Panorama help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by cletusjermal, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. cletusjermal

    cletusjermal TPF Noob!

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    I was trying to take a panorama last night. I had never tried it before and thought i would. One problem i had was getting the exposure the same on all the pics. I put it on Aperture priority to keep the same DOF. The shutter speed was different for each picture. They came out at all different exposures and dont match up to stitch together. For panaramas do you have to do it in man mode. And keep the same aperture and shutter speed for all shots? Any tips would be appreciated. Also has anyone ever tried HDR Panorama? How does that work? Is it possible.
     
  2. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, use manual. You have to have the same exposure across all images to avoid "seams". For HDR, brackets every shot, create your HDR images first then merge them. I suppose you could stitch them together as well, then create the HDR image. Again, ifyou do them seperately, you have to use the same HDR settings across all images.
     
  3. bdbolin

    bdbolin TPF Noob!

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    Not true ;) Autopano pro actually recommends using Aperture Priority.

    I would stitch all the pano's of each bracketing separately, then HDR them.
     
  4. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Are you speaking from actual experience? ;)
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Okay, panos, a subject near and dear to my heart. First of all, a repost:

    John's basic 'How-to' guide to Panoramas...

    1. In order to get a good pano, your camera has to be level, and has to rotate around the nodal point. This the point at which the image inverts. For practical purposes, with most lenses, using the sensor plane will work fine. What this means is that you have to shoot from a tripod for best results.

    Therefore, put your camera on your tripod and level it. Even though my tripod legs and head both have levels built-in, I carry a small dollar-store spirit level in my camera bag to make sure everything is as close to level as I can get it.

    2. Once I'm satisfied that everything is level and square and my tripod is locked (except for the rotating axis) where I want it, it's time to work on the exposure. Another important factor is to NEVER SHOOT PANOS IN AUTO (this includes WB)! Set your camera to a manual or semi-manual mode (I use full manual, but either shutter or apeture priority will work as well).

    Determine the range of your pano (eg the left and right limits) and then go through and meter the different areas. Find out what the camera is recommending as maximum and minimum exposure, and when you've done this for the full range of the image, then average the settings. Don't change these settings; yes some will likely be slightly under exposed, and some slightly over, but deal with it in post.

    3. Now you're ready to start shooting. I always start at the left-hand end of the intended pano and work right, simply so that the images are in the correct order when they're on my computer, but that's up to you. Expose the first image, and choose a landmark about 2/3 of the way to the right-hand side of the frame. Now, being careful to ensure that you don't upset your level, move your camera so that the left-hand edge of the frame lines up on the land mark you just chose. Ideally you want about a 30-35% (or 1/3) overlap between each image. Continue shooting in this manner until you have the whole sequence captured.

    4. Download and stitch using your favorite software.
    A few tips: With respect to the issue of exposure: If there is an extreme dynamic range within the pano, (say bright sun to deep shade) I will often bracket each image 1/3 stop on each side, so that for every image used in the pano, you actually expose three. This gives you a bit of latitude in terms of trying to produce an image with a pleasing and realistic dynamic range, but be warned, it often looks hokey.

    One of the most important tools you can have for taking panos (aside from a good tripod) are filters. There are two types, one is the circular polarizer (CPOL)for enhancing colours and deepening the blue in sky and the other is graduated neutral density(G-ND); these help to prevent blown skies and preserve detail on the ground. When using a CPOL, it's important to remember not to change it's setting through the course of the pano either. Find the optimum setting and use it at that setting for the whole image. Likewise with your G-ND; don't change their position or intensity.

    The work-flow for panos is this: Shoot in TIF or RAW (and convert to TIF) and then merge the images. Once you have the final pano, then apply your image corrections, cropping etc. If you try applying light or colour corrections to a single image, it will be obvious in the final result. With respect to your question on sizing, once you have the assembled and PP'd image, crop/resize to suit. There is no standard size for panoramic images.
    __________________
     
  6. cletusjermal

    cletusjermal TPF Noob!

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    Awesome post. Thanks for the tips and advice.
     
  7. cletusjermal

    cletusjermal TPF Noob!

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    Does anyone know how much difference a nodle rail and leveling base make. I just bought them to try and get better pics. I dont know anyone that has used one. Just wondering if it was a good investment.
     
  8. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Works great. I always have a leveling head on my tripod anyways and use my macro focus rail as a nodle rail. Makes stitching very easy.
     
  9. cletusjermal

    cletusjermal TPF Noob!

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    I want to try a multi row pano. Are there any tricks to doing it. I tried one last night. did a row with it tilted a little up and one with it tilted a little down. When i stitched it it looked like a football and when cropped it seemed to cut off most of the top and bottom. Is there a technique or tip for doing multi row pano's
     

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