Assignment for the
meeting: Panoramics. Now, before you pass out or think "are you
kidding!? I can't do that!" ... ohhhh, yes, you can, and ... you can do it for free!! You
don't even need one of those high-dollar fancy schmancy rigs to shoot
the shots. Any camera will do; digital is best, of course (<grin!>) but
even scanned film images will work. Here's the trick. Go to the
Autostitch web site, read up on the program and download their stitching
Download the FREE, I say
again ... FREE version of the program currently on the boards. It's
small, installs cleanly and won't even be a burp on your hard drive. And
when you see the output product ... wow! This baby has algorithms that
will make you drool, whether or not you know what algorithms have to do
with the program. The ability of this program to seamlessly stitch and
integrate different images into one homogenous panorama is outstanding,
especially for a FREE (I say again, FREE!) program!!
Bruce Switalla gave us a
wonderful kick start on shooting panoramics and using the program at the
October meeting, and if you have any questions or need any tips, trix or
other insider info, Bruce will be happy to oblige.
So, you say, what do I do?
Just take a series of shots, overlapping each shot with at least one
half (better one third or even one quarter if you can) of the previous
shot, until you shoot the entire expanse you're interested in. This also
includes shooting "three-dimensionally" ... a layer on top of the first
layer for more sky; or below the first layer for more foreground. Or
both, if you're feeling adventurous and can handle that many files,
Remember, when you're
shooting panoramas (and in most cases, whenever you can) -- use a
tripod. And, if you have the ability to set your camera manually, do
this. Set it for the exposure of the scene so you won't have
autoexposure shifts with every change of the frame. This will help keep
the backgrounds more level and even. If you can't put your camera on
manual, don't worry! Shoot anyway; brace if you don't have a tripod, and
keep going. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what that program can do
to blend your photos into as level an exposure as possible.
Now, to actually produce the
panorama, just tell the program which files to stitch, stand back, and
watch the magic. You can do all the files at once, or do them in bits,
like one "layer" at a time, then stitch the new "layers" together for an
entire top to bottom panorama. As Bruce said, experiment! With your
camera, your imagination and the program.
We'll all be very interested in hearing
what you liked and didn't like about the program, too ... we might be
able to send a report to the programmer if we get enough working
comments. The program is still in "beta" and is not in commercial
production at this time, according to the programmer, and at this stage,
all constructive criticism is especially important for that final level
of tweaking before going into production.
This was a
little tougher assignment to post than the usual single-frame stills
we shoot, as I wanted to show the extent of the panoramic effect,
but couldn't afford to use up all my bandwidth on the server, heh!
So I compromised and have posted reduced size and quality versions
of the original panoramas submitted by our members. They're larger
than you normally see in the presentations, but small enough to load
pretty quickly. Click on the links below to go to each person's set:
The Digicam SIG
met at Parkdale Library November 15 with seven souls braving the
storm. Subject of presentations was panoramas, stitching photos.
Bruce Switalla had provided a beta version of a stitch program which
worked like a charm. We saw beautiful panorama scenes. Assignment
was first try for all.
Plans for next year were discussed. We will attempt to accommodate
new users as well as our core group.
John Hoffmann - unusual and beautiful photo of rounded WW II
memorial Lady Lex; Downtown skyline; the dunes on Padre Island. Some
shot in RAW format were exceptional.
Bruce Switalla - photos of stealth fighters; people in long lines.
Bill Draper - Imagination, shooting a cul-de-sac.
Patty Beasley - Gorgeous photos of Rocky Mountain National Park;
Packery Channel sunrise and red tide on the Corpus Christi bay
Brian and Drew Jacobs - A demonstration how stitching works in
stitched shots of an industrial complex, with electric power lines
Ben Luna - Sunset on long San Diego - Coronada Bridge; Waterfront
shots. Highlight: White Sands National Monument, white sand dunes,
Ken Parsons - produced a musical tour of his Padre Island
neighborhood. Stills from the DVD are posted to this web site.
Next meeting the third Tuesday in January, 7 PM at Parkdale Library.
Assignment is Holiday photos.
For the scribe -