'd focus hyperfocally and lock down the focussing to manual on the lens or body so it doesn't hunt between shots.

If it's clear and bright with even light, you can then blat away with roughly 30% overlaps in portrait orientation, covering a little more sky than you'd need. Once stitched, the final image may be higher at the left and right and bowed in the middle, so this will give you a little leeway when cropping.

If it's not to clear, or with a duller sky, or if there are extremes in dynamic range, then you might like to try bracketing each shot around the base reading. You could do this in continual high and just hold down the shutter until all shots in each bracket are taken before moving onto the next composition within your panorama, or use a tripod to make things easier for alignment later.

Depending on clouds and wind speed, it may be beneficial to work quickly to avoid ghosting in the final panorama.

If I'm shooting an HDR Pano, then PTGui can look after all the bracketed images and link similar images together, before adjusting exposure and then creating the final panorama file as a .tif or .jpg in 8 or 16 bits.

As for focal length, I'd recommend choosing a focal length that will allow one single sweep of images left to right or right to left first. At least then you'll have one 'in the bag' and can then move onto a longer focal length if more detail is required.
 
Joined
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397
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Madison, AL
Wow, Phil! Thank you sincerely for your tips. I will definitely try to put them to good use.

I will look into the PTGui software as well.

Thank you thank you thank you!
 

JPS

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North-East of Brazil
I'll second Phil on using PTGui ! This is THE software dedicated to panoramas !

I often use it too to create SPHERICAL panoramas ! ...but this is yet a completely different technique... You might have a look at the URL in my signature !

:wink:
J-P.
 
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
One other thing to note, Taco2575 - try to avoid anything too close to the lens when taking your panorama photos. You'll need a panoramic head and rotate the lens about its nodal point to avoid parallax error, but that's another topic entirely!
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2010
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Man, those spherical pans are AWESOME!!!!!! I'd love to put something like that together one day!

Thanks for the added tip, Phil.

Here are the shots of the Ball Field here at School:

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Thoughts???
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2010
Messages
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Madison, AL
Thanks, J. P.!

I have to say, I have found myself able to see "in" panorama pretty quickly, as I can scan a potential pano candidate and see the way I want a set of frames and how they SHOULD look once stitched and blended.

The tips about metering and dialing in the corresponding shutter/aperture setting really helped with keeping the sky nice and smooth. That's the main improvement I see from my first few and the ball field shots. Also, making sure to back out and take plenty of vertical "extra" really allows some room for getting the crop JUST right in the final steps.

Thanks again, guys!!!
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2011
Messages
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Good work there, Taco2575. Once you lock down the WB and focus you're away. Everything looks nice and smooth there. We should have a panorama thread on here somewhere!

I've just posted a night time 55 shot panorama (11 shots, 5 exposures per shot) of Dubai Marina waterfront which came out OK. Not clear enough atmospherics though :-(
 
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