Saturday, October 2, 2010

A new take on Panoramas

As I work towards assignment 4 I want to experiment with framing and composition.  One element of this is the creation of limited size panoramas.  By limited I mean no more than two shots stitched together in Photoshop, I am not interested in great wide images at the moment and would not have the means to print them if I did.  I feel that streets can be best represented by a wide but short image.

My current camera set up using a tilt shift lens provides me with an interesting way of creating a high quality panorama effect.  The lens can be shifted by up to 12mm in both horizontal and vertical axes (plus 45 degrees).  By framing a shot on the center point of the image, the lens can be shifted left to take a photograph, then shifted right to take a second photograph.  These two images have an overlap and can then be stitched together.  The advantage of this technique is that the camera does not move and so there is no distortion caused by rotating the camera.  This in effect creates an effective 60mm x 24mm or a 2.5:1 ratio. versus the 1.5:1 ratio of a normal 36x24mm 35mm image.  This is a virtual 35 mega pixel super wide angle camera.

Processing is the same as for any other image, except that once the first image is processed the settings should be copied to the second and no more work done, with the exception of any spot removal.  Once complete I export from Lightroom 3 to Photoshop CS4 for the splicing and a final crop of the resulting image.

Care needs to be taken to avoid people moving through the frame, however, in my first few test shots this was not a great problem.

My first shot is a typical street scene, in fact the best Traditional German bar in the district:

Although the light was poor and this image needed to be pushed hard the result is interesting

My final two shots are of the small area of traditional houses in Haidhausen

This is a technique that should not be overused, I will submit a maximum of 1 image for my assignment, however, it does create really interesting possibilities.

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