A tough assignment

Lacrossedad

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So my father in law is a collector of canning labels and other canning industry stuff. He has come across a very rare label, but it is attached to the original can. This item is roughly 100 years old. He has asked me to take a pic of the label. He was asking if I could take a number of shots and then blend them together some how to create a single pic of the whole label. He was thinking that he could put the can on a lazy Susan and spin it while I shot a bunch of pics.

I have Lightroom/Photoshop but have never done this before? Any tips?

Anyone ever tried this before? I usually love doing wildlife stuff and have never done this kind of photography. I am just trying to help out my father in law.
 

Gary A.

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Sounds like a reverse panorama, but instead of turning the camera you're turning the subject. You don't want to use a Lazy Susan, unless it is the same diameter as the can. Set the camera on a tripod so it is stationary, set the can up (lighting background et al), then snap - rotate the can in place, snap - rotate can in place, until you've captured the entire label without moving the camera. Then 'Stitch' the images/files together in LR. Many cameras have a panorama setting, but I don't know how useful it will be when shooting a reverse panorama. There must be a ton of online videos with a step-by-step instruction on stitching.
 

dunfly

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Actually, I think the lazy susan thing is a good idea as long as you set the can in the exact center over the axis point. That way the can should stay the same distance from the lens as you turn it. Make sure it is well lit from both side so you don't get shadows.
 

tirediron

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Relatively straight forward. You need to ensure a flat, even, and a single-value light source (no fluorescents). You will need a way to stage the can so that it is level and plumb, and so that you can rotate it exactly about its vertical axis. Shoot so that you have ~30% overlap and stitch as per normal.
 

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I have Lightroom/Photoshop but have never done this before? Any tips?
My software doesn't do "stitching", so check your software for that capability. If it will, then take as many photos as you think are necessary (many rather than not many) and upload them to your computer. Take only the very narrow center band of each photo where the curvature of the can will not be much of an issue.

When taking the photos, mount your camera on a tripod with the lens perfectly centered on the label and perpendicular to the can/label. Measure each turn of the can so that each turn is exactly the same amount of movement. Use whatever measuring devices that will help you with this. You might have to invent something to measure the angle of the turns.

Tiny amounts of turn will mean more work for you, but will probably have less distortion in the final image.

Match your camera's white balance setting to the color of light you have. Capture the Raw file anyway, so you can get the colors right. As tirediron said; don't mix lighting types.
 

Dave442

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I like how your father in law plans to help you by spinning the Lazy Susan - makes it sound easy.

You might try image warp in PS to remove the curve of the label - the more images you take the less curvature in each sliver of the image that will be used in stitching together the panorama.

If you use the Lazy Susan you need to have the can in the very center - place can and turn to check for wobbles - adjust and repeat until no wobbles. It is probably easier to just have the can on paper that you can then draw an outline of the can on the paper with pencil - and then rotate the can keeping it within the circle. To make even rotations - cut out a circle of paper to sit on the top of the can (if it has a top) and mark off at least every 45˚ position. The more positions - the less warp correction in PS.

For regular photos both LR and PS tend to work fine for panoramas, I also use Hugin as it has some good tools for stitching images together.

My grandson warps stuff in PS and Illustrator to put something flat on a curved surface - so I guess you can go the other direction take something curved and make it flat.

In one place I worked we had Matlab, it would be easy to flatten the image in that program using the radius of the can and the width of the label.
 

Low_Sky

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I tested this out. Lightroom 6's pano merge feature choked on it. Looks like it might required a more advanced pano stitching program.

I took shots of a peanut butter jar at 200mm to reduce distortion, rotated the jar about 10-15 degrees between shots. My images did have a bit of background visible behind the jar, but the pano stitch choked on the images with the background included, and with images cropped to only the label (not sure if the stitch algorithm only looks at the crop or the original image when stitching).
 
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Lacrossedad

Lacrossedad

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I tested this out. Lightroom 6's pano merge feature choked on it. Looks like it might required a more advanced pano stitching program.

I took shots of a peanut butter jar at 200mm to reduce distortion, rotated the jar about 10-15 degrees between shots. My images did have a bit of background visible behind the jar, but the pano stitch choked on the images with the background included, and with images cropped to only the label (not sure if the stitch algorithm only looks at the crop or the original image when stitching).


Thanks for trying this out... My Lightroom/Photoshop didn't like the merge either. I cropped the pics to take out all back ground and it worked a little but not what my father in law is looking for. I am not giving up but am going to research this even more..... I really appreciate you actually trying to do what I am talking about. I don't know about you, but everyone in family thinks that since you spent more then $1,000 on a camera you should be able to everything under the sun.
 

BoldArtist

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Does he just want an image of what it looked like originally?
There are collectors markets online that would have them,
 

weepete

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You'd need to correct the curvature of the cans before the stitch and make sure they are the same dimensions. If you have the shots I'd suggest using the adaptive wide angle filter in photoshop to get the images flat, then save them all as jpegs with the same pixel dimensions. Sometimes lightroom has trouble with stitches but stitching in photoshop works.
 

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